Thursday, 6 January 2011

'Converts' to Islam

Catrin Nye, BBC News, Converting to Islam - the white Britons becoming Muslims, 4 Jan 2011

"As 22-year-old Aisha Uddin recites Surah Al-Fatiha - the first chapter of the Koran - at home with close friend Sameeah Karim, she may stumble over one word but otherwise the text is perfectly recounted."

"But unlike Sameeah, 35, who has Pakistani heritage and grew up reading the holy book, Aisha is newer to it: she used to be called Laura and only converted to Islam two years ago."

Also see:

BBC News - 'Why I decided to convert to Islam', 4 Jan 2011: "Up to 100,000 converts to Islam are living in the UK, with white women leading the growing number of people embracing the Muslim faith, according to a report by Kevin Brice of Swansea University.

"The study, on behalf of the Faith Matters organisation, found 5,200 people converted to Islam in the UK last year."

The above link also has a recording of a radio interview from BBC Radio Wales (very interesting, but I couldn't embed it!).

Report on Converts to Islam in the UK: A Minority Within a MinorityThe Faith Matters' website has much more information, including a pdf of the report: M.A. Kevin Brice, A Minority within a Minority: A Report on Converts to Islam in the United Kingdom. I've just downloaded a copy, so have added it to my ever expanding reading list: I'm interested in the statistics and methodology issues, as well as the commentary.

Miscellaneous press reaction, headlines (and readers' comments) can be found at Jack Doyle, Mail Online, How 100,000 Britons have chosen to become Muslim... and average convert is 27-year-old white woman, 5 Jan 2011 and Jerome Taylor and Sarah Morrison, The Independent, The Islamification of Britain: record numbers embrace Muslim faith, 4 Jan 2011. Also see the commentary from In My Trends, Faith Matters Report On Conversion To Islam In UK Becomes A Media Scare Story