Turning Muslim In Texas
Version for “Tales of the Veils” website.
Not for reproduction on other websites or in any other publishing format without author’s permission.
Catherine is again closing in on the bench at the edge of the small local park of her hometown in Texas. Yes, the vision is here again today. Sitting on the park bench reading a book is the most both bizarre and yet enchanting sight she has ever seen: A woman completely covered in loose garments. As she is reading Catherine supposes her eyes are not covered, but her eyes are not visible from where she is standing. But every other part of her skin is covered. Even her hands are covered with gloves, which are only visible, because they have to peek out from the long garment hanging down from the top of her head, to hold the book. Catherine is 24, single and has just been laid off from her first job. She is free to take walks in the morning. She has been coming here three days in a row with the secret hope of seeing the vision once more. Catherine moves a little closer every day. She has been too scared to try to follow her. Today she is as close as thirty feet, when the woman suddenly closes the book, turns her head a little towards her, and gestures her to approach. Catherine has been spotted. While she slowly walks closer, the woman with her head bowed puts her hands up near her eyes and adjust something. Then she reaches down in her bag, takes up a pen and a block of paper, which she places on top of the book in her lap. Catherine is standing right in front of her just three feet away, when she raises her head. The cloth covering her face disappears up under the edge of her head covering. Where her eyes should have been are two circular cut-outs in her face covering, where the plain cloth is replaced by a mesh. The creature gestures her to sit down next to her and starts writing. After a little while she turns the block towards Catherine, who reads “I’M MUSLIM. OUR RELIGION TELLS US TO BE MODEST BY COVERING AND SILENCE.” Catherine just nods and the woman continues writing “I’VE NOTICED YOU FOR SEVERAL DAYS. WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ISLAM, THE RELIGION OF MUSLIMS?” “Yes,” says Catherine “And by the way. My name is Catherine.” The woman writes “I’M YASMINE. CAN YOU BE HERE TOMORROW AT THE SAME TIME, THEN I WILL BRING SOME LITERATURE.” Then the woman in the same movement puts her things into the bag, rises and walks slowly away. Catherine watch her hands totally disappear, as her head covering unfolds down to her knees.
The next day Catherine is back at the bench half an hour earlier than the day before. It is empty. She thinks about if Yasmine will notice her dress change. Today she is dressed more modestly in jeans and a long sleeved shirt, as opposed to her normal long shorts and t-shirt. When the clock is getting near the time they met yesterday, Catherine starts worrying she might not come. But there she is. Seeing her approaching is a much more exciting sight than watching her from behind. Catherine has been dreaming about walking around dressed like that. As she sits down next to her, Catherine sees that her visible dress is exactly identical to yesterday. Yasmine takes book, pen and paper and some booklets and pamphlets from her bag and writes “CATHERINE, CAN YOU BE HERE AGAIN SAME TIME TOMORROW AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK?” Catherine just nods. Then Yasmine returns pen, paper and book to her bag, rises and places the reading on the bench. Then she walks away again. When Yasmine is totally out of Catherine’s view, she realizes Yasmine has come only to give her the papers. She picks up the first booklet and starts reading. Much later thirst and hunger brings her back to her surroundings. She goes home.
Next day Yasmine is waiting for her. Catherine has slept longer than usual, because it was late before she stopped reading. But today she has added a colored headscarf tied under her chin to the dress of yesterday. As Catherine sits down she immediately says “I have been captured by reading what you gave me. This idea about becoming more pure and closer to God by following strict rules has touched something in me. Submission seems like the right choice for a better life. But what attracts me most is covering. The idea that we get a better society, if we stop displaying our physical sexual attractions is so true. And we as women are protected from sexual harassment. But there are other things I don’t understand.” Yasmine just writes “WILL YOU COME HOME WITH ME. I LIVE CLOSE BY.” Catherine just rises and takes a few steps waiting for Yasmine to lead. After less than ten minutes walking they enter a house looking like most houses in the town. Inside they go to the kitchen, where Yasmine gestures her to sit at a small table. Yasmine points to the coffee maker and Catherine says “Yes please.” Yasmine is still dressed exactly like outside, when she places cups and a plate with bisquits on the table. As the coffee is ready, she fills the cups, puts the pot back on the heater plate and sits down. Then she puts her right hand up under her veil and does something at her mouth. The hand comes down again and takes the cup, while the left hand holds out the veil enough to let the cup reach her mouth. After a few sips the cup is placed on the table and the hand holding a bisquit disappear under the veil. Catherine is mesmerized. She still haven’t seen the slightest bit of skin. Then Yasmine rises, while putting a hand up under her veil shortly, and goes to the living room. Catherine pulls herself together, drinks some coffee and eats a bisquit. Yasmine returns and while sitting down places two framed pictures on the table. Catherine takes one in her hands. It shows a handsome young arab man and a totally covered woman outside a mosque. Catherine feels there is something familiar about the building but says “Is this nice looking man your husband?” Yasmine nods. “And you?” Yasmine nods again. “This is your wedding photo? How long have you been married?” Yasmine nods and shows two fingers. “For two years. I think I recognize the building. Is it around here?” Yasmine gestures to her left and draws a short arch on her left wrist. “Ah now I remember. You are right. The local mosque is just five minutes away on Washington Drive.” Yasmine hands her the second photo. It shows a 15-16 year old girl in the local school uniform. Catherine wonders for some time what it is that is odd about it. A girl just like herself or all her schoolmates at that time. There were not any muslims, arab or black, in her school. Then it strikes her: She is white just like the vast majority of Texans going to private schools. And this is Yasmine. A white muslim. “Is that really you, Yasmine?” she asks continuing “With that husband and that name I suppose I expected you are Arab like him. I’ve heard of black muslims like the boxer Muhammad Ali, but never white female muslims. And then here in Texas – the heart of Christian fundamentalism.”
Catherine is really surprised, but then says “But then it won’t be so special, if I become a muslim. I rather like that.” Yasmine opens a closet which has a whiteboard on the inside of the door. She writes “WHEN I CONVERTED I CHANGED MY NAME JUST AS MUHAMMAD ALI. THE SCHOOLGIRL WAS MINDY. AND BY THE WAY I’M 24.” Just then an alarm sounds in the living room. Yasmine writes “IT’S PRAYER TIME. COME AND HAVE A LOOK.” They go to the living room and Yasmine gestures Catherine to sit in the sofa. Yasmine goes to the bathroom. Catherine hears the water running. Returning Yasmine takes a carpet rolled up in a corner, place it in an odd angle on the living room floor, and starts praying, going on her knees on the carpet from time to time. After five minutes Yasmine stops, puts the carpet back and gestures Catherine to follow. They go to the kitchen, where Yasmine writes on the whiteboard “DO YOU WANT TO TRY A VEIL?” Catherine can hardly beleive her dream is about to come true. She answers “I would like to be dressed exactly like you.” They go to a separate dressing room between the bathroom and the bedroom. Yasmine opens the closets to reveal a lot of long dresses, scarves and other clothes items. Most in plain subdued colors and quite a lot of black. Yasmine takes some items and puts them on a small table. From the colors Catherine guess she might actually be able to be dressed exactly like Yasmine. She has two or more copies of each item.
First comes a long plain dark blue dress, which Catherine just puts on top of her shirt and jeans. It is closed quite tight with buttons at the neck and reaches her ankles and her wrists. Next is the long skirt of thick green fabric, which is simply zipped at the waist and secured with a button. It reaches a little further down touching the top of her shoes. Then Yasmine takes off Caterine’s headscarf and replaces it with a longer one in white, wound around the head, crossed under the chin and tied at the back of the neck. Yasmine next produces something unexpected: A black rubber ball gag. It is fitted with a wide elastic strap. Yasmine holds the ball outside Catherine’s mouth and slips the strap over her head. Then she moves the ball towards her lips, and as Catherine opens wide, it easily slips in. Then Yasmine takes a scarf pin and fix the strap to the scarf at the back of Catherine’s head. Next Yasmine puts her hand to Catherine’s mouth, signalling her to open wide. Yasmine grabs the ball and pulls it out and down below Catherine’s chin. Because of the cloth pin the strap stays in place even if the elastic strap is now quite loose. Yasmine takes Catherine’s hand moves it to the ball and signals her to try for herself to insert and remove the ball. The next item is the opaque face veil in plain dark gray. It is a rectangular scarf, which when placed over the face reach back to the ears. The two top corners are connected with a wide elastic strap, which makes it easy to place it on her head. The top edge of the veil is aligned with Catherine’s eye brows, as there are two circular cut-outs with a mesh just below the top edge allowing her to see. Catherine looks around to try to determine how her sight is changed. She has no trouble seeing in general, but everything is darker and somewhat blurred. It is annoying she can actually see the mesh covering her eyes all the time. Catherine turns her attention back to Yasmine, who next takes another scarf pin and fastens the veil strap to Catherine’s headscarf a little above the gag strap. Then she gently pulls at the bottom of Catherine’s veil until the top edge of the veil is below the eyes. That’s how Yasmine was able to read when sitting on the park bench. Next the only part of the head to be seen, the forehead, is covered by a pale gray scarf of thick opaque cloth, knotted at the back of the neck and contrasting nicely with the veil. The front edge of the scarf is placed just above the pupils of her eyes, leaving just a small slit for unobstructed view. Catherine pulls her veil back over her eyes, finding the forehead scarf is flexible enough to do it quite easily. Finally her arms are covered by pulling the cape like garment, made of the same pale gray fabric as the scarf, over her head. She puts the bottom of the veil through its face opening and pulls the garment back until the face opening fits tight around her head. Now Catherine is completely covered. But to be able to act without showing skin she needs gloves. The dark gray gloves, matching the veil, reach to the elbows, overlapping the sleeves of her dress by a large margin. Yasmine gestures towards a full lenght mirror. Catherine’s vision from the park bench now stands right in front of her in two identical copies. The old Catherine has completely disappeared. A delightful warm feeling is spreading through her body, which can only partly be accounted for by the layers of cloth. Yasmine puts her hands to Catherine’s waist and gently turns her facing herself. Then she lifts her veil a little with her left hand and pulls her gag out down under her chin with the right hand. In the same movement of the hand she lifts Caterine’s veil, bows towards her lifting her own veil further and kisses Catherine’s gagged mouth. Catherine instinctly puts her arms around Yasmine, pulling their bodies against each other. After thirty seconds mouth to mouth Yasmine gently pulls back and put a hand up under her veil gagging herself again. She takes Catherine by the hand walking slowly around the house, showing her every room, letting her experience the world through veiled eyes. They even take a tour through the garden at the back of the house before returning to the kitchen. Yasmine pours two not fresh but warm cups of coffee. Pulling out their gags they sit a while drinking and eating bisquits. Of course none of them utters a sound. Then Yasmine gags herself and goes to the whiteboard. She holds at the bottom of her veil and write “NIQAB”. Then she holds at her cape and write “KHIMAR”. Then she starts writing a question: “DO YOU WANT TO COME WITH ME TO THE MOSQUE TOMORROW AFTERNOON?” Catherine, now gagged as well, goes to the board and writes “YES PLEASE. DRESSED LIKE THIS?” Yasmine writes “COME FOR LUNCH AT NOON. YOU DON’T NEED TO DECIDE UNTIL THEN.” Catherine writes “YES LUNCH THANK YOU. I’LL LEAVE NOW. THANKS FOR THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE.” Catherine starts taking the clothes off. As she’s down to the first scarf and her own clothes Yasmine stops her. She writes “KEEP IT ON. YOU CAN BORROW EVERYTHING.” Then she leaves the kitchen for a short while returning with a bag. As she as the last item is about to put Caterine’s own scarf down in the bag Catherine stops her. She takes the scarf and ties it around the lower part of her face, which makes Yasmine write “SEE YOU TOMORROW BANDIT.” Then she follows her out. As soon as Catherine is home, she puts on the clothes again. Cooking, eating, reading and watching tv veiled. And every ten minutes she walks out in front of her mirror.
A little past noon the next day Catherine rings the bell of Yasmine’s house. She was too afraid of strange reactions from her neighbours to keep on the full outfit, which she has worn all morning until just before leaving home. But she looks muslim. She is still wearing Yasmine’s long dark blue dress and white headscarf, to which she has added another white scarf covering her face below the eyes. Hands, eyes and forehead are uncovered. As the door opens Yasmine stands along the wall dressed as yesterday, but with a black scarf placed loosely over her head. She points towards the back of the house. Catherine understands and goes directly to the dressing room and puts on the clothes in the bag. Then she goes to the kitchen where Yasmine embrace her. After a delicious lunch in complete silence Yasmine writes on the whiteboard “DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE?” Catherine rises and writes “I’M READY.” She gets a big hug from Yasmine.
They walk for less than ten minutes. Although they get a few stares, Catherine sees no hostile reactions. Outside the women’s section of the mosque they take off their shoes. They enter a large room, where Catherine sees 15-20 people distributed in small groups all over the room. They are greeted by the first group they meet. They are all wearing long dresses and headscarves, but their faces and hands are uncovered. But one wears an arab style niqab with all layers flipped back. She is black as one more. The other two are white and arab respectively. Yasmine takes paper and pen from her bag and write “CATHERINE” holding it in front of Catherine. “So it’s Catherine with the black bag and Yasmine with the gray.” says the arab woman. “Yasmine has convinced you to start directly with full covering and silence. Most do it gradually, and few ever get as far as you already are. But converts are more pious. You have my deepest respect, and are very welcome here Catherine,” the arab woman continues. “We have a common prayer in thirty minutes. Please join Catherine,” the white woman says. Catherine nods. Yasmine gestures see-you-later to the women and pulls Catherine into a washroom. She pulls of her own gloves and socks, and gestures Catherine to follow. After washing hands, washing feet with her hands – everything copied by Catherine – Yasmine moves her wet hands from the tap directly up under her veil to wash the face as well. After towelling, while they put on their socks and gloves again, Catherine is glad she decided for socks and jeans below her dress instead of pantyhose. Then she suddenly realizes it’s the first time she actually sees some of Yasmine’s skin.
In the large room again Yasmine goes towards two women talking twenty feet away. One look Pakistani with a dress, veil and khimar in pale brown, all made of the same cloth. Only her eyes are seen and she wears black gloves. The other is somewhere between arab and white and unveiled. As the two women see them they stop talking and turn towards them with open arms. The veiled woman says “Welcome my dear Yasmine, whoever is Yasmine. I didn’t know you have a twin sister. By the way, I’m Nazia and this is Jane.” Yasmine takes the paper from her bag showing the previously written name in front of Catherine. Then she writes “NAZIA HAS TEACHED THE RITUALS TO ME. WOULD YOU TEACH CATHERINE HOW TO PRAY?” She shows her writing to all of them, causing Jane to leave. Nazia says “Of course I will. Are you leaving us Yasmine?” Yasmine nods and bows with her hand together in front of her. “You’ll be back for the prayer?” Nazia asks. Yasmine nods and leaves. Nazia looks at her watch and says “Let’s see how far we can get in twenty minutes.” And starts explaining. Catherine nods from time to time and repeats her movements.
The sound of clapping hands is heard from the other end of the room, and a loud voice says “Sisters, sisters. Come and join in prayer.” Nazia says “It’s ok just to do as good as you can. Let’s go. It’s not an official prayer, just a thing we do every afternon to unite us sisters. Because I’m the one with most knowledge, I will lead the prayer.” Nazia stands facing the mark that shows the direction towards Mecca. All the other women stand shoulder to shoulder behind her. Nazia starts the prayer. The close line up makes it easy for Catherine at least to follow the movements of the others. But for the contents Catherine has much to learn. But she has been accepted immediately as a part of the community. And she feels as a part of the community. As the prayer stops she realizes, she has totally forgotten she was supposed to pray along with Yasmine. But then she sees they have been praying together. Yasmine is standing further down the line of praying women, which is now dissolving. She goes to her. As they meet Yasmine points to her own shoulder. They have left their bags along the wall. They start walking in opposite directions. After a few steps Catherine follows Yasmine to the nearest wall, and then they cross the room to get Catherine’s bag. As Catherine picks up her bag, Yasmine takes a book from her own bag and hands it to Catherine. It’s the Quran. Catherine opens a page and sees that the arabic text is translated to English on the facing page. She’s not really able to read it with her eyes veiled. Catherine gives Yasmine a big hug. They walk out, put their shoes on and walk back to Yasmine’s house.
Catherine notice a car in front of the house. Yasmine has seen it too. She walks directly in. They go into the kitchen. Yasmine writes on the whiteboard “MURAD IS HOME.” Then Catherine writes “I’LL LEAVE NOW. SEE YOU TOMORROW?” Yasmine answers “OK. AFTER TEN.” Then Catherine shortly puts her chin against Yasmine’s chin, turns around and walks out. Yasmine is surprised and happy. Catherine has started a full time veiled life.
For the next week Catherine visits Yasmine everyday. Some days they go to the mosque together, other days Catherine goes alone. Everyday at the mosque she takes lessons about Islam. From time to time she has to break her silence to learn to pronounce the many arabic phrases. A week after her first visit she is ready to take her Shahadah. All the sisters present that day, of course including Yasmine, forms a circle around Nazia and Catherine. She takes out her gag. Nazia says a few words in arabic. Catherine repeats as close as she can get. Nazia gives the English translation, and continues with the next words. After a few sentences Nazia adds “Congratulations. You’re now truly a muslim sister.” All the women, except Yasmine of course, yell and shout congratulations. At the prayer a little later Catherine feels she has found the foundation for her life. Now she just needs someone sharing her beliefs, who can fulfill her other needs as well.
Yasmine and Catherine keep on enjoying their silent veiled company and keep seeing each other every day – veiled and through eye veils of course. Two weeks after the Shahadah they sit in Yasmine’s kitchen as often before, when Yasmine writes “DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD STAY TOGETHER FOREVER?” Catherine answers “WHAT DO YOU MEAN. WE MEET EVERY DAY. WE CAN CONTINUE DOING THAT.” Yasmine writes “I MEAN 24/7.” Catherine writes “YOU MEAN ME LIVE IN THIS HOUSE WITH YOU. BUT MURAD.” Yasmine writes “MARRY HIM.” Catherine writes “BUT HE IS MARRIED TO YOU.” Yasmine writes “WE ARE MUSLIMS. MUSLIM MEN CAN HAVE 4 WIVES.” Catherine objects “BUT WE ARE IN USA.” Yasmine writes “MURAD IS CITIZEN OF A SMALL EMIRATE. MAY I ASK HIM?” After a moment of thought Catherine nods slowly.
As they come home from the mosque the following afternoon Murad is at home. They go to the kitchen as usual. Catherine has just followed Yasmine inside to borrow some more of Yasmine’s infinite stock of clothes. But then Murad enters the kitchen. Both women look down at the table. Murad says “Dear Catherine. You have been coming in my house for quite some time now. We all in this room share the same faith and the same views on modesty and covering. For that I can’t say I want to see you more often. Because we don’t want that. But I do want to share certain occations with you such as a husband and wife are supposed to do. Catherine will you marry me?” Catherine rises, takes the whiteboard pen, turns to the refrigirator and write covering the entire surface “Y E S” Murad bringing forward a small box says “Now that we have agreed on seeing each other a little more, would you please show me your right hand?” Catherine takes her glove off. Yasmine rises and stands between them putting a gloved hand on the right wrist of both Murad and Catherine. Then Murad place a gold ring on Catherine’s finger. Catherine then takes the other ring and place it on Murad’s finger next to his wedding ring. Yasmine puts forward a cake, a bottle of fruit juice and plates, forks and glases for three. They eat and drink in silence. Then Murad says “We go to the consulate next saturday morning for the official wedding and signing of papers. None of us have any close family, so we invite ten couples from the mosque for dinner in the evening. We get the food delivered and handle the rest ourselves.” The women both nod approvingly.
Murad says “There is one more thing we can’t do without. Just a moment.” Murad takes his cell phone and dials. When connected he says “Murad here. It went as we hoped. Please come immediately.” He puts the phone away and continues “Catherine you are appropriately dressed, and we are in America, not my homeland. Here women walk in public alone. I’ve accepted that. But having an engaged virgin unchaperoned is beyond my acceptance. And you can’t stay here at night as long as we are not married. So I’ve asked a young brother from the mosque to have his mother stay with you until the marriage. Is it ok?” Catherine nods. Murad continues “Fine. They’ll be here in a few minutes. We meet at the consulate.” Murad goes to the living room. Yasmine pulls her gag out and lift both her own veil and Catherine’s for an intimate kiss on Caterine’s gagged mouth, as the first day in the house. After a while Yasmine bows her head back and gag herself again, but they keep holding each other tight until the door bell sounds. Moments later a totally black faceless object enters the kitchen. A thick black opaque veil reveals no features of the face, and a thick black abaya covers everything else. The abaya is held close by a buckle under the chin. Catherine wonders how much she can see. She would love to try this outfit. A black gloved hand comes out of a wide black sleeve forcing an opening in the abaya down from the waist, only to reveal a new layer of black cloth. The hand writes with large letters on the whiteboard “AYSHA 44 WIDOW GO NOW” Catherine puts her chin against Yasmine’s chin and goes out with Aysha following.
They can’t walk as fast as Catherine usually do. The abaya is more restrictive than Catherine’s long skirt, and Aysha’s sight seems to be next to nothing. Outside the door to her appartment is a large suitcase. Aysha signals it belongs to her. It has to be placed in her living room, as the only other room, the bedroom, is too small. Catherine thinks about where Aysha is going to sleep. Besides her small bed in the bedroom, she only has a small sofa , not long enough to lie down comfortably. The floor seems to be the only option. While the food is cooking Catherine takes a block of paper and writes “WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ME?” Aysha turns the paper for a blank sheet and writes in large letters “CAN’T READ VEILED.” Catherine concentrates on the cooking. A little later sitting down ready to eat Aysha pulls at her face covering just above where the abaya is buckled. As the end of the veil comes loose Catherine just gets a glimpse of her chin, before the veil folds down over the abaya. Her chin is covered in black cloth as well. After dinner Catherine clears some room in her closets to make room for the contents of the suitcase. Aysha helps her. When the suitcase is empty Aysha points to her clothes and then to Catherine. They find a large black headscarf, a black shirt with wide sleeves and tight wrists, a long black skirt, an abaya similar to Aysha’s and a black niqab with nose string and two layers of eye veils. Aysha goes to sit in the sofa in the living room. Catherine starts changing dress, and a little later another black object is sitting in the sofa next to the first one. Catherine of course has both layers of the niqab covering her eyes. It is hard for her to recognize her own living room. She turns on the tv as she usually do in the evenings. After a minute Aysha shakes her head. A minute later Catherine shakes her head as well. Then they both shake heads towards each other, while leaning towards each other until their covered noses meet. The tv is turned off. Aysha goes to the radio and turns it on, and keeps turning the tuning dial until an old blues song is heard. She sits down next to Catherine again and they listen to the blues for nearly an hour.
Catherine signals she wants to go to sleep. Aysha finds the paper and writes “FRESH CLOTHES FOR TOMORROW IN BATHROOM.” Catherine can’t read it. She has to turn her back to Aysha and flip up the outer eye cover. They both go to the bedroom find the clothes and make two piles in the most dry corner of the bathroom. Aysha takes the paper again and writes “SLEEP NAKED + GAG + MY NIGHTGOWN.” While Aysha goes to the bedroom once more, Catherine reads. Aysha returns with what look like two pieces of bed linen. Folding one out it is more precisely like a duvet cover. Made of soft cotton and printed with flowers in pale colors, it’s a sack with a rounded top, to be put over the entire body. At the bottom is a zipper by which it can be closed from the inside. There are no other holes. Catherine takes the gown and goes to the bathroom. Ten minutes later a flower printed sack wriggles across the floor to say good night to Aisha with a touch chin to chin. To see through the fabric is about the same as the veils, she has just worn. As she is lying comfortably in her own bed, she wonders where Aysha will sleep. Ten minutes later there is movement in the bedroom and a large duvet catiously fills the edge of the bed almost in its entire length. It wriggles towards her until they are touching each other from head to toe. Catherine never imagined to be so closely chaperoned.
The following days are like a new party every day to Catherine. She can wear a new veil or body covering each day, while going to the mosque or to Yasmine’s house to help with the wedding party preparations. Most days she and Aysha do both.
Catherine and Yasmine has agreed that the dress they wore on their first day together is their favourite, and for the wedding Yasmine will wear exactly that: The green skirt, the pale gray scarf and khimar and dark gray gloves and veil with mesh cut-outs. For catherine items with exactly the same cut and fabrics at least as thick has been made. But everything is white and khimar and skirt with discrete embroidery. And then Catherine will wear an expensive lingerie set, a pre wedding present from Murad.
Aysha’s son drives Aysha and Catherine to the consulate and is further both male escort for Catherine and official witness. The wedding ceremony is a short affair, where papers are signed. Afterwards they all drive back to the town to make the noon prayer in their mosque. Then Catherine, Yasmine and Murad go to their now common home to relax and make the last preparations.
For the party the living room has been divided in two to allow segregate parties. The main entrance and the half of the living room joining it is the men’s section. The rest of the house is the women’s section. As all the women invited knows that Yasmine and Catherine are veiled always, they are all veiled themselves for the occasion. When the couples arrive the woman is shown the door to the women’s section and they see and hear no men until the husband choose to leave late in the evening. There is only one exception: During the evening prayer the door between the section’s is opened for the women to hear and follow the prayer leader. To keep with the custom of the house none of the women remove their covering inside the women’s section. They all eat and drink by lifting their veil without showing what is beneath. Yasmine and Catherine are busy writing on note blocks to communicate with their guests individually. It is close to midnight as the last guests leave.
Murad enters the women’s section and says “No cleaning tonight. Let’s just go to bed. Catherine just lay down on the bed as you are. I will be happy to undress you.” After a short visit in the bathroom Catherine is lying on her back in the middle of the bed. Murad enters, lights a number of candles and turns off the electric light, making Catherine and Yasmine virtually blind. Yasmine sits on the edge of the bed close to Catherine’s head holding her hand. Murad removes Catherine’s shoes. Then he gently lifts her head a little and pulls off the khimar. Next he unbuttons and unzips the skirt and pulls, making Catherine lift herself a little to allow it to come off. Then the long white gloves are pulled slowly off finger by finger. When each glove is off he kisses the hand. Then he unbuttons the long dress at the neck. With a little help from Catherine he is able to pull the dress over her head. Next comes the wide trousers. For the first time, except her hands, Murad sees Catherine’s skin. Between her stockings and her shirt small bits appear, which are not covered by the lingerie. He unbuttons the shirt and by rising her back a little is able to remove it. Catherine is now dressed in stockings, lingerie and full head covering except khimar. Yasmine is still holding hand. Murad slowly rolls the stockings off. Then he lifts Catherine’s back again and unbuckles her bra. He removes the bra and kisses both her breasts. Finally he removes her panties. Catherine is feeling very excited and holds tightly at Yasmine’s gloved hand. Murad steps back from the bed still focusing on Catherine’s naked body. Without changing his line of sight he undresses himself. Then he enters the bed and starts kissing Catherine’s body from below her veil down between her legs. Soon he is inside her. They both work together so hard that sounds are passing Catherine’s gag. When the act is over they just relax on the bed. After some minutes Murad rises from bed, lifts Catherine up and carries her to the bathroom. He sets her down under the shower, turns the water on and lets it pour over her veiled head. She bows her head a little to be able to breathe under the veil. Murad soaps her arms, body and legs. Then he wash himself. He steps out leaving Catherine under the running shower. Wrapping a towel around himself he says “When you have washed your head, put on the gag and gown on the chair and come back to bed.” Then he goes to the bedroom. Catherine takes her head covering off and wash. After toweling she takes the gag. The ball is as usual but the strap is leather with a buckle. There is of course no need for removing a gag while sleeping. The gown is exactly like the ones Aysha has made her to wear. She pulls it over her head and body and bows down to zip it shut. Then she wriggles into the bedroom and lies down in the middle of the bed again. Soon Murad is lying beside her. A quarter later Yasmine wriggles in and lies down on her other side. Murad turns off the light. They all sleep soon. Half awake the next morning Catherine feels she is still lying between Yasmine and Murad, both still sleeping. She thinks of her situation. She has married a husband, she has hardly seen and never spoken to, and a co-wife, where she has only seen bits, and never heard. She will herself remain covered and silent forever. She couldn’t be more happy.
Copyright © 2006, Bo_Emp ; bo_emp ‘at’ yahoo ‘dot’ com
The above story was inspired by two sources, which I find match perfectly:
– A documentary from BBC Channel 4 called Turning Muslim in Texas (more following).
– One of my favourite photos of a veiled woman called “Cairo Woman” simply because it’s photographed in Cairo, Egypt.
A link check in April 2014 shows neither the BBC page of the documentary nor the video copy on YouTube exist anymore, but BBC’s original description of the documentary is reproduced following:
Turning Muslim in Texas
George W Bush may be backed by Christian fundamentalists but in his home state of Texas, Islam is the latest big draw. The Bible belt is transferring its allegiance to the Qur’an because, for many erstwhile Christians, believe it or not, the church is too liberal.
Eric was a Baptist preacher before he became a Muslim 14 years ago. Now he prays five times a day – even in the middle of watching a football game. His wife, Karen, also a convert, is covered from head to toe in the traditional Muslim burka. Islam, says Eric, ‘is everything I wanted Christianity to be’. His mother has found it hard to come to terms with her son’s conversion and believes he will return to the Christian faith: ‘Then he will be a dynamic preacher.’ Eric says: ‘Maybe some day she’ll embrace Islam.’ Women are also becoming followers of Muhamed. Yasmine (previously Mindy) arranged a marriage for herself and has three children. Islam, she says is ‘the solution to a lot of the prevailing evils: drugs, adultery, fornication…’ Converts often see the religious laws more clearly than those who have been brought up as Muslims and Yasmine can spot a mistake at 20 paces. She believes that she has a unique opportunity to help people who are born into the religion get back to the fundamentals.
Catherine has been a Muslim for two weeks. She came from a privileged background – private school followed by a career in PR. Now the established Muslim women guide her through the purification rituals as she washes before prayer and removes her nail varnish. David is the only white Muslim in his little town on Route 66. He believes his new religion makes him a better American and, far from undermining liberties, gives the individual more rights. He had an arranged marriage and his wife, who was born a Muslim, was shocked by the strictness with which he insists they live their lives. His family – a white man with his wife and daughter dressed in their hijabs (headscarves) –are stared in the streets and supermarkets of their one-horse town.
There are 400,000 Muslims in Texas alone and Islam is the fastest growing religion in the USA. Since 9/11 there have been more converts to Islam than ever. Eric believes that people are trying to understand Muslims and want to learn about their religion. Yasmine says: ‘America should not be afraid. If it would be better Muslims were the majority. If a child asks me: “Who made this leaf?” I say, “Allah. Allah made everything.”