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“Never ever again will I judge a person’s freedom and liberties by the length of their skirt” -Yvonne Ridley famous British journalist who converted to Islam.
Recently, news stories about the deceased Boston Bombing suspect’s wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, abound. Reports speculate about her life and her choice to become Muslim.
The media, to its credit have run some article’s from the Muslim women’s perspective, but by and large they are portraying Katherine, and women like her, as having been forced to convert to Islam.
Many news outlets are trying to portray Katherine as some sort of weak woman who fell into the hands of an overpowering force and was brainwashed straight out of
Christianity and in the hijab, Islam, and the arms of a terrorist. Absolutely ignoring the possibility that Katherine may have converted after much soul searching and reflection done of her own free will.
“She was a very sweet woman, but I think kind of brainwashed by him,” reported the Associated Press, quoting Anne Kilzer, a Belmont, Mass., woman who said she knew Russell and her 3-year-old daughter.
As a wife, I cannot imagine what Katherine is going through. As an American woman who converted to Islam, I am very familiar with the stereotype that is pushed upon women who choose Islam.
When a woman in the West converts to Islam, it is always assumed that she has been coerced. Why else would she leave her life full of every imaginable freedom, right? She must have converted for a man, she must have been brainwashed, or she must have been at gun point.
It is insulting. It is a round about way of saying that women who convert to Islam are weak minded.
This is not the case by a long shot. Women who convert to Islam are typically outspoken, well mannered, well educated, well informed and conscious of their moral obligations to others.
When I converted to Islam, the sister who was giving me shahada (The statement of faith) asked me why I was converting. She asked me twice if I was doing it for any person or felt forced to do it in anyway. “Because”, she said “if you say that you believe and someone made you say it, your faith would not be accepted from you. Allah knows what is in your heart.”
How is it then that in Islam your faith will not be accepted from you unless you are sincere? Sincerity cannot be coerced. It is like saying you were forced to fall in love, it just doesn’t work that way.
And where is the follow up to the brainwashing? In order to sustain a state of “brainwashing” you also must isolate the subject from the outside world. You don’t see this with Muslim converts.
They go on to study at universities; work as teachers, scientists, military personnel, journalists and so on; they do charity work; they are politically active and motivated to be productive members of society.
With headlines like the following, journalists are scrambling to find a reason for so many people entering Islam in the West
We convert because we find truth and beauty in Islam. We convert because we are honored not objectified in Islam. We convert because we don’t let the media tell us what to think. We convert because Islam speaks to our nature. We convert for a million reasons.
We are truth seekers. We are logical, thinking human beings. We are a group of women who are strong enough to face giving up all that we know and have in order to become closer to God. We are a group of women who have faced bigotry daily from loved ones and strangers alike.
We are a group of women who despite how we are portrayed in the media, we hold our heads up high because we know who we really are. We will not be explained away as feeble minded or weak. We can speak for ourselves. And we will.
Fatima, a Canadian who converted to Islam says, “I am so humbled and eternally grateful to Subana Wa Ta’ala who forgave me of my sins and opened my mind, body and soul finding me worthy to the truth and inviting me to Islam on 8 Rabi Al-Awwal 1432 H during Egyptian revolution I experienced the absolute power of prayer as I watched on TV for the first time in Tahrir square, Muslims pray.
Shortly after this a good friend of 3 years I had met on Facebook, who lives in Cairo, Egypt showed me via Skype the Masjid outside his window just as Fajr call to prayer sounded.
“I bowed my head and in my heart felt this to be the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. This was my second call to prayer, I felt a deafness I had in my life had been cured. I then purchased a Qur’an opened to Al-Fatiha and first few pages of Al-Baqarah, I knew I was about to find out what I always prayed for, the meaning of life, serenity and peace of mind. I spent a year and half on a very special journey (that continues by the minute) soul searching leading me to begin studying Islam […]
“I received an email inviting me to attend Iftar [the meal that breaks a Muslim’s fast] on 2 Ramadan 1433 H […] This was the opportunity
I had been waiting. I had not went to a Mosque since I heard my first call, there was a voice that kept telling me to wait, I would know the perfect time. It was this night I declared, As-Shahadah.
“Immediately upon entering the parking lot of the Masjid and a Sister greeting me at the door I felt a light shine and my spirit jump and was fully awakened realizing I was always a Muslim by heart but did not know until Allah Subana Wa Ta’ala decided it was my time to live and to be given a right to life with dignity through the Muslim way of Life shown to us through the perfected life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam).”
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sources : CNN WORLD NEWS: Islam is the fastest-growing religion…
Islam is Fastest Growing Religion in United States:…
Times on line: Thousands of British people convert to Islam every year:…
Why European women are turning to Islam:…
Washington-Report: The Nation’s Fastest Growing Religion…




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