More than 75% of Western converts to Islam are women and many are beginning to ask why females are turning to a religion that has been labeled by much of the media as oppressive. Fortunately, educators and trailblazers in the world of film making are carving a path of true representations of Islam and they are going straight to the mouths of the very women being drawn to this beautiful religion.
One such visionary, Imam Fadel Soliman, Director of Bridges Foundation, an international organization dedicated to creating tolerance and facilitating peacemaking all over the world, has taken up the task of examining the phenomena of Muslim women converts and is in the stages of putting the final touches on the new documentary entitled, Islam in Women, part three of The Fog is Lifting series. The Islam in Women documentary interviews female converts to Islam, a non-Muslim female professor from Al-Azhar University and a professor at the Harvard University Divinity School to address the reasons behind why Islam attracts more women than men while simultaneously refuting many of the misconceptions about women in Islam, their rights and their responsibilities.
Women converts from different racial and ethnic backgrounds and countries have been filmed and provide their personal perspectives on why they have chosen Islam as their religion as well as divulging some of the blessings they have received and challenges that they have faced since accepting Islam. White, Black, Indian, and Chinese women tell their stories and range from countries such as Belgium, Britain, Greece, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Germany, USA, the Netherlands and Sweden.
As indicated, this documentary is the third part of The Fog is Lifting series of films. Imam Soliman initiated the process of developing the films after the horrific attacks of 9/11 in 2001 and has said, “As a survivor of the NY attacks (I was supposed to be in the towers by 8:30 am but was delayed by being unable to get a taxi and had to change my plans) I have seen the USA pre 9/11 and post 9/11. Prior to the attacks of 9/11 people were more accepting of Muslims but since the attacks people have begun to rely upon stereotyping more frequently. I believe that ignorance is the enemy and that when people become more educated the less they fight.”
Bridges Foundation aims at connecting people by building bridges with the training of Muslim speakers and presenters on how to present Islam. They believe that educating each other about our differences is the best way to link people, to increase their tolerance towards each other, and to facilitate the peacemaking process all over the world.
Imam Soliman has presented many such workshops explaining Islamic beliefs and says, “I’ve conducted three main lectures to non-Muslims, the first is a general discussion about Islamic beliefs and concepts, the second is about Jihad and Terrorism explaining that the two concepts are not equal to each other and are actually opposite to each other, and the third is about the status of women in Islam. The more I gave these lectures, the more I wished to make them more accessible to as many people as possible and I believe turning them into three documentaries was the best way to achieve that aim.”
The first documentary titled, Islam in Brief, has been translated into 30 languages, including the Hebrew language. Part Two of the series is Jihad on Terrorism and has been translated into 16 languages. More than 300,000 copies of the series DVDs have been distributed to Congressmen, Senators, politicians, professors, faculty and staff of learning institutions, and to Western diplomats in Egypt and world-wide. Additionally, over 100,000 copies have been distributed throughout the U.S. and other countries at churches, universities and government agencies like the American Department of Defense. Copies of the DVD's have also been made available at international events, such as the Frankfurt International Book Fair. Both parts of the series are available for free on the Bridges Foundation YouTube channel.
Muslimah Writers Alliance Director, Aishah Schwartz, has stated, "It was an honor to participate in the Jihad on Terrorism segment of the Bridges Foundation Islam in Brief series of movies and I commend Imam Soliman for his undying efforts to educate not only Muslims but the non-Muslim community as well about the true teachings of Islam."
The announcement of the screening event for The Fog Is Lifting Series III: Islam in Women can be expected soon Inshaa'Allah. A trailer of the movie is available online here. You can subscribe to the Bridges Foundation YouTube Channel here and like the Bridges Foundation Fan page on Facebook here to stay informed.