Are Converts News?

Growing up in Mexico, I had a very rudimentary understanding of religion and religious diversity. While the national census showed that about 80% of Mexicans practiced Catholicism, I was raised an atheist. My parents, born Catholics, had left religion during their teenage years for various reasons. My paternal grandfather (who was never really religious either) still likes to tell his story: His grandmother had a painting of Virgin Mary in the living room and would tell my grandpa to say a small … [Read more...]

The “Cool” Muslims of Contemporary Islam: Female Converts and their Presence in the Media

As a convert to Islam, I have had other Muslims ask me, particularly in settings where I have discussed Islamic feminism and LGBTQ2/S rights, whether or not I converted to be one of the “cool” Muslims that are often times presented in the media. By “cool,” people often mean not-orthodox.  (I started preparing this post before the discussion in the comments of Nicole’s post last week, but those comments emphasise the privilege that comes alongside getting to choose to be one of the “cool” ones.) … [Read more...]

Dutch as Such: “Delfts Blauw Meets Hijab”

“Delfts blauw meets hijab” is the title of a new Dutch documentary analyzing the experience of female Dutch converts to Islam and, at the same time, exploring the compatibility (or lack of) between so-called “Dutch identity” with “Muslim values.”  The documentary, created by Janina Pigaht, follows the experience of young Dutch women, Laura, Marion, Djamila, Anne-Marie and Elsa, who chose Islam in spite of an increasingly anti-Muslim sentiment in society.As the director herself says, “Sometime … [Read more...]