The Spiritual Edge Becoming Muslim

Series produced by Judy Silber

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We explore the motivations and challenges of converts as they carve out a uniquely American path for being Muslim in the United States. We profile four characters who have converted to Islam- and ask how it has shaped the rest of their lives. Each offers a different window into this diverse and complex religion. In a religion that’s often partitioned by nationality and culture, how do these new Muslims fit in?

1 in 5 Muslims in America are converts. Who are they?

Becoming Muslim, from The Spiritual Edge podcast, profiles eight converts from diverse communities but these aren’t just stories of conversion. They are human stories about what happens next, seeking the best life, wanting to belong, and embracing identity

Becoming Muslim draws intimate portraits of each character through thoughtful and conversational journalism that allows real voices to come through- voices that are rarely heard on broadcast. The series is available episodically or to be excerpted for shorter avails. Our team is happy to work to create pieces that will work for you. We believe these micro stories will allow listeners to discover something deeper about our culture.

Becoming Muslim

In 2016, around the time Donald Trump issued his so-called “Muslim ban,” Sudanese-Muslim host and reporter Hana Baba got curious about converts in America. WHY would any American convert to Islam when prejudice against Muslims has been on the rise for the last two decades? What makes someone look outside their cultural or family religion in the first place?

Yet, one in five Muslims in America is a convert. We wanted to tell their stories..

Characters: We follow a spiritual seeker to Cairo to find the “real” Islam. A prison inmate traces the way his life led him to hang with the Muslim brothers to stay safe. A UC Berkeley basketball player is introduced to the Nation of Islam in the 1960s. And more. In a religion that’s often partitioned by nationality and culture, how do these new Muslims fit in?

Black Muslims

The story of Muslim converts in America is impossible to tell without discussing the intersectionality of Blackness. Two thirds of American-born Black Muslims are converts. Some Black Muslims are “reverts”, reclaiming an ancestral heritage. Others were attacted to Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam’s embrace of Black excellence.

Our episode on Tyson Amir traces his family’s presence in America back generations to an enslaved ancestor who family legend asserts was Muslim. Our profile of Abdul Raoof Nasir, a basketball player at UC Berkeley in the 1960s, recounts how he heard the message of the Nation of Islam, and later was forced to make a choice, whether to leave it or stay. Wendell El-Amin James went to prison and it was the advice he took that changed his life: hang with the Muslims.

Who We Are

The Spiritual Edge launched as a podcast in 2021 but we have been telling stories from the edges of religion and spirituality since 2014. We've been heard by millions of listeners through NPR and PRI. We've won accolades and honors, including a sweep for best radio at this year's Religion News Association's awards.

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1 in 5 Muslims in America are converts. Who are they? Becoming Muslim, from The Spiritual Edge podcast, profiles eight converts from diverse communities but these aren’t just stories of conversion. They are human stories about what happens next, seeking the best life, wanting to belong, and embracing identity Becoming Muslim draws intimate portraits of each character through thoughtful and conversational journalism that allows real voices to come through- voices that are rarely heard on broadcast. The series is available episodically or to be excerpted for shorter avails. Our team is happy to work to create pieces that will work for you. We believe these micro stories will allow listeners to discover something deeper about our culture. Becoming Muslim In 2016, around the time... Show full description


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  • Added: Mar 24, 2022
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 8
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We explore the motivations and challenges of converts as they carve out a uniquely American path for being Muslim in the United States. We profile ...

Bought by Nevada Public Radio, RadioStPete Florida, WKAR, WLRH, and KALW


  • Added: Jan 29, 2022
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 5
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We explore the motivations and challenges of converts as they carve out a uniquely American path for being Muslim in the United States. We profile ...

Bought by WKSU, Michigan Radio, KJZZ, WUWF, WFAE and more


  • Added: Feb 22, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10