Thursday, August 24, 2006

An Icelandic Women Converts to Islam

Icelandic sheep in front of a glacierAnna Linda Traustadóttir was born a Christian in Iceland in 1966. Forty years later she is a devout Muslim living in Denmark.

You can read her story in Islam Online. Her English is very good, since she was raised in Canada and the U.S.A. She got her undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montréal, but does not mention her major. Afterwards she wound up studying Arabic in Cairo, Damascus, and other locations in the Muslim world.

During that time she learned to dislike the Christian faith. Since she was anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian, Judaism did not appeal to her. She considered Buddhism and Hinduism, but found them lacking as well.

After she married a Muslim, it was Islam that most attracted Ms. Traustadóttir. However, she says that she had to overcome the anti-Muslim prejudices with which she had been indoctrinated when she was in North America:

I’d grown up in the States, raised on American movies, which always portrayed Arabs as fundamentalists, radicals, women-oppressors, religious fanatics, terrorists, never normal, average people.

Yes, I’ve noticed that, too. Haven’t you? All that blatantly racist anti-Arab propaganda in American popular culture. It’s very unfair to Arabs to portray them as fanatics when they’ve proven time and again that they’re just “average people” like you and me.

People like Mohammed Atta and Mohammed Reza Taheriazar. People like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The more she read, the more excited she became:

When I read the Qur’an, Islam’s holiest book, I thought it was beautiful, so scientific, so compassionate, so feminist! Nearly all the books I’d ever read about Islam, all written by non-Muslims, showed Islam in a negative light. Those people who wrote against Islam sometimes gave partial quotes from the Qur’an, leaving out the rest of the verse, or they would translate the verses incorrectly, on purpose or by mistake. I knew enough Arabic to know that what I was reading was unlike anything I’d ever read.

Like Ms. Traustadóttir, I’ve noticed the prominence of feminism in Islam. To quote the renowned Islamic prophet Isa: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” The fruits of Islam’s treatment of women have repeatedly revealed its deep-rooted feminism.

But what excited her most was all the contributions that Islam has made to science. I was surprised to find out that many of today’s scientific marvels were prophesied more than a millennium ago in the Koran!

So much science, so much knowledge that has been only recently discovered. I mean the Prophet Mohammad mentions: black holes, space travel, DNA and genetic science, evolution (transformation and mutation), geology, oceanography, embryonic development, aquatic origins of life… WOW! I had always heard that the Qur’an was basically just a watered-down version of the Bible, but none of this was in the Bible! I wondered how someone over 1400 years ago could have written anything like this! Some of these ideas were only discovered this century. Then I thought, well, Arab scientists, astronomers, mathematicians, cartographers were so advanced for that time, maybe some of them got together and wrote a book, loosely based on the Torah and the Gospels.

Wow. She’s just about convinced me.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I’m the first to admit ignorance about the Koran. I can’t read any Arabic, and, although I have read extensively from the translations of Koranic passages selected by Robert Spence, Bat Ye’or, Serge Trifkovic, Andrew Bostom, etc., I have no firsthand knowledge of the book. All the writers mentioned above have an agenda, and have presumably taken selected quotes out of context to further that agenda.

So it seems that I must have been misled. But I can’t help feeling a little bit of disquiet over passages like this one:

My husband, son and I stayed a month in Malaysia. What an incredible place! Of Islamic areas, I had only been to the Arab Middle-East and here was a whole new Islamic world in South-East Asia! […] Under the former Muslim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Islam had a revival. He wants to unite all the Islamic countries, not just in a so-called Islamic Union, but he also wants one currency, a gold dinar. What a visionary! Islam needs more men and women like him!

Based on what happens on the fringes of Islam, the a united Muslim Caliphate can only serve to make the non-Muslim nervous. What about those Christians in Indonesia and Nigeria? What will happen to them?

But Ms. Traustadóttir glosses over such concerns. To her Islam is a glorious prospect, even a feminist one, for the women of the world.

If someone like me can become Muslim, there’s hope for anybody!

Well, I guess so.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

After lengthy discussions with her husband, Anna Linda Traustadóttir converted to Islam and changed her name to Núr. She seems very happy and enthusiastic about her newfound faith. But it’s not surprising that she didn’t return to Iceland to practice her religion: according to the statistics in my “Umma” database, Iceland, with a population of 296,737, has just 321 Muslims, or 0.1% of the population. Denmark, as we all know, has a much larger Muslim population.

Even so, Icelandic Muslims need not feel disconnected from the greater Umma, since there is a website serving Muslims in Iceland. It’s all in Icelandic, so I can’t tell you much about it. Maybe some of our Danish readers can translate it.

It will be of interest to revisit the Muslims in Iceland in five or ten years’ time and see how they fare then.


Hat tip: Harry Palmer.

35 comments:

Profitsbeard said...

ROTFLMAO!

Best spoof I read in a long time!

Thanks for the laughs!

Islam and feminism go together like
rattlesnakes and baby cribs.

(Of course, the true black hole was the pedophile "prophet"'s heart.)

Pastorius said...

Anna Linda Traustadóttir says: "When I read the Qur’an, Islam’s holiest book, I thought it was beautiful, so scientific, so compassionate, so feminist!"


Gee, all us guys have been trying since the 60's to figure out how it is women want to be treated, and it turns out they want to be treated as half a human being.

Well, there you go, that ought to be no problem.

christianaction said...

Wanted to get in touch with Baron Bodissey concerning the Jamaat ul-Fuqra in Red House. Please contact me at jpcampbell70@msn.com.

David S. said...

All I can say is 'wow'. There are really people that brainwashed and ignorant as this lady!?

I especially enjoyed the nonsense about all Arabs being portrayed as evil people. There are plenty of programs that have portrayed them in a positive light. Tony Shalhoub's character in "The Seige" comes to mind right away.

Anyways, all that ridiculousness about the Koran being scientific is easily disproven - I have personally read numerous glaring scientific errors from the Koran. For instance, it says:

The Earth is flat.
The Sun rises from a bubbling spring.
Ants can talk.
People are conceived as blood clots.
Etc.

I really want to slap some sense into this woman - not literally of course, figuratively. It is frightening that people are so easily misled.

David S. said...

Oh, by the way, I read up on Fjordman's posts on the EU(CCP); he makes some good points, but the whole thing is very general. What I really want to see is a direct comparison of policies then and now, country by country, so that the similarities (or differences, if there are any) are apparent. I would totally be willing to do so myself, but I haven't the slightest idea of how to find all that information. If someone shows me where, I'll start working on it and keep you all updated.

David S. said...

Sorry, made an error on the post above. The sun sets in a murky spring, not a bubbly spring. Clearly this shows my lack of astronomical knowledge - every 6th grader knows the sun's spring is murky.

linearthinker said...

Harry Palmer, eh? Wasn't Harry the hero in "The IPCRESS File"?

"...the Prophet Mohammad mentions: black holes, space travel, DNA and genetic science, evolution (transformation and mutation), geology, oceanography, embryonic development, aquatic origins of life… WOW!"

I needed a laugh. Thanks.

VSK said...

Profitsbeard, and all -- I'm not sure it is (intended!) to be a spoof. At least this letter, and another one that reads very similarly by another woman who has converted to Islam are actually the two 'testimonials' on the English section in that Icelandic site, here: http://www.islam.is/

The point that there are only 321 Muslims, and -- if that is an accurate picture of their local mosque, well, that's quite an investment. Be interesting to find out what the actual farce going on here is.

Vic

ZionistYoungster said...

The "scientific" arguments for the veracity of the Koran are only for the feeble-minded. The REAL proof its divinity is its unique poetic style and the fact that no one has been able to imitate it yet.

I kid you not. Islamic belief, just like any New Age cult, is based on subjective feelings rather than objective historical evidence.

bernie said...

Next thing this woman will be telling us is that Islam is the religion of peace.

I popped a button on my shorts laughing so hard. Obviously, as I've said all along: only a complete idiot would purposely want to be a Muslim.

Unfortunately there is no easy way to get out if you have a brain.

ZionistYoungster said...

I have to tip an Islam-related jaw-dropper (one of so many...), from Michelle Malkin:

(begin quote of MM's post)

An Islamic scholar explains why Muslims must not be allowed to leave:

"If Islam were to grant permission for Muslims to change religion at will, it would imply it has no dignity, no self-esteem," said Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad, senior fellow at Malaysia's Institute of Islamic Understanding.

"And people may then question its completeness, truthfulness and perfection."

(end quote of MM's post)

Yeah. I mean, like, wow.

My dental bills should now hit the roof.

Zerosumgame said...

David S.

Anyways, all that ridiculousness about the Koran being scientific is easily disproven - I have personally read numerous glaring scientific errors from the Koran. For instance, it says:

The Earth is flat.
The Sun rises from a bubbling spring.
Ants can talk.
People are conceived as blood clots.
Etc.


While I agree there is much about the Koran to dislike -- namely its irrational Jew-hatred, misogyny (and even that was probably not unusual anywhere in the world in the 7th century CE) and glorification of religious violence, the above points are not the best case to make against it, not when the Old and New Testaments advocated the following:

a) The earth was made in 7 days.
b) Women came from the ribs of men.
c) The sun stood still.
d) The Red Sea parted.
e) Methuselah lived 967 years.
f) Virgin birth

If as Christians and Jews, we wish to believe some or all of the above as our faiths dictate, then we cannot slam Islam for the beliefs you listed.

As for the earth being flat, well, that WAS the prevailing thought in Christendom as well in the 7th century, and the Catholic Church insisted on a geocentric universe until the 18th century, killing Giordano Bruno and imprisoning and torturing Galileo for thinking otherwise.

kepiblanc said...

Those depicted mosques are certainly not found in Iceland.

The Phoenix said...

You understand Islam just fine, even if you don't read Arabic. That's one of those red herrings apologists throw out there to deflect attention from the problems with Islam - about 90% of the world's Muslims are NOT Arabs, and do not speak or read the language. Does that mean they are not Muslims, or that they don't understand Islam? I think not.

ScottSA said...

Zerosum said: "While I agree there is much about the Koran to dislike -- namely its irrational Jew-hatred, misogyny (and even that was probably not unusual anywhere in the world in the 7th century CE) and glorification of religious violence, the above points are not the best case to make against it, not when the Old and New Testaments advocated the following..."

There is a fundamental differnce between the claims of the Bible and the claims of the Koran. While the Bible is known and acknowledged to be written by humans, the Koran is alleged to be dictated verbatim by Allah himself. That means that any mistakes of that nature revealed in the Bible are mistakes made by men, but mistakes in the Koran must have been made by God Himself. Since that is an impossibility, the Koran cannot be the word of God.

a4g said...

...since she was anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian, Judaism did not appeal to her...

Hard to make good bread with a damp larder.

snowonpine said...

I really, really hope that this is some kind of parody. If not though, this woman is a whack job! To make a statement that she might understand, she has a boatload of real bad Karma from several past lives that she is about to experience. Before this is over she is probably going to wish that she had been reborn as a frog. May she enjoy the beauteous feminism that is Islam to the hilt.

ZionistYoungster said...

A minor quibble, Zerosumgame, if I may:

Of the alleged scientific absurdities you quote, your option D, "The Red Sea parted", is the odd man out. The others can be held to be observations on things as they usually are, but the parting of the Red Sea is explicitly a miracle, a going out of the order. Any dispute you have with that isn't a dispute on the scientific accuracy of the Bible, but on the existence of an omnipotent, miracle-working G-d.

Massachusetts Republican said...

Will she now complete her conversion and put on a berkah and shut up?

Caprice said...

The Hebrew sages said that anyone who takes the Torah at face value is a fool.

We've come to realize these were simply ways of portraying a continuum of creation and evolution. We do not hold to 7 days.

If you are a Muslim you do, you *must* believe the world is flat and discount any observable or scientific proof to the contrary. Is there any Muslim "scholar" who would be so brave or perhaps stupid to say it's foolish to take the koran at face value? Isn't that the root of our problem, that Islam has never grown past its inception?

Baron Bodissey said...

linearthinker --

I noticed Harry's moniker, too. I can't give out his email address, but it includes a definite Len Deighton reference.

Brian Macker said...

To see why they think the Quran is scientific and to see why it really isn't see my article "A Critique of 'Amazin Al Quran'" at http://brainwacker.blogspot.com/2005_08_01_brainwacker_archive.html

Brian Macker said...

PS. You need to scroll down for the article. Blogspot misformats the page occasionally.

David S. said...

Zerosumgame-

There is a real distinction between the two. The Koran is NOT speaking of miraculous actions taken by God outside of the natural order of things, but rather the ordinary processes of the world. That is where its claim to scientific insight lies. The Bible, on the other hand, is instead speaking of exceptions to the rule, as it were. Everything you listed besides the age of Methusaleh are considered miracles by all Christians, not the laws of physics. Methusaleh, on the other hand, is a different story somewhat, but it is not a scientific IMPOSSIBILITY that a man could live that long given serious differences in his genetic code. That is what makes the Koran so different from the Bible. The Bible says the sun stopped in the sky, contrary to all natural order, by an act of God. The Koran says that, every day as a matter of course, it drops down into a spring.

Concerning your other points: The western world did not accept that the world was flat since around the 2nd century BC. It was proposed centuries before that it was round, but it took a while to catch on. Read the Church Fathers and you will see that they all believed the earth was round.
The Galileo incident is another example of the 'pop-history' that our public school system feeds us. That is not at all what happened. The Church condemned him for:
1. Stating the Bible was wrong.
2. Disobeying rightful Church authorities.
3. Claiming something to be fact which, with his primitive observations, was not proven.
All three things most Christians could agree are bad things to do. Moreover, his 'sentance' consisted of living in a palace estate with multiple servants and afterwards being hailed as a martyr for the scientific cause, when in fact he was anything but.
I am Catholic, by the way, and a rather traditional one at that (as in pre-Vatican II). I wholly acknowledge the authority of the Bible; however, the Bible's claims to being inspired writing pale in comparison to the Koran's claims. The Koran, to a Muslim, is closer to the Incarnation than the Scripture. Moreover it does not claim to be its own evidence, but rather claims that some 'rather freaky miracle action' happened to prove it. I for one believe that testimony.

Profitsbeard said...

VIC-

Unintentional comedy is often the funniest.

I didnt think the breathless (WOW!) declaration of feckless faith by the Icelandic doll -or her catalog of the putative glories of the Koran- was a purposeful joke, only that it is a joke. Especially if you read the al-Qur'an to try to find all of the scientific wonders that she claims are in the text.

You could just as easily make the case that the 'parable of the mustard seed' in the New Testament is an uncannily prescient piece on sub-atomic particles and/or Mendel's Law. All in the same vein as a crank work from the 1990's, "The Bible Code", which proved Bill Clinton's presidency was ordained by the prophets. If you read any poetic text with a super-special linguisitic/mathematical overlay, then, like staring into a Rorschach blot, you can find exactly what you seek... (using my own cryptographic skills I found that the story of Lot's wife actually foretold both the coming of Used Car selling locations ["lots"] and Botox ["her face turned to stone"] ---(WOW!)

If the Keflavik lady is serious, she is then seriously moronic.

The perfect candidate for the Cult of the Permanent 7th century.

Inshallah.

Sailorette said...

First "Arab" I can think of from movies: Indiana Jones' friend, the round, expansive one. I LOVED that guy as a kid-- reminded me of my uncles.

Second: Everybody in Aladdin.

First Muslim that comes to mind? The fantastic, hot, smart and brave 13th Warrior...

Yeah, evil bias out the ears.

(Of course, I've been told the 13th Warrior counts *against* good images of Muslims, because he's played by Mr. Banderas. In that case, Sean Connern counts against USSR Submarine Captains....)

bordergal said...

Look at it this way....her defection to Islam significantly improves the quality of native Icelandic breeding stock, and seriously lowers the same for Muslims.

Eleanor © said...

Whether one accepts or even reads the Koran is irrelevant to the practical effect of Islam on the rest of us. Yes, it is important to read and understand the Koran as a revelation why these people do what they do.

But historical evidence and contemporary events demonstrate that so-called "radical" Islam and "moderate" Islam will have a deleterious effect on the rest of us. In fact, many "moderates" will profit by our subjugation or death under Shar'ia, one reason why they are silent.

VSK said...

Well, I think the whole site is a sham. Obviously it is funny and 'wrong', but seriously, there isn't a who wrote that, but somebody who wrote both of the testimonials. That's part of the recruitment drive. They need more girls. And Icelandic ones are cute.

kholajanala said...

I HAVE READ THIS ARTICLE... I HAVE READ THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MS. NUR AS WELL. I HAVE ALSO READ THE COMMENTS OF MY BROTHERS (FROM THE SAME ANCESTOR ADAM (AS)) WHO HAVE FORGOTTEN THEIR OWN IDENTITY. NOW THEY CAN'T GET RID OF THEIR WELL-KNOWN SMALL POND. I HAVE READ LOTS OF COMMENTS LIKE "If you are a Muslim you do, you *must* believe the world is flat and discount any observable or scientific proof to the contrary". I DON'T KNOW FROM WHERE THEY HAVE GOT THESE PECULIAR IDEAS ABOUT THE MUSLIMS. I'LL INVITE MY BROTHERS TO VISIT THE MIDDLE ASIA OR THE MIDDLE EAST OR THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT (MY PLACE) OR FAR EASTERN COUNTRIES. YOU'LL FIND LOTS OF MUSLIMS THERE TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE MUSLIMS REALLY ARE AND WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN. IF YOU READ ONLY FROM EUROPEAN WRITERS, YOU CAN NEVER GET RID OF YOUR FICTIONAL IDEAS. EUROPE IS JUST LIKE A PROVINCE OF A BIG COUNTRY OF ASIA WITH NO DIVERSITY AT ALL (COMPARING THE DIVERSITY OF ASIA). HOW CAN IT BE THE ONLY SOURCE OF COLLECTING KNOWLEDGE! I WAS LAUGHING WHILE SEEING SO MANY ANTI-ISLAMIC COMMENTS OF THIS SITE... MAINLY EUROPEAN VISITORS ARE AVAILABLE IN THIS SITE. SO NOONE IS HERE TO CLARIFY THEIR FICTION :)

kholajanala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kholajanala said...

ISLAM STARTED ITS JOURNEY WITH ONLY 40 PEOPLE (VERY FIRST COMPANIONS OF MUHAMMAD(SM)). (AL THOUGH NUMBER IS NOT VERY IMPORTANT TO US) NOW, IN EVERY 4 PERSON OF THE WORLD, YOU'LL FIND 1 MUSLIM… AND THE NUMBER OF MUSLIMS ARE GROWING VERY FAST. CAUSE ISLAM IS THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGION EVEN IN THE NON-ISLAMIC COUNTRIES. BROTHERS, PLEASE READ!!! READ FROM ALL TYPE OF SOURCES. DON’T REMAIN SPOON-FED BY THE ANTI-ISLAMIC WRITERS ONLY. READ EVERYTHING INCLUDING MUSLIM WRITER’S WRITING. TRY TO REALIZE HOW ISLAM STARTED ITS JOURNEY. HOW IT DESTROYED THE TWO SUPERPOWER THE ROMAN (BIZANTINE) AND THE PERSIAN WITHING THE 100 YEAR OF ITS BIRTH AND WHY YOU’LL NOT FIND A SINGLE NON-MUSLIM LAND IN THE COMING CENTURIES!!! TRY TO KNOW WHY PEOPLE OF ARAB, INDIA EVEN TODAY’S EUROPE ARE EMBRASSING ISLAM! WHY THIS IDEOLOGY (WAY OF LIFE) IS SPREADING SO FAST AND DEFEATING OTHER IDEOLOGIES FROM 'PEOPLE'S MIND'! BE FREE! OPEN UP YOUR MIND... READ AND LEARN THE LIGHT…

Vladtepesblog.com said...

I thought this might help explain the above two posts.

http://i579.photobucket.com/albums/ss232/closetconservative/Islamisfordummies2.png

SAS Hameed said...

Islam is the fastest growing religon in the world. A man demolished Babri Masjith in India embraced Islam, and a man stood against Minarats in swiss enriched himself by enbracing Islam. The westners thought 9/11 will give death blow to the growth of Islam. But only after 9/11 Islam grows rapidly in Europe. The famous Islamic thinker Moulana Abul Aala Moududi told "The future is for Islam' A big YES.
By Seyan Hameed, Kadayanallur, India

rebelliousvanilla said...

It's quite funny, but I know why a lot of women hate their own culture. I know that because I get through the motions too - I hate it's weakness. I realized that the way to make a woman hate her own is by making her own be weak, respect the others and so on. Then the strong will convert her to his own thing. So I sort of have a love-hate thing with European people.

Getting to the point, I have a friend who knows both Arabic and Hebrew and I had him read parts of the Quran to me and the translations are accurate, with minor differences. For example, the Arabic Quran doesn't say men should beat their spouses lightly, it says just that they should beat them.

Pastorius, European men have screwed up ever since the 1960s related to women.

Oh, and yes, a group of people who allow it's members to go to other groups has no self-esteem and self-worth.