Thursday, December 22, 2005

British turning to Islam
Source: The Times, 9th November 1993

Key Extracts
"Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said, "The light of Islam will rise in the West" and that is what is happening now. Western converts are coming to Islam with fresh eyes, without all the habits ofthe East, avoiding much of what is culturally wrong. The purest tradition isfinding itself strongest in the West," says Aliya Haeri, an American-born psychologist who converted 15 years ago.

Westerners despairing of their own society -- rising in crime, family breakdown, drugs and alcoholism -- have come to admire the discipline and security of Islam. Many converts are former Christians disillusioned by the uncertainty of the church and unhappy with the concept of the Trinity and deification of Jesus. They found intellectual satisfaction in Islam.

"I was a theology student and it was the academic argument that led to my conversion."Under Islam, the sins of the fathers aren't visited on the sons. The idea that God is not always forgiving is blasphemous to Muslims,"said Rose Kendrick, a religious education teacher who also objected to the concept of the original sin.

Maimuna, 39, was raised as a High Anglican and confirmed at 15 at the peak of her religious devotion. "I was entranced by the ritual of the High Church and thought about taking the veil. My belief came back stronger, but not for the Church". She researched every Christian denomination, Judaism, Buddhism and Krishna Consciousness, before turning to Islam.

Many converts from Christianity reject the ecclesiastical hierarchy emphasizing Muslims' direct relationship with God. They sense a lack of leadership in the Church of England and are suspicious of its apparent flexibility.

Huda Khattab, 28, author of The Muslim Woman's Handbook, published this year by Ta-Ha said, "Christianity changes, like the way some have said premarital sex is okay if its with the person you're going to marry. It seems so wishy-washy. Islam was constant about sex, about praying five times a day. The prayer makes you conscious of God all the time. You're continually touching base."

"The knowledge of the hypocrite is in his speech, yet the knowledge of the believer is in his actions"

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