TAMPA – As a child, Amy Perez attended different Christian churches, praying at Catholic Masses and singing at Baptist revivals. But she never felt satisfied with the answers those faiths provided to her questions.
At 12, Perez left Webb Middle School for the Universal Academy of Florida, a Muslim school in Tampa, because she did not like the cliques and social scene at Webb. And she wanted to learn more about Islam.
Perez read about the Muslim faith and asked her classmates questions.
After much research and contemplation, Perez took the Shahada, the declaration of faith to become Muslim.
She was 14.
“I finally found peace,” said Perez, 22, who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent. “A peace that I had never known. Everything made sense to me. Every question I had, there was an answer for. It was truly remarkable.”
Perez’s sentiments seem to resonate with U.S. Latinas, who are embracing Islam in increasing numbers. They join a faith dominated in the United States by blacks, who make up about half the estimated 6 million followers, according to a 1990 study by the American Muslim Council, the most recent available. Followers of South Asian and Arab descent constitute about 35 percent.
Numbers of Muslims are difficult to determine since faith is not included in the U.S. census, but there is abundant anecdotal evidence that more Hispanic women are adopting Islam….
Once again, still searching for a reporter with the guts to ask one of these converts what she thinks of Qur’an 4:34.