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04 Oct

“Particularly the men, but [when we started talking] I found they were very respectful and nothing like I’d imagined them to.” This is when she started exploring Islam: “I listened to the Koran and I felt like it had touched my soul.

But Gluch says it’s what she wants: “It’s about covering yourself. Before it was bad and evil to me.” Now she’s married to that same boyfriend, runs a DIY shop with him and the couple have two young children.She tells me: “He says I have more [Islamic] knowledge than him because I keep reading about it and studying it. “[People who are born into Islam] just go do whatever they saw their parents do and it’s not always religious – most of the time it’s culture.But she’d tell you it’s all her decision.” Her family are more supportive now, but she faces prejudice from people living locally in her predominantly white town.She doesn’t wear her headscarf in her local area because of the looks and insults she receives – “It’s not that I’m scared because it’s dangerous; it’s just uncomfortable.Their first question was, are you going to have to cover up?My friends said if you get married to a Muslim man, he’ll make you his slave.” Her 29-year-old daughter also decided to convert to Islam at the same time, and that brought with it more criticisms: “Most people think I have brainwashed her or scared her into becoming Muslim.“When I was in Poland my friend once had a Muslim boyfriend and I remember saying to my mum, I would never go out with a Muslim man – I would never change my religion.But when I met my boyfriend, I read about it, and it was a totally different picture.They weren’t all all-encompassing or all-embracing regardless. So if you’re not behaving a certain way or you don’t know how to pray, or the way you’re dressed – people will suggest ways you can practise better.If someone says ‘you can’t do this’ I don’t respond well to that.