Conversion Narratives

BBC did a documentary called Make Me a Muslim, about female converts to Islam in the UK.  I’ve watched it twice now, and I’m linking it here because I think that even though it’s not about Judaism (where is the documentary about female converts to Judaism?), it shows a lot of issues related to conversion, and particularly conversion to a more traditional or restrictive religion.  It’s interesting to see the universalities as well as the differences, among people who have embraced faith, or a different faith than the one they grew up in.  (I grew up secular, personally.)

Funny:  As a prospective Orthodox Jewish convert, the sequence where the one convert speaks of “halalifying” her wardrobe really speaks to me, particularly as I “efsharified” (“tzniutified”?) my wardrobe too!

It’s also significant to me that it’s about female converts — primarily, from the presenter’s perspectve, as “Why would these women take on all these restrictions?”

I also liked the parts where the presenter talks to the converts’ families, and the converts talk about their families, since this is a huge issue for me as well.  I’m still not “out” to most people, including my family, although the rabbi and I are planning on talking about this next week.  This documentary also talks about the difficulties converts can have being accepted into their new communities, and about struggling with practice, all areas where would-be Jews also may have problems.  I think this is a must-watch for anybody who’s interested in the religious conversion experience, even though it’s specifically about Muslim converts.

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