Our stereotypes of Muslim women, particularly those who convert to Islam from other faiths, can hinder our friendships with them. We approach our relationships with Muslim women like we would approach any other friendship: unassumingly, with openness and great anticipation.
Read this recent story from NBCNews.com: "Not 'brainwashed': American Women Who Converted to Islam Speak Out"
The American Muslim women in this story have encountered stereotypes and harsh accusations in the years following their decision to convert to Islam, and most appear to brush those off. One woman, Lauren (pictured above), says that "she appreciates it when people actually ask questions instead of making assumptions."
Here is the opportunity. There is not a major cultural bridge to be crossed when approaching relationships with American Muslim women. We likely already have much in common with them. Ask questions, listen to the answers, discover their stories, with the anticipation that something deeply wonderful and eternal will result.