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Portraits of Americans Who Have Converted to Islam

Claire_Beckett_photographyLisa.

Boston-based photographer Claire Beckett‘s The Converts is a series of portraits of individuals who have converted to Islam. A mix of recent converts and long-time practicing Muslims, Beckett says her subjects are predominantly American with the exception of a couple who have immigrated to the U.S. Beckett explores the relationship between the American and Muslim world, asking the questions, “What does it mean to be an American? Who are we as a people, and how do we define ourselves? How do we understand our country in relation to other nations and cultures?” She asks these questions within a society that has constructed the American and Muslim as opposites, interested in the experiences of those who “have traversed this imagined line.”

Claire_Beckett_PhotographySalih.

Claire_Beckett_PhotographyImam Suhaib Webb.

claire_Beckett_PhotographyKathryn on her first day as a niqabi.

claire_Beckett_PhotographyHans with his teacher Lokman Efendi.

claire_Beckett_photographyBilal.

claire_Beckett_photographyApril.

claire_Beckett_photographyMary.

claire_Beckett_photographyImam Taalib Mahdee.

claire_Beckett_photographyRobby.

  • Hamid TroisMille

    It’s intriguing how converted muslims need more than “native” muslims to display that they belong to this community, by wearing specific clothes or growing long beard.
    In Morocco (my country) and many moderate arab countries, except for very conservative people, no one is wearing signs of their muslim faith.

  • joe

    People can wear whatever the fuck they want, that’s the point of freedom and you should respect that. America is all about freedom or am I wrong?

  • Nolan

    He never insulted you, he. was commenting on the article. I found his first hand insight to be a benefit to this article. If you want to be taken seriously then you should learn to share your viewpoint in a manner that doesn’t degrade others and adds to the discussion of the topic at hand.

  • Hamid TroisMille

    I would also add that Hans’ and Bilal’s clothes are funnily anachronistic : they look like they come right out of 18th century Ottoman Empire :-)

    And yes, Joe, they can wear whatever they want. ‘Merica. Freedom.

  • Kalim Jabari

    Yes people can wear what they want Joe, yet, in our beautiful faith, Islam, we are encouraged to dress as the Holy Last Messenger (sws) did..and clearly he was drawing a picture of two different places with the same faith

  • Convert Muslim

    As a convert Muslim, I can assure you we don’t choose what we wear to ‘display that they belong to this community.’ It’s sad that you’re born into your religion and don’t know it as well as someone who accepted it later in life. Unless your merely speaking on your experience with born muslims, who also, don’t realize the importance of their appearance.

  • Hamid TroisMille

    Clothes are related to culture and tradition. That’s why Moroccan traditional clothes are very different from Saudi, or Iranian, or Pashtun, or Uigur… There is no such thing as a “muslim” clothe (even veils for women are very different from a country to another). It has nothing to do with how well you know your religion.

    And it is globally admitted that fashion is a way to show that you belong to a group or community.
    Thus my comment (I am not making any judgment about converted muslims’ faith).

    What relation do these people (in the photos) have with the culture that comes with these clothes ?

  • Romeo

    This Hamid guy needs to chill the F?(! Out. First, he needs to get a life second, he should learn to mind his dumb opinions to himself and last he needs to respect others.

  • Hamid TroisMille

    Ok… if you can show how my opinion is dumb, how I disrespect others, and if you can give a substantive response.
    Meanwhile, your comment has no added value.

  • Zia

    Yeah and cheer up Mary… ain’t that bad ;-)