One Woman's Journey from Catholicism to Islam

November 6, 2002

Source: The Plain Dealer

On November 6, 2002 The Plain Dealer reported that "in eighth grade, [Meghan O'Connor] walked to her neighborhood Catholic school, St. Wenceslas, in a plaid uniform skirt. At 20, she was a party girl and single mother. Today, she covers her hair with the hijab, the traditional scarf that signifies modesty for Muslim women. 'The women's issue was huge for me,' O'Connor said. 'I found that all the pressure to look thin and the lines fed to us - equal opportunity to expose our bodies - weren't good for me. As I studied, Islam seemed more empowering. When I learned about its early history, that women were judges, teachers and doctors 1,500 years ago, that we keep our own names, that blew me away... It made more sense to see Jesus as a great prophet... It wasn't that I was religion shopping. But from then on, it seemed I wasn't letting go of much. I was just clarifying what I thought.' O'Connor's approach is in line with Islamic thinking, which doesn't use the term 'convert.' Its scholars prefer 'revert,' to capture the sense that the whole of humanity is born into Islam, said Imam Fawz Damra, leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland. Individuals simply capitalize on this birthright to varying degrees."