Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kathryn Bouchard

Kathryn Bouchard is a young Canadian woman who embraced Islam in June 2008. What questions led her to Islam? How does she describe her emotions upon saying the Shahadah (the testimony of faith)? What was her first Ramadan like? Recently she sat down to share with us the story of her journey to Islam.

RI: In what way did embracing Islam change your life the most?

Bouchard: Islam has changed my life the most by giving me a sense of purpose and direction. It is a very clear, concise religion that lets us know why we are here and how we are to behave.
It forces Muslims to always ask themselves if they are in line with what God would want and to be consistently thinking in an ethical manner. For example, we are guided with how to give charity, treat animals and interact with the less fortunate.
Islam also values family and proper conduct. I have tried to be even more aware of how I interact with my immediate family to represent the religion correctly. This also is applicable to my behavior at work and in social interactions.
My daily life has been affected, as I no longer drink alcohol or eat pork and I perform the five daily prayers.

RI: What is it that you would most like to tell non-Muslims about Islam?

Bouchard: I think the biggest thing is more what we have in common, than what is different. What is portrayed in the media is most definitely not Islam. When you see violence against civilians or other Muslims, this is not what Islam represents.
Islam focuses on the worship of one God, and this goes back to the teachings and practices of Abraham. There is great respect for Jesus and for all of the prophets, and it's really a very tolerant and peaceful religion.

By Eaman Fahmy
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