Veiled Honor is a must read for every American. It contains powerful information that could change your views of world events. Mary Laurel Ross has chronicled the significant occasions of her life by connecting them in a time line with events taking place on the world’s stage, resulting in a fascinating multi-layered book.
For the military family there is obvious relevance in Veiled Honor. Written from the perspective of an educator and the wife of a career military officer, the book defines the struggles and challenges of the military family as an exciting adventure well worth the effort required.
The history enthusiast will enjoy reading the chronology of Middle Eastern conflicts, the role Saudi Arabia played in them, the irony of dubious alliances, and the resultant impact on all our lives. The author provides an intelligent analysis of those conflicts and gives ample documentation to support her conclusions. Advocates for women’s rights and religious freedom will be challenged by the shocking descriptions of life for females living under the strictest interpretation of Islamic law. The author speaks honestly and candidly about Muslim cultures in the Middle East and specifically in Saudi Arabia where she was given a revealing view from inside the restricted life of Saudi women. Few non-Muslims have had the experiences she writes about.
And finally, Veiled Honor takes the reader on a journey down the path leading to the attack on America of 9-11 by giving context to the events and personalities involved in the deadly terrorist act. You will be intrigued by the connection between major players who plotted the destruction of America.
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“The book is meticulously researched and richly detailed. It is both credible and relevant. As a pilot who flew in Desert Shield in late 1990 and spent time in Persian Gulf states including Saudi Arabia, I can attest to the accuracy of her writing. Reading the author’s description of Khamis Mushayt, for example, was like landing, once again, in that remote air station. It was described exactly as I remembered.
I became acquainted with Mary Laurel Ross over forty years ago when her husband and I attended Air Force Flight School together. That she so quickly became friends with persons of diametrically opposed cultures is totally consistent with her friendly, outgoing, and gentle personality and of no surprise to me. Reading her book was like sitting down with old friends for a most enjoyable evening of stimulating conversation, provocative thought, and nostalgic reminiscing.”
Lt. Colonel Randall Hurst, USAFR (Ret)
Excerpts from a Review by Dr. William Barrick,
Professor of Old Testament, The Master’s Seminary
The Master’ Seminary Journal Volume 21, Number 1, Spring 2010
Read the complete review pp. 127-129
Reading Veiled Honor took me back to my fifteen years of missionary service in the Muslim nation of Bangladesh. Time and again the images conjured up by Mary Laurel Ross in Saudi Arabia found their counterparts in my own and my wife’s experiences living in a Muslim land. This volume contains information gained only through living among and interacting with Muslims within their own cultures. Ross presents a fair and balanced viewpoint – sensitivity to the Muslims’ view of their own culture and beliefs as well as the objectivity of a keen outside observer. The author interweaves pertinent historical data with her own personal encounters. Cameos of those whom she came to know and love accent her poignant plea for change in the status of women living under the veil in Islam.
A second group of cameos introduces readers to some key figures in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the author informs her readers, attended a Baptist college in North Carolina where non-Muslim students tossed his shoes and the shoes of other praying Muslims into the campus lake (20). This humiliated and frustrated individual became the engineer for 9/11. His nephew, Ramzi Yousef, carried out the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center in New York (29). Abdullah Azzam (23), Osama bin Laden (45-46), Mohammed Atta (230), and Ziad Samir Jarrah (298) make their appearances in brief but informative introductions. One full chapter chronicles the life of Mohammed, the founder of Islam (“Allah’s Messenger,” 317-27).
In her chapters on “Shari’a” (117-45) and honor killing, “In the Name of Honor,” (303-10) Mrs. Ross paints a vivid picture of the abuse of females in the Muslim world. One horrendous tragedy symbolizes the oppression of females in the Islamic world: a March 2002 fire in a girls’ school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (125). Because the girls did not have access to proper attire that would allow them to exit the building, the religious police would not allow them to leave the burning structure. Fifteen teen-aged girls perished in the flames. …The Muslim concept of honor justifies both the abuse of women and radical Islamic terrorism (310).
In an “Afterword” (363) Mrs. Ross pays tribute to Neda Agha-Soltan the victim of a sniper during Iranian anti-government demonstration in the streets of Teheran in June 2009. A Muslim woman’s voice and death cry out for freedom from oppression and abuse.
Every person with an interest in learning about Islam and about the Middle Eastern Muslim cultures should read Veiled Honor.