What Does an American Convert to Islam Look Like?
Often, nothing like you’d expect. http://slate.me/213WaUc
- •After 9/11, it wasn’t easy to be a Muslim in America.
- •Claire Beckett was troubled by the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment following the attacks.
- •She started observing a class at her local mosque — it was aimed at women considering conversion to Islam.
- •There, she met the people who would eventually become the focus of her project, “The Converts.”
- •Beckett disputes the notion that Islam is inherently un-American, or that America is inherently un-Muslim.
- •“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.
- •The people in the pictures come from very different backgrounds; and since they’ve converted, their lives have continued to follow unique paths.
- •Some converted decades ago, while others changed faiths more recently.
- •Most of their families were supportive, though new converts often faced some initial doubts and concern.
- •Beckett hopes her project will help to change the way Americans think about (and look at) their Muslim neighbors.