Conversion and cultural alienation : the degree of cultural alienation that people experience when they embrace Islam in South Africa.
In this Research Document I would attempt to quantify the degree of Cultural Alienation that fellow South Africans (from the major ethnic, racial and religious groupings) experience when they embrace Islam. A secondary objective would be to quantify the degree to which one 's worldview changes (views on the Middle East conflict, America and the West and South African politics) on embracing Islam. I will attempt to do so by employing both qualitative and quantitative methods in the Research process. Questions such as: is culture a separate entity from religion and if so what is the difference? What are the ingredients that comprise this concept we call culture? I will also look at the theoretical and theological arguments surrounding these issues in Islam from its original sources and scholars. A survey will be conducted by way of a questionnaire, with reverts to Islam, to establish the degree of their alienation with regard to food, dress, Arabic as a language, rejection from family and friends and views on the Middle East conflict, USA and the West and South African politics. Since all data collected will be analysed according to acceptable statistical methods, it will be assumed that the average results obtained would be a good indicator of the degree of cultural alienation a fellow South African (from a particular ethnic / cultural group) would have to undergo when contemplating embracing Islam. The Research findings indicate that cultural alienation does indeed take place when someone embraces Islam, but that it varies and is dependent on both individual, external and cultural factors . The Research findings also show that in the case of reversion to Islam, changes in one's worldview also take place, the extent of which is dependent once again on individual and external factors . One of the main findings of the research is that there is no specific quantum percentage with regard to the extent of cultural alienation for any given individual embracing Islam, as there are many variables. There are however, general trends and patterns, which do provide helpful guidelines for someone contemplating embracing Islam.