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Bolivian Muslim Women Answer the Question “Why Islam?”

In this article, we will hear the stories of five friends – Carolina, Scarlet, Nora, Dana, and Amina – who embraced Islam. We first asked them the question, “Why Islam?” and learned that each of these five friends, who were previously Catholic, had different reasons for turning to Islam. Let’s explore their journeys to becoming Muslim together! Bolivian Muslim women say, “We chose Islam with our free will and want to live it freely!”

We Asked, “Why Islam?”

Nora: “I found the peace I was looking for. When my son passed away at the age of 22, I lost interest in life. After that loss, I frequented the mosque, conducted extensive research on religion, questioned a lot, and still do. Islam gave me the peace I was seeking; it saved me. For me, religion was a balm because I found a family for myself in the Muslim community after losing my son.”

Scarlet: “While I was in university, a friend of mine was a Muslim and invited me to learn about Islam. At the age of 22, I became a professional, and shortly after, I met my husband Ayman, who is an imam. Islam is a peaceful religion that does not oppress women. We should separate it from cultural practices because the Quran says that women should be protected and respected. It is the duty of every Muslim woman to read and learn every day to uphold these rights.”

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“I am a Muslim, and I have found the peace I was looking for!”

Amina: “I was a Catholic, but I didn’t know what true faith was until I lived Islam. One day, a friend asked me online how I was doing. I told her about my unemployment and other personal circumstances, and that I wasn’t feeling well. In response, she sent me some verses from the Quran and talked to me about Islam. After our conversation, I went to the mosque and declared my shahada. Now, I am part of the Islamic world and learn something new every day.”

Carolina: “An invitation called me to Islam. I came from a Catholic family but had been searching for something I couldn’t find for years. I was with Jehovah’s Witnesses for a long time, but fate had it that I was never baptized. One day, I saw a simple ad online that asked, ‘What is Islam?’ I didn’t realize it at the time, but the title really caught my interest. After that, I started looking for more information, learned about the places of worship, and visited them. After a long research process, I am now a Muslim and have found the peace I was looking for.”

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Dana: “I was receiving a traditional education in a school filled with strict nuns. My classmate Rebeca, whom I had thought was also Catholic like me until that day, entered the classroom one day wearing a veil. She was definitely an instrument that Allah placed in my life for me to become a Muslim. One day, she invited me to a meeting she was attending, and that’s where I learned about Islam. I went through months of preparation and contemplation before accepting Islam. When I found every answer I was looking for in this religion, I was convinced. In the beginning, some people around me tried to warn me, saying things like, ‘The Taliban will kill you!’ Unfortunately, people are very ignorant about Islam. Now, I strive every day to be a good Muslim.”

In Bolivia, there are 1,000 Muslims who have chosen Islam with their free will!

These five friends, sharing their stories of turning to Islam among Bolivian Muslim women, express their frustration with people’s misconceptions about Islam:

Wearing a headscarf does not mean every woman is oppressed. In Bolivia, as in other countries, there are many prejudices and ignorance about Islam. Whether to wear a headscarf or not is a matter of personal choice. It is about reading the Quran and making a decision.

“Choosing a religion is a right. I embraced Islam, and I hope they respect me as I respect myself,” adds Scarlet.

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