Western Female Conversions to Islam Essay

Western Female Conversions to Islam Essay

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For many individuals, Religion appears at odds with feminist ideals and providing equal rights for men and women; I am one of those people. As a young girl, I never really took religion seriously: to me it was something I had to do every Sunday and alternate Thursday evenings for an hour. Born and raised Roman Catholic, Sunday school was filled with the sways of my feet brushing the floor while picking at my nails and absentmindedly reciting hymns that had been assigned for memorization. In my early teen years as a youth group leader, I began to seriously question this religion I had become associated with, but was urged make the sacrament of Confirmation so that I could marry in the Catholic Church if I wanted. Present-day, I have only furthered my distance from religion in general. Lately, reasons for my anti-religious attitude have included non-belief, qualms with institutionalizing personal matters such as faith, and calling into question the ability of religious texts to provide and promote a level playing field for the sexes. I do not consider myself a crazed feminist who feels that all humans should be considered asexual beings: I do feel that there are traditional characteristics that the majority of women should (and will) play into (I will allow my boyfriend to treat me to a meal if he so desires). However, I consider the problem to arise when a woman’s “proper place” is dictated as such by an outside voice – whether that voice is male, female, societal, or textual. I have come to see religion in this light: both in structure and in language, many religions place the emphasis and preference on the male gender (e.g. Eve as a sinner, male-only priests, Mary Magdalene labeled as a prostitute).
Similarly, my first en...

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...brace Muslim Faith.” The Independent. Accessed 18 Feb from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-islamification-of-britain-record-numbers-embrace-muslim-faith-2175178.html

“Tony Blair’s Sister-in-Law Lauren Booth Converts to Islam After a ‘Holy Experience’ in Iran” (2010). Mail Online. Accessed 18 Feb from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1323278/Tony-Blairs-sister-law-Lauren-Booth-converts-Islam-holy-experience-Iran.html

van Nieuwkerk, Karen (2006). Women Embracing Islam: Gender and Conversion in the West. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. Accessed 14 Apr from http://www.thedivineconspiracy.org/Z5254C.pdf

“Why ARE so many modern British Career women converting to Islam?” (2010). Mail Online. Accessed 18 Feb from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1324039/Like-Lauren-Booth-ARE-modern-British-career-women-converting-Islam.html

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