I was reading this completely engrossing CNN story on Malika el Aroud, the widow of suicide bomber Abdessater Dahmane. He was one of the two fellows who killed Ahmed Shah Massoud, head of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, by pretending to be broadcast journalists. Their camera hid an explosive. Anyway, she now lives in Switzerland with her new husband running a fan website for Osama bin Laden.
The story says she grew up as a rebellious kid in Belgium but then had a change of heart:
Her life changed dramatically after she was expelled from school for striking a teacher who el Aroud said uttered a racial taunt. She descended into a whirlwind of unsuitable men, drugs, alcohol and nightclubs until she tried to kill herself with a drug overdose.
She said she then became a born-again Muslim and embraced a fundamentalist interpretation of the religion. The strict laws gave her a sense of boundaries. It was in this circle that in 1999 she met and married the man who would kill Massoud.
Born-again Muslim? Isn’t that a curious phrase? What do you think about applying such a Christian description to another religion? I see other people, though not mainstream reporters, have used the phrase before, too. I’m wondering if Mrs. Suicide Bomber used that phrase or whether the reporter reworded what she said.
For those not in the know, here is where the phrase came from in the Gospel of John:
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
What do you think about using the “born again” language for non-Christians?