Female converts to Islam facing growing scrutiny

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Malika MacDonald Rushdan, who converted in 1995 after divorcing her Christian husband, made her “shahada,” or declaration of faith, at the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge. Photo courtesy Malika MacDonald

Malika MacDonald Rushdan, who converted in 1995 after divorcing her Christian husband, made her “shahada,” or declaration of faith, at the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge. Photo courtesy Malika MacDonald

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BOSTON (RNS) Karen Hunt-Ahmed is part of a growing sorority of female American converts to Islam, especially those who are or were married to Muslim men, who must deal with the perception that they converted to Islam because of domineering boyfriends or husbands.

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  • Carl Ungerhaus

    Female American converts to Judaism have faced this scrutiny too, but the perception has been that they converted because of domineering mothers-in-law. [rimshot]

  • Allan

    Many times non-Muslim women who marry Muslim men in a muslim ceremony are converted to Islam in the course of the ceremony without their even being aware of it. It is the duty of Christians to make this very clear to their sons and daughters.

  • Really?

    Guess you’ve figured out that stealth jihad – marry the women and convert them so even they don’t know!!! Where did you hear/read about this??

    What a great Muslim someone would make if they didn’t even know they were Muslim. I didn’t even know it was possible for someone to convert to a religion without even knowing it! Guess it’s like those Mormons with folks that have long been buried.

  • Jamicam

    What? Where ever did you hear that??

    Besides, it is IMPOSSIBLE to convert without knowing it — to any religion. If you don’t hold the beliefs and make a conscious effort to identify yourself with the religion, then you have not converted. Plain and simple. No matter what it may say on a piece of paper.

  • zaheer

    Allan you speak out of ignorance of Islam no Christian woman automatically becomes a Muslim when she marries him– She has to take the shahdah in order to convert to Islam which is her conscious decision

  • Saeed Khan

    Islam is a way of life whose belief is based on reasoning and intellectual conviction. So contrary to the fiction of being ‘brainwashed’ a revert actually has to exert a monumental amount of thought before they accept Islam especially considering the backlash they will face from their ‘civilised’ and ‘extremely judgemental’ family, friends, work colleagues, media and community. Reverts are unlike millions of people who have accepted their faith blindly from their fathers and forefathers. May God give them guidance and keep them on the straight path and elevate their status.

  • Barbara

    Thanks for the comments about stealth conversion, that was so funny. I needed a laugh.

  • prismwriter

    Greetings Brother Allen. I’ve been a Muslim for 43 years. I’ve never heard, read, nor witnessed such a ceremony. By it’s very nature, both the wedding ceremony and the declaration of faith (which is entirely different) is predicated on the person doing so under no duress and by their free will. I don’t know where you got this information my brother in humanity, but it is tragically untrue.

  • Rashida

    That is ridiculous. You cannot be converted to Islam without your knowledge. Conversion involves actually submitting to God’s laws willingly. You can’t do that by mistake.

  • Baiter

    You are so funny, have you ever considered going into stand up comedy

  • Sudjanamihardja Elan

    i just wanna ask, where did you see or hear this anecdote?
    i just can NOT help laughing.

  • Jazaak Allahu Khieron Brother in today’s Society Islam is forever Under scrutiny and so many Double Standards but By The will Of Allah SWT and his Many blessings We Will All Over Come Some Day Inshallah Praise The Almighty The Most Gracious Most Merciful Most Forgiving creator Allah!Ameen!

  • i actually sent this out EDT SYDNEY AU time which is now 11am Thursday Morning hmm???? im so confused WOW!!! anyway Peace To ALL!

  • skittlesblah

    Um. No you are greatly mistaken. Someone can not be unaware of their conversion. Are you insane? You are only a Muslim, or a Christian or whatever, if you believe in the teachings of the faith. Stop being a bigot and spreading lies. Maybe the duty of Christians should be to teach their children to have faith in their own religion?

    But thanks for the laughs moron.

  • Candice

    I found this interesting…

    “There will always be those who judge based upon ignorance. They are of no concern to me,” said MacDonald Rushdan. “I will keep on doing what I’ve always done. I will not apologize for being a God-fearing woman whose faith provides her with inner peace and contentment.”

    That statement could have been made by any woman following a God based faith. And yet people of all faiths are ridiculed and demeaned by many. It’s sad, really.

  • Tauqir

    Allan, that’s not true at all.. Besides islam allows for muslim men to marry Christian and Jewish women.. We all worship the same God and believe in the same prophets..what purpose would a forced conversion serve, if that person doesn’t even practise the faith?

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  • idptl

    islam is a complete way of life.it is not limited to prayer at a particular time or place the qur’an governs every aspect of life including the manner of dress diet education earning a living and politics broadly speaking islam deals with our duties and obligation to the Almighty and our duties and obligation to fellow man and our duties and obligations to animals our duties and obligations toward the environment

  • Then Again …

    Must be like those Marilyn Manson concerts that turn you into a satan-worshipper without you even knowing it!

  • arif

    islam religion belongs to isa, musa, jacob, yahya, adam, and mohammed(peace be upon him) all…..great religion teaches great people….

  • Hossainali

    Islam is a monotheistic religion that is revealed by Allah the only GOD for the whole universe and the creation through the selected prophet like Adam, Ibrahim(Abraham),Moosa(Moses),Isha (Zizes-Christ)(May peace be on all them) and Mohammad(Sallalahuwalihawassallam) and many more.Religion is a thought based action oriented phenomenon.So nobody can argue that he/she do believe a religion without having any idea about it or without taking any action on it.Conversion without idea or action is a irresponsible or insane comment, you need to face a doctor.

  • Islam is a religion of monitisem and we belive on only one God(ALLAH). Like me allah leads the people to the right people

  • jillet

    its a personal choice to b a muslim,no one forces you,Allan u r so brainwashed,.

  • Atiq ur rahman khan

    Mrs,Morrow, asslam aleikum,warematullah barkatuhoo,
    I feel after having gone through the subject” Female converts to Islam are facing
    growing scrutiny” that you are being pressurized by group of powerful people to get you revert back to Christianity, so you are under tension. So you come to Saudi-Arabia to get peace of your mind and release mental tension, perform
    Omera or Hajj. This is a peaceful country in the world. I wish if I can be of any help to you. Feel free to inquire any question regarding the subject matter,Sincerely yours one muslim brother-Atiq.

  • Sara

    With absolutely no means to offend, only educate I share this with you my dear friend:

    There is no such thing as conversion to Islam without knowledge because in the Quran it says: 2:256: “there is no compulsion in religion”. Nobody can oblige you to be a muslim…even if you pronounce (or somebody asks you to pronounce) the words of declaration of faith (There is no God but The God(Allah in arabic) and Muhammed is his prophet and messenger)you are simply somebody who uttered some words… You don’t convert when you say words in Arabic, you convert when your soul starts believing in the only true God. The one that was worshiped by Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and all the other prophets…
    Surah 29- Al Ankaboot (chapter 29 in the Quran) says…
    “Do people think that they will be left (at ease) only on their saying, “We believe” and will not be put to any test? ”
    “Indeed We have tested those who were before them. So Allah will surely know the ones who are truthful, and He will surely know the liars. ”

    Beautiful chapter, I encourage you to read it, it can’t hurt! ^^

    God bless and may He forgive the one who wronged any of your brothers/sisters by doing something that might have offended them/you. Maybe they did it without knowledge and they meant good even if the outcome wasn’t great.