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rinard

New Face

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Although religion is no longer dominates everyday life in Western society, Islam becomes the fastest-growing religion in America and in the world?

A NATION CHALLENGED: AMERICAN MUSLIMS; Islam Attracts Converts By the Thousand, Drawn Before and After Attacks

By JODI WILGOREN

Source: The New York Times: October 22, 2001, Monday

Section: National Desk

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/3016/fastest.htm

"Islam is the fastest-growing religion in America, a guide and pillar of stability for many of our people..." Hillary Rodman Clinton, Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1996, p.3

Famous people are affected too:

Singer "Cat Stevens" Hear his story as told him

http://www.islamtomorrow.net/converts/yusuf_islam.htm

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From what I've heard from different friends of mine who have converted to Islam, there are a few main reasons for most conversions.

1. Islam is a religious lifestyle, not just a quick Sunday morning church visit and a label. Although some Christians do pray before each meal and spend much time with their Bible, etc...many don't in the USA. Islam is something that can't be shunted into a few spare hours. You pray five times a day. Your dress code is affected, even your food choices are explained in the Qur'an. Many converts like it because they feel actively involved and as if they are truly religious.

2. For women, it is a big and welcome change from the "in your face" sexuality of western culture. Women are not required by the Qur'an to veil. They are required to dress modestly and it is *recommended* that they cover their hair. However, most do veil and some go farther with niquab (the face screen) or other traditional clothes . Women dressed like this consider themselves marked as religious women, not easy dates. They don't get hit on. No one gawks at their bodies. They are clearly off limits sexually and many that I personally know say it is liberating not to have to conform to western standards of sexy dress, makeup and spending so much time and money on appearence. You buy a five dollar hijab, put your hair in a ponytail and cover, wear long skirt and a tunic shirt -you're set.

3. Islam is also growing because many people are not satisfied with Christianity. They feel it is too liberal, too fluid and changes for the culture. Islam on the other hand is more rigid and does not as a whole allow much for modern changes and the whims of society. Many like it because they feel other religions have loose standards.

That's what I got from the new Muslimah's group at Yahoo, Islamway women's board and a few other friends of mine. Stats taken by many college groups say that women convert 4 times more often then men.

This is an example:

Why Are Women Turning to Islam

At a time when Islam is faced with hostile media coverage particularly where the status of women in Islam is concerned, it may be quite surprising to learn that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, and even more ironic to discover that the majority of converts to Islam are WOMEN .

The status of women is society is neither a new issue nor is it a fully settled one, and where Islam is mentioned, for many the term 'Muslim Women' prompts images of exhausted mothers chained to the stove, 'victims' suppressed in a life of indoctrination, frantic to be westernized and so on. Others will go to great lengths to explain how the hijaab is an obstacle, clouding the mind, and comment that female converts are either brainwashed, stupid or traitors to their sex. I reject such accusations and pose to them the following question: why is it that so many women who have been born and brought in the so called 'civilized' societies of Europe and America are willing to reject their 'liberty' and 'independence' to embrace a religion that supposedly oppresses them and is widely assumed to be prejudicial to them?

As a Christian convert to Islam, I can only present my personal experience and reasons for rejecting the 'freedom' that women claim to have in this society in favour of the only Religion that truly liberates women by giving us a status and position which is completely unique when compared with that of non-muslim counterparts. Before coming to Islam, I had strong feminist tendencies and recognized that where the women was concerned, a lot of shuffling around had been going on, yet without being able to pin her on the social map. The problem was ongoing: new 'women's issues' being raised without the previous ones being satisfactorily resolved. Like the many women who shared my background, I would accuse Islam of being a sexist religion, discriminating, oppressing and giving men the greater privileges. All this coming from a person who did not even know Islam, one who had been blinded due to ignorance and had accepted this deliberately distorted definition of Islam.

 

However, despite my criticisms of Islam, inwardly I wasn't satisfied with my own status as a women in this society. It seemed to me that society would define such terms as 'liberty' and 'freedom' and then these definitions were accepted by women without us even attempting to question or challenge them. There was clearly a great contradiction between what women were told in theory and what actually happens in practice.  The more I pondered, the greater emptiness I felt within. I was slowly beginning to reach a stage where my dissatisfaction with my status as a women in this society, was really a reflection of my greater dissatisfaction with society itself. Everything seemed to be degenerating backwards, despite the claims that the 2000 was going to be the decade of success and prosperity. Something vital seemed to be missing from my life and nothing would fill this vacuum. Being a Christian did not do anything for me, and I began to question the validity of only remembering God one day a week - Sundays! As with many other Christians too, I had become disillusioned with the hypocrisy of the Church and was becoming increasingly unhappy with the concept of Trinity and the deification of Jesus. Eventually, I began to look into Islam. At first, I was only interested in looking at those issues which specifically dealt with women. I was surprised. What I read and learned taught me a lot about myself as a woman, and also about where the real oppression of women lies: in every other system and way of life outside of Islam. Muslim women have been given their rights in every aspect of the religion with clear definitions of their role in society - as had men - with no injustice against either of them. As Allah says: Whoever does deeds of righteousness, be they male or female, and have faith, they will enter paradise and not the least injustice will be done to them [Nisaa 4:124]

So having amended my misconceptions about the true status of women in Islam, I was now looking further. I wanted to find that thing which was going to fill the vacuum in my life. My attention was drawn towards the beliefs and practices of Islam. It was only through establishing the fundamentals that I would understand where to turn and what to prioritize. These are often the areas which receive little attention or controversy in society, and when studying the Islamic Creed, it becomes clear why this is the case: such concise, faultless and wholly comprehensive details cannot be found elsewhere.

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Let there be no misunderstanding of my intentions. This post is not an assault on Christianity or any other religion.

It is indispensable for me to look for the truth and study comparative religion because if I would like to know whether a religion is true or false, I should not depend on my emotions, feelings, or traditions. Rather, I should depend on my reason and intellect. When God sent the prophets, He supported them with miracles and evidences, which proved that they were truly prophets, send by God and that the religion they came with was true.

God revealed a holy book to Jesus called the Injeel, some parts of which may be still available in the teachings of God to Jesus in the New Testament. But this does not mean that the Bible we have today because it is not the original scriptures that were revealed by God. They underwent alterations, additions, and omissions. This was also said by the Committee charged with revising The Holy Bible (Revised Standard Version). This Committee consisted of thirty-two scholars who served as members of the Committee. They secured the review and counsel of an Advisory Board of fifty representatives of the co-operating denominations. The Committee said in the Preface to The Holy Bible (Revised Standard Version), p. iv, “Sometimes it is evident that the text has suffered in transmission, but none of the versions provides a satisfactory restoration. Here we can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text.

The Committee also said in the Preface, p. vii, Notes are added which indicate significant variations, additions, or omissions in the ancient authorities (Mt 9.34; Mk 3.16; 7.4; Lk 24.32, 51, etc.).

My question is do we believe in the information declared in the following sites or not:

THE REAL STORY OF MARY

http://geocities.com/SoHo/Gallery/3001/storyofmary.htm

THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS

http://sultan.org/articles/Jesus.html

Who Was Jesus According to Jesus?

http://www.islaminfo.com

IS THE BIBLE GODS WORD?

http://www.jamaat.net/bible/Bible1-3.html

Women in Christianity and Islam

http://www.beconvinced.com/women/CH_IS.htm

The Bible - A Closer Look!

http://www.todayislam.com/bible.htm

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