Filed Under:

Making The Switch: An American Woman's Journey To Islam

Play associated audio

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Karen Danielson converted to Islam three decades ago, was she was 19. She was raised Catholic, and then later became a Baptist and enrolled in a Baptist college, where she picked up the Koran. Now, she's the director of outreach at the Chicago chapter of the Muslim American Society.

Her experience is not as unusual as it may seem; some 20 percent of American Muslims are converts. Leaving one religion for another can be a complicated process for anyone, but in the United States converting to Islam can mean making some especially difficult personal choices, at least for some people. That was the case for Danielson.

"Islam is not about converting culture. It's about converting faith and spirituality and understanding. And I can still be American, through and through, even if I'm wearing a headscarf and even if I'm dressing in what might appear to be something foreign."

Join Our Sunday Conversation

Do you judge Muslim women who wear headscarves? Tell us on Weekend Edition's Facebook page or in the comment section below.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

So This Is How They Do It! Zebras Getting Stripes

The pink on a flamingo? Stripes on a zebra? Spots on a giraffe? All explained. Simply. Elegantly. Oddly.
NPR

Can Wal-Mart Really Make Organic Food Cheap For Everyone?

The giant retailer says it's adding a new line of organic food that's at least 25 percent cheaper. But a large-scale production and supply of organic food likely can't be achieved overnight.
NPR

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Obama travels to Malaysia next week, where the government is under fire for the handling of a missing airliner. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Joshua Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.
NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.