Addressing the Unique Needs of American Converts to Islam
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Bismillah (In the Name of God)
As Salaamu 'Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
(May the Peace and Blessings and Mercy of God be upon you all)
My name is Karla Kovacik and I am the Founder of Feeling Muslim. I'm also an American convert to Islam. I'd like to give you a little history about Feeling Muslim and why it is such an important organization for women and men converts all over the United States.
The idea for Feeling Muslim began as I was working on my M.A. in Islamic Studies at the University of Georgia. One of my educational goals was to conduct activist research that would benefit American Muslims, and particularly American converts to Islam. To meet that personal goal, I designed and conducted the study "Feeling Muslim: An Intimate Portrait of Identity Cultivation among American Female Converts to Islam." Many of the questions I asked came from my own positive, negative, and neutral experiences as an American convert to Islam. I especially wanted to know if other women converts were having similar negative experiences, and if so, from their perspectives what could be done to change that.
What started as a small survey resulted in the largest study of American female converts ever conducted, with 459 full and partial responses, of which 257 were full responses by participants self-identifying as U.S.-born female converts to Islam.
Reading through the candid, heartfelt responses of these women has brought me immense joy, belly laughs so intense I could hardly breathe, and at times, overwhelming sadness. While I am working on numerous publications of the findings, I felt I must do something with the wealth of information these women entrusted to me...something to help others in similar situations....something just for us converts.
To that end, my husband Peter and I established Feeling Muslim as a Not-for-Profit organization dedicated to providing educational, spiritual, emotional, social, and financial support to women and men all over the United States in various stages of conversion to Islam.
Some of our current projects include the following:
1. Providing FREE Feeling Muslim Welcome Packages for new Muslims;
2. Consulting with masajid leadership around the U.S. and Implementing Feeling Muslim Welcoming Spaces;
3. Distributing Feeling Muslim Community Resource Guides to masajid around the U.S.;
4. and holding Feeling Muslim Training Workshops for communities utilizing our Guide for Masajid Leadership.
Some of our long-term projects include:
5. Offering FREE Face-to-Face and Online (Live) Introductory Islamic Courses for new Muslims;
6. Working with other Muslim organizations to award The Feeling Muslim Academic and Need-Based Scholarship for new Muslims who are enrolled in any credible higher education institution in the United States;
7. and Connecting new Muslims with Feeling Muslim Heart Cradlers for spiritual and emotional support.
We are applying for 501(c)3 status and will update everyone as soon as the process is complete, which should be sometime this year, inshaAllah.
Please help us support this work. Donate today.
at your service
"Charities (Sadaqaat) are only for the poor, for the needy, the workers who collect them, or those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth) [the new converts], for those in bondage and in debt, in the cause of Allah, and to the wayfarer; an ordinance from Allah, and Allah is the All-Knowing, the Most Wise."
The Holy Qur'an
Surat al-Tawbah (The Repentance), Ayah 60