In a July’s women’s magazine (I only buy it for the crosswords and recipes, honestly), there is an article about Carmen Dufour, some woman who married Osama bin Laden’s brother. Surprise surprise, this article comes just as her book is released.
Early in the article, it states: (the book is).., she says, “the explanation I owe” to her three daughters, Wafah, 27, Najia, 25 and Noor, 17, who also bear the infamous family name.
It is no easy burden. Airline officails have near seizures when Carmen produces her passport. Hotels have refused to accept her bookings. Shopkeepers tend to suspect, at best, a pratical joke and at worst, fraud. Yet she declines to change her name.
“That would be dishonest,” she says. “I became a bin Laden by marriage, and I haven’t done anything wrong. If I made a mistake in my life it was falling in love witha man who came from a place I knew nothing about and could never have prepared myself for.”
Cue the violins, please.
bin Laden means “son of Laden”. It is customary for Arab Muslims (and I would imagine even Arab Christians) to be named after the father, so any daughter of Laden would be “bint Laden”- daughter of Laden. Carmen did not become a SON of LADEN by marriage, even if she became a he sometime close to the wedding day. She is still Carmen Dufour – daughter of her father. Her children don’t have to bear much of a burden either – they are not “bin Ladens” but “bint Yeslam”
As for Carmen’s “honesty” in calling herself a bin Laden and not changing it – in Islam women do not change their names after marriage, this is something she chose to do. Her changing her name and refusing to revert to her maiden name even after she has separated couldn’t possibly have anything to do with her new book, could it?
There are a few more pages to the article, but after that small peak into her honesty, I couldn’t possibly stomach reading any more.