Islam Attracts Unprecedented Numbers of Latina Converts

December 27, 2004

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On December 27, 2004 The Christian Science Monitor reported, "at [the] Union City, N.J., Mosque, women account for more than half of the Latino Muslims who attend services here. Nationwide, there are about 40,000 Latino Muslims in the United States, according to the Islamic Society of North America. Many of the Latina converts say that their belief that women are treated better in Islam was a significant factor in converting. Critics may protest that wearing the veil marks a woman as property, but some Latina converts say they welcome the fact that they are no longer whistled at walking down a street. 'People have an innate response that I'm a religious person, and they give [me] more respect,' says Jenny Yanez, another Latina Muslim. 'You're not judged if you're in fashion or out of fashion.' Other Latina Muslims say they also like the religion's emphasis on fidelity to one's spouse and family... Latinos account for six percent of the 20,000 Muslim conversions in the United States each year, according to a report published by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Anecdotal evidence suggests this number may be rising. But that doesn't mean it's getting any easier for the women who make this choice."