From Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book
All black lettering are mine for emphasis - Keith Hunt
One afternoon, just after Ijaabo settled into our apartment, a young woman, Fawzia, knocked at our door, looking for Abdellahi Yisin. She told him she had nowhere to go. Fawzia had her three-year-old boy with her. The child was the son of someone Abdellahi knew, an Osman Mahamud, but he was garac, a bastard, born out of wedlock. Fawzia was alone, and she begged Abdellahi to ask if she could stay in our house.
Abdellahi Yasin was embarrassed, but he came and told Ma and me the story.
Ma got a look on her face like something smelled bad. She couldn't have a prostitute in the house, she said. I recoiled. There was nothing at all to indicate that Fawzia was a prostitute. I saw in front of me the image of the woman in the rag hut, in the camp. I said to Ma, "If you don't let her stay, I'm leaving."
It was a long struggle, but Mahad and Haweya backed me, and we won. Finally, Ma said, "She can stay, but I don't want to see her." I found a clean sheet and a towel—those were the rarest things in our household—and this poor woman ended up staying with us for a few months with her little boy. By that time, there were so many of us that Haweya, Ijaabo, and I had to share a mattress.
To Ijaabo, Fawzia was the living face of shame, and she immediately embarked on a program to persuade her to repent her sinful ways and become a member of the Brotherhood. Ijaabo used to say, "The only way to wash off your shame is to pray, pray, pray and give your life to Allah, in search of forgiveness." One evening when she was getting at Fawzia again, I snapped and told her to shut up—she was utterly irritating. I said Allah wouldn't test us on whether we condemned somebody who became pregnant outside of marriage; He would test us on our hospitality and charity.
Ijaabo quoted the Quran for the six-hundredth time that day.
"The man and the woman who commit adultery, flog each of them one hundred times," she said. I told her, "Okay, here's a stick. Since we don't have Islamic law in Kenya, do you want to do the flogging?" Abeh, who was in the room at the time, laughed and took my side. Ijaabo acted angry and insulted for weeks.
Mahad and Haweya knew I was Abeh's favorite, but they had also learned long ago not to complain about it. Jealousy is forbidden.
The Somalis all shunned Fawzia. When we went out to do the shopping, she was constantly molested on the street. Men would grab at her breast and stare at her lasciviously. They would never have dared to look at me that way: I was Hirsi Magan's daughter. But Fawzia was known to all as a harlot, and she had no clan protector. She was prey.
Fawzia was used to the verbal and physical abuse. She was conditioned to believe that she deserved it. She told me to ignore Ijaabo's remarks. Unlike Ijaabo, Fawzia used to help me with the cooking, cleaning, and shopping. After the early morning prayer, she didn't go back to bed like everyone else did, but instead helped me bake angellos for everyone's breakfast.
Fawzia told me clearly that she lived for only one thing: her son; He was prey, too. The other, bigger children treated the boy as an outcast.
Aidarus and Ahmed, my young cousins, used to plague him. My family never stepped in to prevent the abuse.
There was a stigma on him. It was the first time I had knowingly met the child of an unmarried woman.
Most unmarried Somali girls who got pregnant committed suicide.
I knew of one girl in Mogadishu who poured a can of gasoline over herself in the living room, with everyone there, and burned herself alive.
Of course, if she hadn't done this, her father and brothers would probably have killed her anyway.
SUCH WAS AND PROBABLY STILL IS THE CULTURE OF MANY ISLAMIC FATHERS AND MEN, ESPECIALLY IN ISLAMIC NATIONS. ISLAMIC FATHERS AND BROTHERS LIVING IN THE WESTERN NATIONS BY AND LARGE DO NOT PRACTICE DEATH ON THEIR DAUGHTERS AND SISTERS, FOR HAVING A CHILD OUT OF WEDLOCK, BECAUSE THEY KNOW WESTERN NATIONS WOULD ARREST THEM, AND CHARGE THEM WITH MURDER. BUT THE DAUGHTER WOULD BE AN OUTCAST IN THE FAMILY, UNLESS THE FAMILY ARE ONLY MARGINALLY ISLAMIC, PRACTICING ONLY SOME OF THE QURAN, WHILE IGNORING THE REST.