Ulyana, 30, converted to Islam seven years ago

“I was interested in Islam since childhood. At university I learned the basics of the religion and Arabic. I had many Muslim friends, whose behavior was completely different from what was considered ‘normal’ in my society. This is why I decided to convert to Islam. My parents and close friends were understanding of my choice, as they were expecting it.

I do not wear a headscarf, and only cover myself during prayers. At first it was also difficult to fast, but I got used to it in three years. It’s also difficult to fight the stereotypes about Islam.

Many people believe that Islam is a cruel religion. I categorically disagree with such views. All the divine teachings are created by a great amount of love.

There are a lot of stereotypes about Islam, for example, that Muslims ‘kill infidels, stab poor animals, beat their wives and do not accept non-believers.’ The reason for this attitude is ignorance. If you do not understand something or fear it, you should find out, whether those fears are realistic or not. Most fears disappear when there is increased awareness and communication with proper practitioners of the religion.”

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