I’m ahead of the times.
Like the motivations to convert in the first place, the reasons to change or keep one’s name vary from person to person. That said, the majority of Muslims who enter the faith choose to alter their names to mark the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. Experts on American Muslims suspect that converts to Islam are more likely to adopt new names than those who switch to other religions, and to make use of their new names in day-to-day life rather than assuming them purely for symbolic reasons. It’s not clear why that might be the case, although the adoption of Islamic beliefs and traditions may reflect a more substantial departure from mainstream American culture than, say, converting to Judaism or Christianity.
Are they really not sure why it’s the case? Really? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that new muslims are relentlessly pestered to change their name by (usually well meaning) born muslims? Or feel obligated to adopt the name some stranger gives them when they make shahada?
Maybe I should be an expert on american muslims?