When I met her co-incidentally in one of the Muslims groups online for the first time a few months before last Ramadan, we immediately got connected and soon developed a sisterly relation. She is one who had already taken the first big step of believing in ONE ALLAH. It was inspiring to listen to her words, views and opinions.
It was before the start of Ramadan that she broke the news that she would revert to the religion of Prophet Jesus, Moses and Mohammed (peace be upon them all) called as Islam – an Arabic word meaning ‘submission’. Since then she has been working tirelessly in educating the masses in importance of wearing the hijab and being a good Muslim. She is the symbol of love, tolerance and progressiveness.
Since her reversion she has been tirelessly working to help and guide the new Muslim reverts, building bridges between different faiths by either blogging or putting videos on YouTube.
She is from New-Brunswick, the French speaking part of Canada and her name is Stephanie Roy, 24 years old. She is currently residing in Ottawa. She converted on July 28, 2012 from Catholicism to Islam. She is an avid blogger and Youtuber and the Editor-in-Chief of Open Interpretations, a newsletter about Islam from a progressive and interfaith perspective.
Islam entered into her life, conquered her heart very slowly. She has always been interested in world religions and incidentally she started dating a Muslim man, then her interest naturally turned to Islam.
‘Three years ago, my ex dared me to fast Ramadan.’ She discloses further: ‘I never say no to a dare and I never do things half way, so I fasted the thirty days and read the thirty juz’ of the Quran. I was being pressured from all sides to convert, not to convert, etc., so I told everyone involved that I would not convert to Islam for three years and that if I still found Islam appealing and wanted to do so, I would convert then. I converted almost exactly three years later.’
About the reaction of her parents Roy says: ‘Most of my non-Muslim relatives were reluctant; wondering what this change of religion entailed as far as personal changes. They were scared I would fall victim to the negative Muslim stereotypes.
They were nonetheless supportive; most of my friends and family were supportive.’
After reverting to Islam she had to face a lot of workplace bullying, especially when wearing the veil. Pointing to a very delicate attribute she says: ‘Many people saw in me a submissive Muslim woman and thought they could walk all over me. I am kind-hearted but strong and didn’t let that stop me’.
While she did receive a lot of support from Muslim community she also received a lot of pressure. The best Muslim communities were the ones which had a large number of converts who explained everything in details and never assumed you knew anything. They were patient and brought information in as it was requested rather than all at once.
About her future plans Roy explains that she would continue to spread the love of Islam through Open Interpretation and blog. “God willing, the Ummah can realize what an incredible wealth can be found in its people and gain from it rather than promote division,” she says.
Stephanie Roy can be contacted at: