I just fell in love with Islam – JAYNE KEMP
Every year, more than 5,000 Brits convert to Islam.
But what would make someone want to change their lifestyle so dramatically?
Police Community Support Officer Jayne Kemp left her Catholic roots behind after “falling in love” with Islam while helping victims of so-called honour violence.
JAYNE KEMP patrols her beat wearing a traditional hijab headscarf and even works extra time after shifts so she can attend Friday prayers at her mosque.
Devout Jayne converted to Islam and even plans to change her name to Aminah.
The single mum, who patrols Eccles, Gtr Manchester, as a Police Community Support Officer, says:
“I thought Islam was all about women being forced to slave away in the kitchen — but I found out it was about being generous with your time, and patient and respectful of others.
“As I looked into it, I saw similarities with Catholicism and noticed values such as looking after your neighbours and cherishing the elderly, which is something older people say younger people don’t do any more.
“I wasn’t looking for any religion at the time but for every question I had answered about Islam, I had five more. I think I fell in love with it.”
Devoted Jayne even missed out on celebrating Christmas with her son, nine, and daughter, seven. She sent them off to their dad’s and cooked her own meal so it would be halal — the meat slaughtered in the manner prescribed by Sharia law.
And despite the drastic change, Jayne says colleagues at Greater Manchester Police and her family have been supportive. She is now helping to design a regulation police hijab and tunic — as one has never been needed before.
Jayne says: “I was worried about what my colleagues would think but they have been so understanding.
“People in Eccles have been great too — most don’t even mention it. If my children had struggled with me covering my hair I wouldn’t have done it.
“They have both asked a lot about it but I would never push Islam on them and they will be brought up Catholic.
“I just hope by speaking out I can show it is OK for a Muslim woman to work in the police force and change negative Islam stereotypes.
“My family, in general, are supportive. If I’m happy, they’re happy. My sister said I’m the happiest she’s ever seen me.”
Jayne was inspired to convert to Islam after chatting to other Muslims on Twitter.
Muhammad Manzoor, who runs Muslim Twitter account Local Masjid from his home in Whalley Range, Manchester, helped her make the transition.
He said: “I was humbled Jayne was asking me these questions.
“She has found this religion for herself and hopefully it shows Muslims can mix in society without compromising their faith.”
Taqwa Islamic School
Islamic Educational & Research Organization (IERO)