Source: The Observer
On June 10, 2005 The Observer reported, "[Novelist Leila] Aboulela offers a very different portrayal of Muslim women in London from that in Monica Ali's Brick Lane. Rather than yearning to embrace Western culture, Aboulela's women seek solace in their growing religious identity. It was only in Britain, where she came to study for her PhD, that she began to feel able to express her faith... So there's more freedom for Muslim women to be religious in Britain? 'Oh, definitely. But then you have to decide what you are going to do with all this freedom,' she says with a laugh. 'You can do what you like, So being religious is one of the things I chose.'"