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Something Mormon Missionaries Should Know About American Muslim Women.


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About 2/3 of American women who convert to Islam do not last. It is too hard, not because Americans are mean to them, but because most will not learn to speak Arabic, and will not adapt to the vagaries of Middle Eastern culture, and they do not have classes, so that anything a woman learns is very casual.

Niqabi's expect people to be mean to them and they often are. To have a non Muslim be civil is valued. I tried Niqab for a while. It was too difficult.

Not being a Psychologist, I still suspect that converting to Islam involves some self image issues. So, being respectful, and friendly is important. Men, do not attempt to touch a Muslim woman or even shake her hand. Likely because of Islamic constricts, she will look in your eyes once and not more.

In my initial contact with Mormons, no one ever showed me disrespect because of Hijab. GET THIS, the Hijab does not have religious significance! It was when MEN started saying I should not wear it that I almost quit. Rude comments about Hijab are not good.

Don't tell American Muslims that they do not believe in Jesus Christ. It just shows your ignorance. The sole issue is with the crucifiction.

It was the kindness and love that overpowered my fear, not their ignorance about Islam.

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As an aside, in a previous professional life, I was a retail Loss Prevention manager. Twice we had women wearing a full head to toe covering (Niqab?) who shoplifted. Arresting them was quite the experience. They freaked when a male LP office took them by the arm to lead them back, insisted on only talking to female officers, and when being searched for the items they had concealed demanded that all males leave the room, leaving them alone with one female officer. We did our best to be sensitive, but they had been arrested, after all, so male officers who observed the thefts were writing the reports and had to interact with them.

One was picked up by a female police officer, but the other was not, and he removed her covering and cuffed her in front of everyone, telling her that criminals lose many of their rights, especially when the steal enough to have to go to jail (She had several hundred dollars of clothing concealed under her covering).

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Are there not Muslim American women who dress like everybody else? I am under the impression that just like Jews there are conservative and liberal Muslims, as well as ultra conservative Muslims who insist on the "full Monty" especially from their women....

Yes there are non Hijabi American Muslim women and they are seen as whores by foreign Muslim women. I always wore Hijab. There were no let down days.
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As an aside, in a previous professional life, I was a retail Loss Prevention manager. Twice we had women wearing a full head to toe covering (Niqab?) who shoplifted. Arresting them was quite the experience. They freaked when a male LP office took them by the arm to lead them back, insisted on only talking to female officers, and when being searched for the items they had concealed demanded that all males leave the room, leaving them alone with one female officer. We did our best to be sensitive, but they had been arrested, after all, so male officers who observed the thefts were writing the reports and had to interact with them.

One was picked up by a female police officer, but the other was not, and he removed her covering and cuffed her in front of everyone, telling her that criminals lose many of their rights, especially when the steal enough to have to go to jail (She had several hundred dollars of clothing concealed under her covering).

This is very surprising. I have not heard of Muslims shoplifting, of course I have never seen anyone shoplift. I was followed from time to time and one time I turned around and asked the guy to just walk with me and help me shop. :)
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Thanks for sharing the story and the statistics. It is definitely an oppressive religion that leaves many women feeling loney.

I didn't feel oppressed, just secure. And women like me have lots of company. I am not going into the whole etiology of abnormal psychology surrounding the issues involved though. I was just divorced; thrown away, worthless, betrayed by the very people who should have corrected me and then helped me with restoration. As I have said before, in my case the Hijab covered my guilt, the modesty kept me out of trouble. I was rejected and would have given anything to make me feel as if I could be worth something.

It took a few years, but eventually thoughts of Jesus Christ began to come back, and when it all began to fall apart, the Mormons were there to catch me. So, for me becoming Mormon saved me and left me greatful, and it is also a romance to me. :)

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As I have said before, in my case the Hijab covered my guilt, the modesty kept me out of trouble.

When you became converted to the LDS faith, did you stop wearing the Hijab (full body or

just head covering)? If yes, why? If no, why not?

In your new-found LDS faith, what type of clothing do you feel God wants you to wear so

that you do not offend Him with immodesty?

Thanks,

Jim

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When you became converted to the LDS faith, did you stop wearing the Hijab (full body or

just head covering)? If yes, why? If no, why not?

In your new-found LDS faith, what type of clothing do you feel God wants you to wear so

that you do not offend Him with immodesty?

Thanks,

Jim

Sadly, I am still very mixed in my response to Heavenly Father (Allah SWT), and it could be that will keep me out of the Temple.

I no longer Hijab, but observe Hijab in many ways. Remember, the observance of Hijab is not just the scarf, but the whole outward modesty, inward attitude thing. If I were not under so much social presure, I would still look Muslim but be LDS for my own comfort. Remember, I am a sinner that had to experience the absolute devastation of her actions, and now that Heavenly Father is casting a favorable eye on me pleasing him is my only priority.

I think that Heavenly Father is less interested in my outward appearance than in my inner thoughts and my actions toward him and others.

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I think that Heavenly Father is less interested in my outward appearance than in my inner thoughts and my actions toward him and others.

The current version of Gospel Principles teaches the following in the chapter about the Law of Chastity:

"Our Heavenly Father wants us to keep our bodies covered so that we do not encourage improper

thoughts in the minds of others. Satan not only encourages us to dress immodestly, but he also

encourages us to think immoral or improper thoughts" (page 228).

What type of clothes would Satan encourage you to wear that would go against what Heavenly Father

wants you to wear?

Thanks,

Jim

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The current version of Gospel Principles teaches the following in the chapter about the Law of Chastity:

"Our Heavenly Father wants us to keep our bodies covered so that we do not encourage improper

thoughts in the minds of others. Satan not only encourages us to dress immodestly, but he also

encourages us to think immoral or improper thoughts" (page 228).

What type of clothes would Satan encourage you to wear that would go against what Heavenly Father

wants you to wear?

Thanks,

Jim

Then I could observe complete Hijab if you were my bishop. My Bishop is fine with it, but here in my Ward, there is much social presure, even in the LDS church. Although, I did see an ad from a place called Mikarose, that I intend to look at more closely. I'm sorry. I have no right to complain. The LDS have been absolutely loving and kind to me.

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Then I could observe complete Hijab if you were my bishop. My Bishop is fine with it, but here in my Ward, there is much social presure, even in the LDS church. Although, I did see an ad from a place called Mikarose, that I intend to look at more closely. I'm sorry. I have no right to complain. The LDS have been absolutely loving and kind to me.

Thanks. But what are your thoughts on that LDS teaching which I mentioned - of what you

should wear (forgetting about the hijab for now) and what Satan would tempt you to wear

to make you immodest?

Regards,

Jim

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as-salamu-alai kum, Ellen. kaif haalich?

I would be very interested to learn more about your views, and feelings on the transition to (and from) Islam, and to being LDS. If you're comfortable with sharing, of course.

wa shwayaat naas min al-gharb yitkalamuun a:rabi, shwaya.

;)

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Thanks. But what are your thoughts on that LDS teaching which I mentioned - of what you

should wear (forgetting about the hijab for now) and what Satan would tempt you to wear

to make you immodest?

Regards,

Jim

Elaine S Dalton, Young Women's general president says,"(Modesty) is a condition of the heart. It is an outward manifestation of an inner knowledge and commitment. It is an expression that we understand our identity as daughters of God." It took me very little time to find this quote, and the attitude is common through out our church.

Living in the Middle East as you do, you know that this is strikingly similar to the practice of Hijab. Most Westerners think of the Hijab as a scarf. Its deeper meaning is the way of being, of inner modesty and grace along with the outer.

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as-salamu-alai kum, Ellen. kaif haalich?

I would be very interested to learn more about your views, and feelings on the transition to (and from) Islam, and to being LDS. If you're comfortable with sharing, of course.

wa shwayaat naas min al-gharb yitkalamuun a:rabi, shwaya.

;)

Thank you, um I think. I am American, is that Farsi? Google does not translate farsi. Khoda Hafez.

In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, Mormons and Muslims are very similar. But in all fairness, I am mainly American. Frankly the Muslim world is a mess today. Sadly, Islam has not overcome tribalisim any more than the Western belief has overcome a pagan world. One must really stop, be prayerful, and think about what it is that we do that could make us pleasing to Heavenly Father (Allah SWT) There are the five pillars in Islam. We have our D&C 89. I am relatively new to being Mormon.

Edited by EllenMaksoud
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Heh. I learned Gulf Arabic, not Modern Standard - and it's a transliteration anyway (added to which, my grammar isn't all that great, so you never know...)

I should learn Farsi, but there's only so much time available for frivolous things (I'm toying with learning Welsh, maybe. Or perhaps Aramaic. Or maybe Python.)

Anyway, apart from the usual pleasantries, I was just noting that some people (shwayaat naas) in the west (al-gharb) speak a little Arabic - even if they're not Muslim.

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Heh. I learned Gulf Arabic, not Modern Standard - and it's a transliteration anyway (added to which, my grammar isn't all that great, so you never know...)

I should learn Farsi, but there's only so much time available for frivolous things (I'm toying with learning Welsh, maybe. Or perhaps Aramaic. Or maybe Python.)

Anyway, apart from the usual pleasantries, I was just noting that some people (shwayaat naas) in the west (al-gharb) speak a little Arabic - even if they're not Muslim.

Wa Alaikom Salaam:

I told the interviewing official when I was ready to be Baptised that I still believed in Muhammad PBUH as a prophet and in the holy Qur'an, and that made the step to Joseph Smith as a prophet much easier. I was sincere. It is the opinion of some Muslims that if you give up Islam, that you should have your head cut off. I did not give up Islam, I embraced the additional truth of being Mormon.

Edited by EllenMaksoud
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Wa Alaikom Salaam:

I told the interviewing official when I was ready to be Baptised that I still believed in Muhammad PBUH as a prophet and in the holy Qur'an, and that made the step to Joseph Smith as a prophet much easier. I was sincere. It is the opinion of some Muslims that if you give up Islam, that you should have your head cut off. I did not give up Islam, I embraced the additional truth of being Mormon.

That's an interesting view - of course there is much in common, culturally as well as theologically between LDS and Islam.

Al-Qur'an al-karim, I am not as familiar with as I should be (my Arabic isn't quite up to it, despite my efforts -classical Arabic is tricky) but I am aware of the reverence in Islam for Jesus Christ (Ysae, al-messah, :alai-hi s-salaam) and have no issue with accepting that Muhammed (salla Allah :alai wa salaam) was a prophet, within his own sphere.

What I don't accept - obviously - is that he was the last prophet, which I understand to be a standard tenet of Islam. I do also struggle (culturally) with any organisation that can't cope with any form of criticism - but that's a problem with people, not theology (I have a variety of issues with LDS culture too!) I think all too often, people confuse the culture with the theology - even people within the system - and judge it, and others, according their own constructed view.

Something I'm likely guilty of too, but at least I try to recognise it :)

I've decided (as I mentioned elsewhere) I can happily keep the Parsee tenets, and still be a Mormon (and a recommend holder.)

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That's an interesting view - of course there is much in common, culturally as well as theologically between LDS and Islam.

Al-Qur'an al-karim, I am not as familiar with as I should be (my Arabic isn't quite up to it, despite my efforts -classical Arabic is tricky) but I am aware of the reverence in Islam for Jesus Christ (Ysae, al-messah, :alai-hi s-salaam) and have no issue with accepting that Muhammed (salla Allah :alai wa salaam) was a prophet, within his own sphere.

What I don't accept - obviously - is that he was the last prophet, which I understand to be a standard tenet of Islam. I do also struggle (culturally) with any organisation that can't cope with any form of criticism - but that's a problem with people, not theology (I have a variety of issues with LDS culture too!) I think all too often, people confuse the culture with the theology - even people within the system - and judge it, and others, according their own constructed view.

Something I'm likely guilty of too, but at least I try to recognise it :)

I've decided (as I mentioned elsewhere) I can happily keep the Parsee tenets, and still be a Mormon (and a recommend holder.)

Alhumbuallah ! I think that you and I can have much to talk about. :) As Muslim, I was devout, but I still carry the curse of being of a different culture. (American), so it takes a while to translate what things mean between the cultures. While I was dealing with the culture shock of becoming Mormon, I had difficulty dealing with men. As Muslim woman, I am not talking to them and now I am? The whole looking in the eyes thing was big problem. American guys will run you over if you don't look at them, and other women want to know that I am honest, I suppose.

After having dealt with Surah 4:34 in Qur'an, it was a huge adjust ment to become like Mormon women in that, I do not think that Mormon women are expected to be submissive like a carpet. If we are, I missed that. :) Polygamy is part of Islam, so I partially expected that in being Mormon, and I have seen no sign of it, a good thing, I think. I did not know any Muslim woman who wanted sister wives. Mostly Muslim wives do not know of each other, especially in Saudi. AND, if you study Qur'an, one wife was the first choice of Allah SWT. It was only because of the weakness of males that he is allowed to have more. Sacfiralllah !!

I didn't do Ramadan this year, and mostly do not observe Halal, except no more pork. When I was American Muslim, Halal meat was the worst, most smelly, ucky meat in our community. It may be different in the Gulf, but not in America. So, being in the Gulf, you have interacted with both Shia and Sunni? I started out as Niqabi Sunni but in America, you can not really be Niqabi. It is too hard to drive and people yell at me.

I was always Hijabi and loved Allah SWT, so when I found the sisters in Kirtland, Ohio, it was so confusing at first. I still remember sitting in the parking lot asking God if I could be both Muslim and Mormon. I think he actually laughed at me, Heavenly Father I mean.

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shukran jazeelan. ashkur-ich.

I think the correct attitude of men to women (and vice versa) is the same in LDS and Islamic theology - but the cultural differences are quite notable. In both, the men are protectors and leaders, and women are nurturers and supporters - neither one better or more important, but with different roles. The view that one is less than the other (in either direction) is a twisting and a distortion of what is revealed (anzul.) I think it's interesting that the LDS are castigated for oppression of women (although, I've never seen a less oppressed group of women, anywhere, ever, to be honest) and so are Muslims, the form of that supposed oppression is expressed in different ways. Certainly Muslim women don't have to be oppressed - according to doctrine - but I believe that in come countries/cultures they are. Again, though, it's a cultural thing, rather than a religious one. I know Muslim women at work who are not in the least oppressed.

The issue of multiple wives is a little more complex, I fear, as although again, not something that necessitates oppression of women, it does seem to make it more prevalent. In a society with balanced numbers of males and females, I fail to see the need for it - and indeed, it can be highly problematic, leaving numbers of young men unmarried (it is not good for man to be alone.)

I'm actually in the UK (I've just travelled to the Gulf a fair bit, both commercially, and to visit family out there) so my daily interaction with Gulf Arabs are minimal - in fact, in Dubai and Qatar, they are a minority of the population, and don't mix a great deal, so it's actually difficult to find someone to talk to, unless you're there for extended periods. Most of my interactions have been with Kuwaitis and Egyptians (who speak English to each other, as their dialects of Arabic are too distinct for them to be comfortable!) But yes, I've interacted with both Sunni and Shia - although they tend not to make such a huge distinction to non-Muslims as they do amongst themselves, I suspect (similarly the Hindus I work with aren't aware - or particularly interested in - the distinctions between Catholics, Mormons, Evangelicals, etc - those sorts of distinctions matter far more to those close them.)

I'm surprised that people yell at you when wearing the Hijab - that's not something I've ever seen. People tend to avoid interacting with Hijab wearers generally - unless they are family members of course - which I suppose is rather the point. But in a culture where so much expression and communication is facial, i.e. UK/US/Europe/South America (and I suspect, the majority of human cultures) I struggle to feel comfortable with people whose faces are covered. I understand why women would want to cover themselves sometimes though.

Our cultural baggage inhibits us in many ways.

Mormon and Muslim? He probably did laugh. I suspect Heavenly Father laughs at us regularly - the way we laugh at our children when they come up with some amusing misinterpretation/misunderstanding, because it's cute and funny, and we'll see the absurdity of the question one day. I hope He laughs more than He weeps for us.

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shukran jazeelan. ashkur-ich.

I think the correct attitude of men to women (and vice versa) is the same in LDS and Islamic theology - but the cultural differences are quite notable. In both, the men are protectors and leaders, and women are nurturers and supporters - neither one better or more important, but with different roles. The view that one is less than the other (in either direction) is a twisting and a distortion of what is revealed (anzul.) I think it's interesting that the LDS are castigated for oppression of women (although, I've never seen a less oppressed group of women, anywhere, ever, to be honest) and so are Muslims, the form of that supposed oppression is expressed in different ways. Certainly Muslim women don't have to be oppressed - according to doctrine - but I believe that in come countries/cultures they are. Again, though, it's a cultural thing, rather than a religious one. I know Muslim women at work who are not in the least oppressed.

The issue of multiple wives is a little more complex, I fear, as although again, not something that necessitates oppression of women, it does seem to make it more prevalent. In a society with balanced numbers of males and females, I fail to see the need for it - and indeed, it can be highly problematic, leaving numbers of young men unmarried (it is not good for man to be alone.)

I'm actually in the UK (I've just travelled to the Gulf a fair bit, both commercially, and to visit family out there) so my daily interaction with Gulf Arabs are minimal - in fact, in Dubai and Qatar, they are a minority of the population, and don't mix a great deal, so it's actually difficult to find someone to talk to, unless you're there for extended periods. Most of my interactions have been with Kuwaitis and Egyptians (who speak English to each other, as their dialects of Arabic are too distinct for them to be comfortable!) But yes, I've interacted with both Sunni and Shia - although they tend not to make such a huge distinction to non-Muslims as they do amongst themselves, I suspect (similarly the Hindus I work with aren't aware - or particularly interested in - the distinctions between Catholics, Mormons, Evangelicals, etc - those sorts of distinctions matter far more to those close them.)

I'm surprised that people yell at you when wearing the Hijab - that's not something I've ever seen. People tend to avoid interacting with Hijab wearers generally - unless they are family members of course - which I suppose is rather the point. But in a culture where so much expression and communication is facial, i.e. UK/US/Europe/South America (and I suspect, the majority of human cultures) I struggle to feel comfortable with people whose faces are covered. I understand why women would want to cover themselves sometimes though.

Our cultural baggage inhibits us in many ways.

Mormon and Muslim? He probably did laugh. I suspect Heavenly Father laughs at us regularly - the way we laugh at our children when they come up with some amusing misinterpretation/misunderstanding, because it's cute and funny, and we'll see the absurdity of the question one day. I hope He laughs more than He weeps for us.

I've only just returned from doing a bit of shopping, and now have to clean floors, but before that I just wanted to say that having another Middle Easterner about to have exchanges with has been quite pleasant, mashallah.

I've been with the Mormons since March of 2011, and while theologically, it was not a large change, culturally it has at times been a bridge too far. As far as Jesus the Christ, Isa PBUH is concerned, I have seen enough to know that there are two sides to the story and I refuse to take sides on it. I am of course, "not the helper of Allah SWT". Of greater importance I think is that we be loving, kind and generous to others, and inshallah the rest will in time work its self out. Once in a while, I still attend Jumah prayer, and then on Sunday I am in church. For a while I thought that was a bit insane, but now realize that my creator knows my intention is to honor him, in what ever tradition or tongue I do it in.

In looking at your profile, I see that you have only just arrived. I do hope that you stay a while. Inshallah

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Elaine S Dalton, Young Women's general president says,"(Modesty) is a condition of the heart. It is an outward manifestation of an inner knowledge and commitment. It is an expression that we understand our identity as daughters of God." It took me very little time to find this quote, and the attitude is common through out our church.

Thank you for that quote. She seems to be speaking of an internal modesty, whereas

the Gospel Principles manual teaches about an external modesty in the form of what

you wear.

I was wondering if you had any thought about the "Gospel Princples" teaching? Let me

quote again in case you missed it before. I will bold the key parts.

"Our Heavenly Father wants us to keep our bodies covered so that we do not

encourage improper thoughts in the minds of others. Satan not only encourages us

to dress immodestly [referring to the outward appearance], but he also encourages

us to think immoral or improper thoughts" (page 228).

Sorry for the repeat question. I honestly didn't think it was going to be this confusing.

Maybe I was using the wrong words before :)

Jim

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Thank you for that quote. She seems to be speaking of an internal modesty, whereas

the Gospel Principles manual teaches about an external modesty in the form of what

you wear.

I was wondering if you had any thought about the "Gospel Princples" teaching? Let me

quote again in case you missed it before. I will bold the key parts.

"Our Heavenly Father wants us to keep our bodies covered so that we do not

encourage improper thoughts in the minds of others. Satan not only encourages us

to dress immodestly [referring to the outward appearance], but he also encourages

us to think immoral or improper thoughts" (page 228).

Sorry for the repeat question. I honestly didn't think it was going to be this confusing.

Maybe I was using the wrong words before :)

Jim

Wow, I like this book! I have not seen this before, alhumduallah ! Please keep in mind that I am new to the church, and I do not think I have ever been taught from it. The LDS page does not show the cover of the book. So, what we have been talking about embodies the principle of "Hijab". In Islam, Hijab is the inner heart attitude and the outer appearance. I am not going too far with this because in post feminist America, you will quickly be told that it is up to the man to control his own self full stop.

Mashallah, thank you so much for bringing this up. I am using some Islamic terms because you are in Abu Dhabi, and because we are talking about Muslim culture, so, being emersed in that culture you perhaps have heard those words. To others, alhumduallah is: "Thanks be to God", Mashalllah, "all glory is to God", Inshallah, "God Willing", and so forth. In the future, if I use a new term, I will define it the first time, inshallah :)

I like this discussion a lot and thank you for bringing in your friend, if you did. I have missed this culture. I believe that Muslims and Mormons have much to share. Oh, to be sure, there is difference between "churchy" Muslims and nominal Muslims. Where you are, people do not have the choice to be Muslim or not. This is much more true in Saudi Arabia. Here in America, there is vast difference between practicing Christians and Non-christians.

In the SLC area, there are three Islamic Mosques and when I was there for a short visit, I did not get the chance to see them. Additionally, in Provo, when I was there at the Museum, there was a Persian Art display. It makes me feel quite thankful that some Mormons at least do not daemonize Muslims, just the ones who live by their lower nature.

Sigh! So getting back to your question, I will read this chapter so that I can discuss it intelligently with you.

Thank you. Ellen

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This should have been given to you as an investigator or a new convert though a year or two ago it was that standard text for SS so as to review for everyone. I will try and find the book cover for you. Just ask in your library to see it, they should have copies to lend out if you would rather read it in hard copy...in fact you should have been given one and have it on your shelf for reference.

It should have been the text for what Sunday School class you went to for the first year after baptism (the Gospel Principles class is what it is usually called), but some small wards if they don't have missionaries that attend church don't have enough teachers to spare and so skip it and just have new converts go into Gospel Doctrine classes.

Cover is the fourth one down:

http://www.lds.org/m...school?lang=eng

Edited by calmoriah
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Thanks for sharing the story and the statistics. It is definitely an oppressive religion that leaves many women feeling loney.

The religion is not oppressive. The tribal cultures are. Muhammad PBUH was the first man in history to write rights for women into law. See: The Constitution of Medina. Sadly, Islam has done no more to change tribal culture than Christianity has to make people holy..
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