I think the reason why people see things differently is because people 'see' different muslim ideologies. Let me promise you...and I am pretty sure Laila would readily agree...the world for a muslim woman in America with our Americanized muslim ideologies and England with their much more liberal Muslim ideologies is RADICALLY different from the world for a Muslim woman in fundamentalist muslim states. In a very real sense, BOTh are right, in their own absolute worlds. In places like Turkey, UAE, some others women are much more 'empowered' by the majority of people that practice the muslim faith. In places like Kuwait there is sort of a middle of the road progression for women and 'rights'. In places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and others where fundamentalists dominate, there is a strict adherence to a much more strict interpretation of the faith. Ultimately, I think most of us see what we want to see. If you want to see the Muslim world through Laila's eyes...you can, and you can find lots of examples where people live that way. If you want see the world through the eyes of the extrmeist fundamentalist, let me promise you...thsoe ways are there too. And lurking in those non-fundamentalist middle eastern states are still significant numbers of fundamentalists lurking, stirring things up, building support and biding their time.
For example...a muslim woman can drive in Kuwait City. However it probably would not be advised in Jahra...just up the road. Down the road the other direction in Fahaheel (sp-its been a while) there are parts of the city that women are treated with respect, and other parts, not so much.
Its simply not a cut and dried black and white world. Hell...If I remember correct there are something like 9 muslim sects...so even if you are Muslim that doesnt make you NOT an infidel and subject to death in the glorious name of Allah.