Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sun Sentinel recycling stories to fill space?

Local: It would explain this. Melissa Matos seems to be the go to person for Latinas converts which means CAIR is probably pushing this story to papers and lazy reporters/editors are running with it every couple of months.

Some S. Florida Latinas converting to Islam for emphasis on family, women's roles By Tal Abbady Staff Writer January 3, 2006 Melissa Matos slips into an easy communion with her newest circle of friends. At regular meetings, they invoke their families' native towns in Cuba or the Dominican Republic, or recipes for arroz con pollo. English is interspersed with Spanish. And, posing no incongruity to the women, hijabs, or Muslim head scarves, frame their faces. When she converted to Islam in May, Matos, a Dominican-American raised as a Seventh-day Adventist, expected the passage to be lonely. "I said to myself, `Great, I'm going to be the only Muslim Latina in the whole world,'" said Matos, 20, a student at Florida International University who recently joined a group of Latina converts to Islam.
CAIR-FL: Islam Gains Hispanic Converts Lisa Bolivar, Sun-Sentinel, 9/30/05 "....Melissa Matos is among some area Muslims who will be celebrating the season for the first time. When she speaks of celebrating her first Ramadan, the 20-year-old clasps her hands excitedly and a smile spreads from ear-to-ear. Matos, who took the shahaddah in order to become a Muslim in April, has started down a path toward a new way of life, a new circle of friends and a tradition that, she said, she knows will teach her to be a better person. "What I am looking forward to for the month is letting go of a lot of things I do," said Matos, who lives in Miramar. "I am going to be more sensitive to things I didn't notice before, like hunger; I am looking forward to what it is going to do for my sensitivity." Matos represents a growing number of Latin women who are taking the shahaddah and donning the traditional hair covering, called a hijab. Altaf Ali, executive director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Pembroke Pines, said Islam is gaining an increasing number of Hispanic converts."'
Melissa showed up in the Miami Herald on October 15th, 2005 on the same subject.
Number of Latino Muslims growing ALEXANDRA ALTER The Miami Herald MIAMI - Ask Melissa Matos why she converted to Islam, and you'll likely get an answer that spans 13 centuries. She may refer to seventh century Arabia, where Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed received the Koran from the angel Gabriel. Or she might describe Islam's golden age in medieval Spain. Or she'll recall Sept. 11, 2001, when fear and curiosity drove her to read about Islam on the Internet.

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