In this episode of the islamwich podcast, Kaighla interviews her friend Alta, an American convert living in Java, Indonesia.
We talk about:
- Her journey to Islam (up until about minute 10:00)
- Some of the ways culture and Islam are mixed in her world (around minute 15:00-24:00)
- The differences between the experiences of converts among Arabs vs. that of converts among Asians (starting minute 26:00)
- The astonishing fact that many Indonesian cultures are still matriarchal, giving women a leadership status in families and society, so the ole “Muslim women should silently obey their husbands” doesn’t really create any conflict in her marriage to a Sumatran Muslim
- Around minute 27:00, and again at minute 34:00, we talk about the prevailing notion that Arab culture= Islam, and how Arabs actually make up a very small percentage of total Muslim population, while Indonesians alone make up more than 13% of all Muslims.
- Her struggle to assimilate and become an active member of her community because of the language and cultural barriers, despite the overwhelming kindness of her Indonesian sisters (around minute 31:00)
- And her invitation to American Muslims to come to Indonesia and see a whole other way Islam is practiced than what they are accustomed to in the states or in Middle Eastern countries.