iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Muslim White Female

Play now 28 mins

Muslim White Female

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 10 September 2011

After 9/11, many Muslims in Britain experienced an upsurge of suspicion and hostility from people around them.

At the same time, paradoxically perhaps, the number of white converts to Islam began to rise.

In Britain, it has doubled in the last ten years – and nearly two-thirds of those who embraced Islam during that time are women.

Miriam O’Reilly meets three of them:

Lauren Booth, a journalist, single mother, and sister-in-law to Britain's former Prime Minister, Tony Blair;

Myriam Francois Cerrah, a successful child actress who appeared in Sense and Sensibility, alongside Emma Thompson and gave up her dreams of Hollywood when she embraced Islam;

and Fatiha Iman, who grew up in a family wary of Islam and is now trying to mediate between her English family and her Pakistani fiance.

Miriam explores what drew them to a faith that exposed them to hostility after 9/11, and - in the eyes of their non-Muslim sisters – has forced them to give up much of their personal freedom.

  • BBC World Service: 9/11 - Ten Years On

    BBC World Service: 9/11 - Ten Years On

    A decade on, BBC World Service reflects on the impact of the 9/11 attacks with a collection of programmes - from 2011 and from the archive

    Listen to more programmes on 9/11


  1. Image for Heart and Soul: Faith Perspectives

    Heart and Soul: Faith Perspectives

    Explore the role of faith, spirituality and religious practice in the lives of people around the…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss