On the eve of the new year when he was 17 years, Susan Carland make some resolutions, and one of them is “to find out about other religions” in addition to the embrace of Christianity Baptist since childhood.
When she reveals that one resolution on the mother, the mother she loved replied casually, “I do not care if you marry a drug dealer though, but not marry a Muslim.”
At that time, the religion of Islam was not included in the priorities of religion who want Susan to learn, let alone thinking about marrying a Muslim. “Islam looks hard, sexist and foreign,” said Susan.
But two years later, at age 19, she became a Muslim. He spoke two sentences creed of his own accord, without the influence of anyone, including the influence of a man. Then Susan’s mother’s reaction to seeing his daughter converted to Islam?
One night, Susan’s mother said that he made the pork slices for dinner. Tonight was the first time Susan’s mother knew her daughter had become a Muslim. Susan’s mother called ‘victims’ of Islam. “But mother gave me a hug, though he was crying,” said Susan. A few days later, she decided instead to wear the hijab.
During the 8 years of Islam, relations with his mother Susan was experiencing hard times. But now their relationship began to improve. His mother even bought her scarf so often and send gifts to children during Eid al-Fitr Susan.
Susan completed her studies up to PhD level. He did research on the challenges facing women in leadership problems seasons. Susan is now a lecturer and tutor at the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, for the field of gender studies, youth and the sociology of religion.
“I love Islam and Muslims, without a doubt. People who are most admirable and most inspiring I have ever come across is the Muslims, and it helps me not to withdraw completely from society,” said Susan.
Susan married a Muslim man in February 2002. He held his wedding at the Melbourne zoo. Her husband was a lawyer named Waleed Aly, who also serves as the executive board of the Islamic Council of Victoria. Aly, the Egyptian Muslim descent who were born in Australia was also a lecturer at Monash University and worked at the Global Terrorism Research Centre.
“When I embraced Islam, I and Waleed has not been met. I’m still alone. We decided to get married a few years after I became a Muslim,” said Susan.
Asked about his spiritual journey after converting to Islam, she revealed that she felt an intellectual freedom. “I started to go in the Muslim chat rooms on the internet. I am acquainted and establish communication with several Muslim women who were studying at my university. They patiently answered my questions,” said Susan.
He continued, “When I let the religion speak for itself through its traditions, through the clergy and the sacred text, to resist what is written by journalists at the tabloids and the appalling behavior of Muslims, I find that Islam is a religion of peace , egalitarian, socially just and beautiful balance between the spiritual and intellectual. ”
Susan preach Islam by making Salam Cafe television program that aired nationally by the Australian television network. He received many awards for the program that made it. Susan is also frequently invited as a speaker at churches, schools, business organizations, community organizations and even the Jewish community. He was active in various research institutes. No wonder if he ever elected Muslim toloh Australia in 2004, and get a prize of $ 2,000 which he donated to various charities, both Muslim institutions and non-Muslims. (Kw / oi)