The Light in Her Eyes’ and the Way Americans View Muslim Women –


by  | July 20th, 2012 at 12:42 PM


Last night’s airing of The Light in Her Eyes was a great opportunity for me to, for the umpteenth time, grill my friend Laila about that scarf she wears over her head every day. Yes, Laila is a devout Muslim woman who comes from overseas and has found a life here in New York City. We have very different backgrounds, but have a great time talking about those differences, and she schools me, a non-believer, in the ways of Islam. I wish everyone in America had a Laila to talk to, but in lieu of that, we’ve got The Light in Her Eyes, which I think will open a lot of eyes for American viewers.

I asked Laila, who recently returned from a pilgrimage to Syria, to watch the documentary, which she called “beautiful,” and to answer a few questions. I’ll just note that the tenor of our conversation here is a lot more serious than our usual discussions. Laila has a sharp wit, and she can handle any jibe thrown her way with as much 21st century liberated woman moxie as some of the women who are balancing a devout life in a secular world we see in The Light in Her Eyes.

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