There are a lot of people obsessed with Susan Carland’s hair. I am one of them.
I’ve known Susan for several years now. I’ve been to her house for dinner. We’ve co-hosted podcasts together. I’ve met her daughter and her son who are now 15 and 11. I’ve worked with her husband Waleed Aly on The Project.
And yet….I’ve never seen her hair.
This has become something of a running joke between us. I sometimes ask her to describe it. Or send me a photo of it. That doesn’t sound creepy at all. We laugh about it often. I can assure you, Susan Carland laughs heartily and regularly about a variety of topics, even occasionally her religion.
Listen to Susan Carland and Mia Freedman on No Filter.
And this – along with so many things we discuss in this interview – will surprise people who think they know Susan’s life just by looking at her or passing her in the street.
You see Susan Carland is a devout Muslim woman, a religion she converted to from Christianity when she was a teenager.
She choose to wear hijab or a headscarft at the same time, much to the shock and horror of some members of her own family.
While I can joke with Susan about her hair and her hijab – many many people don’t find it funny at all. They find it sad or sexist or un-Australian. They assume she’s oppressed and repressed and distressed – the victim of a religion they believe to subjugate women.
They assume that simply by being a Muslim, that means she condones female genital mutilation and the fact that women in some Muslim countries face the death penalty for being raped and in other countries are banned from driving cars or showing any part of their body or face in public or even leaving the house unless accompanied by a man.