The struggle British women have when they convert to Islam formed the basis of a symposium on Middle Eastern Studies held at the American University of Sharjah yesterday.

A study, entitled 'Narratives of Conversion to Islam in Britain - Female Perspectives', was launched at the event. It gives an insight into the cultural pressures and lack of support some converts say they endure.

Yesterday, academics heard the poignant story of Irish Catholic convert Mary Batool Al Toma, who now lives in Leicester, England, and is a director of the New Muslims Project there.

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