I’m a Convert & Muslims Often Tear Me Down as Much as Non-Muslims

  • Amber Nicole

    what good did bringing any race into this do? Along with political stance? I’m not attacking you Amanda, you’ve known me nearly 20 years and should know I’d not do that but this makes me more confused than anything. Being raised in the Latter Day Saints church I completely understand what it’s like to be attacked over a religion. I just do not understand where your going with this one. Hit me up when ya can

  • Aaqib Khan

    I have to ask Amanda, what is bothering you exactly…?
    Do reply

  • Caryn

    This article spoke to me on so many levels! I wear hijab proudly but because my skin is a little darker and my eyebrows are dark brown, I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds. I feel like wearing the hijab emphasizes the aspects of my appearance that are considered ‘exotic’ by our hypersexualized society. I feel like I’m faking being ‘ethnic.’ Additionally, I feel like, as a white girl in hijab, I get a lot more attention from muslim guys than other sisters. I feel like muslim guys see me as somewhat easier (dare I say sluttier?) than sisters who were born muslim and have muslim families that they live with.

  • Kawthar

    Amanda, I can related as well to some of your feelings about being a white Muslim choosing to wear hijab or not wear hijab. I, too, sometimes fear I am letting my sisters in Islam down by choosing not to wear hijab and by living as a “hidden Muslim.” I was a hijabi for some time, but a few years after 9/11 I began to find that as a teacher I was hindered so much at my job that I could not make the impact I went into the profession to make. Anything I taught became invalidated by the impressions of Islam the students and parents already carried. Parents told their children they didn’t have to listen to or respect me and the administration supported them. My husband and children lived in fear for me and for themselves when they went out in public with me. It was a hard decision for me to make, but I see now that I can teach my high school history students to see the world differently and to through away stereotypes and generalization of all peoples and trust facts above fear and propaganda. If I wore the hijab, I could be that example they needed to see, but unfortunately most of my students would see me as bias and this would lessen my positive impact. Instead they never know with any certainty what my religion is, therefore are more trusting of what I teach and often leave my class questioning their previously conceived notions of colored and marginalized peoples. Here is where I can stand with my Muslim brothers and sisters to improve the way my country sees us and other minorities. I am pleased to see that you want to make this choice for the right reasons. I personal feel oppressed from the right to wear hijab freely in my own country. As for some of your other concerns about being treated as if your are not really Muslim because you are a white convert by those born to the faith, remember this, Islam is a religion not a culture or race and it encompasses the entire planet. Islam is diverse and it practiced differently in every culture. Like all religions, there will always be those who confuse their religion and their culture and those who feel the need to save humanity by telling everyone else how to practice. These people need to worry a little more about their own behavior and less about yours. There have been numerous times over last 26 years that I have listened to a Muslim telling me what is right and what is wrong; in which my response, whether aloud or in my head, has been “What Qur’an are you reading?” One of the beauties of Islam is that there does not need to be a mediator or translator between you and Allah. Trust your heart and stay true to your faith. Allah is all merciful and gracious.