Glasgow: Glasgow Central Mosque has been witnessing a surge in the number of Scottish people reverting to Islam, a phenomenon noticed in mosques across the country, OnIslam reported.
“I’d done a degree in comparative religion and had to analyze all the religious texts,” Hannah, a 25-year-old administrator from Glasgow who recently reverted told The Sunday Herald.
Hannah is one of about 200 Scots who take the decision to revert to Islam annually at Glasgow Central Mosque.
Her conversion was shared online by the Glasgow Central Mosque along with others including 20-year-old Jade from the Shetland Isles, and Katie, also 20 and an administration worker from Glasgow, who made her Shahada last month.
With the increasing number of reverts, Edinburgh central mosque says it has now started support groups for new Muslims.
The total number of reverts is not known, but according to a report by Faith Matters, 5,200 people now join the UK-wide Muslim population of three million every year.
Scotland’s community is significantly smaller at 90,000 people, over one-third of whom live in Glasgow.
“We are seeing an influx, particularly in the number of women expressing an interest in Islam.
Many found out more about Islam that led them to different conclusions," Rizy Mohammad, a coordinator at the Glasgow Central Mosque, said.
“There is also the spiritual dimension. They’ve been part of the material world, done the shopping thing and now they are looking for a deeper connection.”
The decision to revert to Islam has not been easy to many Scottish reverts, especially with media focus on extremist voices which ruin the image of the faith.
“When a person takes the Shahada they are treated like a superstar and everyone wants to know their story,” Dawud Duncan, originally from Oban, who became Muslim nine years ago, said.
Duncan, who now lives in Glasgow, hosts an online radio program for reverts and also aims to set up a support and advocacy group.
“New Muslims have so much to offer the Muslim community and Scotland,” said Duncan.
“This would include a fresh perspective and a deeper understanding of the cultural issues our society faces. Converts find it easier to explain Islam to a Scottish audience.”