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Arabeyes: Bloggers Indifferent to Magdi Allam's Conversion to Catholicism

During Easter weekend, Pope Benedict XVI baptized several adults into Catholicism. Among them was Magdi Allam, an Egyptian-born Muslim who has lived in Italy for more than half his life and is known as a critic of Islamic extremism. Although several news reports have referred to Allam as a “prominent Muslim,” he has referred to himself as non-practicing.

Bloggers around the globe have reacted to Allam's conversion. Egyptian chronicles is indifferent:

Seriously this man was not that famous or important to us.

I do not care if he converted to Christianity or any other religion he believes in , he is an adult who can take his decisions by himself , but I do not consider him as a Prominent Muslim either , it seems to me that Mr. Allam before baptizing was a very secular person ,he did not pray , he did not fast,going to Mecca for Pilgrimage with his deeply religious mom “I do not know what she will think about him now but as an Egyptian I know that this can create a shock for her”

Of course now some so-called Islamic extremists will appear and say let's kill him just to add more fuel on the fire of So-called Islamic danger in Europe .

I think the media should ignore this , as I said he is a free man to do what ever he wants , we got other important issues to cover and discuss than this.

Also from Egypt, Sandmonkey is pretty sure that Allam's safety is in jeopardy:

The Egyptian-italian man who was heavily critical of Islam and an unequivocal Israel Supporter in Italy has decided to convert to catholicism on Easter, by the Pope himself. Yeah. Hmm..well, if there any catholics reading this blog, this might be the time to pray for that guy. He will need it!

The blogger's post garnered many responses. K-2 said:

I hope his police escort is among the best: in the past Italian police escorts have failed miserably in protecting high profile personalities from terrorists or mafia attacks.

On the other hand, this will be used by anti-muslim, anti-immigration as propaganda against the muslim world by La Lega del Nord (the Northern League, a separatist, racist party).

Sewage Soup commented:

wow they interuppted the Italian TV to broadcast the news of his baptism… if Muslims did that for every almost-famous washed-up celebrity who converts to Islam… they wouldn’t have anymore air-time left to broadcast bin laden videos.

Magdi Allam

A third Egyptian poster, My Egypt, was a bit skeptical of the Pope's intentions:

If indeed it is a private matter why then would an individual be baptized by the Pope on the eve of his Easter Mass? Why not at his local church? Why did the Vatican give this conversion such a high profile status? The answer seems to be that the Papal propaganda machine saw the benefit of publicizing the conversion in an attempt to extol the virtues of Catholicism as opposed to Islam. If this was indeed the desired attempt why would they then talk of the privacy of conversion and faith?
The simple fact is that they are misleading those who know nothing about Islam. Islam is not something you are born into alone. Islam is a way of life that one has to openly accept, and if it is not accepted then you are not truly a Muslim.

Finally, from Morocco, A Moro in America was also indifferent:

I have never heard of Italian Magdy Allam , whom Reuters described as a famous Muslim. Reuters said “famous Muslim convert” received a high profile baptism in the Vatican. Magdy, an Egyptian born, is said to be a strong critic of Islamic extremism and a strong supporter of Israel.

One comment on the post reads:

The way the Pope is provoking our muslim friends and countrymen is totally unacceptable. This is not the first time he has done this. I can't understand or tolerate his position.

Creative Commons-licensed photo by giando

8 comments

  • Tarek Ali

    I think this issue has been maximized with full force to convey some political interests which are quite divorced from any religious aims. The relationship between a god and human being is something very private and should be detached from any propaganda. Even Magdy’s conversion can be accounted for very pure political greed to power and authority in a society which is based on contradictions in each day’s pursuit like the Italian one. However, one’s conversion to whichever religion is a human right and should receive full respect. The arguing point is that we have appointed ourselves Gods who judge and punish. Who are we to occupy that post? This job should be done only by one whose paramount power goes beyond any limits. On the other side, The reaction of the Arabic communities is so excessive as well. Those people who are suffering from dictatorship, persecution, complete injustice, contradictions in behaviours…..etc. those just mentioned dilemmas should receive much more concerns than mobilizing public attitude toward someone’s conversion. Our presidents who have long been massacring and devastating our societies are the ones to whom we should direct our full mobilization. Look at Morocco and its affluent king, Saudi-Arabia and their notorious king, Yemen and their dictator president, the rich Sudan which has been long exploited by their headers, Egypt and their everlasting Mubarak…look….look……. see how much misery, we have been living in but always we mean to leave it out. You know why? Because there is always that big flail on our heads which shut up our mouths to speak. It is worth Looking at you, Arabic!!!!!!!

  • Laila muneer

    as an egyptian i think it’s better for muslims to have this Magdi out of islam, at least we don’t have to look for an explanation to his writting … !

  • […] Beitrag erschien zuerst auf Global Voices. Die Übersetzung erfolgte durch Clemens Harten, Teil des “Project Lingua“. Die […]

  • Empangan Emas

    Indeed I myself have never heard of Magdy Allam. And what is his prominence exactly as a Muslim for him to be called as a “prominent Muslim” ?

    If he wanted to convert out of Islam, that’s his choice. As it is the choice of tens of thousands of people who convert to Islam from Christianity. Catholicism can have Magdy Allam because Islam doesn’t need him.

    We already have tens of thousands of former Catholics into our fold in Rwanda within ten years after the genocide where Catholic Hutus buthered Catholic Tutsis. And in South Africa, black conversions to Islam is rising.

    Not to mention of course, converts from Latino Catholics in the United States.

    The Roman Catholic Church has one Magdy Allam but it has been losing tens of thousands of its flock to Islam.

    Want to talk about prominence ? Now, that’s prominence.

  • ronaldo enrique gomes

    hello mr empangan, we are not losing members, yes christian birthrate is dropping but it doesn’t mean they are converting. your sheik in arabia once said that millions of muslims are converting to christianity, yes he is Ahmad Al Qataani an important islamic cleric.“In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity.” AL-JAZEERA… and thats the open conversion, what if you allow the proselytism of christians in middle east. millions more will follow. common, CHRISTIANS ARE THE MOST LEARNED PEOPLE EXISTING HERE ON EARTH. you cannot fool us by saying christians are converting to islam, and even europe convert in thousands, do you think the christians will not react… someday european christians will tell the muslims to leave europe and do not impose their authoritarian rule among the christians. they will say, do not allow the construction of mosques because they are not allowing them in islamic countries. who cares if allam converted to catholicism, he’s not as important to us, Christ is the only person that can shake the world. THE MORE THEY PERSECUTE CHRISTIANS, THE MORE WE WILL GROW, IN US ARE THE TRUE MARTYRS, DYING FOR THEIR FAITH IN ISLAMIC COUNTRIES, WHILE “MUSLIMS” TERROR-MARTYRS SPREAD CARNAGE TO CHRISTIAN LANDS.

    I SAY I SAY UNTO YOU, give the missionaries a chance in islamic countries, i assure you Saudi Arabia will become christendom in few years… and that will happen soon. AS THE PRICE OF OIL INCREASE, CHRISTIAN WEST WILL LEARN TO INVENT OIL FREE MACHINERIES, and so its OVER…

    BY THE WAY, CHINA, KOREA, INDIA has the highest CHRISTIAN CONVERTS, millions every year… and they are more aggressive than the europeans…

  • Empangan Emas

    Dear Mr Gomez

    You speak of 6 million Muslims who purportedly converted to Christianity – may I ask you and that sheikh for the facts behind this figure ?

    Even as you gloat, many Christians are leaving Christianity for Islam and kindly note one important difference between the two conversion processes.

    When Christians converted out of Christianity and into Islam, theirs seem to be well-educated choices. These converts know both Christianity and Islam, and are able to make factual comparisons between the two.

    When a Muslim converted out of Islam and into Christianity, it is more likely that he or she is ignorant of both.

    This I say after comparing the arguments stated by former Christians now Muslims and those stated by former Muslims now Christians. Any unbiased person who compare the arguments between the two will definitely see the same.

    As to your statement that Christianity would flourish there had Saudi Arabia allowed in Christian missionaries, that is sadly quite delusional.

    Christian missionaries of today are having trouble convincing the educated classes of Europe and North America of Christianity’s truth. What make you think that Muslims, by and large, would not reject Christianity for the very reasons that it is being rejected by numerous people who come from Christian background ?

    You speak of a God who sent His son to die on the cross. Is He not merciful enough to forgive without sacrificing blood ? Indeed that son is sometimes God Himself. Why must God die in order to forgive the sins of His own servants ? And when God died for three days on the cross, who was in control of everything ?

    You speak of Original Sin. Islam speaks of Original Forgiveness. You speak of Trinity. Islam speaks of Oneness of God.

    You speak of mankind’s sins having been washed away by the blood of Christ. If that is the case, where then is the responsibility to worship God and keep His commandments since all sins are already forgiven ?

    You speak of the Bible. The Jehovah Witnesses claim that the Bible contains 50 000 errors. The Red Letter Bible is only about 10 percent red – this means that even according to your scholars, only 10 percent of today’s Bible contain Jesus’ original revelation.

    You claim that Jesus said that he was the son of God. Yet your own Bible has been quoting Jesus as saying that he was the Son of Man – 80 full times.

    These are just among the many thorny issues within Christianity. If a Muslim is made to hear and understand these issues and then compare these with Islam itself, do you honestly think that Christianity will have a chance converting any Muslim ?

    As a matter of fact, how are you doing in confronting these issues as a Christian ?

    Peace

  • vonato verdini

    It appears very clear that there is no difference between catholics and muslims. Madgi Allam is not in a better situation. Both religions are false. Do you know why? Can the religion change the personality or the interior of these people? Many of people that follow islam think that they are following the right way and there is no other way. If so, can Islam produce in their hear the moral integrity. Look at the millions of muslims how may produce in their life quality as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control?
    Same thing about catholics. We don’t mind of what they say but of what they operate. Where is the action of holy spirit as in Galatian 5:22, 23? Who shows really the holy spirit? The Pope, The prophet Mohammad? the answer is no, no,no
    The religions of muslims and catholics as well are not from God as they don’t produce the divine fruit

  • Empangan Emas

    Dear Mr Verdini

    You claimed that Islam is a false religion based on your assumption that Islam does not make Muslims patient, kind, faithful, gentle, be joyful and such.

    And in that, you show how little you know of Islam or of any true Muslim.

    What are the facts which you relay on to make your claims that Muslims who truly follow Islam are impatient, unkind, unfaithful, sad and harsh ?

    Or are you making your claims based on certain Muslims you see on tv or read about in the media ? Perhaps you see them as having wretched lives and at the same time you conclude that they are devout hence your assumption ?

    Even if we were to go by your standards of “divine fruit” according to the Bible, you should be able to tell that it is Islam which is producing that fruit.

    I doubt you know any truly practising Muslim. Let me now tell you something about a truly practising Muslim.

    Islam tells us that it is a great sin to allow our neighbour to go hungry when we know they are in need. Indeed Islam says the Muslim who purposely hurts or annoys his neighbour, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, will not go to paradise. As a matter of fact, Islam says that if a Muslim wants to raise his house, he should first seek the permission of his neighbours.

    And these are just some of the rights of neighbours in Islam. What about parents, siblings, blood relations ? You should know that their rights are even much more.

    Islam prohibits the killings of animals without justifiable reasons. It is a sin to even cut down a tree without a good excuse. What about human life then ? You should know that taking a single human life is an even greater sin, equal to the the killing of the whole of humankind.

    Islam teaches the giving of charity, institutes zakat as obligatory on the wealthy and teaches that in the wealth of the rich there are rights of the poor.

    Islam says that patience is half of faith, teaching that a strong person is not the one who can win a fight but rather someone who can control his anger when he’s angry. Being patience Islam says is a great virtue.

    As for faithfulness, what can produce sincere faithfulness than praying five times a day ? Not to mention of course the optional fasts on Mondays and Thursdays, apart from the obligatory month-long fast during Ramadan.

    Unlike Christianity, Islam is not a weekend religion. It’s an everyday religion.

    And list goes on.

    The deeper you go into Islam, and the more you learned, you’ll realise that it is Islam which is capable of producing that fruit according to your Christian standards.

    Tell me, Mr Verdini, which Christian community today is living by those standards you mentioned ?

    But of course, for us Muslims, we know that Islam is the truth. We do not need to measure Islam according to your standards.

    As for myself, I look at the Quran and I study what it has to say, at its arguments that it is from the same God who has created the Universe, from the proofs which it has given its readers to contemplate.

    Unlike Christianity, Islam does not preach blind faith. Islam challenges the human mind. Indeed, do you know that the Quran says “If you doubt about what God has revealed to His servant as the truth, then create a chapter like it and call others to help you.” ?

    Now, that’s a challenge for you, Mr Verdini.

    Peace.

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