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

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Egypt, Morocco, International Relations, Migration & Immigration, Religion

During Easter [1] weekend, Pope Benedict XVI [2] baptized several adults into Catholicism [3]. Among them was Magdi Allam [4], 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 [5]:

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 [6]:

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 [7] 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 [8]

A third Egyptian poster, My Egypt, was a bit skeptical [9] 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 [10]:

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]