Life Among the Barbarians

Phyllis Chesler is a psychologist and academic whose writings we have quoted from time to time over the years. Ms. Chesler has always had a rather skeptical attitude toward Islam, in particular with regard to its treatment of women. Now we know why: Chesler has published a new book titled An American Bride In Kabul. You can read an excerpt from An American Bride in the New York Post.

Chesler’s horrifying story begins in 1959 when, as an 18-year-old college student, she meets and falls in love with an older, wealthy and cosmopolitan Afghan man. Two years later, they agree to get married and set off on a tour of Europe, with a side trip to Kabul. Kabul becomes a prison which Chesler, deprived of her passport, is unable to leave. She describes the family compound where she is imprisoned as a “harem,” and finds that her mother-in-law (one of her three mothers-in-law, actually) is trying to kill her.

The teenaged Chesler in the U.S., with the Afghan who became her husband

That Chesler survived the ordeal is little short of miraculous. Her story–please do check out the Post excerpt, and consider buying the book–is a revealing glimpse into a dysfunctional culture that has changed little if at all since the time when Chesler found herself its prisoner.

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