Jacquelyn Harper became a Muslim at the end of January. The 25-year-old said she has never before felt as close a bond with God.

“I started reading books (about Islam), and the books I was reading started to really make sense to me,” said Harper, who converted from a conservative confessional branch of the Lutheran Church. “It shocked me. I said, ‘This is how I feel. This is what I believe.’ “

In her journey toward leading what she described as a more pure life, Harper recently finished an eight-week Islamic course for female converts and non-Muslim women at the North Austin Muslim Community Center. Organizers think it’s the only one of its kind in the Austin area…

Harper became interested in Islam after she became very close friends with a Muslim. She said he never talked about his religion with her, but she became curious about how Muslims fit the stereotypes she had always heard.

“You hear a lot of bad things about Islam, and that was a lot of the reason I wanted to learn about it,” she said. “When I started reading, I found that none of the stereotypes about the way women are treated were true.” …

Amawi said the class is not limited to Muslims or converts, and the teachers encourage an interfaith dialogue. (More)


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