Some Muslims are scared to acknowledge cultural traditions other than their own for fear that they will lose their Muslim identity. Well, I’ve got news for you: there’s a difference between culture and religion.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world (although it is second in number of adherents). This is partly because of the growth of Muslim families, but it is also because of an increasingly large number of converts. However, what many Muslims don’t realize is that many of these new Muslims leave the faith after months or even years of being converts. See this article, “Why Are New Muslims Leaving the Faith?” from Islam21c. [...]
I’m not sure why, but statistics about American Muslims are hard to come by. Estimates run from a little over 1 million to 7 million. Part of the reason for the discrepancy is the confusion over how to define Muslim. Are we counting only practicing Muslims? What about those who are born Muslim, but no longer observe Islamic rituals? And an even bigger mystery is the rate of conversion or number of converts in the [...]
I’ve been struggling lately with the question: Who am I exactly? I thought I had a pretty good handle on that before I converted to Islam. Now I’m not so sure. Becoming a Muslim has turned me into something “other.” Before my conversion I belonged to the majority group: I was a white Protestant American. Now some people seem confused about my ethnicity and question whether or not I’m still an American. I can’t count [...]
While I can understand using Arabic terms and phrases if you speak Arabic, I don’t think Muslims who do this around American converts realize how alienating this can be. Not only do we not know what is being said, which makes us feel like outsiders, but we feel strange using the words ourselves, especially at first. I’m always torn between wanting to express myself in my own language and feeling like I should use the [...]
I came to Islam through the notion of cheap grace. I first heard of the term in the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor and theologian who was executed by the Nazis. In his book, The Cost of Discipleship (1948), he explained cheap grace this way: “Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like a cheapjack’s wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at [...]
The Islamic Center at New York University (ICNYU) has a program called Conver(t)sations, which is designed to facilitate communication between born Muslims and converts. The Imam of ICNYU is Khalid Latif and in this video he is moderating a panel of converts who have come together to share their stories. Born Muslims love to hear conversion stories, but are not so interested in hearing how the convert is doing after he or she becomes a [...]