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In the Name of God بسم الله

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Hello sis. My guess is that many Muslims are migrants from muslim-majority countries and they might have the mindset that Islam is their culture rather than a religion for all. And so when they see a convert they see someone who does not fit into what they percieve as coming from "Muslim culture," so they kind of keep them at arms length. And maybe they assume they know everything about Islam and reverts are more ignorant. But I believe that the newer generations are more open minded about marriage and acceptance of Muslims of all backgrounds, so in a few decades the communities will be a lot better (hopefully). These are just my guesses as to why but I'm not 100% sure. I just know that what you are saying is completely true and it's very sad. 

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@ Sakina Fatimah

Don't worry about those people, they are Ignorant and so culturally grown that they think Islam is just limited for them. I'd rather say Do not even Mingle with such people they would upset/ hurt you further more. They are very few handful people who aredifferent to what you described above and thos handful are not so common in gatherings.

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Alaikumsalam,

Ameen I wish the same for you. Oh I am sorry about that honestly though its not like with time they do not accept you but you still feel that distance. Example me being a girl other girls who are my mates n shia have gotten several proposal meanwhile I feel I am viewed as someone with baggage although I am told otherwise about how nice it is I converted and about my sins being erase n so on so forth. Alhamdulilah i am grateful but I do wonder why this is the case. Many others may not feel strong enough to convert because of these challenges. 

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Assalamu alaykum sister,

The commonest denominator in all answers- culture, culture, culture.

Reverts are not integrated into the culture of the community that they come to live with. And as sister @ireallywannaknow has also pointed out, many cultural practices are too mixed with Islam these days for our own good; this is not to say that it is necessarily bad, or un-Islamic, but when cultural biases and habits begin to overshadow what the deen dictates, it is time to review our priorities. On the other hand, the reverts' understanding of Islam is usually through the primary sources- Qur'an, ahadith, writings of the Ulama, and through secular Western scholarship, devoid of any cultural hue, so there's a disconnect here. The reverts often don't speak the same language, are not a part of the family/kinship networks which the others in the community are enmeshed in, and do not always look the same as others. These factors contribute to a not-so-subtle 'other'ization  of the reverts, and the reverts face the resultant problems- loneliness, isolation and neglect, communication issues, having to marry someone whom probably no one else in the community would marry, feeling judged etc etc. 

As a revert myself, I must unequivocally confess that this is a huge put off.

But alhamdulillah, things are beginning to look better. As the generations progress, the migrant Muslim communities as well as the reverts will coalesce around a common, organically formed Western Muslim culture. We have an increasing number of English-speaking ulama, da'is and muballigheen in the West. Nearly all our maraja (may Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى lengthen their lives) have English-speaking representatives in the Western countries, and the lectures in the Islamic centers in the West are now increasingly in English. A lot needs to be done, no doubt- our mosques, Hussainiyyahs and centers need to be de-culturized, and communities need to become more sensitive and caring towards reverts so that they don't feel isolated or left out. On the other hand, the reverts must also make some effort to know and understand the culture of their host communities, since social transactions don't happen in a cultural vacuum, and the effort to know each other and integrate must be reciprocal.

Inshallah, things will improve, and we shall turn into a trans-national, multi-cultural, polyphonic community, as our Holy Imams (as), and indeed, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى in his Book wished us to be.

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I guess part of them are hesitant similar to how often people are not willing to marry outside of their ethnic background(example how Arabs will almost never want to marry Asians) however I think specifically in the case of reverts/converts it shouldn't be like this and they should be made to feel welcome and I completely despise this behavior and would also love to meet someone who's a convert/revert as it's something I admire and usually their faith and belief is much stronger than someone who is born a Shia as they went through a lot just for that belief and thus must be very firm about it.

That's just me though but I'm sure there are other people who think the same :)

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Story of my life. I took shahada at 14, became shi'a 3 years ago. As a teen i was an extrovert but im now a serious introvert; too muslim for my nonmuslim peers (im 29 now), too white/not outwardly religious enough for my muslim peers. One foot in each world but never quite belonging to either.

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It's interesting to me that some reverts say that they have difficulty to be with other Shias in a mosque. Some even say that born Shia Muslims do not consider reverts a good Muslim. These are strange. I've been at mosques a lot, and sometimes I work there. I've never had this experience that some may disregard a convert. Maybe I didn't have enough exposure to reverts to see and hear their words. Even if this is true and some born Muslims may think like that, it shows that those born Muslims are not converted to true Islam from the beginning regardless of living 30-40 years in an Islamic environment.

Edited by AmirAlmuminin Lover

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On 4/29/2018 at 1:53 PM, SakinaFatimah said:

Hi I am a shia convert Alhamdulilah since the past 4 years and honestly it has been incredible at the same time it has been difficult aswell. I just wanted to know why is it so diffcult for shia community to take a revert and make him/her a part of their family and even takes them time to make him/her a part of their community. Especially seeing that a convert already faces the bigger challenge of going against their parents and entire family to believe but these difficulties I would suppose would dishearten several individual who would like to convert. Any comments on this?

Salaam sister,

Sorry you have to go through this. 

The problem stems from a lot of the shia communities being relatively new to the US (25 years or less). So they are busy trying to find their place here...how to be Muslim and Anerican resulting in reverts and their issues being put on the back burner. 

I think you will find more established shia communities being more welcoming, some will even have outreach programs, etc.

If possible, perhaps you might look into moving to city a city with well established shia communities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Toronto (if you are in Canada). 

You will find a good support group on SC until then.

Edited by ShiaMan14

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Shades of Racism in our community

breaking boundaries - challenging Racism and Stereotype part1

breaking boundaries - challenging Racism and Stereotype part2

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I was pretty active on here a few years ago & was even going to a masjid (Sunni) in the next town over for a while to listen and study.

Then a lot of the more, shall we say, "outspoken" older men started speaking about some Islamic missionary work taking place in Jamaica in some ways that I found to be extremely upsetting and very off-putting, so I disappeared off of the radar after that.

Just had a wild hair up my nose and decided to revisit this forum the other night.

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I don't wanna generalize but it has everything to do with the flawed mindset of many immigrant Muslims who don't wanna integrate with anyone except Shias who are from the same country as them. Parents are unfortunately training their children to only mingle with Shias who have similar cultural values. We need to stop our future generations from having this sort of toxic mindset.

Parents will come and try to create a little Pakistan, Iran or Afghanistan etc. They care more about culture than religion. The priority of parents is that their children become Shia the traditional way they themselves were raised. The consequence is that there is no unity, and it would be harder for reverts to integrate.

We need to give young Western Muslims leadership roles, who can understand reverts better in my opinion. The newer generation is more open, trust me. Living in a Western country, where you interact with people of different backgrounds etc. Just makes you realize that we're all essentially the same. 

Inshallah our mosques will changing slowly, we all need to understand the message of Ahlulbayt (as) better. We're all the same.

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1 hour ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

[...]We need to give young Western Muslims leadership roles, who can understand reverts better in my opinion. The newer generation is more open, trust me. Living in a Western country, where you interact with people of different backgrounds etc. Just makes you realize that we're all essentially the same. 

Inshallah our mosques will changing slowly, we all need to understand the message of Ahlulbayt (as) better. We're all the same.

Here's a rather pressing question that has been on my mind for a few months now:

Do you see Islam as a whole growing to be far more influential in Western culture in the coming years?

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1 hour ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

I don't wanna generalize but it has everything to do with the flawed mindset of many immigrant Muslims who don't wanna integrate with anyone except Shias who are from the same country as them. Parents are unfortunately training their children to only mingle with Shias who have similar cultural values. We need to stop our future generations from having this sort of toxic mindset.

Parents will come and try to create a little Pakistan, Iran or Afghanistan etc. They care more about culture than religion. The priority of parents is that their children become Shia the traditional way they themselves were raised. The consequence is that there is no unity, and it would be harder for reverts to integrate.

We need to give young Western Muslims leadership roles, who can understand reverts better in my opinion. The newer generation is more open, trust me. Living in a Western country, where you interact with people of different backgrounds etc. Just makes you realize that we're all essentially the same. 

Inshallah our mosques will changing slowly, we all need to understand the message of Ahlulbayt (as) better. We're all the same.

Salam 

It’s funny people do this 

I don’t understand why don’t they go back to there own home country if they want to live like that 

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1 hour ago, GD41586 said:

Here's a rather pressing question that has been on my mind for a few months now:

Do you see Islam as a whole growing to be far more influential in Western culture in the coming years?

Not as long as immigrants put culture before religion.

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22 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Not as long as immigrants put culture before religion

Salam New Generations will more understand western countries BTW if immigrants bring some good aspects of their culture to western countries like as their hospitality it will be beneficial for western culture too but problem is not about culture the problem is a kind of their racism & tribalism which causes troubles for new converts.

Edited by Ashvazdanghe

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Just now, Ashvazdanghe said:

Salam New Generations will more understand western countries BTW if immigrants bring some good aspects of their culture to western countries like as their hospitality it will be beneficial fro western culture too. 

I agree 100%

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I'm going to forward an idea that isn't truly mine & isn't revolutionary in any sense of the word, but one that would still get me torn to pieces in America from the more "socially conscious" younger university students.

I believe that Islam will most likely come to replace Western culture entirely by the end of my lifetime.

With the demographic shift that I see happening in Europe to the fact that my country is falling apart at the seams, it would appear that the Western model is unsustainable for the future of human civilization ie: there will be a largely feudal structure once the few families/companies have finished consolidating their hold on power and the rest of the world will have to fall in line underneath one of them in order to be able to access the type of "lifestyle" that we have grown addicted and accustomed to over here.

My curiosity is that whether the powers of the West have systematically oppressed the Islamic nations in order to stifle the growth of Islam as a political philosophy for the fear of its universality in application being a force for liberating mankind from the prison that the capitalist West has built for itself, for those at the top are just as much prisoners as us at the bottom rungs of the ladder. It should be clear to any observer who is honest with herself now that the Western world has failed to provide a solution to the very real challenges of the twenty first century & not only that, but that the leaders of these nations know this yet choose to pursue these ineffective courses of action simply due to the fact that no one can imagine ANY alternative to them.

It is said by historians that in the last days of the Soviet Union, this was generally the attitude that the society had: realize that the house is burning to the ground and continue to calmly sit and watch sport on television while telling yourself "Oh, this is only temporary".

I'm already mentally preparing for how drastic the change in lifestyle is going to be when the night falls for the United States, I have been a student of history myself, so I know that global powers throughout history tend to decay and eventually collapse. It would be presumptuous to believe that America and the Westernized nations of Europe would be able to sustain their value system forever. People are simply too wicked at heart.

 

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2 hours ago, GD41586 said:

It is said by historians that in the last days of the Soviet Union, this was generally the attitude that the society had: realize that the house is burning to the ground and continue to calmly sit and watch sport on television while telling yourself "Oh, this is only temporary".

 

Imam Khomeini (ra) letter to Gorbachev:how he predicted fall of USSR 

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4891/Revisiting-Imam-Khomeini-s-Letter-to-Gorbachev-How-did-he-predict

 

 

Imam Khomeini tried to warn the Soviet president against following the destructive path of Western liberal capitalism.The pro-Western path chosen after the collapse of the USSR turned out to be catastrophic for Russia and many of neighboring ex-Soviet republics.

by Anastasia (Fatima) Ezhova*

 

Shevardnadze and Khomeini meeting in 1986 (Farsi video)

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/5380/Here-is-why-Imam-Khomeini-penned-a-letter-to-Gorbac

Ayatollah Khomeini [ra) letter to president of Soviet Union Michael Gorbachev about communism ( Farsi video)

ZTheir effort to create Islamophobia will produce the opposite result. Their actions will make the youth curious about Islam. If the masses of the people in the world are given a little nudge and if we attract their attention, they will begin to understand why the Zionist press and television networks - those which are dependent on powerful and well-to-do cliques - launch so many attacks on Islam.

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/5418/Zionists-efforts-to-promote-Islamophobia-will-be-counterproductive

 

Aleksey Tolstoy is a very good writer, and he has produced excellent novels. He was one of the pro-revolutionary writers of Russia, and his works contain the taste of modern times.

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/5395/Aleksey-Tolstoy-was-a-pro-revolutionary-author-with-excellent

ionists' efforts to promote Islamophobia will John Steinbeck, who has written several novels like “The Grapes of Wrath” and other such novels which are very well-known, was subject to the most difficult pressures. Anyone in America who used any word that reeked of socialism – not that it was really about socialism, rather if it gave off a faint smell of socialism – would become subject to all sorts of pressures ranging from physical harm to character assassination. 

be counterproductive: Ayatollah Khame

Edited by Ashvazdanghe

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In the course of a hundred years or more, they had planned every detail of how to organize the emergence of the socialist and then the communist system in the world. They said, "There is no doubt about it. This is how it is. Whether you say 'should' or 'shouldn't', Marxism will take its trend towards conquering the entire world." Today there is nothing left in the world from the irrevocable irrefutable events the Marxists imagined.

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/5644/Like-Marxism-Globalization-will-also-be-invalidated-over-time

3 hours ago, GD41586 said:

I'm already mentally preparing for how drastic the change in lifestyle is going to be when the night falls for the United States, I have been a student of history myself, so I know that global powers throughout history tend to decay and eventually collapse. It would be presumptuous to believe that America and the Westernized nations of Europe would be able to sustain their value system forever. People are simply too wicked at heart.

 

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/3514/The-American-by-Howard-Fast-shows-the-failure-of-US-election

 

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/3393/Umberto-Eco-s-The-Name-of-the-Rose-a-fiction-based-on-fact

 

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4040/What-s-on-Ayatollah-Khamenei-s-bookshelf-This-time-Karl-Popper-s

 

https://ahtribune.com/author.html?id=984

 

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4390/Carlyle-wasn-t-Muslim-but-he-recognized-truths-within-Qur-an

 

Edited by Ashvazdanghe

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