I know it must seem like torture watching the videos here from Chubby Muslim Convert Girls who have chosen a lifestyle with ominous implications. Today, I am pleased to present the real life story of Melanie, who was very young when she chose to become a Muslim…then chose not to…and lived to tell about it.
In 1992 I was an idealistic college student looking for meaning in my life and had met several Muslim students at my university. After many conversations about how Islam really treats women well and getting the implication that I would not have to compete physically, I started looking into conversion.
I have a fairly common (undiagnosed at that time) hormone imbalance which makes me gain weight easily and instead of trying to eat healthier and exercise I took the easy way out and joined a religious organization that didn’t empasize looks (or so I thought). I can honestly say that this was one of the reasons that I converted- that and I wanted to shock my rather conservative grandparents who raised me.
A few months after my conversion I was found a husband by a member of the mosque leadership who had a fairly lucrative side job arranging marriages between convert women and Muslim men who were short on time on a student visa and needed to get married to stay in the US and continue their educations. I honestly believe that if I had not gotten married that I would have tired of the ridiculous rules and dress code and bailed years earlier.
The abuse began almost immediatly after I helped my new husband apply for a green card (a month after the wedding). I made excuse after excuse for him- not only was he physically and verbally abusive he often kept me without food or supplies, I didn’t have a car so I wasn’t able to go and get anything.
Other women I knew had the same treatment from their husbands, one lady with a young daughter with chronic health issues was also left without food in the house and incognito from her husband as he travelled extensively propagating Islam. Others faced serious physical abuse from husbands over things as small as rearranged furnature or burned dinner.
In a few step-family situations step-daughters were married off at the youngest possible age due to the stupid gender apartheid rules and faced being raped repeatedly by an older “husband.” One of these girls was only 12 years old when she reached enough development to be married to a man 10 years her senior. I was told that it was better for a girl to start her period in her husband’s home rather than in her father’s.
I endured the abuse figuring that it would be better to have a man in my life than to be alone.
You have mentioned that many of the women who convert to Islam are either heavy or otherwise unattractive. Unfortunately this is true, and I can say from experience that heavy women will put up with abuse or other treatment that other women will not stand for.
Many “cupid converts” were not heavy when they married their husbands but abusive treatment and lack of outside stimulation caused them to turn to food for comfort. Also the restrictions placed on women often keep them from being able to exercise.
Luckily for me I didn’t have any children with my abusive ex, and after he left for his second trip to his home country without me I filed for divorce. After the divorce I began to work on myself and was diagnosed with polycyctic ovarian syndrome and got the proper treatment and lost about 60 pounds.
I am now remarried with two young children. I’m not the prettiest woman out there or anywhere near the thinnest, but I am healthy, exercise and raise my kids. Many people say that I look better at 40 than I did at 20 and I learned that taking care of myself is more important than following an abusive and restrictive belief system.
I returned to Christianity and pray daily for women who are stuck in the same situation that I was.
Hopefully my story will help someone else. If any Muslim women read this, please understand that you CAN leave and you don’t deserve any of the abuse that you are getting.
Thank you, Melanie, for having the courage to share your story with us and tens of thousands of women around the world who visit BNI everyday. We are so happy you were able to turn your life around and live happily every after. God Bless You.