Source: The St. Petersburg Times
On October 7, 2002 The St. Petersburg Times reported that "every year, about 20,000 people in the United States convert to Islam, in addition to those who convert in prison, according to a study conducted last year by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Of these converts, there are more women than men, the majority of them young and unmarried, says Hodan Hassan, spokeswoman for CAIR. In the past year, Muslim women have frequently been called upon to defend their role in their faith. But young women who convert to Islam often face an additional challenge: persuading their families to accept their decisions. Islam insists that people maintain close family ties and show respect for their parents. For those who are going against their parents' wishes merely by practicing Islam, negotiating a balance can prove difficult."