This week we are featuring a radio documentary from KALW’s The Spiritual Edge. Host and Reporter Hana Baba explores the motivations and challenges of converts as they carve out a uniquely American path for being Muslim in the United States.
As a student and basketball player at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s, Abdul Raoof Nasir joined the Nation of Islam. In the years that followed, he was forced to make a choice: stay with the Nation or go with one of the groups that splintered away from it.
Raul Gonzalez lives in the Chicago area and converted to Islam twenty years ago. He has been trying to answer the question of how to reconcile his identity as a Latino — and Muslim — ever since.
Sofie Lovern is a Latina convert and comedienne who learned the difficulty of trying to merge two very different cultures in a marriage, even when their religions were the same. Her struggle with marriage is not uncommon with new convert women who are often rushed into marriage. Her marriage fails, but her comedy brings her through it all. She emerges unmarried but still Muslim.