At university, Sarah Ager was known for her Christian faith. Her parents are Salvation Army ministers. She grew up going to church and being in the church choir. Belief in God and being a Christian were a fundamental part of her identity, until she converted to Islam when she was studying English in Leicester.I guess she was agnostic well before her conversion. Like various other converts, she remains ambiguous about what she thinks is wonderful about the Religion of Rape, offering no verses or passages to back up her argument. She also says:
She wasn't peeved with the Church, didn't know much about Islam, and she didn't convert in order to marry a Muslim.
So what led her on this journey? She decided to look into Islam when she met some Turkish Muslims at university. "The main reason I started studying [Islam] was because I was embarrassed," she says.
"I knew nothing about Turkey or Islam, I didn't know what they believed; I was intimidated. I thought 'I have to at least Google this religion'."
But Sarah didn't stop at a quick Google search, she decided to take a course on Muslim women in literature as part of her degree. "There were two Muslim women wearing Hijabs on the course and I remember being intimidated and sitting at the other end of the room. I thought they must be really Muslim.
"But when they were speaking during the class, they had such a beautiful way of expressing their faith. I became more interested in finding out how they perceived God."
It's one thing to appreciate another religion, but what made her convert?
"Just one day I looked back and thought I wasn't a Christian anymore," she says.
"I can't remember the moment when I stopped believing that Jesus was the son of God, but I remember how I felt – I wasn't sure what I was or what I believed anymore. I had been so sure before."
"In the Qur'an there are often passages that say that you shouldn't judge something because you don't know if there is a part of that thing that God really loves."But she won't back herself up? Again, I can't see what she's driving at. There's more ambiguity:
"When I put on a hijab, I'm reminded of how I want to present myself in the world," she says. [...]She has effectively performed taqqiya. Koranic verse 8:39, for example, contradicts her defense. As for how she wants to be seen with a hijab, I've got a sad feeling that's because the Catholic wimple influenced it. That could partly explain why she failed to comprehend anything. Honestly, I believe such an outfit as the Catholic wimple outfit was a bad idea, if only because it was like a precursor to the hijab, and a form of wear that can deny the woman wearing it sunlight and vitamin D.
"I think often people willingly ignore the peaceful message of the Quran and use it for their own advantage, it makes me incredibly sad. In the Qur'an it says you shouldn't force someone into religion – but then there are laws in Saudi Arabia which do.
As noted, she was dishonest about the "messages" she speaks of in the Koran, which suggests there's more to this than meets the eye.