The Irish singer formerly named Sinéad O’Connor posted photos of herself wearing a hijab last week and announced, “I am proud to have become a Muslim.” She took the name Shuhada, which means “one who bears witness” in Arabic and is also the word used to describe martyrs. Her conversion “is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey,” she said. Born Roman Catholic, the singer famously tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II on a 1992 episode of Saturday Night Live. Shuhada has described herself as a victim of childhood abuse, and has said she suffers from bipolar disorder. A year ago, she went missing and turned up in a motel in New Jersey, saying she was battling suicidal depression. A ceremony in Dublin marked her conversion to Islam, and she posted a video in which she sings the Islamic call to prayer.
Caitlyn Jenner voted for President Trump and attended his inauguration, convinced the New Yorker would be a staunch LGBTQ ally. “Sadly, I was wrong,” Jenner said in a Washington Post op-ed last week. In her mea culpa, Jenner said she believed Trump’s campaign promises that he would support the LGBTQ community, and has been “deeply, personally hurt” by his record on trans issues, most recently his administration’s proposal to strip trans people of discrimination protection. “He has made trans people into political pawns as he whips up animus against us in an attempt to energize the most right-wing segment of his party,” Jenner said. Her support of Trump during her “early Caitlyn days,” she said, was naive. “My outlook has changed significantly.’’
The wife of white nationalist Richard Spencer accused him of choking her, dragging her by the hair, and trying to punch her while she was pregnant, according to divorce filings. Spencer, a leader of the “alt right,” was videoed shouting “Hail Trump!” at a 2016 white nationalist event in Washington, D.C., as attendees greeted him with Nazi salutes. Nina Koupriianova, who married Spencer in 2010 and separated from him in 2017, says Spencer called her “genetically defective” and would often say, “The only language women understand is violence.” Spencer, 40, called the allegations “a wild mischaracterization of who I am.” ■