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SHORT FILM: My mother's daughter

February 4th, 2010
03:01 PM ET

Filed under:  1 • Islam
soundoff (29 Responses)

    First of all, I lvu u very much. U are my role model everytime i watch ur programm it's gives me alot of hope in every aspect of life.
    I wish i could be like u. I never miss Ur programm a day since U started it.
    I wish i could talk with U one day, is my dream and prayer to meet people like U.


    February 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  2. Abiodun Bashir

    I've always respected you, Christiane. This post has only demonstrated that you earned it. I believe the lady can now prove to the whole world that Islam is not about terrorism and it has no inclination or connection whatsoever with it (terrorism).
    I'm happy that no one preached to her but she read the Holy Qur'an and saw the beauty of the religion of peace.
    Thank you, Ms Amanpour

    February 4, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  3. Shez

    I wanted to thank you so much for this short film. I found the interaction between the mother and daughter to be so heartfelt and touching. It was nice to see them having open and honest dialogue about her conversion, Islam, and the hijab and agree to disagree. It was obvious that despite their differences, they still love each other deeply and are very close...and that's the perfect beauty of it all. We can agree to disagree and live harmoniously together as long as we stay open-minded and have open dialogue.

    Plus, I did find it entertaining of the little bickering that went on back and forth because many of us have experienced the same little tit-for-tats with family members, but shrug them off nonetheless and can laugh about it later.

    February 4, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  4. Lucia Fernandez

    So sad that this journalist never tried to study her own religion, the religion of her family... instead, she chose to study a new one, because she made a promise to Taliban members!!! Great teachers of Islam!!! Unbelievable!!!

    February 4, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Reply
  5. Aleem Syed


    this is cool, thanks and lots of love from our family

    from India

    February 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  6. Zena

    It's such a crying shame to see the extent of ignorance amongst the average person in society.

    Why do I feel I continously need to justify being a muslim to the world. To apologise for a belief that promotes purity and justice, encourages equality and peace, yet I find myself exhausting the finer elements to many people I encounter in the world?

    Islam equals peace, modesty, and tolerance....yet media portrays it as evil.
    Why don't muslims brand Catholicism as a faith that downplays its true beliefs by secretly sexually abusing kids, promoting paedophelia, and covers the immorality behind church doors?

    Muslims don't discredit any faith, but respect it; where is the reciprocation in the world?

    February 5, 2010 at 12:03 am | Reply
  7. Sanela Dejanovic

    This video is inspirational for every decent human being from all over the world who is in process of learning and persuading a tolerance, the most valued screening which separates good from bad; Also, is educative encouragement for those who have a hard time to accept the change, not just the change in a political aspect, or environmental area, but the change that accrued in people, and shows in choices they make. All that come with the time, leaded by the circumstances we all had been thru.
    I am Christian Orthodox from Eastern Europe (Serbia), and I have been a college student in US starting with 2006. In our English class, we had to watch and take the final over the documentary about 9.11.
    Two of mine great friends and teammates, who are American Muslims, have been taking the same class.
    And we all have the same feelings of horror, pain and failure over the very same tragic. After any war or terror attack there is a long process of healing which contains so much unfairness toward those who don’t deserve it (in this matter just random, peaceful Muslims).
    And yes, this comes from me, a Serbian, whose country had been fought in the War in Bosnia (also caused by issue the Muslims vs. non Muslims population); Yes, this comes from me, a Serbian whose country still fighting the numerous political and diplomatic battles over the Kosovo issue (again caused by the Muslim vs. non Muslim theme); And Yes this is me, Christian Orthodox who had been welcomed in the warm Muslims home (the home of my two friends mentioned above) during the holidays away from my own home.
    At the end, none of us should close the eyes and waste the right to teach, to spread the matter of tolerance. Media, journalists or individuals, we can all together prevent the stereotyping and the spread of fear because this is our way of peaceful fighting for the better, for the right.
    I thank You Mrs. Christiane, and I thank whole Amanpour team for doing that daily, by engaging and informing about the most various issues, because I am one of those young people who wants to be a part of better world, full of tolerance.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  8. Sam

    This is very biased portrayal of the poor mother. Islam and conversion to islam is advocated and the mother's defense of Christianity is portrayed very weakly. Yvonne Ridley is clearly suffering from stockholm syndrome and there is no mention of that. Also there is no mention of all the radical things Yvonne Ridley has been saying – supporting terrorists and jihadists.

    February 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  9. alibaba

    I am a convert to islam, after 16 yrs. overseas , islam is the faith on which one can reley on, allah being the one god , it is important to note and pay attention to people with muslim faith and see / hear the basic goodness in them, many call me brother on first sight, allah be phrased !

    February 5, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  10. Saleyha Ahsan

    Dear All, I have read with great interest and appreciation the feedback on the film, My Mother's Daughter. I am the director of the short film and felt obliged to write in. It is a shame that some bloggers felt that the mother's defense of her faith was portrayed weakly. Indeed I feel the most moving part of the film as well as the film making process was when the mother laid down her allegiance to her faith, quite firmly i felt, and that it was through her belief that her daughter was returned. For me as the film maker, I was deeply moved and sacrificed other footage to have this. I hope that helps to understand the process.

    February 6, 2010 at 1:25 am | Reply
  11. Boss

    God is great ,If any none Muslim person thinks Islam is not a peace,honesty,truth,love and balance please read the holy Quran.Dont listen to fox news or rush the pill popper what they are saying it's just a show they are looking for ratings and money.Islam is growing alot faster in USA &western world than any other place,why because these people are educated and smart.

    February 6, 2010 at 8:23 am | Reply
  12. Helena clearly don't know what is Stockholm syndrom lol:) She wanted to be freed, Stockholm syndrom sufferers befriend their kidnappers and want to stay with them! Here this is quite the opposite.
    @Lucia Fernandez: She didn't fell in love with Islam because of the Taliban! She promised the Taliban she would study the quran. Note they didn't force her to do it nor asked her to convert but I guess they knew that after reading it she would freely go towards Islam. As for the accusation of ignorance towards Christianity, 2 points:
    -1 : The Quran teaches Christianity the real one. Where Jesus is a prophet, and before him Abraham, Moses, Noah...etc
    -2: She lived all her life as a Christian: however modern Christianity doesn't really makes sense...the Church has a bigger role than the one and only god...there's a pb there. By the who's god? Jesus or "God"..I'll never understand this contradiction.

    February 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  13. boss

    God is great,if any person thinks islam is not peace and truth please read the holy quran it will change you idea about Islamright away.please dont believe what fox news tv or radio host like rush or savage ect are saying about islam and middle east culture, they are only looking for ratings.Islam is growing so fast that there is no way any body could stop it but to study it.

    February 6, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  14. susan77

    For SAM, she is not suffering from stockholm syndrome in one of her interviews @ she said the following

    The Stockholm Syndrome thing always makes me laugh. I was the prisoner from hell. I spat, swore, threw things at my captors and even went on hunger strike. To suffer from SS you have to bond with your jailers in the first place. The only people I bonded with, and still keep in touch with to this day, were the other western prisoners. The syndrome thing is used by detractors and those who cannot explain why a professional western woman would embrace Islam.
    one of her interviews she has said

    Why is it so hard for every one to understand that Islam is a very impressive religion, learn to separate cultural aspects from actual faith itself there are many notable converts to Islam AR Rahman, Cat
    Stevens, Yusuf Estes, Mohammed Ali, etc. none of them seem to have been suffering from stolkholm syndrome when they willingly converted to Islam

    February 7, 2010 at 5:20 am | Reply
  15. Patrick James Ebodike

    No matter how much this Moslem convert tries, her assuagement does little to the evidence around that the Islamic religion contains chunks of violence. The world is bursting with the legacies of this blood-shedding inclined religion – from the U.S to Pakistan; including Britain, Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen, even Northern Nigeria has not been spared.

    A Moslem sect wants to show disenchantment over an issue so it detonates a bomb on a MAIN ROAD FILLED with HUMAN BEINGS! This has been perpetuated too often by people with Moslem values for observers to swallow the "those form a tiny fraction of the entire Islamic believers" excuse.

    If Islam really resonates peace it would be evident in the behavioural tendencies of its people. What is peace devoid of tolerance and respect?

    Simple truth is that the saying "what you see is what you get", typically applies to the concept of Islam. Every time a follower sets off a bomb to destroy lives, minds and bodies, it shows the world that there must be a fundamental part of Islam which preaches a TOTAL disregard and despice for the sacredness of human life.

    February 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  16. Sam

    @Saleyha Ahsan What I find disturbing is that this documentary implies (by portraying Yvonne Ridley in a positive light) that there is no problem with the way Taliban treat women and how they flouted basic human rights. Yvonne Ridley is known to be a sympathizer and supporter of Taliban, Al-Quida and islamic terrorists. She openly supports suicide bombers and got shady connections with radical islamists so much so that she was put on the FBI's watch list! Why is this component not even mentioned in the documentary? I would assume her mom (I hope she is aware of it) has a thing or two to say about her daughter's radical views. It is not just a conversion but a conversion to radical Islam.

    February 7, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  17. Sam

    @Helena @susan77 Of course I know what Stockholm Syndrome is. Here is a excerpt from wikipedia for you in case you don't:

    The Stockholm syndrome is a psychological shift that occurs in captives when they are threatened gravely but are shown acts of kindness by their captors. Captives who exhibit the syndrome tend to sympathize with and think highly of their captors, at times believing that the captors are showing them favor stemming from inherent kindness. Such captives fail to recognize that their captors' choices are essentially self-serving.
    Psychiatrist Frank Ochberg, widely credited with Stockholm Syndrome's psychiatric definition, describes it as "a primitive gratitude for the gift of life," not unlike that felt by an infant.

    Doesn't it sound like Yvonne Ridley? She is sympathizer of her captives and goes on talking about how "greatly they treated her" in her captivity. While ignoring the fact that Taliban brutally executed number of other captives. She instead goes on defending them! Obviously you can not expect one suffering from Stockholm Syndrome to see they are suffering from it. So don't tell me that she is not suffering from it just because she rejects it.

    February 7, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  18. Bhagirath

    For Helena, you say that she lived all her life as a Christian. This is NOT TRUE!

    First, Yvonne Ridley's first marriage was to a Muslim named Daoud Zaaroura who was a colonel of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). This was a decade before she was captured by Taliban and "converted" to Islam!! Hmm.. that kind of seriously damages her claim that she never had much to do with Islam prior to her capture and her "dramatic conversion". How come the director (@Saleyha Ahsan) completely avoided to mention this fact???

    Second, she never claimed to have really believed and practiced Christianity or follow Jesus Christ. I don't even think she was even a "nominal Christian" (or namesake Christian). Her lifestyle and views prior to her alleged "conversion" to Islam is not indicative of that.

    Finally, one is a Muslim when one is born in a Muslim family. This is not so with a Christian. I think many make the mistake to believe that anyone just born in a Christian family is a Christian. This is not how the Bible or Jesus define being a Christian. The word "Christian" – means follower of Christ. Jesus clearly said "unless you are born again (spiritually) you can not enter the kingdom of God". This spiritual birth happens when one repents of one's sins, believes that Jesus died for one's sins, accepts forgiveness and the grace of God and makes a decision to live for God and model one's life after Jesus. So it is nothing to do with your physical birth. It is a conscious decision to believe that Jesus is who he said he was and follow him as a Lord and Saviour. Unless one does that one is NOT a real Christian.

    @boss There are also by far significantly more converts from Islam to Christianity than converts to Islam from Christianity. This includes former Imams and radical Muslims. Just google "ex-muslim converts". The growth of Islam is mainly due to greater birth rates among Muslims. And a big factor for growth of Islam in the west is migration.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:38 am | Reply
  19. roxana

    I am Iranian and I find this history terrible!!

    March 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  20. suzy

    It is not strange if someone wants to change the religion, but it is really unbelievable to do it after passing time with Taliban and with their negative behaviour.... and only by reading Quran without no help to understand the means.

    March 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  21. Sarah

    Islam has never been as retarded as we see today. A woman who wears the Islamic militant dress-code of various displays of veils highlighting the levels of oppression and retardation that are her values in life is not something to be proud of. These women ought to be sterilized as they are totally unfit to be mothers. A child deserves better than having a mother who doesn't fight for the freedom of her child, forbidding her child to see her face, to hug her and kiss her because of a dreadful religious oppressive rule is holding her in bondage and slavery.
    women en men with Mediocre Brains, men without self-control and women unworthy to be mothers totally destroyed by mental abuse in the name of a god/allah of which they haven't a shred of evidence. It is very clear that religion must not be part of the academic education from Kindergarten to University levels.
    Richard Dawkins is correct when he promotes the teaching of rational analytical thinking instead of delusional religious insanity. A muslim woman displaying her retarded dress-code of a veil is an insult to the memory of centuries of struggle, women have made for the freedom and happiness of the family and the self-worth of their children. Islamic veil = disgrace, insanity.

    March 30, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  22. Caroline Raafs

    What a shame to see how she was and what she has become now !
    I can accept the idea of some peasant woman not knowing better and therefore not wanting to shake hands with a man or some peasant thinking she will seduce him by shaking his hands.
    But that some intelligent woman starts believing this is beyond my comprehension.
    Being a dutch girl I would say to the man; YOU close your eyes or look the other way if you are afraid to be seduces, but I am NOT going to hind behind some stupid veil.
    The only explanation for her behavior I can think of is that she had fallen in love with some muslim and was convinced to please him by adopting his manners.
    In Morocco there are 34 million muslims, and they are GOOD muslims, but they shake hands in a normal way and nobody even THINKS of seduction while doing so.
    And besides this I think the niqab or burqua is a very dangerous garment. In the middle east it has been used more than once to hide arms.
    So if THEY want to were something like that, it's up to them, but I am VERY GLAD that it is a garment that is going to be forbidden in Europe

    March 30, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  23. da vinci

    dear all, i'm from from islamic country but i'm christian .
    i want to talk about the suppressing of islamic expression in the western world ,muslims talk about now .but no one in the world talk about christians type of life in this primitive countries of islam .
    here we can't even celebrate christmas " they give us one day off among the most important week at work",.
    we suffer from racism every minute of every day of every year without saying anything . and above all thigs this most stupped person in the comes and tell me that islam is good????
    all around us is terror ,even in the study courses we must revise there beliefs .
    i must say that i'm an athiest right now but i can't say it in public cause the society here is so unciviled that they can't understand this way of thinking.
    this programme should and must talk about christians who live in the islamic world and especially the arab countries "the cradle of islam and god's nation on earth".
    thanks for this space to express my opinion.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  24. SheikhShariq

    This video very inspiring... esp regarding the status of Women in Islam which is been simply mocked at by some tyrants.... please upload this video in video sharing website so that its been shared evrywhere. well directed by the director... Congrats. All the best. hope we see many such documentries. Yvonne Ridley has inspired many womens. May God be pleased with her. Thanks CNN for this.

    March 31, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  25. Shanza Sohail

    Thank you for uploading this short film. It was quite inspiring. People should not forget that every religion has followers that spread discord and evil. This does not mean that if bombs are being blasted by Taliban then Islam teaches it. You cannot blame Islam for this ignorance. Nor should the news channels be believed blindly.
    @da vinci; The way the minority of christians are treated where you are is wrong. But the same things are happening to muslims in another country where they are in minority. It cannot be said that Islam preaches racism e.t.c
    Instead of believing everything one hears and sees, The Holy Quran should be studied. Then one can know what Islam is. Today followers of different religions are retaliating at each other which is very wrong.Tolerance and respect should be practised no matter which religion a person follows...And not come up with own ideas of stockholm syndrome and other diseases.

    April 1, 2010 at 5:09 am | Reply
  26. Ghazaleh Salimpour

    As an American born Muslim I have always felt different, I feel the need to prove my loyality to my nation especially after 9/11. I live in NYC and I don't wear the Hijab out of fear. But watching this video has given me a sense of Hope!

    April 3, 2010 at 9:51 am | Reply
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