Project info

This photoproject is about a particular phenomenon in Dutch society: Dutch natives who converted to Islam. These aren't people who converted to Islam because of a marriage –they chose to do so solely out of personal conviction. These converts are usually young and well-educated, and were mostly religious prior to their conversion, albeit not muslim.
The majority were catholics and regular churchgoers, while the rest considered themselves to be protestant. These backgrounds result in interesting and remarkable lifestyles distinguished by a union of Dutch culture with traditional Middle-Eastern and Islamic customs.
For the most part these converts aren't just interested in the religion, but in Middle-Eastern culture as well. They want to display their acceptance of their new beliefs through everyday things. This is reflected in their habits, clothing styles and their cuisine. Characteristic facial hair in men, and the hijab in women attest to this change. However, testimonies to their previous lives are still clearly present, some more striking than others.
Crosses and christian icons are not uncommon, as well as retainment of specific Western elements, like a converted Dutch lady playing electric guitar while wearing a hijab; something which might be considered unusual in some Islamic cultures. This amalgam of Middle-Eastern customs and distinctly urbanized Western features is representative of a new social entity in Western-Europe, like the native Dutch converts.