A remarkable book has been published about a remarkable woman born Margaret Marcus and now named Maryam Jameelah, and Michelle Goldberg explores both in her Diasporist column today in Tablet Magazine. Though Goldberg wonders about Jameelah’s basic mental stability, the esteemed author Deborah Baker argues that Jameelah is the product of Israel-spurred Jewish self-hatred and unfulfilled spiritual yearning: “Had Jameelah’s parents sent her to a rabbi instead of a shrink, Baker suggests, things might have gone very differently,” Goldberg relates. Instead, Jameelah moved to Pakistan, where she was welcomed into the family of a powerful Islamist leader. “In exchange for giving up her unwieldy liberty,” Goldberg observes, “she found a secure place in the world.”

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