I have a significant connection to Islam. My most serious partners were two liberal Arab Muslims, and an Iranian atheist raised as Muslim. My longest lasting partner was a truly appalling (but knowledgeable) UK Foreign Office Arabist from Staffordshire.
There is nothing strange about this I am autistic, and autistic people are often most comfortable outside their own culture meeting lower expectations of social conformity.
In the 80s I knew more about Mid Eastern Politics than European Politics. I am more comfortable with Islamic culture than European (which is not to say I could win medals in either!).
I do not write about Islam and Arab culture simply because I was not born there, have never been there, and there are so many intelligent, capable people raised in Islam and Arab culture that it would be wiser to heed them and their knowledge and experience, and foolish to attempt to talk over and define them. I know that much of what I would say would be incorrect, offensive and even harmful.
It is a very great pity that abolitionists do not attempt to hold to a similar standard, because if they did, they would not be abolitionists.
Once upon a time I got through a switchboard in London to a man who owed me money by using the name Princess Mahktoum and a sibilant Saudi accent…
Perhaps I should “bravely share my experiences with raw honesty” define the nature and dictate the future needs of the middle east as “Born Rich: My Life as an Arab Princess”?
Or maybe I should hang on to my integrity instead?