Addressing the Unique Needs of American Converts to Islam
Feeling Muslim is dedicated to amplifying the diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences of American converts to Islam. Over time, I will be releasing quotes from the study, which I am hopeful, will cause the American Muslim community to pause and do a bit of spiritual and self-reflection about the treatment many American converts to Islam experience in Muslim communities across the United States.
By discussing these problems openly and facing the problem head-on, we may begin to see positive changes occurring in our lives as individuals and as members of our local and global Muslim communities.
One of the greatest obstacles our communities face is admitting that we have a problem. The next greatest obstacle is allowing those in positions to do something about those problems - to step up and address them.
"As U.S. citizens who understand American cultural and societal norms, American female converts to Islam are in a good position to serve as advocates and agents for change, not only for themselves, but also on behalf of their fellow Muslim Americans. Understanding converts’ perceptions about their own identities, their ideas about community support, and what they need, is a first step toward understanding the important role U.S. converts to Islam can play in bridging the cultural divide between Muslims and other Americans. These American voices are offering a challenge to both the greater non-Muslim American community and the Muslim American community in clearly articulated, individual voices saying: I am a ‘real American’, I am a ‘real Muslim’, I am ready to have the conversation. You bring the vanilla ice cream – I’ll bring the apple pie." (Excerpt from As American as Apple Pie: U.S. Female Converts to Islam at U.S. Studies Online)
Are you a convert in need of resources?
Would your community/masjid like more information about starting a Feeling Muslim initiative? Would you like to send a convert a care package? Do you have any questions about this research? Would your organization like to request a guest lecture or consultation?
Click here for a list of scholarly references on American converts to Islam, American Muslims, Muslim Americans, Religious Conversion, and Spiritual Transformation. This list is constantly growing, so check back often.
The material on this site is exclusively the intellectual property of Karla Nicole Kovacik, M.A. Fair use applies with proper citation of this site and my M.A. thesis, Feeling Muslim: Prolegomena to the Study of American Female Converts to Islam, The University of Georgia, 2015.
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