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I am a 52 year old African American Muslim, living in Washington, DC. Like many African Americans who revert to Islam, I was raised Christian-specifically, Southern Baptist .After 10th grade or so, I basically drifted away from religion-though I always had what Jay Bakker, son of Christian minister Jay Bakker, called "a God-sized hole" in my heart. Around 1999, I began asking my Muslim friends about Islam. I also did lot of reading. A lot.
I learned a lot of the prayers from a Yusef Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) CD entitled "Prayers Of The Last Prophet", so that by the time I entered the Islamic Center here in town, I had a good working knowledge of Islam, and, I believe, a sincere desire to surrender to the will of Allah. I honestly believe that Islam has made me a more patient , less angry man. (Though I am definitely a work in progress! LOL) I also cherish the friendships I have established through going to the mosque on a regular basis.
I do, however, struggle with what I sometimes see as less than respectful treatment of women. And like everywhere else in the world, one can encounter racist attitudes.
Still, I am thankful to Allah for my blessings. As the old saying goes, I try to be the change I wish to see. I like to think that changing "the man in the mirror" is a start.