Dr Susan Carland first men Waleed Aly when she was just 16 years old. The pair wed in 2002 on the lawns of Melbourne Zoo, after Susan converted to Islam.
The couple share two children Aisha and Zayed. Here are five interesting facts about the prominent media spokesperson and academic.
She rejected Waleed at first
After speaking with her on the phone, Waleed knocked on her door one day and a couple of years later asked her to take the relationship further.
“He rang me up and said ‘Look, I like you, and would really like to pursue this’,” she told TV week. “'I wouldn't marry you if were the last person on earth.”
At 17 she explored other religions
Dr Susan Carland was born into a white Christian family as was a member of the Uniting Church, but she switched to the Baptist Church when she was a teenager.
But she didn’t feel a long-term connection with the Church and explored other religions at the age of 17 and two years later converted to Islam.
Her mother didn’t want her to marry a Muslim
When Dr Susan Carland first told her mother she was looking into the Islamic faith her mother told her: I don’t care if you marry a drug dealer, but don’t marry a Muslim”. But despite her mother’s rejections, the Child Genius TV host said that she found the faith ‘intellectual’. “When I read about Islam itself, I realised it was actually very different to what I thought,” she told Islam, My Choice.
“It was actually very peaceful, very egalitarian, with strong emphasis on equal treatment of women, and a strong stance on social justice. I thought it was a very intellectual religion, yet it was also very spiritual, and that also appealed to me as well.”
She was terrified about telling people of her new faith
“I was terrified, absolutely terrified about telling people. My family — my mum in particular. And my friends, it was awful. I was so worried about telling people, because I didn’t know how they’d react. I assumed they would react negatively, and most people did,” she told Newscorp.
“It didn’t help that I wanted to wear the hijab straight away. I think if I just said, ‘I’m going to become Muslim but still look the same’ it would have been much easier for people to take.”
She’s not keen on social media
The intellectual is not keen on social media and once said. 'I place very little weight on social media influence - it's quite meaningless... I think it's a very superficial world.'