British Women Converting to Islam for “Feminist Reasons”

Alert reader and student Nick Barnes pointed me to this article from the British semi-tabloid Daily Mail about modern British career women embracing Islam. The author, who was raised as a Muslim but rejected that faith because it cramped her style too much, interviewed several high-profile converts, including Tony Blair’s sister-in-law and a former MTV reporter.

Most of these women lived “in the fast lane” in their youth and ultimately found that lifestyle meaningless. They got so fed up with being pressured for sex and being worried about what clothes to wear that they were willing to embrace a religion that rejects most things Western. They have persuaded themselves that they can separate the teachings of Islam from the way that all Islamic societies have always viewed and treated women . . . good luck with that!

Those who mentioned Christianity viewed it purely as an “ask-God-to-fix-things-when-they’re-broken” way of thinking. With more people attending mosque than church each week in Britain these days, it’s not surprising that people would view Islam as the primary alternative to 21st-century superficiality. The Church of England’s modernism has rendered it completely incapable of engaging this culture, and no other group has a large enough presence to speak on behalf of Christianity except Roman Catholics, whose history in Britain gives them a huge handicap. But of course Christianity offers what these converts to Islam were looking for; it just wasn’t on display anywhere that they could see. There’s no culture left that embraces Christianity to the degree that some cultures embrace Islam so that the full social impact of it can be seen.

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About Dr. J

I am an Associate Professor and head of the Department of Humanities at Faulkner University. I am also Associate Editor of the Journal of Faith and the Academy.
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2 Responses to British Women Converting to Islam for “Feminist Reasons”

  1. Alethia Clark says:

    I agree that no culture exists that embraces Christianity as much as some cultures embrace Islam, but there are a few good examples out there such as Ireland and other predominately Catholic countries that have a pro-life policy. That’s something right?

    • Dr. J says:

      I haven’t been to Ireland in sixteen years, but my understanding is that secularization is pretty far advanced there with the rising generation. The EU has played a role in that, but other factors are at work, too.

      I’m glad to see you commenting here, Alethia!

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