Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Interview with a new revert to Islam: Sister Mercy Boeck

It has always been fascinating to see people from different locations, different back grounds who are compassionate and have the power to believe. It is further learning to all of us to see the reason for their conversion and belief in ONE GOD. In my short chat with Mercy Boeck I released that she is a young girl who is fighting against all odds of life. It is people like her who reassure your faith in humanity. I call her a little girl with big heart.
Mercy Boeck who was a Roman Catholic Christian is a 25 year old typical woman based in a small town in North Carolina, USA. She is married to the person whom she has known most of her life and lives with her husband and 4 cats. Only a few members of her family know that she is a revert to Islam, this being her husband and her mother, although her dad has an idea but she never discussed with him directly as she is worried about his reaction.
I remembered a verse from Quran, Chapter 2:38: We Said: Go forth from this (state) all; So surely there will come to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve.
I had a chance to interview her and observe all the good words she had to say.
Imaan: Salaam Aleykum
Mercy: Aleykum Salam

Imaan: How did your interest in Islam begin and what attracted you to Islam?
Mercy: It started in the 6th grade. I had a Muslim classmate and found the idea of praying 5 times a day more fulfilling I think than what I was used to having been raised Christian, but the interest didn’t fully blossom until a few years ago after viewing a picture drawn by a Muslim sister depicting a Muslimah and a nun enjoying a meal together. It had a link to a website [http://altmuslimah.com/] which led to another, and then to the website for Imam Suhiab Webb. And I enjoyed read the posts up there and listening to some of the lectures. I felt there were some gaps of course here and there I needed to learn more about Islam. And I did learn.

Imaan: What was the defining moment when you decided to revert to Islam?
Mercy: When I realized that my opinions with my current beliefs did not coincide with what I was hearing at church, the Islamaphobia, the hatred, and anger spewing out of the pulpits of the churches I attended towards those who are different.

Imaan: What was the reaction of your husband?
Mercy: My husband is supportive of me, and though he hasn’t reverted himself, he shares a lot of the same views of belief I do. He feels if this makes me happy then I should follow it.

Imaan: What challenges did you face at your workplace or in the society or from any other people?
Mercy: I’m not currently allowed to wear hijab, as my job is meant to be non-religious in type, but I think if I speak to the main manager I can probably be allowed to wear it. Now my dad on occasion pokes fun at my salwar kameez I like to wear, and when I wear hijab, but it is not in a demeaning manner.

Imaan: What level of support did you get from the Muslim community or Muslims you met? Was it positive?
Mercy: There are a few I speak to, I haven’t had a real chance to go to the Masjid on Fridays as I work during that time normally, my job isn’t the most flexible about hours, so I take what I can get. I want to check out our local masjid, but it is very tiny and we have a pretty big population of Muslims. It makes me want to help find a way to build a larger Masjid for them.

Imaan: What are your future plans or how do you see Muslims and Islam in the future?
Mercy: There are things of course that need to be worked on, especially in the Middle East where they are dealing with Salafi sects trying to change things from what they should be. I think that they [and we] need to work on such as women’s prayer spaces, and perhaps a women’s only masjid.

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