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The Mother of Mohammed – Sally Neighbour

Posted on May 15th, 2009 by in Biography, Non-Fiction

As seen in the Good Weekend, The Mother of Mohammed by ABC journo Sally Neighbor tells the intriguing story of country come Northern Beaches girl Rabiah Hutchinson.

Mother of Mohammed by Sally Neighbour, ISBN 9780522856682

Born and raised in Mudgee, New South Wales, Rabiah Hutchinson seems an unlikely jihadist. But this former country girl turned marijuana-smoking beach bunny and hippy backpacker is a veteran of the global holy war. To Western intelligence analysts she is “the matriarch of radical Islam” or, in the words of a former CIA agent, “the Elizabeth Taylor of the jihad”.

Hutchison spent four years working as a doctor in a mujahidin hospital and orphanage on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border during the Afghan jihad in the early 1990s. She had later returned to Afghanistan under the Taliban and married a leading al Qaeda ideologue and member of Osama bin Laden’s inner circle. Her fellow jihadists know her as “Umm Mohammed”, meaning the mother of Mohammed.

Today Rabiah Hutchinson is one of the most watched women in the world. She believes she’s under 24-hour surveillance, her home and telephone bugged. She is officially designated as “a threat to national security”, and prevented from travelling abroad because she might “destabilise foreign governments”, in the words of the assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

So who is this mysterious black-veiled woman, with the broad Australian accent and fiery Scottish temperament, who has Western governments so unnerved? This is Rabiah Hutchinson’s story.

Links and Further Reading

  • Listen to Sally Neighbor discuss The Mother of Mohammed

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  1. margaret sasse said on November 12th, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I have just finished reading “The Mother of Mohammed” by Sally Neighbour and must say how much I appreciated Sally’s work. Rabiah’s story, whilst fascinating and full of interest regarding the life of a woman passionately adhering to her beliefs, provides some necessary insight into the world of Islam that, for the most part, I must admit to being ignorant of. Ignorance feeds our fears and breeds mistrust and often rejection. It also demonstrates the danger of fixated ideologies. This book provides a timely reminder that dialogue can open doors, allay fears and maybe help us to move closer to a more peaceful world. Thank you Sally and thank you Rabiah.

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