The abduction of Jill Carroll in Baghdad in January, along with the murder of her interpreter, Alan Enwiya, was an important event. Her ordeal demonstrated that the Islamic world has friends in the West—people like Jill Carroll, people who went out to try and understand who they are, in the wake of 9/11. Appeals from around the Arab world surely played a role in her being freed by jihadists. And during her captivity, 82 days, a lot of us who thought about her felt we knew her: a serious and generous person who knew how to enjoy herself.
Alas, it appears that Carroll has now gone along with the Christian Science Monitor’s addlepated plan to turn her abduction into a circulation bonanza. It is running her story over several days. The result is so far a disaster. The first entry is all action, and lots of it. Nothing but action. Not a serious thought to be had. And the story is co-bylined. A guy named Peter Grier gets equal credit. I thought Jill Carroll was a writer. Dammit, she is a writer.
This is shocking. The one thing an intelligent reader always wanted after Carroll’s joyful release was Jill Carroll’s thoughts, Jill Carroll’s experience, Jill Carroll’s honest reflections. Unfiltered. Undramatized. Find a rock and crawl under it, Monitor, and let Jill Carroll speak for herself.