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Download Becoming Muslim: Western Women's Conversions to Islam by A. Mansson McGinty PDF

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By A. Mansson McGinty

Whereas Islam has turn into a arguable subject within the West, more and more Westerners locate strong that means in Islam. changing into Muslim is an ethnographic examine according to in-depth interviews with Swedish and American ladies who've switched over to Islam. continuing from the women's life-stories, the writer explores the charm of Islam to a few Western ladies and the non-public that means assigned to the faith. whereas conversion is usually perceived as entailing a dramatic switch in worldview, the women's studies element to an both very important continuity. particularly, the conversion is caused via specific own principles and quests, and inside Islam the ladies can additional discover already salient recommendations. The paintings appeals to scholars within the fields of anthropology, spiritual reviews, psychology, and women's experiences, drawn to identification, conversion, and gender.

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Additional resources for Becoming Muslim: Western Women's Conversions to Islam (Culture, Mind and Society)

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This section deals with how the women present a certain conversion narrative that translates “inner” to “outer,” drawing partly on cultural representations that are used to objectify personal experiences. The converts often seem to use moral discourses, claiming how life should be lived. These can be ideas about gender roles, political standpoints, or religious ideals. Narratives can be understood and read on several different levels. In part II I explore the psychological salience of the ideas expressed by the women, and how experiences and knowledge are organized within a cognitive framework.

Today, she and her husband belong to a Sufi group in California. 1 Mariam met him when she came back to the United States after her fieldwork. Today they have five children and belong to a small Sufi community. Mariam does not work outside the home but runs a “home-school” for two of her children. Fatimah belongs to the same Sufi group as Mariam. She was born in the mid-1950s, in a city “in the middle of Western America,” and, like Mariam, was brought up in a home where religion was an important part of life.

In my encounter with Zarah, the interview itself became a moment when Zarah openly and critically contemplated the different reasons why she actually converted to Islam. In the dialogue below, she is stepping away, looking at her own life from the outside, as the other, asking herself as much as trying to give me answers. After each of my questions and her own responses to these, there were often long silences. ”, what do you think made you think like that from previously thinking “no, I will never convert”?

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