Khan says it can be “almost a liberation” if they’re escaping something else.
“An exaggerated expression of religiosity gives more freedom.
The younger women have gone at that age where most Muslim families bring up marriage.” Some of the older women she thinks are victims of domestic violence.Khan believes young Muslims of both sexes often feel powerless.
“You’re born and the script of your life is already written by your family and community: what you will be when you grow up, who you will marry. Your job is to strive for that. If you don’t, you bring dishonour.
” Some have found a way to redress this power imbalance: religion. “It’s the one thing the parents can’t argue back on: ‘Mum and Dad, you’re not even proper Muslims.’ It’s genius.
Parents have curfews; ‘but I’m going to a religious studies group’” — Khan gives the finger – “It’s a trump card that almost puts kids in the dominant position.”