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Default Essay on "Women and Conversion to Islam"

Women and Conversion to Islam:
The American Women’s experience

Introduction

The past decades have seen a shift towards an increase interest in issues about women, different topics have been tackled in almost all fields including religion; however, the issue of women’s conversion to Islam has not gained an enough interest within researchers. The process of conversion to Islam by women in the west expresses the existence of a new voice of Muslim women in the heart of the western countries.

Many westerners believe that Islam is a religion that restricts and subordinates women in both private and public life. However, a surprising number of women are converting to Islam especially in America.

Today, Islam is the fastest growing religion in America, while the great majority of Muslims are either African Americans or part of immigrant population groups, a growing but a significant number of Americans are choosing Islam as their religion and way of life, among which we find a great number of women.

Within a short period of time America (the U.S.) has experienced a large number of conversions, many more than most might think. One certainly can affirm that the number of people converting to Islam is on the increase. Surveys conducted by the Council on American Islamic relations conclude that 20,000 people convert each year .

This great shift occurred immediately following September 11th, 2001, when general interest in Islam flourished. At precisely the moment when exactly the opposite would seem more likely, a significant number of Americans are embracing Islam, with women outnumbering men approximately four to one.


Currently, therefore, we can no longer simply speak about women and Islam in the East; I think that it is equally pertinent to be aware of the Muslim women’s presence in the West, since the rise in the number of native-born American women converts.

Women’s conversion to Islam in America has attracted the attention of many researches as well as the media in all its forms. We find an interesting number of websites dealing with this issue, in addition to different television stations, such as Aljazeera and Fox News as well as NBC News and many others, which shed light on American women’s conversion.

It has been noted that more women are converting to Islam despite the different stereotypes about Islam and Muslim women. Many Americans view Islam as a religion that restricts, oppresses and subordinates women in both private and public life. The American perceptions on Muslim women are historically negative; Muslim women are usually associated with sex, oppression and violence. Yet a surprising number of women in Western Europe and America are converting to Islam. So, while Islam has become a controversial topic in the West, a growing number of American women are finding meaning in Islam.

The appeal of Islam to this growing number of American women is particularly surprising when one considers the dichotomy and the conflict between the West and Islam. An important question to ask in this regard is why supposedly ‘emancipated’ Western women are turning towards a religion that has always been associated with the oppression of women.

Women have often been just follower of rules created by men. When we find women who stand up and think about what is going on in the world and set up rules for themselves and choose the way they want to live their lives, the case is different. For these reasons I was inspired to write about these women to discover what is impelling them to defy American belief in the violence of Islam and how these women make sense of that religion, to the extent that they are attracted to it strongly enough to leave behind them their own heritage, culture and beliefs.

The approach of this research is to explain the increase of American women’s conversion to Islam since it is a new phenomenon that has emerged only recently and which has been tackled by a limited number of researchers. The main objective of this study is to uncover the experiences of native American converts to Islam and to provide an answer to the following questions; what are the reasons behind the conversion of these modern American women who are born to and brought up approach by non-Muslim parents living in the U.S. and this exceptionally large increase in the number of American women converts has occurred since September 11th.

In an effort to answer these questions, I will analyse conversion narratives. These narratives, related personally by the converts, constitute the primary sources of this study. They will be drawn from two sources: two book-length scholarly studies of American women’s conversion narratives and sixteen videos found on the Internet. The two book-length studies include: Carol L. Anway’s Daughters of Another Path: Experience of American Women Choosing Islam and Muhammad Haneef Shahid’s Why Women are Accepting Islam?

The sixteen videos were collected from different websites. The videos provide conversion stories by American women converts to Islam. These videos are the only available source of American women conversion narratives after September 11th. In short, the present study is the outcome of a deep analysis of the narratives as primary sources related personally by the converts in the videos and through quotes in the two books.

In accordance with my analysis of the narratives, I divided the reasons that push these women to convert into two main reasons. The first one is what I called “personal reasons” that is to say that the women themselves were not satisfied with the religion that they have raised in. This dissatisfaction is what propelled them to read about Islam and eventually resulted in their attraction to what they described as its logic especially with regard to its philosophy toward women. Narratives containing explanations belonging to this category can be found for women converting both before and after 9/11.

I have found that there are other reasons behind women’s conversion after 9/11. These reasons are in one way or another associated with the events of September 11th. I will therefore refer to them as “political reasons”; that is to say that it was the promotion of Islam in America after September 11th attacks that lead most of these women to read about Islam and its philosophy; but the increase of women’s conversion can be explained by their attraction to women’s rights in Islam after they correct the negative stereotypes which they previously had and which often associate Muslim women with sex, oppression and violence. Here I show how ideologies and political events become meaningful, and conversion comes not only out of personal quests and desires but can also be guided by political events.

Islam in America
To mention America and Islam, most think about a serious conflict between the two, but I suspect that is not the case and there is a great relationship. Islam is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing religions in America. Within a short period of time it knows a large number of Muslims more than most might think. America is among the countries where Islam has grown and developed in an amazing way. One certainly can affirm that the number of Muslims is on the increase especially in the last decades. In this context Jane I. smith argues that “Islam has come to constitute one of the three major religions in America.”

In the last three decades, the American Muslim community has development by an astonishing rate. According to several surveys, the number of Muslims in the United States today is estimated to be between six to eight million Muslims. Therefore, Islamic faith has in many estimates surpassed Judaism and is believed to be the second largest religion in the United States.

If we go back to the history of America, the story of Islam in this country begins with Africans who were taken as slaves and as captives from their lands during the slave trade, it encompasses also the experiences of immigrant peoples over the past century who left their homelands looking for better life as well as the students who go to study in America and later decided to settle there. Thus, we find the community of the American Muslim is comprised of people drawn from a wide ranging ethnic and nationalities; there are the Afro-Americans who brought Islam to America from Africa, immigrants from the Middle East, south Asian countries and other places, and finally the converts that is to say native Americans who embrace Islam, it is the smallest group of Muslims in America, but in the same time it is the fastest growing group in the last decades especially after September 11th. In this context Yvonne Haddad mentioned that “Since the events of September 11th, 2001 the issue of conversion to Islam has emerged on the American public agenda.” In 2001 American interest in Islam was obviously seen, the most important reason for this was the September11th attacks against the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.

September 11th was a tragic event that brought death and deep suffering, but from another perspective, this date signifies the advent of a new birth for Islam in America. Islam was unknown to many in America, but after September 11th it has suddenly become a major topic of discussion and more and more political leaders, scientists, researchers, and thinkers consider it necessary to understand Islam correctly. Islam at that time has been critical more than ever before, questioning Islam has been raised and American people become more interested in knowing more about it. There has been a new and sustained interest in the study of Islam and Muslim societies. Researchers and professors were asked to speak or give presentation about it. Not only that but, Islam has being talked about on television in classrooms within politicians and every where. Clark Lobenstine who is an executive director, InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington argues in a Forum intituled, “Civil Rights Concerns In the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Area In the Aftermath of the September 11, 2001, Tragedies” (2003) that:

September 11 has presented an opportunity for public education about other faiths, especially Islam, and since that date there has been a surge in demand for speakers who can address this.

This shows the way September 11th events create a curiosity in American people to know about Islam. This curiosity gives Muslims an opportunity to talk about their religion, it create a large audience and consequently a lot of misunderstandings that Americans have had about Muslims have been cleared and Americans get that opportunity to know about that faith. This helps Islam to gain a great acceptance within the American society. In this context Imam Siraj Wahhaj, who runs the al-Taqwah mosque in Brooklyn argues that: "I've had more converts since 9/11 and I've spoken in so many different forums and inter-faith meetings."

The events of September 11th changed Americans and here is an example of an American who have accepted Islam and become a Muslim after September 11th. Aaron Eugene Nichols embraced Islam arguing that:

Everybody was saying how Islam and Muslims were terrorists, so I wanted to find out for myself. I was taught to think for myself, not to believe what others tell me and I found out it was the complete opposite.
America knows the highest rate of converts to Islam exactly after September 11th and since that event the issue of conversion to Islam has emerged in American. There is no doubt that the impact of Islam on America after September 11th has changed considerably. September 11th has made people across the world seriously look into Islam. It is attracting everyone from all America. You might think that the September 11th attacks would have damaged the name of Islam in America and out of it, but reality is totally different as I have argued.

The growing number of people turning to Islam in the last few years is interesting, but what is astonishing is that American women convert’s rate outnumbering men approximately four to one. Here, we need to stand and ask why this great number of American women turn to Islam leaving behind them their heritage, their history and their culture looking for a religion that has been describe from a long time in America as a violent religion that oppress and marginalize women. Statistics show that American women who are converting to Islam are in the increase, despite the different stereotypes about Islam and Muslim women.
The Reasons behind Women’s Conversion in America

When talking about women’s conversion to Islam, most might think about a strong romantic relationship that leads these women to sacrifice anything to protect this relation. I shall argue that is not the case, and marriage is not the reason why these women reverted to Islam. These women’s decision of conversion comes out of their personal choice.

Through introducing and analysing the voices and perspectives of different American women converts, I find that conversion is triggered first by particular personal ideas and quests. That is to say that, the women themselves feel that they are not satisfied with the religion they raised in and this which push them to read about Islam and then to be attracted to its logic especially to its philosophy toward women. This is something that is common in most narratives especially before September 11th.

The several personal reasons behind women’s conversion to Islam can be seen in two ways; First of all, the controversy of Christianity that pushes these women to look for an alternative and second thing is the logic of Islam and its appeal to reason. Most of the women argue that unlike Christianity, Islam makes sense to them.

To start with, many female converts express dismay about the controversy of Christianity; they show that their rejection to the idea of the trinity and Jesus as God are the reasons behind looking for Islam. Many converts show that they were uncomfortable with Christianity, arguing that it is full of ambiguity and contradictions. By looking at the stories of the female converts we can gain an understanding of the reasons behind their transformation. One Christian woman questions: “How can God be these three things?” Another convert put it:

For many years I "bounced around" from one Christian church to another. I was not happy at any of them. If something didn't work out with one church, I'd go to another (.…). Eventually, I became disenchanted with the whole idea. All I had seen were hypocrites, anyway, so I stopped attending church all together.
It is common in the narratives that women expressed disillusionment with the religions they were raised in and here are the arguments of other American female converts:
I was a Christian by birth. I had always loved Sunday school and church. In a mixed-up, divorced, dysfunctional family, I was looking for stability, not just from a community but from God. After the age of eighteen I searched from church to church looking for "the answer" only to find more confusing messages from each minister and pastor.
Another woman mentions that:
When I was a child, I went to the Church of God, my father's denomination. Then, when I was a teenager, I went to the Episcopal Church with my mom. The reason for the change was because my mom decided to go back to her Episcopal roots. I was not really satisfied with either one.

Most of the American female converts argue that they always used to have questions about God and the idea of the trinity; they mentioned that they never accept that God can be divided into three things. They show that they always had doubts regarding Christianity, and they never receive good answers to their question. Not only that, but they find themselves asked to believe blindly. An American woman mentions that:
Since I was in elementary school, I questioned the teachers (nuns) and parents about the Trinity (who should I pray to: Jesus, God the Father, Holy Spirit? how about the Saints?) I was told there was no explanation and I just had to accept it the way it is. It was too confusing to me. I was never satisfied with Catholicism. I stopped going to church at age seventeen, but I was still praying to God as I had from very early childhood.
Another American female convert put it:
There were always many unanswered questions for me even as a child I could not accept the vague or nonsense answers. I knew even as a small child that these vague areas of faith and philosophy of blind obedience to the clergy were not right.
American women argue that most of the time their decision to embrace Islam comes out of the religious instability they use to live in Christianity. Their criticism of Christianity often includes bitterness and resentment towards the church; one of the female converts argues that:
I grew up a Christian (Seventh-Day Adventist), going to church and to private schools run by the church (….) In high school I got disillusioned with the church because I saw so much hypocrisy in it. I stopped going to church and dropped out of high school at seventeen.
There dissatisfaction propelled them to read about Islam; thus, women converts turned from reading the bible to read the Quran. Many of the female converts have expressed their growing attraction to the Qur'an. They argue that the Quran appears to be the most important element in their decision to convert, they are attracted to its logic and it answers their religious questions. An interesting number of the converts show that they spent a long time going from one church to another to find an answer to their questions and to find a solution to their doubt, and they argue that only the Quran which could answer their religious questions. An American convert mention that:
The reading of the Qur'an and of hadith of the Prophet is what captured me. I went through a very odd experience whereby for the whole week it took me to read the Qur'an I couldn't sleep and seemed to toss and turn all night in a feverish sweat.
Began Amina Lakhani who is an American convert argues also that:
When I approached Islam, first by reading the divine Quran and then by studding Islam I wonder at its simplicity (…) Islam is more logical, yet it contradicts everything that I was ever taught.

After reading the Quran, these American women started to be attracted to Islam and its teaching especially its philosophy toward women. The egalitarian message of Islam pushes a lot of women to embrace Islam. There was a move to recognize the rights of women in Islam, and this gain a great interest by American female converts, they found that Islam up lift women’s situation and glorify it, an American convert mention that “Islam gives Muslim women many rights (...) Muslim women should play an active part in being role models for children.” We find also Dr. Riffat Hassan, who is a woman and Muslim theologian at the University of Louisville states, argues that “Islam has given women more rights than any other religious tradition."

Many American female converts argue that Islamic law gives a good position to women in comparison with the other religions. In most narrations, the egalitarianism of Islam is invoked as a reason for embracing that faith.

In addition to that, the logic of Islam plays also a great role in American women’s conversion; the clear moral message of Islam is appealing to many female converts. Islamic guidelines provide reasoned answer to their questions, unlike Christianity, Islam makes sense to them. They argue also that Islam commensurate with science and modern life.

Many women question how Jesus can be God. The attraction of convert to Islam over Christianity is explained also by the monotheism of God and the absence of the concept of the trinity and the Jesus prophet hood. A large number of women converts mention that, the idea of Jesus can not be God and he was only a prophet attract them and appear more logical to them. They argue that the Quran's teaching about Jesus is fundamentally different from the Bible and this which make Islam and Christianity different. An American converts Aisha Cassana Maddox argues that:

I was never a believer in a faith before Islam, although I believed a clear clarified divine message existed somewhere out there and I believe I found it, in Islam: a religion which did not command me to worship a figure of man, as a god.

Narratives depict Islam as a rational religion, a large number of female converts show the logical superiority of Islam over Christianity. They find that Islam appeal to reason especially the idea of the existence of only one God. Most female converts argue that Islam is a rational and logical religion.
In most conversion narratives American women mention directly or implied that where there was illusion, Islam brought meaning, it answers their questions and takes off all the hesitation and confusion they were suffering from.
For many American women converts, Islam is the right path, it makes sense to them more than Christianity. Women tend to express their attraction to Islam in several ways; they find that Islam is a rational and logical religion which makes it the most convincing when compared to other religions. Other women find its egalitarian plat form a viable alternative to Christianity that is bound to prejudicial practices.

To conclude, American women converts expressed dissatisfaction with their religion of origin, they were seeking religious fulfilment; thus, we find disillusionment, confusion, unanswered questions, all this describes the early religious experience of many of the women. The controversy of Christianity is the main reason that pushes these females to embrace Islam besides their attraction to its logic and philosophy toward women.

In short, American women’s conversion to Islam come out of personal reasons and personal preferences; that is to say, that the conversion act comes out of a their own will, These women were most of the time looking for stability in their religious life, and there conversion comes out of an inner religious conflict.

I have found that there are other reasons behind women’s conversion after 9/11. These reasons are in one way or another associated with the events of September 11th. I will therefore refer to them as “political reasons”; that is to say that it was the promotion of Islam in America after September 11th attacks that lead most of these women to read about Islam and its philosophy; but the increase of women’s conversion can be explained by their attraction to women’s rights in Islam after they correct the negative stereotypes which they previously had and which often associate Muslim women with sex, oppression and violence. Here, I show how ideologies and political events become meaningful, and conversion comes not only out of personal quests and desires but can also be guided by political events.

Islam has been always both alien and hostile to everyone in America. However, after the attacks of September 11th, it has become more critical than ever before. Indeed, the past decades and more precisely after September 11th, 2001, America has witnessed an increased interest in Islam and the process of conversion towards that religion has apparently accelerated too. The attacks on New York and Washington attract a great number of Americans to learn more about Islam. One leader report that: “Not even a billion dollars to support da’wa (propagation) would have made it possible to research as many Americans with the message of Islam” . In fact after September 11th there have been several reports that show the growth in the number of converts to Islam, especially among women. So, the event helps them to correct the negative stereotypes and prejudices that are broadly shared by people about Islam.

In one of the videos that I deal with, and where Aljazeera interviews two American females who convert after September 11th: Safiya Al-kasaby from Florida, whose name was Elizabeth and she used to be a Jew. The other female convert is Angela Collins, an ex-Catholic from California; I find that they do not blame Islam for the actions of the perpetrators of September 11th. Instead, they love Islam and they have studied Islam and the Quran after they became Muslims. Both women actually find out that Islam has little to do with the extremist actions of a few lone people, but rather it gives true meaning to worshipping God alone and not associating any partners with Him. Angela Collins argues in this respect that:

September 11th was a motivating fact I did many researches about Islam and asked many questions, also I met some Muslims, after that I was convinced about this religion, I understand the instruction of Islam and it a difference between the extremists view and it was clear what happened has nothing to do with the authenticity of Islam and was contradictory to the teaching of Islam, and after I read the Quran especially su’rah: the Beneficent (Alrahman) at that time it was so clear for me that those words are from God.

Turning to Safiya Al-kasaby, she argues that: “what happened on September 11th has nothing to do with any religion itself; September 11th was a chance to learn to open one mind and to learn from other religions.”

The stereotyping of Muslims in the American media and the negative image of Arabs held by the public in the United States affect Islam and Muslims and produce many harmful consequences. The West has many stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam that are due to the media and the ignorance of people. Islam is seen as unjust; and more then this it is seen as being most oppressive to women. Muslim women are portrayed negatively; they are often shown as physically and sexually abused.

In this respect, September 11th brings Islam to the American female converts’ attention. They mention that they used to prejudge Islam and try to find fault by looking into women’s issue, but later on they discover that their judgement are totally wrong. An American female converts mention that:

After the September 11th attacks, they start blaming Muslims and Islam, I didn’t have knowledge about Islam, and I go and pick up the Quran and start reading. After reading the Quran, of course thinking that is a book that discriminate against women, does not give them their equal rights and that is not fair, but I find exactly the opposite after reading the direct source and the direct words of God. After that I took my ‘shahada’ and converted to Islam (...) I will not believe in the media anymore.

American ideas about Islam come mostly from media; movies, news and novels that perpetuate stereotypes about Muslim women. The image of Muslim women, in the West, is very prejudiced, married by racism and ethnocentrism. The Muslim woman has been portrayed as submissive, oppressed, and backward. In America, the common picture of a Muslim woman is that of a hidden face behind a veil, a voiceless and silent figure. This is exactly what American media keeps circulating and reiterating.

In addition to that, most images of Arab women in American imagination start from the belly dancer or prostitute to the oppressed and veiled women. It is to say they are always depicted as passive victims of masculine dominance.

The depiction of Muslim women as veiled, oppressed, marginalized women as well as exotic object to the male, serves in drawing a negative image about Islam as an oppressive religion. But, after September 11th event, there has been curiosity among Americans, and a desire to explore that religion to come to reality, what is important is that they discover that it is totally different to what they know and at that time conversion takes place.

Going back to the videos that I have dealt with, I have found that the female converts develop ideas that are totally different from the stereotypical prejudices that they used to have. They describe the way they change their ideas about Muslims and Islam. The female convert, Liza who was raised as catholic argues that:

Islam is so applicable to our daily Muslim life; it is modern and so progressive, which the non-Muslims often think the opposite. They think that we are oppressed.

Most of female converts argue that the thing that really attracts them in Islam is women’s rights. They see that the rights given to women in Islam were never given to them in the Bible. Of particular note is that the Quran does not regard Eve as the seducer of Adam as the case in the Old Testament where she is represented as responsible for the man’s expulsion from paradise and for his arduous existence on earth. But Quran considers that Satan who is responsible about their lost . Also the idea that Eve is created independently of Adam, not as the result of the creation of men, in this context an American women convert mention that: “In the Koran it is said that women are created independently of Adam, that eve is an independent creation of Allah.”

In this respect, American female converts are attracted by Islamic construction of femininity; they argue that Islam is the most feminist religion. It gives dignity to women and with all the freedom they have, it still makes them slaves to fashion and to the cosmetics industry. Others are also attracted to the social structure of Islam, in which the family is the backbone of society. They commented on the importance of the fact that the equality granted to men and women in Quran provided for different roles and functions for each gender. They argue also that in the west women are oppressed in the name of modernity and they show that modernity is used to restrict women and girl’s freedom. Women are forced to wear in an indecent way and to go to Beauty Parlour, and this does not come out of their own choice but, they find themselves obliged to follow the mainstream. Many converts agreed on the western exploitation of women in the name of freedom, and the myth of beauty that is well perpetuated in media and that affect the majority of girl and women who do their best to reach the ideal body.

In short, American convert women find that Islam provides them with an interesting construction of gender that allows them to live according to their nature without being treated as sex objects, but respected as women. They argue also that Islam provides a woman with dignity, respect, and protection in all aspects. Some argue that According to Islamic law a woman can keep her name and her personal income. Moreover, they found that Islam is the most supportive of women in variety of ways. We have the voice of Elizabeth Lmgart Ancherage who says that:

In Islam, we have the right to have property, we inherit, we keep our last names, and we don’t have to take our husbands identities. In Christianity people just don’t understand how the Bible sees women, and I think people really should be working into that, and see how Christians think of women. Muslim women had rights and they can own property and that stuff, Christians were debating if we had so.

To conclude, September 11th attacks create a kind of curiosity within the American public, which pushes most Americans to read and investigate that religion. But the increase of women’s conversion can be explained by their attraction to the philosophy of Islam towards women after they correct the stereotypes they used to have about Islam and Muslim women. It is to say they come to know that Islam does not oppress women, but in the contrary, it gives dignity to women and more right than any other religion.

In short, an external representation of femininity and gender equality seems to engage most American women converts. Conversion allows these women to rethink of their gender identity, attractiveness and womanhood. They found support of their ideas in Islam; many of these female converts argue that Islam gives them a sense of liberation and freedom that they could have never felt in their former lives.

Conclusion
One driving force behind this research has been the desire to uncover the experiences of American female converts, to provide an explanation to the great increase of American women’s conversion and to explore the different reasons behind this transformation.

The first conclusion that I draw from this study is the American women’s agency. It is well know that women always have less power of agency in many fields including religion. However, these American women have been able to challenge this idea through their conversion to Islam. These female converts go against the grain of their backgrounds, families and culture opting for something that their society and their families are against it. American women converts take the responsibility to draw and set rules for themselves, they refuse to just accept what is already decided for them. Thus, we find that they go and search, read and draw conclusions as well.

Conversion is a decision that that comes out of these women’s will and choice, and they are fully aware of the problems and the difficulties that associate this transformation. They turn to Islam leaving behind them their own heritage, culture and beliefs. In taking such a decision these women show their autonomy and independency.

Through this transformation American female converts first point to an equally important opportunity to prove their independence and their autonomy. Second, they adapt a new religion, a new belief and a new identity and I may say also a new culture, that is to say the ‘Muslim culture’ which is totally different from their own. Third, they challenge the American culture and the dominant American discourse about women. Forth, they take a position through which they express hostile attitudes towards their societies, and they criticise the dominant believes and traditions. They attack the notion of sexuality and the American culture that they see that it exploits women, they also criticise the western feminism arguing that in the contrary, it dehumanize women and it breaks down the family values.

The second conclusion that I draw is the reasons that push these American women to convert to Islam. The paper focused on mainly two reasons which are ‘personal reasons’ and ‘political reasons’. Concerning the ‘personal reasons’, here we find that American women’s conversion to Islam comes out of their own will. These women were most of the time looking for stability in their religious life; their conversion comes out of an inner religious conflict; disillusionment, confusion and unanswered questions.

Beyond the personal reasons, there are political reasons as well, that appear mainly after 2001. Here, we find that September 11th events create a kind of curiosity in these women and push them to read about Islam and its teaching. The increase of women’s conversion is explained by their attraction to women’s rights in Islam after correcting the negative stereotypes that they used to have about Islam and Muslim women. We find that American women are attracted to the notion of femininity and gender discourse in Islam. Most of the American women converts argue that Islam gives them a sense of liberation and freedom. American women’s conversion reflects a desire to find a new way and a new vision.

I think we should also be equally aware of the fact that these female converts play a great role in the development of a new image of the ‘Muslim woman’, that is to say a women who is a Muslim, but in the same time free from the oppression of what is called Islamic culture. Hence, this I think may give a different and good idea about Islam and Muslim women, and in a way or another it may contributes to Islamic feminist discourse and in understanding women’s rights as well as the philosophy of Islam toward women. I think that these female converts play a great role in the contribution to Islamic feminist discourse as well as the production of Islamic feminist knowledge.
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Whatever you tried it, but the topic's title should be "Women Embracing Islam: Gender and Conversion in the West" as it is @ http://www.powells.com/biblio/61-9780292713024-1. Title must be nitty-gritty. I like to bring your attention on English grammar and proper sentence making. Please, never mind; we learn from each other with a core purpose to gain it and then serving our nation. Thanks!
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