Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Why Are Black People Turning to Islam?

Richard Reddie, author and researcher, asks in the Guardian (Monday, 5th October 2009) why are black people turning to Islam? His research has led him to write his book "Black Muslims in Britain: Why are a growing Number of Young Black people are Converting to Islam?" In the Guardian article he argues that:

"One of the first issues I became aware of was the fact that many converts feel uncomfortable with the term "black Muslim", as they regard themselves as part of a worldwide community of believers who do not recognise "race". However, others are less reticent about associating their blackness with being a Muslim, and believe that Islam is the "natural religion of black people" and provides the means for full "spiritual, mental and physical liberation" from an oppressive system designed to subjugate them.

My research reveals that there is no one, straightforward reason for conversions, but a plethora of theological, emotional and cultural motivations. Practically all those interviewed suggested that Islam had given their lives meaning and woken them from a spiritual malaise. Others said that their faith provided inspiration and strength to engage with a society they regarded as corrupted by materialism and moral relativism. And for those whose lives had previously been errant, Islam's decisiveness on a range of religious and socio-cultural matters had given them a focus and an anchor. Equally, many of the women interviewed suggested that the Islamic focus on modesty had liberated them from the rampant fashion-related consumerism that objectifies all women, and sexualises pre-pubescent girls"

You can read the full article here.

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