She was outside it looked like the American girl-Igbo in general. Igbo is the name of the main tribes and the largest and most influential in Nigeria. Almost all ethnic Igbo Christians embrace. But the girl, Miriam, is a Muslim.
That fact may surprise those who know the history of ethnic Igbo. “But if it’s sorry to disappoint you. I am living proof that I completely Igbo and a Muslim who runs worship.” said the single was a graduate of Philadelphia University
“When I said I Igbo and also Muslim, I often hear people say fellow ethnic, ‘tifaqua’ (God forbid!),” He said. He asserted that not a Muslim marrying a Muslim, was due to hit the trick Muslim friends. “Alhamdulillah, I switched because I feel this is the right path for me, a similar recognition that drives my ancestors switched to Christianity.
He was well aware, the Igbo people will claim that Islam is not sejalah with Igbo culture. “But I challenge it to prove that Christianity was also in line with the legacy of the original faith tradition that is thousands of years before Christianity arrived. What I fail to understand that our ethnicity is the product of the environment,” he said.
Miriam analogize, when Buddhism took over Igbo thousands of years ago, he believes most of the Igbo will tend to embrace Buddhism and sturdy to hold that belief today. “The challenge I give you is to please examine why you believe in and respect and agree or disagree with the distinction that carried other people.”
He said Muslims in his community became very difficult. “Not impossible but very challenging,” he said. Many everyday life, culture and beliefs based on pastimes, although the ethnic Igbo Christians was unknown in the 1990s. Mariam’s own great-grandfather was not a Christian.
“What is symbolized death kosher? Is ceremonial breaking kola nuts as a cultural tradition is the ritual abuse in the eyes of God? How can I find the media that makes me gembir as Muslims but still maintain my Igbo identity?” he said. “To this day it remains a challenge,” he added.
Currently, Miriam admits she still tries to find a community – though small – that have a similar ethnic background. Sometimes Miriam asked if there were people who, like himself. In fact he never frustrated, “Is Igbo Muslims in the world besides me?”
Till one day while surfing the internet he found an Igbo woman who is also Muslim converts, named Ify. “Thank God, so I contacted him we became friends,” said Miriam.
Running time, he also experienced harsh treatment from the community. He claimed to have stunned and shocked by the treatment of fellow Muslims, even from fellow Africans. One day he entered the mosque to perform prayer worship. He has just embraced Islam and was just learning how to perform prayers.
Beside him stood an African woman. Suddenly, with a keen eye toward the woman refused and said Miriam, “You do not know how to pray?” Miriam received a reprimand in front of many people. Embarrassed, apologized and Miriam were looking for excuses. But he was too embarrassed and surprised to not dare confess himself a mulaf recently pledged themselves to embrace Islam. Since then he never again entered the mosque. “He saw I was still clumsy, but it does not help, even accusing me,” he said.
“But when I crossed in front of the church, I’ll get a greeting ‘hello’ or ‘welcome’ a friendly,” he said. “This is not an attack against fellow Muslims who have also received and supported me, but this is a criticism of those who are born Muslims how to treat the converts,” said Miriam.
“You never know who later turned Muslim, or those who converted to Islam a few hours before meeting with you. How to treat other people will help the new Muslims to be more accepting of his faith or even make them go away again,” said Miriam.
“With this condition, I could understand if there are converts who again chose to leave the old religion and Islam, especially if you are not white people in the West. No one ever came to you, inviting you in breaking the fast during Ramadan. No one introduced you with others, or difficulty finding a life partner, “said Miriam again.
Miriam had felt desperate to find the community that accepts and supports it. “Apparently those days are very critical to the development of my confidence with my new religion,” he said. As a black Muslim, he felt ‘invisible’. He had exchanged greetings with several women who gave a cold look at the Friday prayer in congregation. At the end of the prayer, the pilgrims gathered, talking and exchanging greetings and stories, while Miriam’s like not being part of a collection that, itself, and finally decided to leave. “I think even if people were aware of my existence,” he said.
Miriam in Muslim Matters recently wrote, in daily life so there may be a convert like him out there. “He is not a blank sheet of paper before embracing Islam. He may have had a strong identity of a particular culture and try hard pouring a new picture of himself in the canvas,” he said.
He warned, as he was also, he may not have family support or community that needs a helping hand other Muslims to be a family of two. “Honestly, if my faith is only dependent on the presence of other Muslims and the community, I will leave Islam long ago. But God has given me the strength to maintain this faith even through a variety of turbulence and I always ask everyone to pray for me to ease my path and strengthens my faith, “said Miriam.
“But no need to pity me. I have found one small group of converts who can I ask for support,” said Miriam again. Now he regularly met with Ify and his new crew to extend the network. “Alhamdulillah, every Friday night, Ify and my Muslim friends to gather. We enjoyed pizza, cupcake, chat, discussion and laugh together.
“I think, so here it seems to have communities that could eventually accept me. Thank God,” joked Miriam. For him, the small community is like a niche, a niche that is not based on ethnicity, culture or race. “Rather, based on the principles of Islam and fear of God,” he said.
Personally Miriam chose the last conclusion. ‘For friends, family and strangers can isolate and alienate you, but God’s love, much larger and more valuable. ”