Archive for the ‘1. Articles’ Category

Far-right Dutch Politician Finds Islam

March 8, 2013

Arnoud van Doorn

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Tuesday, 05 March 2013 00:00

AMSTERDAM – A leading member in far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ party has reverted to Islam after an extensive study about the Islamic religion and Muslims.

“I can understand people are skeptic, especially that it is unexpected for many of them,” Arnoud Van Doorn told Al-Jazeera English satellite channel.

“This is a very big decision, which I have not taken lightly.”

The news about Doorn’s reversion first came to the surface last month when he tweeted “new beginning”.

He later posted a tweet in Arab pronouncing the Shahadah (proclamation of faith).

The politician later announced that he reverted to Islam, giving no more information about the reasons behind the decision.

“In my own close circle people have known that I have been actively researching the Qur’an, Hadith, Sunnah and other writings for almost a year now,” he said.

“In addition, I have had numerous conversations with Muslims about the religion.”

Driven by his party’s anti-Islam discourse, Doorn decided to dig in for the truth about the religion himself.

“I have heard so many negative stories about Islam, but I am not a person who follows opinions of others without doing my own research,” he said.

“Therefore, I have actually started to deepen my knowledge of the Islam out of curiosity.

“My colleague Aboe Khoulani from the City Council in The Hague has brought me further into contact with the as-Soennah mosque, which has guided me even further.”

A member of the Dutch parliament and The Hague city council, Doorn’s name has long been associated with Wilders’ anti-Islam, far-right PVV party.

A member of the Dutch parliament and The Hague city council, Doorn’s name has long been associated with anti-Islam rhetoric by Wilders’ PVV party.

Wilders himself is known for his rants against Islam, Muslims and the Noble Qur’an.

New Beginning

Doorn’s decision to embrace Islam has won mixed reactions in the Netherlands.

“According to some people I am a traitor, but according to most others I have actually made a very good decision,” he told Aljazeera.

“The reactions are generally positive and I also received quite some support via twitter.

“It feels good that people who do not know me personally have understanding of my situation and support me in my choice.”

For the Dutch politician, finding Islam was finally guiding him to the true path in his life.

“I have made mistakes in life as many others. From these mistakes I have learned a lot,” Doorn said.

“And by my conversion to Islam I have the feeling that I finally found my path.

“I realize that this is a new start and that I still have much to learn as well.”

Departing from his earlier life as a PVV member, Doorn expects much resistance in his political life.

“The expectation is that I will continue to face much resistance, also from certain government institutions,” he said.

“I have all faith in Allah to support me and to guide me through these moments.”


A PCSO, Jayne Kemp Fell In Love With Islam

February 5, 2013

Police Community Support Officer Jayne Kemp, 28, decided to find out about the faith while helping a Muslim woman suffering domestic abuse.


A mum-of-two has told how she was inspired to convert to Islam – after helping a victim of honour-based violence as part of her job in the police.

Police Community Support Officer Jayne Kemp, 28, decided to find out about the faith while helping a Muslim woman suffering domestic abuse.

After speaking to other Muslims on Twitter, she was inspired to give up her Catholic faith to fully convert last year and now lives a completely Islamic lifestyle.

She now goes out on her  PCSO patrols in?Eccles, Salford, wearing the traditional hijab headscarf and makes time up at the end of her shift to attend Friday prayers.

Jayne, single mum to a son, nine, and daughter, seven, formerly converted in a Shahada ceremony last April and now plans to change her name to Aminah.

While her children spent Christmas Day at their dad’s so they could still celebrate, she went round to her mum’s – but had to cook her own dinner so it would be halal.

Jayne, who joined GMP in August 2009 and lives in south Manchester,  said: “It started when I had a woman approach me at work who was experiencing honour-based violence.

“Where I work in Eccles there’s a big mosque and big Muslim population, so I thought I should find out more about it.

“I’d thought Islam was all about women being forced to slave away in the kitchen – but found out it was about being generous with your time, patient and respectful of others.

“As I looked into it I saw similarities with Catholicism and also values like looking after your neighbours and valuing the elderly that older people say younger people don’t have any more.

“I wasn’t looking for any religion at the time but for every question I got answered about Islam I just had five more – I think I fell in love with it.”

I just fell in love with Islam...

I just fell in love with Islam…

Jayne made the decision to tell colleagues she had converted when she wanted to start wearing a hijab to work – and says they have all been supportive.

She is now working with the Greater Manchester Muslim Police Association to design a regulation police hijab and tunic – as one has never been needed before in the force.

Jayne said:  “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 also change negative stereotypes about Islam.”

Jayne, who grew up in Wythenshawe, said: “My family in general are supportive. As long as I’m happy, they’re happy.

“I was very open about my reading and studying Islam. My sister said the other day I’m the happiest she’s ever seen me.”

Jayne was helped to find out about Islam by Muhammad Manzoor, who runs Muslim Twitter account Local Masjid from his Whalley Range home.

He said: “I was humbled Jayne was asking me these questions as it made me find out more about Islam too.

“She has found this religion for herself and hopefully it shows Muslims can mix in society without compromising their faith.”


Puerto Rican-American Rapper Hamza Pérez’s Journey to Islam

November 16, 2011

Jason Perez dreamed he would die before he turned 21. His dream came true. A former drug dealer on the streets on New York, Perez says “Jason” died when he became Muslim. Now known as Hamza, the Nuyorican rapper and family man spreads the message of Islam through his music.

The movie New Muslim Cool documents Hamza’s journey: moving from New York to Pittsburgh, educating his family about his new-found faith and raising his children Muslim in post-9/11 America.

The following interview is taken from


I personally went to see “The New Muslim Cool” screening in San Francisco, CA. Although I did not meet Brother Hamza Perez at this screening, I was honored to have met him previously at Latino Day in a San Francisco masjid – Masjid Al- Sabeel on Golden Gate Avenue. So naturally, I was very much looking forward to this awesome screening. I believe “The New Muslim Cool” is a first of its kind. Not only are we inspired by Brother Hamza’s spiritual journey to Islam, but with his life, his mission, and his music to reach Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

America's worst nightmare

My personal favorite quote from the trailer of “The New Muslim Cool”, “You are a single dad, now you’re married, so you’re a married man, you’re Muslim, you’re American, you’re Puerto Rican, you’re from the hood, you’re an artist, you’re a rapper… sounds like America’s worst nightmare!” For many American Muslims around the country, he is the exact opposite – Brother Hamza is on a mission for our future.

Q: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself – where you were born and your background.

A: I was born in Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in a housing project across the street from a Masjid. My mother began to raise me there. After I got a little bit older, we moved to Puerto Rico, and thereafter we moved back and forth between Massachusetts and Puerto Rico.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your religious upbringing.

A: Yeah, my mom was Catholic. But, my grandmother in Puerto Rico was Baptist. During my 1st and 2nd grades, I was in Catholic school.

Q: Can you tell us about your conversion to Islam.

A: I had an Ecuadorian friend named Louie. We grew up together, and then we got involved in selling drugs together. I kept searching for happiness as a young person but I couldn’t find it. I tried the life of the streets and drugs but that just made me more depressed. Even though we made money, it did not give us the taste or satisfaction of happiness. So, you know, we came real like down. One day, he walked by the masjid, and he was sitting on the steps and began rolling up a joint, and a Muslim brother approached him and asked him what he was doing there and started talking to him about Islam. And he ended up becoming a Muslim. We knew this mosque because we grew up down the street, but, like I said, the Muslims never came out to our community, so the only thing we knew about them is that they killed goats. So, in the community, they were known as that’s the place where goats are killed. So we were familiar with the building but not really with what goes on inside. Louise ended up becoming Muslim and was missing for 40 days. He went with Tabligh Jama’a (the community of teachers of Islam). We were from the streets, you know. We were Latinos; we didn’t know anything about Tabligh Jama’a. All we heard was that some Pakistanis and Arabs had kidnapped him. What the heck was he doing with them anyways? We are all Latinos.

Sometime later, I saw this Muslim brother I went to school with. He was African-American. I saw him in the store, and it was like, “Yo Yo man, you know my friend Louie?” He said, “No man, I don’t know any Louie. I know a Luqman.” I started laughing at him. I thought he was talking about some Jamaican stuff. So I told him to tell Luqman that I’m looking for him. So one day, I was smoking and I was with the people sell drugs with, and Luqman came dressed all in white with a sheikh named Iqbal. We were playing dices, drinking, smoking. He was with a Pakistani brother from Tabligh Jama’a. And I saw that both of them had nur (light). They had like this spiritual light. I could see the transformation in him. I knew that something seriously had happened in his life. So I left the other people who were drinking and smoking and walked towards them. So, right there, the sheikh asked me if I believed that there was only one God. I said, “Yes.” And then he asked me if I believed in the Prophet Mohammad (Salla Lahu ‘alaihi Wa-Salaam – Peace on him) was His Messenger. I had heard of the Prophet Mohammad (Salla Lahu ‘alaihi Wa-Salaam), but I saw the light in the character and face of my friend Luqman, so I believed it. So I took Shahada (testament to faith/conversion to Islam) right there in the middle of the street. My brother then took the Shahada.

Q: How did your parents react to you accepting Islam?

A: My family was initially upset. But it has been tempered by gratitude that my brother and my new faith has gotten us off drugs and away from other dangerous pursuits. They loved it – I mean, my family loved it. My mom loved it. She thought it was very positive. I immediately begin to take care of her. I would help her out in the house. I would go out and do stuff for her. I wasn’t like that when I wasn’t a Muslim. And then, after I became Muslim, my brother became Muslim. Then one of my friends became Muslim. Over 55 people that we knew became Muslim. We went back to the same places we used to sell drugs and put up a sign that says, “Heroin kills you and Allah saves you!” So, you know, a lot of them were impacted by Luqman’s Shahada and the wave of Shahadas that took place.

Q: Did you ever encounter any problems with your acceptance of Islam?

A: At first, since I was a brand new Muslim, I thought I should listen to any Muslim and what they told me. I really had no direction. Some people taught me to look at other Muslims and to criticize other Muslims by the length of their beards and by the length of their pants. And then my criticizing of people became long, and my remembrance of God became short. I started to lose the sweetness that I had when I first became Muslim and a year of listening to certain Muslims examining the faults of other Muslims, and I had to go through, like, a big transformation. And it wasn’t ’til I started sitting with traditional scholars that I began to spiritually heal myself from the disease of looking at people’s faults.

Q: Do you see any similarities between Islam and the other religions in your background?

A: Yeah, of course. It’s all connected. The thing about my religion before is that it was really blind following. I knew who Jesus was, I saw images that were attributed to him, but I didn’t really know about Jesus besides Christmas, and the verses that we read were directed to us by the priests and the pastors. I became a way better follower of Christ when I became Muslim.

Q: What impact has Islam had on your life?

A: Islam has opened up my eyes to my own faults. Before, I had this thing called nafs. I didn’t know about nafs. Islam made me realize that, in the streets, you’re always looking for enemies who are out to get you. And Islam taught me that, in order to find my enemy, all I had to do was look in the mirror. I also began to reach out to prisoners, using my faith and struggles to inspire them. My work also leads me into surprising alliances with ministries of other religions that, like my own, seek to build a road to redemption from the nation’s jails.

Q: What was the most difficult thing to change and how long did it take you?

A: The most difficult thing to change… I think it would have been the whole woman issue. Yeah, because I went straight cold turkey – women, you know, marijuana, everything right overnight. Right after the Shahada, I went and took a shower, everything was cold turkey. I had a lot of girlfriends, and the next thing you know my girlfriends saw me walking down the street in a white dress. I was a good guy to them before becoming Muslim, and they just could not understand why they couldn’t touch me, why I could not talk to them anymore. I wish I could have been more educated back so that I could have maybe explained stuff better. But, Allah is The Best of Planners, you know. A lot of them respect it. The people I went to school with, I stay in contact with them on Facebook. I have like this daily class that I do with all of my non-Muslim acquaintances that I grew up with.

Q: Did any of your friends or family members become Muslim?

A: Over 55 people that we know became Muslim. My grandmother and my aunt took Shahada. My brother took Shahada. My cousin took Shahada. Then my aunt took Shahada on a Sunday and then she died on a Tuesday. My whole street crew that I rode with became Muslim, except for one person.

Q: How did your mother react to your acceptance of Islam?

A: My mother brought us up in Catholic schools. She worked two jobs to do that. …It was kind of confusing for her, but she accepted it. They would ask her, why is your son wearing that dress? She would say, “I don’t know, but just leave him alone. My kids are all drug free now, they don’t drink and they don’t smoke!” They changed their life and they are doing good.

Q: How are your holidays with your non-Muslim family?

A: Of course, I don’t celebrate them. Certain holidays I choose to stay away, like Christmas. I give my family their respect for their holidays, and they really respect my holidays. So, my mother does not get my kids gifts for Christmas, she gets them gifts for ‘Eid. On holidays like Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving, I know they are not from the Sunna, but I look at it as … for my family, so I go to their houses, but I don’t get too caught up in the moment. I make sure I treat my mother good all year round. So, every day I see her, I treat her like it is Mother’s Day. My brother and I have learned to make traditional Puerto Rican halal food like arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) with halal chicken. There is a store in Pittsburg where we can get halal meat. I think we’ve figured out to make lots of traditional boricua dishes halal-style, even mofongo (fried green plantain mashed in a mortar and shaped into a ball. Traditionally it was seasoned with fresh garlic and pork cracklings. New versions are stuffed with seafood, chicken, or vegetables).

Q: Has she seen a change in your way of dealing with her and your life?

A: Yeah, big time. Before I did not have patience with her. I read a book about the rights mothers have over their children and I became really scared that Allah might Punish me if I don’t treat my mother right. There is a story of a Sahaba that he was dying and he could not take his Shahada and the Prophet Mohammad (Salla Lahu ‘alaihi Wa-Salaam) asked him, you know, say it, say it. Then the Prophet Mohammad (Salla Lahu ‘alaihi Wa-Salaam) said, is there a problem between you and your mother. So, the Prophet Mohammad (Salla Lahu ‘alaihi Wa-Salaam) called for his mom, and they reconciled and then he was able to say the Shahada. So I fear that if I don’t treat my mother good and my grandmother good, and the woman in my family good, that Allah might block my tongue from saying the Shahada.

Q: What do you think is the most important aspect Islam has to offer Americans and Latinos.

A: The most important aspect Islam has to offer is the true connection with Jesus Christ and the conquest of self. Once you begin to recognize spiritual diseases, there are ways Islam provides for you to fix yourself. You can become a better father, and become a better person. And that is really big in Latino culture…family.

Q: Exactly. Could you tell us a few things about your new movie and your plans for the future?

A: “The New Muslim Cool” is a documentary about my life, after I made hijra from Massachusetts to Pittsburg. I learned to have a lot more respect and understanding for people who choose to follow organized religion, whether it’s Islam or Christianity or Judaism (or another path). And we all definitely changed by working so closely together for three years, learning to accept more and more that we can all be so different and yet have so much in common. All of us on the crew and production team – Muslim, Jewish, Christian, atheist, Latino, black, white, South Asian – gained new friendships and deep new levels of trust for each other. Maybe that can be on some microcosmic level what we could do as a society or even a world, if we could just be able to see each other as fully and completely human despite coming from different religions or cultures or economic classes.

It is about the work that I do in the community with the young members and the work that I do in the jails. Our mosque was raided by the FBI. They never really gave an excuse why they raided it. Since we had given lots of Dawa in our neighborhood and treated our non-Muslim neighbors, good we did not even have to speak. Our neighbors came outside and spoke to the media on our behalf. So, it was very positive. We feel like the raid from the FBI was really from Allah.

Q: And your visits here in California, I heard that you had a great success on your visit to the school in Pacifica, could you talk about that?

A: Oh, yeah, that was amazing. I have never experienced youth so open to change and so open to Islam. We just connected on a humanity level. That’s something that Islam has broken me out of the chains of. Latinos – we give lots of labels…If someone’s fat, we call them gordso, if someone is skinny, we call them flaco; if they’re black, we call them negro. We always have these titles and labels for people. Islam has allowed me to look past people’s skin and the physical and look at them as souls and opportunities to get closer to God. So we just connected on a humanity tip, on a young people level…from one young person to another young person, and it was an excellent vibe.

Q: How about singing your music, how about your music career…could you tell us a little bit about it?

A: Yeah, we got two new albums about to come out and one just came out in February. It’s available on iTunes. And, you know, we have nice non-Muslim fan base and a Muslim fan base. We try to do the music to address certain issues that we face as people, so our music has a positive message to it. I am trying to take my message of faith to other young people through hard-hitting hip-hop music. In Islam there are diseases of the heart like conceit, jealousy, envy, arrogance, hate, our pride. So, I wanted to explain this to the people who I grew up with in the streets. I knew these people in the streets, so instead of me saying their names, I put it in a poem; I said the diseases of their hearts. So, this is a story about them without saying their names but saying their diseases. So, it goes:

There was this kid named Jealousy
Who had gun weaponry
Whoever lived life better than him, He was his enemy
He walked the street like a centipede.
Frustrated with his destiny
Living life like a dark legacy
He had a brother named Envy
Whose pockets were empty
He had a forty caliber with a clip that hold twenty
They made a plan to rob a drug slanger
They ran into a drug dealer named Anger
Known for his short temper by gangbangers
And new cars and new clothes on the hangers
They shot anger and left him dead in the street
They left a witness Anger’s girlfriend conceit
Conceit picked up the phone and talked as she cried
She called up a big drug dealer named Pride
She told him that Anger had died
And that she had seen Jealousy and Envy with her own 2 eyes
Pride picked up the phone and called his main man Hate
They looked for Jealousy and Envy ‘Til the night got late
The found Jealousy and Envy coming out the liquor store
They shot ’em dead and left them bleeding on the floor
These are the diseases of the spiritual poor
And the Deen of Allah be the only true cure

Q: Jaka-lahu Khair, Brother. Thank you for your time. May Allah Reward you. As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum.

A: Wa ‘alaikum Salaam.


Guidance to The TRUTH by AbdulHAQQ (DTF WONG, China)

March 27, 2010


My name is AbdulHAQQ (formerly known as D T F Wong).  I am of Chinese origin and was born in Brunei Darussalam (which has a predominantly Muslim population). I am 36 years old and male. I left Brunei Darusalam in 1977 to further my education in UK and am now settled in London UK. My education has mainly been at a missionary school (from kindergarten) related to the church and later for nearly 2 years at a Christian independent school in UK before entering College.


I was born into a Christian (protestant/anglican) family who were (and still is) actively involved in the Church. In a secular society, one could add that I had also accepted and followed secular laws and customs.I remained a Christian till I was 27.


I am now a Muslim – have been for nearly 9 years since I left Christianity.


According to Islam, guidance is of two kinds: a) Guidance of Taufiq i.e. totally from Allah, i.e. Allah opens one’s heart to receive the truth (from disbelief to Belief in Islamic Monotheism). b) Guidance of Irshaad i.e. through preaching by Allah’s Messengers and pious preachers who preach the truth, i.e. Islamic Monotheism. In my case, the guidance from God is guidance of taufiq. I say this because I was actively seeking the truth and was hardly preached by Muslims.

When I was 23 (and in my last year in college), I became god-conscious in a way I was never really taught in Christianity. I looked out of my window and observed the signs of creation (eg sky, trees, people, etc) and developed a strong belief in the existence of God. I was studying Architecture (in College) and for me – when I look at buildings I know that someone designed and built it. Same with the creation – the alternation of night and day, the bodily functions, etc led me to believe strongly that there was a Creator. Christianity tend to push forward the concept Trinity which many can’t explain and many accept to satisfy their spiritual instinct. I had no problems with Christianity at this point. However this new god-consciousness stayed with me. The way the Trinity was being ‘pushed to the masses’ by the Church as well as Christians left this new god-consciousness a personal experience for me.

I had never studied Islam even though I grew up in a predominantly Muslim country. At that time in Brunei Darussalam, non-Muslims were exempt from Islamic Education. One day I was passing by a Muslim bookshop and decided to enter (without any idea what I was looking for). I came across the Qur’an and decided to buy it. As any Muslim will tell you, the Qur’an instructs (time and time again) all mankind to observe the signs of creation around and affirm their believe in the Creator. This matched with the way that I had developed my new god-consciousness and I decided that there was truth in the Qur’an and Islam. The Qur’an also led me to question the authenticity of the Bible and the Trinity for the first time. I began searching and reading books questioning the authenticity of the Bible and the Trinity. Many Christians answer difficult questions on issues like the trinity with ‘God can do anything’.

I couldn’t fault Islam and the knowledge I was gaining had a profound impact on me more so than Christianity. I was slowly deciding to switch to Islam. Islam had a simple purity that anyone would appreciate – ie without the complexity of issues such as the Trinity. Islam allowed mankind to have an intellectual conviction on fundamental matters of belief. It didn’t leave the spiritual instinct in man to be satisfied by an emotional conviction such as one would say of idol-worshipping.

The decision to become Muslim was personal. When I told my parents that I had done so, my mother asked two of my uncles (who were in priesthood) to communicate with me – trying to convince me that Christianity was right. They failed and decided that I was not dragged into a cult and that I had made an informed decision – so they left me to continue as a Muslim.

As I continue learning and increasing my knowledge of the deen of Islam my faith in God increased. I became more aware of Christianity’s lack of guidance for mankind. Church services was man-made, Christian festivals/celebrations was man-made, arguments as to whether to accept homosexuality in Christianity or Christians at war, etc.

Islam had guidance for relationships between man/woman and God, between man/woman and himself/herself, and man/woman with other men/women. Islam had guidance on issues relating to economics, politics, education, social, legal/penal system, etc. In Islam there is guidance on how God wants us to pray, how to conduct Friday prayers, what and how to celebrate, what is right and wrong, what the penalties for crimes are, how to set up the state, what the state should implement, how the ruler should rule, etc. Islam offered guidance on establishing a society based on divine guidance.

Christianity placed heavy emphasis on faith/beliefs and seemed happy to co-exist in a secular world. Islam had laws and guidance for individuals and society. I believed this to be right – that the Creator would not leave the Created to argue and make laws of their own. The Creator knows best for the Creation. Anyone would follow instructions from the manufacturer to make best use of the manufactured item. Islam is submission to the will of God, our Creator. Muslim is one who submits to the will of God, our Creator. Society will only function well and in peace when we all submit to the will of the Creator.

I could not be a Jew – Jews are a chosen people (descendants of Judah of the tribe of Israel). Christianity I now see as a deviation from the real teachings of Jesus – leading mankind from guidance from God to guidance of man/woman. With a world dominated by man-made laws and the evident injustices in society, the time is ripe a return to laws from the Creator – as Islam offers. I am convinced I made the right choice in becoming Muslim.



Member of the Swiss Political Party that Pushed for Minaret Ban Converts to Islam

February 11, 2010

Macon Mayor, Jack Ellis, Announces Embracing Islam

December 6, 2009

Written by MosqueAdin
Friday, 09 February 2007

Macon Mayor, Jack Ellis

Macon Mayor Jack Ellis converted from Christianity to Islam and is now seeking to change his legal name to Hakim Mansour Ellis. Ellis, who was raised as a Christian in Macon, a city located in central Georgia, announced that he became a Sunni Muslim during a ceremony in the west African nation of Senegal.

He said he has been studying the holy Qur’an for years, and that Islam was his ancestor’s religion before they were brought to North America as slaves.

“Why does one become a Christian?” Ellis said. “You do it because it feels right. … To me it’s no big deal. But people like to know what you believe in.”

The 61-year-old mayor said he would keep his last name at the request of his two daughters.

Muslim converts usually change their name, though the practice is not typically required.

Ellis, whose mayoral term expires this year, doesn’t rule out future runs for elected office. But he said that he hasn’t considered how his conversion to Islam could affect his political career.

He says he is proud to be an American living in a country based on religious freedom.

In January, Rep. Keith Ellison took office as the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress. The Michigan Democrat was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college.

His election raised debate in the United States, especially after he used the holy Qur’an to take oath of office.

Ellis, who was elected Mayor in July 1999, becoming the first black Mayor in the 176-year history of the city, said Muslims shouldn’t be portrayed as bad people simply because of the acts of a few.

“If anybody wants to know about Islam, I can hold an intelligent conversation,” Ellis said. “What I’ve found is how little we know about the religion.”

The history of Islam in the United States starts in the 18th century, with the first Muslim inhabitants. The sizeable Muslim community in the U.S. has increased greatly over the past one hundred years, mainly due to the increase in the number of Muslim immigrants, and the high rate of Americans who convert to Islam.

According to wikipedia, up to one-third of American Muslims are African Americans who have converted to Islam during the last seventy years.

— AJP and Agencies Last Updated


Why I Shed Bikini for Niqab: The New Symbol of Women’s Liberation

September 7, 2009

By Sara Bokker

I am an American woman who was born in the midst of America’s “Heartland.” I grew up, just like any other girl, being fixated with the glamour of life in “the big city.” Eventually, I moved to Florida and on to South Beach of Miami, a hotspot for those seeking the “glamorous life.” Naturally, I did what most average Western girls do. I focused on my appearance and appeal, basing my self-worth on how much attention I got from others. I worked out religiously and became a personal trainer, acquired an upscale waterfront residence, became a regular “exhibiting” beach-goer and was able to attain a “living-in-style” kind of life.

Years went by, only to realize that my scale of self-fulfillment and happiness slid down the more I progressed in my “feminine appeal.” I was a slave to fashion. I was a hostage to my looks.

As the gap continued to progressively widen between my self-fulfillment and lifestyle, I sought refuge in escapes from alcohol and parties to meditation, activism, and alternative religions, only to have the little gap widen to what seemed like a valley. I eventually realized it all was merely a pain killer rather than an effective remedy.

By now it was September 11, 2001. As I witnessed the ensuing barrage on Islam, Islamic values and culture, and the infamous declaration of the “new crusade,” I started to notice something called Islam. Up until that point, all I had associated with Islam was women covered in “tents,” wife beaters, harems, and a world of terrorism.

As a feminist libertarian, and an activist who was pursuing a better world for all, my path crossed with that of another activist who was already at the lead of indiscriminately furthering causes of reform and justice for all. I joined in the ongoing campaigns of my new mentor which included, at the time, election reform and civil rights, among others. Now my new activism was fundamentally different. Instead of “selectively” advocating justice only to some, I learned that ideals such as justice, freedom, and respect are meant to be and are essentially universal, and that own good and common good are not in conflict. For the first time, I knew what “all people are created equal” really means. But most importantly, I learned that it only takes faith to see the world as one and to see the unity in creation.

One day I came across a book that is negatively stereotyped in the West–The Holy Qur’an. I was first attracted by the style and approach of the Qur’an, and then intrigued by its outlook on existence, life, creation, and the relationship between Creator and creation. I found the Qur’an to be a very insightful address to heart and soul without the need for an interpreter or pastor.

Eventually I hit a moment of truth: my new-found self-fulfilling activism was nothing more than merely embracing a faith called Islam where I could live in peace as a “functional” Muslim.

I bought a beautiful long gown and head cover resembling the Muslim woman’s dress code and I walked down the same streets and neighborhoods where only days earlier I had walked in my shorts, bikini, or “elegant” western business attire. Although the people, the faces, and the shops were all the same, one thing was remarkably distinct–I was not–nor was the peace at being a woman I experienced for the very first time. I felt as if the chains had been broken and I was finally free. I was delighted with the new looks of wonder on people’s faces in place of the looks of a hunter watching his prey I had once sought. Suddenly a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I no longer spent all my time consumed with shopping, makeup, getting my hair done, and working out. Finally, I was free.

Of all places, I found my Islam at the heart of what some call “the most scandalous place on earth,” which makes it all the more dear and special.

While content with Hijab I became curious about Niqab, seeing an increasing number of Muslim women in it. I asked my Muslim husband, whom I married after I reverted to Islam, whether I should wear Niqab or just settle for the Hijab I was already wearing. My husband simply advised me that he believes Hijab is mandatory in Islam while Niqab is not. At the time, my Hijab consisted of head scarf that covered all my hair except for my face, and a loose long black gown called “Abaya” that covered all my body from neck to toe.

A year-and-a-half passed, and I told my husband I wanted to wear Niqab. My reason, this time, was that I felt it would be more pleasing to Allah, the Creator, increasing my feeling of peace at being more modest. He supported my decision and took me to buy an “Isdaal,” a loose black gown that covers from head to toe, and Niqab, which covers all my head and face except for my eyes.

Soon enough, news started breaking about politicians, Vatican clergymen, libertarians, and so-called human rights and freedom activists condemning Hijab at times, and Niqab at others as being oppressive to women, an obstacle to social integration, and more recently, as an Egyptian official called it–“a sign of backwardness.”

I find it to be a blatant hypocrisy when Western governments and so-called human rights groups rush to defend woman’s rights when some governments impose a certain dress code on women, yet such “freedom fighters” look the other way when women are being deprived of their rights, work, and education just because they choose to exercise their right to wear Niqab or Hijab. Today, women in Hijab or Niqab are being increasingly barred from work and education not only under totalitarian regimes such as in Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt, but also in Western democracies such as France, Holland, and Britain.

Today I am still a feminist, but a Muslim feminist, who calls on Muslim women to assume their responsibilities in providing all the support they can for their husbands to be good Muslims. To raise their children as upright Muslims so they may be beacons of light for all humanity once again. To enjoin good–any good–and to forbid evil–any evil. To speak righteousness and to speak up against all ills. To fight for our right to wear Niqab or Hijab and to please our Creator whichever way we chose. But just as importantly to carry our experience with Niqab or Hijab to fellow women who may never have had the chance to understand what wearing Niqab or Hijab means to us and why do we, so dearly, embrace it.


Most of the women I know wearing Niqab are Western reverts, some of whom are not even married. Others wear Niqab without full support of either family or surroundings. What we all have in common is that it is the personal choice of each and every one of us, which none of us is willing to surrender.

Willingly or unwillingly, women are bombarded with styles of “dressing-in-little-to-nothing” virtually in every means of communication everywhere in the world. As an ex non-Muslim, I insist on women’s right to equally know about Hijab, its virtues, and the peace and happiness it brings to a woman’s life as it did to mine. Yesterday, the bikini was the symbol of my liberty, when in actuality it only liberated me from my spirituality and true value as a respectable human being.

I couldn’t be happier to shed my bikini in South Beach and the “glamorous” Western lifestyle to live in peace with my Creator and enjoy living among fellow humans as a worthy person. It is why I choose to wear Niqab, and why I will die defending my inalienable right to wear it. Today, Niqab is the new symbol of woman’s liberation.

To women who surrender to the ugly stereotype against the Islamic modesty of Hijab, I say: You don’t know what you are missing.

Sara Bokker is a former actress/model/fitness instructor and activist. Currently, Sara is Director of Communications at “The March For Justice,” a co-founder of “The Global Sisters Network,” and producer of the infamous “Shock & Awe Gallery.”


Thousands Of British Elite Embrace Islam: Study

January 20, 2009

LONDON, February 26 ( – Jonathan Birt, the son of Lord Birt and Emma Clark, the granddaughter of former liberal prime minister Herbert Asquith, are only two of 14,000 mostly-elite white Britons having reverted to Islam. 

"I have received letters from people … who are looking for a religion which does not compromise too much with the modern world,” Eaton

"I have received letters from people … who are looking for a religion which does not compromise too much with the modern world,” Eaton

In the first authoritative study of the phenomenon, carried by the Sunday Times on February 22, some of the country’s top landowners, celebrities and the offspring of senior Establishment figures have embraced the Muslim faith after being disillusioned with western values.

The new study by Yahya (formerly Jonathan) Birt, son of Lord Birt, former director-general of the BBC, provides the first reliable data on the sensitive subject of the movement of Christians into Islam.

He uses a breakdown of the latest census figures to conclude that there are now 14,200 white reverts in Britain.

Mass Conversion

Speaking publicly for the first time about his faith this weekend, Birt argued that an inspirational figure, similar to the American revert Malcolm X for Afro-Caribbeans, would first have to emerge if the next stage, a mass conversion among white Britons, were to happen.

“You need great transitional figures to translate something alien (like Islam) into the vernacular,” Birt, whose doctorate at Oxford University is on young British Muslims, was quoted by the Times.

“The image of Islam projected by political Islamic movements is not very attractive,” he said.

Initially, Birt said he had no coherent reasons for reverting, but “in the longer term I think it was the overall profundity, balance and coherence and spirituality of the Muslim way of life which convinced me,” he said.

‘All Rage’

Meanwhile, it emerged this weekend that Emma Clark, the great-granddaughter of a British prime minister has reverted.

Emma, whose ancestor, the Liberal prime minister Herbert Asquith, took Britain into the first world war, said: “We’re all the rage, I hope it’s not a passing fashion.”

Clark, who helped design an Islamic garden for the Prince of Wales at Highgrove, his Gloucestershire home, is now helping create a similar garden for a mosque in Woking, Surrey, on the site of a car park, said the British newspaper.

Furthermore, fresh evidence came this weekend that Islam has received formal acceptance at the heart of the Establishment.

The Queen has approved new arrangements to allow Muslim staff at Buckingham Palace time off to attend Friday prayers at a mosque.

A member of staff in the finance department is the first to take advantage of it,  said the British paper.

‘Trophy Lists’

Others have come to Islam through love or marriage.

Kristiane Backer, a former girlfriend of the cricketer Imran Khan, said she was introduced to the religion through love but reverted after her break-up.

She has shrunk from speaking publicly about her religion before because of fears it might affect her work prospects.

“Imran sowed the seeds, but when (the relationship) finished (the faith) took on a momentum of its own,” she said.

Drawn to Sufi mysticism, Baker said that white reverts had to overcome prejudice both from those born into Islam and from non-believers.

“In the mosque women come up and say to me, ‘You have hair showing: you must cover up completely.’ I say, ‘Mind your own hair, you’re here to think about God’ ”.

Many reverts have been inspired by the writings of Charles Le Gai Eaton, a former Foreign Office diplomat, it added.

“I have received letters from people who are put off by the wishy-washy standards of contemporary Christianity and they are looking for a religion which does not compromise too much with the modern world,” said Eaton, author of Islam and the Destiny of Man.


Some prominent reverts are even more wary, said the Times.

The Earl of Yarborough, 40, who owns a 28,000-acre estate in Lincolnshire, declined to discuss anything about his faith.

“I have nothing to say to you,” said Yarborough, who has apparently taken the name Abdul Mateen.

Muslim leaders are harnessing modern campaigning methods to promote their faith. Groups have sprung up on the internet publishing “trophy lists” of white reverts.

The state-funded school in London founded by Yusuf Islam, formerly the singer Cat Stevens, has turned to Premiership footballers to provide role models, said the Times.

Sources close to the school say reverts including Nicolas Anelka, the Manchester City striker, and Omer “Freddie” Kanoute, of Tottenham Hotspur, have made visits.

The trend is being encouraged by Muslim leaders who are convinced that the conversion of prominent society figures will help protect a community stigmatized by “terrorism and fundamentalism“.

The Muslim Council of Britain has co-opted Joe Ahmed-Dobson, son of Frank Dobson, the former health secretary, to chair its regeneration committee.

“The community has been unfairly targeted and these developments encourage it in a time of difficulty,” said Zaki Badawi, chairman of the Imams and Mosques Council.


Former Christian Abdullah DeLancey becomes a Muslim

September 9, 2008

This is the story of how I found Islam.

My name is Abdullah DeLancey. I am Canadian and I am employed as a Patient Service Worker at the local Hospital. I have been married for almost 20 years and we have 3 wonderful children.

Alhamdulillah. I am a now a Muslim. I wasn’t always a Muslim though.
Previously; I was a Protestant Christian for all of my life. My family brought me up in the Pentecostal Church until I was an adult at which time I moved to a fundamental Independent Baptist Church. As a faithful Christian I was very involved at Church, giving lectures for the Adult Sunday School and other duties. I was eventually elected as the Deacon of the Church. I really wanted to further my dedication to God and decided to pursue a career as a Minister. I was awarded a scholarship to help me start taking a Degree in Divinity. My goal was to be a Pastor of a Church or a Missionary.

However, becoming a Minister would commit me and my whole family to the Church full time for life. So just before attending Bible College, I thought it best to look at Christianity critically and ask some very serious questions about my faith. I questioned the trinity, why God would need a son, and why the human sacrifice of Jesus, as stated in the bible, was needed to provide me with forgiveness. I questioned the Christian belief of how all the righteous people in the Old Testament were “saved” and in heaven if Jesus wasn’t even born yet. I pondered serious questions about Christianity that I had neglected to ask my whole life. The answers I received from Christians on these theological issues “which are the basis of the faith in Christianity” defied all reason and were absolutely beyond any logical thinking. Why would God give us a wonderful brain and then expect us to temporarily stop using it? Because that is what Christianity is asking people to do when they say you just must have faith. That is blind faith.

Realizing that I had always accepted Christianity, with Blind faith for my entire life and never had questioned it was perplexing to me. How could I have not realized this before? I could not find the answers in the Bible. Once I realized that the trinity was a myth and that God is powerful enough to “save” someone without the need for help from a son or anyone or anything else. Things changed. My entire faith in Christianity fell apart. I could no longer believe in Christianity or be a Christian. I left the Church for good and my wife dutifully left with me, as she was having trouble accepting Christianity too.
This was the start of my spiritual journey.

I was now without a Religion but believed in a God. This was a very hard time for me and my family as Christianity was all we had ever known. I had to search for the truth.

I began studying various religions and found them as false one after another. Until, I heard about Islam. Islam!!! What was that? As far as I could remember, I had never known a Muslim and Islam was not heard or spoken of “as a faith” in my part of Canada. Unless, of course, it was news stories talking bad about Islam. For me at that time, Islam was not even a consideration. Not on my religious radar at all.

But then I started to read a little about Islam. Then, I kept reading a little more. Then, I read the Quran. This wonderful revelation of truth has changed my life forever. I immediately started to study ever piece of information pertaining to Islam I could get my hands on. I discovered the nearest Mosque was about 100 miles away from my city. So I promptly loaded the family van and drove my family to this Mosque. On the way, I was very nervous but also very excited at the same time..

I asked myself. Was I even allowed in the Mosque because I wasn’t an Arab or a Muslim ? However after arriving at the Mosque I quickly realized I had nothing to fear. I was greeted by the Imam and the Muslims with a most warm greeting. I found them very nice. Nothing like the bad things the news always said about Muslims. They gave me a book by Ahmed Deedat and assured me I could be a Muslim. I studied all the material on Islam they gave me. I appreciated these books very much because our local library had only 4 books on Islam. After studying I was in shock. How could I have been a Christian for so long and never heard the truth. I now believed in Islam. I knew it and I wanted to convert. I was put in contact with the small Muslim community in my city.

On March 24th 2006 I went to the Mosque. Just before Friday prayer started and with most of the local Muslim Community present as witness. I testified that” La illaha ill Allah, Muhammadur Rasul Allah” “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. I was now a Muslim. It was the best day of my life. I love Islam and have peace now.

Difficult times have come since I became a Muslim. When people started realizing I was now a Muslim they would shun me or laugh at me, most of our old Christian friends have never talked to us again. My parents have all but disowned me. I love being a Muslim and it doesn’t matter if some of my fellow Canadians think of me as odd for becoming a Muslim. Why? The reason is that I alone, am the one that will have to answer to Allah after my death. Allah is the giver of strength and all mighty Allah has helped me through all the rough times after my conversion to Islam. I have many, many Muslim Brothers now. I have legally changed my first name to Abdullah, which I like very much. I am now the first and only Muslim Chaplain approved to work at the local hospital in my City.
I am a Muslim and I am truly happy. All Thanks be to Allah.

That is how I became a Muslim. Islam is right for you too. Maybe you are not just randomly reading this article by chance. Maybe you already believe Allah is the one and only true God. Do you want to have life and become a Muslim right now. It is a big step.
But the best step you will ever take. Once you have decided that Islam is the truth. The only thing you must do to become a Muslim is truly believe and freely testify that “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Testify to this truth with me now. Become Muslim and have life.

Abdullah DeLancey founder of

Muhammad Aman Hobohn: A Diplomat, Missionary & Social Worker (Germany)

July 17, 2008

Why Do Westeners Embrace ISLAM?  There are various reasons for it.  In the first place, truth always has its force.  The basic tenets of ISLAM are so rational, so natural and so appealing that an honest truth seeker cannot help being impressed by them.  To take, for example, the belief in monotheism.

How it raises the dignity of man and how ite frees us from the grip of superstition!  How naturally it leads to the equality of men, for all have been created by the same God and all are servants of the same Lord.  For the Germans, in particular, the belief in God is a source of inspiration, a source of fearless, courage and a source of the feeling of security.  Then the idea of life after death turns the tables.

Life in this world remains no more the main objective, and [a] great part of human energy is devoted to the betterment of the Hereafter.  The faith in the Day of Judgement automatically spurs a man to give up misdeeds, for good deeds alone can ensure eternal salvation, although the wrong deeds may prosper here for a limited period.  The belief that none can escape the consequences of the judgement of a Just, Impartial and Omniscient Lord makes one think twice beforeone does anything wrong and surely this internal check is more effective than the most efficient police in the world.

Another thing that attracts foreigners to ISLAM is its emphasis on tolerance.  The the daily prayers teach one punctuality and the one month of fasting enables one to exercise self-control over oneself and without doubt punctuality and self-discipline are two of the most important attributes of a good man and a great man.

Now comes teh real achievement of ISLAM.  It is the only ideology which has succeeded in instilling in its followers the spirit of observing the ethical and moral limitations without external compulsion.  For a muslim knows that, wherever he is, he is being observed by God.  This belief keeps him away from sin.  As man is naturally inclined towards goodness, ISLAM also offers peace of mind and heart —and this is what is totally absent from the Western society of today.

I have lived under different systems of life and have had the opportunity of studying various ideologies, but have come to the conclusion that none is as perfect as ISLAM.

Communism has its attractions, so have secular, democracy and Nazism.  But none has got a complete code of a noble life.  Only ISLAM has it, and that is why good men embrace it.

ISLAM is not theoretical; it is practical.  ISLAM is not departmental affair, it means complete submission to the will of God.

From “ISLAM, Our Choice”

–taken from the booklet entitled ‘Priests Embracing ISLAM’ 

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