What Does an American Convert to Islam Look Like?

Often, nothing like you’d expect. http://slate.me/213WaUc
  1. After 9/11, it wasn’t easy to be a Muslim in America.
  2. Claire Beckett was troubled by the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment following the attacks.
  3. She started observing a class at her local mosque — it was aimed at women considering conversion to Islam.
  4. There, she met the people who would eventually become the focus of her project, “The Converts.”
  5. Beckett disputes the notion that Islam is inherently un-American, or that America is inherently un-Muslim.
  6. “I intend for my photographs to open up questions for the viewer, to allow someone seeing this work to think through the issues on their own,” she says.
  7. The people in the pictures come from very different backgrounds; and since they’ve converted, their lives have continued to follow unique paths.
  8. Some converted decades ago, while others changed faiths more recently.
  9. Most of their families were supportive, though new converts often faced some initial doubts and concern.
  10. Beckett hopes her project will help to change the way Americans think about (and look at) their Muslim neighbors.