NEW YORK — Osama bin Laden’s niece, in an interview with GQ magazine in which she appears scantily clad, says she has nothing in common with the al-Qaida leader and simply wants acceptance by Americans.
“Everyone relates me to that man, and I have nothing to do with him,” Wafah Dufour, the daughter of bin Laden’s half brother, Yeslam Binladin, says in the January edition of the magazine, referring to the al-Qaida leader.
“I want to be accepted here, but I feel that everybody’s judging me and rejecting me,” said the California-born Dufour, a musician and law school graduate who lives in New York. “Come on, where’s the American spirit? Accept me. I want to be embraced, because my values are like yours. And I’m here. I’m not hiding.”
Dufour, who adopted her mother’s maiden name after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that have been blamed on bin Laden, appears in several provocative photos in the magazine.
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The pictures are likely to be considered obscene by conservative Muslims in and outside of Saudi Arabia where women are required to be veiled.
Asked if she would like to perform her music in the Middle East, Dufour says her mother, Carmen Dufour, would be too afraid that “someone would want to kill me.”
“Listen, I would love to raise consciousness. Maybe women could hear the songs and realize that I’m doing my dream and hopefully they can, too,” she said.
Yeslam and Osama are among 54 children of the late Saudi construction magnate Mohammed bin Laden and his 22 wives. The extended family includes several hundred people.
Binladin, who received Swiss citizenship in 2001, has condemned his half brother “for his acts and his convictions.” He intentionally spells his name differently from his half brother.
In the interview, Dufour says she would not date a fundamentalist Muslim and that she cried hysterically when she witnessed the attacks on New York while staying with her mother in Geneva.
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