Debra L. Dirks & Stephanie Parlove, eds., USA: amana publications, 2003. 298 pages.
This book is a delightful read. The somewhat unoriginal title (compilations of conversion accounts under the title Islam Our Choice have been around for several decades, including stories that date back to the mid-twentieth century) belies the original and unique stories told within. However, these words might be rather startling for many non-Muslims, and thus pique their curiosity enough to pick up the book and inquire further. Islam Our Choice, aimed primarily at non-Muslim Americans, tells the stories of fellow Americans who have chosen to follow a different path but who are still Americans. The authors express the hope that “each non-Muslim American reader will probably be able to relate to and identify with the pre-Muslim background of at least one of the authors” (p. 2). The inclusion of family photos and illustrations adds to the book’s visual appeal and shows the contributors as ordinary Americans who are at home with their new identity as Muslims.