Richard Peppiatt in The Independent. Here
Three-quarters of Britons who become Muslims are female.Record numbers of young, white British women are converting to Islam, yet many are reporting a lack of help as they get used to their new religion, according to several surveys.
As Muslims celebrate the start of the religious holiday of Eid today and hundreds of thousands from around the world converge on Mecca for the haj, it emerged that of the 5,200 Britons who converted to Islam last year, more than half are white and 75 per cent of them women.
In the past 10 years some 100,000 British people have converted to Islam, of whom some three-quarters are women, according to the latest statistics. This is a significant increase on the 60,000 Britons in the previous decade, according to researchers based at Swansea University.
REBUTTAL- “Women & Islam: The rise and rise of the convert”
Sarah Hunak in her blog. Here
More important than the statistics was the highlighting of issues faced by recent reverts, a pertinent point amongst us newbies. Whilst I’m tempted again to think of the ulterior motives of the author for highlighting yet another flaw to converts and Islam, it is a valid point that the Islamic community can be very insular. Never mind the muslims not mixing with the non-muslims, it’s the Pakistanis not mixing with the Somalis and the Bengalis not mixing with the Arabs and each cultural group keeping themselves so much to themselves that there is no way that the born muslims would even think of mixing with the new muslims!
I found this too at the start. It’s hard to break into these already well established groups as a newbie. There’s a lot of furore around a person wanting to become a muslim. People can’t be helpful enough to notch up another shahada on their record! But it’s the aftermath that’s the issue. I’ve heard awful stories about new muslims being disowned by their families. Friends no longer want to know you because you’re ‘boring’ now, and Eid can be a VERY lonely time indeed. We want sisterhood. We want classes that run from the VERY basics, not ones that start aimed at people with a good decade or two of knowledge behind them. Books are great, but there’s no one to ask the silly questions to about where my feet should be in prayer or how on earth you pronounce this word correctly!