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Author Topic: Article: Should Christians Convert Muslims?  (Read 6880 times) Average Rating: 0
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TomS
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« on: June 22, 2003, 08:53:40 PM »

Should Christians Convert Muslims?

A new flock of missionaries has launched a campaign to take the Gospel to Islamic countries. But will they inspire more backlash than belief?

http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101030630/story.html
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2003, 09:05:21 PM »

If there's going to be any converting of Muslims to Christianity, I'd much prefer to see it done by Orthodox Christian missionaries rather than the sometimes militant heterodox Evangelical Protestant fundies.  As far as the question which entitles this post, "Yes," we have a duty as both Church and as individuals to evangelize not only Muslims, but the entire world.

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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2003, 10:26:30 AM »

There definately should be more missionary work done by Orthodox in the Near and Middle East, bring them back to their Orthodox, pre-Muslim conquest roots.
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2003, 10:29:32 AM »

There should be another crusade without the sacking of Constantinople.
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2003, 12:11:01 PM »

There should be another crusade without the sacking of Constantinople.

No, no, no---no more Crusades!  That is the same kind of tack the Muslims use in spreading Islam: by fire and sword (title of a book by Henryk Sienkiewicz Cool, btw)!  Let's not go down to their level....ever!

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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2003, 12:22:18 PM »

<joking>Have it your way, Hypo! But when your grandchildren have towels on their heads, don't come running to me asking what we should do. Wink</joking>

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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2003, 12:44:41 PM »

<joking>Have it your way, Hypo! But when your grandchildren have towels on their heads, don't come running to me asking what we should do. Wink</joking>

Matt

Matt, the Poles, under King John III [Sobieski] of Poland already pushed the Muslim Turk back at Vienna once--if they hadn't we'd ALL be "towel-heads" and reading/reciting our Korans (or however it's spelled this week) and facing Mecca for our prayers five times a day now!   Grin

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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2003, 01:34:10 PM »

If there's going to be any converting of Muslims to Christianity, I'd much prefer to see it done by Orthodox Christian missionaries rather than the sometimes militant heterodox Evangelical Protestant fundies.  As far as the question which entitles this post, "Yes," we have a duty as both Church and as individuals to evangelize not only Muslims, but the entire world.

It seems rather a question over strategy as much as anything else, and different places present different problems. In much of the middle east Orthodoxy has a definite problem because it has a political meaning that compromises its ability to evangelize. This is particularly a problem in places like Iraq where the Orthodox church "enjoyed" a position as a tolerated semi-ethnic minority. The evangelical Protestants have the advantage of no commitments. Also, they don't worry about the turf battles that seem to be a constant problem in Orthodoxy.

It's maddening to listen to some of the Muslim tolerance talk I hear in the Episcopal Church, particular as Anglican churches in central Africa are one of the chief targets of muslim attacks. The national churches there are under no delusions and don't have to care about being compromised as a tolerated minority, because they aren't tolerated at all. The business of sending them resources is getting tied up in this assinine attempt to extort them to adopt liberal positions. It's time for me to write a letter to my bishop.
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2003, 09:20:04 PM »

Quote
It seems rather a question over strategy as much as anything else, and different places present different problems. In much of the middle east Orthodoxy has a definite problem because it has a political meaning that compromises its ability to evangelize. This is particularly a problem in places like Iraq where the Orthodox church "enjoyed" a position as a tolerated semi-ethnic minority. The evangelical Protestants have the advantage of no commitments. Also, they don't worry about the turf battles that seem to be a constant problem in Orthodoxy.

Do you honestly believe that American Evangelicalism has no political baggage? That it is not heavily associated in the minds of most Muslims with Zionism and hegemonic American ambitions, not to mention the sort of Coca-Cola/McDonald's culture that comes with it?

I think Orthodoxy is far freer of such associations and of politics in general.

I don't think "turf wars" will be a problem among Orthodox missionaries in Islamic lands. One must have some turf before one can war over it, and any church that gets a foothold in such places will of necessity be an underground operation. Besides, Orthodox, of whatever jurisdiction, believe the same things.

No matter who does the evangelizing for Christ there, Islamic lands will have to be heavily irrigated with martyr's blood before the harvest comes in.

Quote
It's maddening to listen to some of the Muslim tolerance talk I hear in the Episcopal Church, particular as Anglican churches in central Africa are one of the chief targets of muslim attacks. The national churches there are under no delusions and don't have to care about being compromised as a tolerated minority, because they aren't tolerated at all. The business of sending them resources is getting tied up in this assinine attempt to extort them to adopt liberal positions. It's time for me to write a letter to my bishop.

I agree with you there.

In a large local ELCA church I used to attend, last year's 9-11 anniversary commemoration included a Muslim guest speaker and readings from the Koran.

A Christian church?

Disgusting.
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2003, 10:28:56 PM »


No matter who does the evangelizing for Christ there, Islamic lands will have to be heavily irrigated with martyr's blood before the harvest comes in.

You are absolutely right Linus. But not just Islamic lands -- the Hindu's are killing Saints in India.
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2003, 12:33:17 PM »

County: population of 440,000

Mosques:

4 ethnic
3 multi-ethnic
6 convert mosques


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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2003, 12:37:20 PM »

A little too cryptic for me.

What County?

What's the significance of the different mosques?
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2003, 12:40:07 PM »

There should be another crusade without the sacking of Constantinople.

Great idea! Just what Islam needs. (Of course, the Christians lost. Another shot to the foot?)
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2003, 12:58:44 PM »

A little too cryptic for me.

What County?

What's the significance of the different mosques?

Volusia County, Florida.

Of the 13 mosques in the county, almost 50% are comprised of converts to Islam. (Plus, there are those congregants within the traditional ethnic-cradle mosques who are also converts and married to--or are the offspring of--cradle Muslims.)

Muslims are serious about evangelism. Frankly, the Orthodox have far different priorities. Do you believe your average Greek is all gung-ho about converting Muslims to Christianity?



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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2003, 01:01:50 PM »

Do you believe your average Greek is all gung-ho about converting Muslims to Christianity?

Yes, I do! That is, if they are Greek Muslims!
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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2003, 01:14:01 PM »

Uturn is right that Orthodox don't have evangelism on their minds much (I just took a class by missionary Fr. Luke Veronis of OCMC's Albanian mission).  Fr. Luke says that out of the 400,000 known Christian missionaries in the world, 100 are Orthodox.  Solution? Let's support OCMC! http://www.ocmc.org

That of course does not make Islam true, and it also reminds me of the RC's who always talk about the 180,000 who join the RC Church in the US every year; I wonder, "but how many leave?"

The Sunday School director at a local Coptic Church I visit is an adult convert from Islam, and he has several contacts among other Muslim intellectuals who embraced Christianity.  Conversely, we do not see many Christian intellectuals becoming Muslim, but rather mostly young men who need direction in their lives.  There are of course notable exceptions.

TomS is right, in India Christians are being killed by Hindus.  In fact,  Christians and Muslims get along quite well in India since 1) Indian Muslims are generally peace-loving, mystical types and 2) both are killed by Hindus quite often.

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« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2003, 01:25:05 PM »

Yes, we Orthodox should work and give financially to convert Muslims-- and not only Muslims but the entire world.
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« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2003, 01:37:23 PM »

Do you believe your average Greek is all gung-ho about converting Muslims to Christianity?

Yes, I do! That is, if they are Greek Muslims!

Ouch! Panaghia mou! Funny....but true. (If for no reason other than to rescue them from their hybrid names: Mehmet Metmetdakis? "...dakis?")
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2003, 01:45:50 PM »


As I become more and more impressed with St. Nicholas Cathedral in DC, I have started seriously looking at the OCA.  I am very impressed with their efforts to make a form of Orthodoxy that is for all Americans.

Not to mention that the OCA has extensive outreach efforts in the US and abroad. The ethnic Orthodox churches in the US are dying. The OCA is living up to its name.

I am pretty sure that there will be a change in membership for me next year from GOA to OCA.
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« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2003, 01:50:38 PM »

That's fascinating to me--other people tell me they joined the ANTIOCHIANS because they wanted to be "American Orthodox" and the OCA was too Slavic! to each his own, I guess.  Are the Antiochians in your area very ethnic-Arab types?

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« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2003, 02:20:43 PM »


Not too much ethnicity.

Personal thing for me -- I just found way too much of a "Protestant" feel to the way the people conducted themselves at the 2 Antiochian churches I attended.  Just not enough reverence for my taste.

Course, this is probably why it appeals to so many Protestants converts.
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« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2003, 02:25:26 PM »

Tom,

I have noticed that some of the "convert" parishes in the AA are protestant-feeling.  Parodoxically enough, that's why I have usually preferred the ethnic parishes because while it's not hopping, it feels Orthodox.  That Melkite Catholic parish I mentioned has a good blend of ethnic Arabs and "converts" (i.e. RC's who swtiched rites in addition to some Protestant and unchurched members who converted) and it feels like home.  I am sure there are Orthodox parishes like that. St Nicholas seems like a place dear to your heart.  There aren't any other GOA parishes with a good mix or at least with less "in your face" Greekness?  The parish in Raleigh is that way--you know it's a Greek Orthodox parish but it's not at all in your face.

I can totally understand what you are going through.  You want an Orthodox ethos but you want to feel like you aren't stepping into another world when you go to liturgy.  I think that is a "growing pains" issue in Orthodoxy that hopefully will be resolved within a generation.

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« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2003, 03:17:20 PM »


Not too much ethnicity.

Personal thing for me -- I just found way too much of a "Protestant" feel to the way the people conducted themselves at the 2 Antiochian churches I attended.  Just not enough reverence for my taste.

Course, this is probably why it appeals to so many Protestants converts.

Dunno-- to this Protestant Episcopalian the conduct at the ROCOR church I once went to seemed much less reverent than a typical Episcopal service-- too unfocused. It must have something to do with what one is accustomed to.

Anastasios-- I know someone (a convert from Judaism) who goes to a Melkite church now because she got fed up with the nonsense at the RC parishes she had been attending.
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« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2003, 05:37:03 PM »

Quote
It seems rather a question over strategy as much as anything else, and different places present different problems. In much of the middle east Orthodoxy has a definite problem because it has a political meaning that compromises its ability to evangelize. This is particularly a problem in places like Iraq where the Orthodox church "enjoyed" a position as a tolerated semi-ethnic minority. The evangelical Protestants have the advantage of no commitments. Also, they don't worry about the turf battles that seem to be a constant problem in Orthodoxy.

Do you honestly believe that American Evangelicalism has no political baggage? That it is not heavily associated in the minds of most Muslims with Zionism and hegemonic American ambitions, not to mention the sort of Coca-Cola/McDonald's culture that comes with it?

Well, I don't think these associations are so simple.  Remember, you are an American and seeing this from the opposite end. The Zionism stuff seems to me to potentially be more of an issue for American Orthodoxy than for the rest of the world. As for Coca-Cola, the whole problem with it (for muslim radicals anyway) is precisely that it is attractive. And the thing is that these associations are indirect. Protestant missionaries aren't political parties in themselves; the local Orthodox churches most assuredly are such parties. Protestant missionaries don't represent the American government-- indeed, they are utterly free to oppose it (and are known to do so).

Quote
I think Orthodoxy is far freer of such associations and of politics in general.

In the middle east?Huh Sorry, but that is utter nonsense. Orthodoxy in the middle east has a political history that continues straight through to the present. Orthodox churches are political parties in the region and do not, I think, wish to stop being so.

Quote
I don't think "turf wars" will be a problem among Orthodox missionaries in Islamic lands. One must have some turf before one can war over it, and any church that gets a foothold in such places will of necessity be an underground operation. Besides, Orthodox, of whatever jurisdiction, believe the same things.

The fact that SCOBA remains is pretty much proof that this is wishful thinking. Iraq is already "owned" by local Antiochians, so if they don't feel like doing anything about it, who will? And what about Somalia? If two different jurisdictions send missionaries, I can see them refusing to cooperate with each other.

Quote
No matter who does the evangelizing for Christ there, Islamic lands will have to be heavily irrigated with martyr's blood before the harvest comes in.

No disagreement there.
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« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2003, 01:50:16 PM »

Quote
Well, I don't think these associations are so simple.  Remember, you are an American and seeing this from the opposite end. The Zionism stuff seems to me to potentially be more of an issue for American Orthodoxy than for the rest of the world.

How is Zionism an issue for American Orthodoxy?

American support for Israel is a problem in any American religious outreach to Muslims but especially for Evangelicals, who really are Zionists.

Do you think American Evangelical missionaries are not seen by Arabs as tools of the American government and of American hegemonic ambitions?

Quote
As for Coca-Cola, the whole problem with it (for muslim radicals anyway) is precisely that it is attractive. And the thing is that these associations are indirect. Protestant missionaries aren't political parties in themselves;

They aren't? They are often sponsored by organizations that are very overtly political.

Evangelical missionaries certainly are associated with America; and that makes them political.

Quote
the local Orthodox churches most assuredly are such parties. Protestant missionaries don't represent the American government-- indeed, they are utterly free to oppose it (and are known to do so)

I think it is you who are seeing things from the American side.

American missionaries are seen as representatives of American culture and the American government. We know they don't exactly represent the US Government, but is that how they are perceived outside the USA?

Life is political. Since religion is an important part of life, it is political. But the Orthodox Church is no more political than are the numerous Evangelical sects, possibly less.

Remember, Evangelicals in Britain and the USA were very influential in the formation of the state of Israel and remain avid Zionists today. Their religion, for good or ill, is closely tied to America and its political policies.
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« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2003, 02:01:30 PM »

I am curious about all of uturn's talk of American converts to Islam.

Who are these people who are converting to the religion of the False Prophet?

I don't have the stats on it, but I suspect the majority of the "converts" are disaffected young black males who are being duped into believing that Islam is an African religion, rather than one imported there by Arab slavers, merchants, and conquerors.

All of this is why it is extremely important for Orthodox Christians to get out and tell the world the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The devil is not sitting still. And if anyone here thinks that Islam does not have the Father of Lies as its source, that it did not come straight  from the pit, he is much mistaken.
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« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2003, 02:30:06 PM »

I am curious about all of uturn's talk of American converts to Islam.

Who are these people who are converting to the religion of the False Prophet?

I don't have the stats on it, but I suspect the majority of the "converts" are disaffected young black males who are being duped into believing that Islam is an African religion, rather than one imported there by Arab slavers, merchants, and conquerors.

All of this is why it is extremely important for Orthodox Christians to get out and tell the world the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The devil is not sitting still. And if anyone here thinks that Islam does not have the Father of Lies as its source, that it did not come straight  from the pit, he is much mistaken.

Actually,conversions among 'young black men,' have decreased, while many of the new converts to Islam are of a more generic variety, people of the 'caucasian persuasion,' and there are not a few Hispanics who believe they are rediscovering their Moorish heritage by converting to Islam.

Many of our local converts were students at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, who came to Islam through the influence of
the many Muslim students who have studied there over the years and had a positive influence on these young seekers. Many of these Muslim students were outstanding scholars of science and engineering, and individuals of high moral character; perfect missionaries among their peer group.

The demographics of conversion have changed over the years and they do differ regionally.

As you probably know, many of the European converts have been 'high profile' types, even celebrities, and there seem to be many of them, even during these difficult times.

At Stetson, there is a small group of students who were attracted to Islam by Muslim mysticism.
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« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2003, 03:39:19 PM »

I am curious about all of uturn's talk of American converts to Islam.

Who are these people who are converting to the religion of the False Prophet?

I don't have the stats on it, but I suspect the majority of the "converts" are disaffected young black males who are being duped into believing that Islam is an African religion, rather than one imported there by Arab slavers, merchants, and conquerors.

It's hard to say. A quick Google shows mostly political cant. The best article I found was on Salon101 and pointed back to a HartSem-sponsored report which I was unable to get to display properly. The article itself appears to have an islamic bias. It tends to refer to "reverts" rather than "converts", though my understanding is that most African-Americans have their origins in areas that were never significantly Islamic. It's possible that they're talking about African immigrants from Islamic areas who return to Islam in this country.

The statistics that I could see were quite suspect. They claim that there are 1200 mosques in the USA (which is plausible) but endorse the 6M moslem number. That works out to 5000 moslems per mosque, and even if you take their lower number of 2M affiliated members, 1700 members per mosque is just not plausible. At the very least one has to conclude that if these numbers are even close to being correct, most "moslems" in the USA aren't religious.

They did claim that most converts were African-American.
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« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2003, 05:21:25 PM »

I am curious about all of uturn's talk of American converts to Islam.

Who are these people who are converting to the religion of the False Prophet?

I don't have the stats on it, but I suspect the majority of the "converts" are disaffected young black males who are being duped into believing that Islam is an African religion, rather than one imported there by Arab slavers, merchants, and conquerors.


The article itself appears to have an islamic bias. It tends to refer to "reverts" rather than "converts"

<<<Since Islam teaches that all humans are born Muslims--Islam is the natural state of humans--then conversion is actually a process of reversion, or reverting to one's natural and God-given state.

Reversion is merely a euphemism for conversion.>>>


The statistics that I could see were quite suspect. They claim that there are 1200 mosques in the USA (which is plausible) but endorse the 6M moslem number. That works out to 5000 moslems per mosque, and even if you take their lower number of 2M affiliated members, 1700 members per mosque is just not plausible.



<<<Many Muslims, especially new arrivals, might spend years worshipping in their homes or even other facilities--schools or colleges, for example-- before they actually build or dedicate an "official" mosque. This is a common practice which would help to account for--at least to some degree--the skewed statistics.>>>

They did claim that most converts were African-American.

<<True. But the actual percentage of those converting, who are African American, has decreased relative to all representative groups of converts, since there is more ethnic and racial diversity among converts. However, high profile African Muslims, such as the UN's Kofi Anan, still do have a strong influence on prospective African American converts.>>
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« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2003, 06:22:35 PM »

Fellows like Kofi Anan, who allow genocide in Africa while saying virtually nothing about it, have a strong influence?

That's scary.
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« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2003, 08:03:51 PM »

Fellows like Kofi Anan, who allow genocide in Africa while saying virtually nothing about it, have a strong influence?

That's scary.

Yet others criticize him unmercifully for "ranting" about the indifference of the West to genocide in Africa.  Either way, he can't win.

Still, even with his imperfections, he is a good role model.
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« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2003, 08:15:54 PM »


Still, even with his imperfections, he is a good role model.

Please. He's an official with the UN -- he just takes up space!
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« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2003, 08:23:02 PM »

Still, even with his imperfections, he is a good role model.

Please. He's an official with the UN -- he just take up space!

But some people take up space better than others.
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« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2003, 09:07:39 AM »

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As you probably know, many of the European converts have been 'high profile' types, even celebrities, and there seem to be many of them, even during these difficult times.

The only "high profile" convert of whom I have ever heard, aside from certain black athletes, was Cat Stevens.

Can you think of any others?
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« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2003, 12:50:48 PM »

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As you probably know, many of the European converts have been 'high profile' types, even celebrities, and there seem to be many of them, even during these difficult times.

The only "high profile" convert of whom I have ever heard, aside from certain black athletes, was Cat Stevens.

Can you think of any others?


Lately,a few British 'aristocrats' and orientalists, and for some reason, quite a few Italian diplomats, most of whom who were stationed in Muslim countries.

I believe the current president of the Italian Muslim organization is a 'revert' and former diplomat.

I suppose the British orientalist, Pickthall, though he converted years ago, is still considered a 'high profile' catch. And then there is the 'famous' or 'infamous' eccentric English 'duchess' or 'countess,' who, like at least some British expatriots, found Islam to exotic to resist.

More than a handful of 'Brits seem to have found Islam to their liking, especially Islam of the moderate or Jordanian variety: "All the Prophets without the fanaticism."

Yusuf Islam's (Cat Stevens) brother eventually joined him in Islam.

According to one of the members of the Byzantine Catholic forum, President Bush's chief advisor on Islam is a former Greek Orthodox seminarian who converted to Islam. Maybe.
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« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2003, 06:45:42 PM »

Yes, there have been a number of high-born British converts to Islam in recent years.The son of the BBC director general became a Muslim as did a son and a daughter of Lord Justice Scott, the chairman of the Arms to Iraq inquiry. Cat Stevens remains the most well-known of the British converts however.

Islamic sites are always quick to claim that the majority of western converts are women and not just because of marriage to Muslim men. Personally I cannot imagine anything which would induce me to leave Orthodox Christianity for Islam, it seems to be a phenomenon influenced by fads- "Islam is the new Buddhism" and by the self-loathing which afflicts so many westerners at the present time .  Curious.

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« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2003, 09:14:34 PM »

Yes, there have been a number of high-born British converts to Islam in recent years.The son of the BBC director general became a Muslim as did a son and a daughter of Lord Justice Scott, the chairman of the Arms to Iraq inquiry. Cat Stevens remains the most well-known of the British converts however.

Islamic sites are always quick to claim that the majority of western converts are women and not just because of marriage to Muslim men. Personally I cannot imagine anything which would induce me to leave Orthodox Christianity for Islam, it seems to be a phenomenon influenced by fads- "Islam is the new Buddhism" and by the self-loathing which afflicts so many westerners at the present time .  Curious.

Brigid


It is probably a matter of simple ecology: every forest needs a few squirrels.
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« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2003, 05:03:12 AM »

I don't have the stats on it, but I suspect the majority of the "converts" are disaffected young black males who are being duped into believing that Islam is an African religion, rather than one imported there by Arab slavers, merchants, and conquerors.

They are mostly African American; something that has been noticed and capitalized on by Muslim clerics worldwide. In the 1980’s the Republic of Iran issued a Malcolm X stamp (way before America ever did), the Saudi royal family has financed and had distributed brochures to the African American community, and many “Islam for Beginners” books have long sections dedicated to the racial equality that exists in Islam. For instance, unless determined by geography there are no “Black Mosques,” “Arab Mosques,” and “White Mosques” in Orthodox Islam, there are only Mosques that serve the entire community.

As far as Islam and the East African slave trade most African American Muslims don’t want to talk about it, many of them even deny the slavery that exists in Sudan today. Just talk to one of them about the History of Christian Nubia (Sudan and Southern Egypt). Ask them how do they feel about that once flourishing Black Christian civilization being overrun by Muslim fanatics. Ask them how they feel that these Muslims have destroyed priceless remains of the African civilization just like the Taliban destroyed the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan.

The fact of the matter is that Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholicism are not only free of the exploitation of Protestantism and Islam but Orthodoxy even has an ancient presence in the African world.

most African-Americans have their origins in areas that were never significantly Islamic.

It’s actually about 50/50. As West African Muslims ceased being the middlemen in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade it became more possible for Pagans to capture Muslim Africans because the taboo on enslaving a fellow Muslim was no longer a significant factor. Alex Hailey, the famous author of “Roots” descended from an Islamic Mandingo tribe.


The Zionism stuff seems to me to potentially be more of an issue for American Orthodoxy than for the rest of the world.

I am afraid you are mistaken here. Zionism and the state of Israel is the greatest issue in the Arab world just as South Africa was the greatest issue in Africa during the 80’s. As Linus has correctly stated most American Protestant missionary organizations are Zionists. People like Pat Robertson are very vocally political and fanatical Zionists. Arab Christians are always complaining about the negative impression that these people leave on Muslims with regard to Christianity.

As for Coca-Cola, the whole problem with it (for muslim radicals anyway) is precisely that it is attractive.

The symbols, artifacts, and ‘goods’ from the dominant imperial countries—from Rome to America—have always seemed ‘attractive’ to the people in the periphery. Nothing new, just the same old cultural imperialism with a new sponsor.

If you look at the map of the distribution of Christian missionaries (available in the actual magazine article but not on-line) you will notice that in Africa the weird distribution of their numbers. They are more in number in Orthodox Ethiopia than they are in the surrounding Islamic regions. That is because they are more concerned with spreading cultural subversion and sheep stealing than in converting non-Christians to Christ.

It reminds me of a story of Anglican missionaries requesting that the Ethiopian Emperor Yohaness allow them to set up shop to spread the good news of Jesus Christ in Ethiopia. Yohaness replied that he had enough deacons, Priests and Bishops to accomplish this task so thanks, but no thanks. The English missionaries then responded by saying that they had come not for the Christians under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church but for the Muslims and the Jews that were in the Empire. Yohaness was puzzled; he asked the anxious Englishmen how they managed to miss all the Muslims in Libya, Egypt and Sudan while they were in route to Ethiopia. Further how did they miss the Jews in Palestine and in their very own country? The Englishmen had no answer because there was no answer besides the truth that they, like most of the Protestant missionaries in Africa those days, were agents of the British crown and were the forerunners of colonialism. They wanted to create a situation in Ethiopia similar to the one they created in Kenya where nowadays the average (Protestant) Christian Kenyan has a European name for a “Baptismal” name and first name. They will honestly tell you that they would feel bitter if their first names were not Gibson, Jackson, and Duncan (this is a direct experience of mine that I gained while doing archaeological research in the Taita Mountains).

These are the very same people that are going to go giving Christianity a negative image in the Muslim world. I say Orthodox Christians should get busy and return to the evangelizing heritage of the first Christians.
 
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« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2003, 08:27:43 AM »

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Quote from: Keble on Tue, June 24, 2003, 05:37:03 PM
The Zionism stuff seems to me to potentially be more of an issue for American Orthodoxy than for the rest of the world.
 
 

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From Aklie Semaet: I am afraid you are mistaken here. Zionism and the state of Israel is the greatest issue in the Arab world just as South Africa was the greatest issue in Africa during the 80’s. As Linus has correctly stated most American Protestant missionary organizations are Zionists. People like Pat Robertson are very vocally political and fanatical Zionists. Arab Christians are always complaining about the negative impression that these people leave on Muslims with regard to Christianity.

You are right on the money, Brother Aklie.

As a former Dispensationalist Protestant, I can tell you that we practically worshiped national Israel and anyone who might be a natural descendant of Jacob, however anti-Christian. After awhile that began to disturb me, because it seemed to reflect a caste system within Christianity: Jews were the Brahmins; everybody else occupied the lower castes (I suppose RCs were the Untouchables!).

And it doesn't take Dispensationalists long to begin teaching that stuff! They won't hide their Zionism very long. Besides, it's pretty widely known.
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« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2003, 03:43:43 PM »

By the way, speaking of High profile converts I know quite a few of them, but the converts I am speaking of didn’t go from Christianity to Islam, rather they are famous people who went from Islam to Christianity.


The most famous person I know that left Islam is Dr. Muhammed Rahoumy. He is the Dean of Al Azhar Islamic University in Cairo Egypt. For those of you who haven’t heard of Al Azhar, it is the oldest and most prestigious Islamic school of theology and mosque IN THE WORLD. It is older than any university in Europe and is seen as the pinnacle of Sunni Islamic learning.  

Dr. Muhammed Rahoumy (now Dr. Samuel Paul) left Islam in 2000, and now lives in the USA. I attended three of the lectures he gave on why he left islam. He has written a book about his experience and why he left Islam in a great book entitled “The Unknown God”. This book started a huge commotion in the Middle East considering that the person who wrote it is such a high ranking muslim official. The book was only published in the Arabic language and I am starting the translation of that book in to English. At the bottom of this post is a picture I took of Dr. Samuel Paul before one of his lectures.


The second “high profile” convert who left Islam is Dr Mustafa (last name not provided) also from Al Azhar University. He was professor of Islamic History and has since changed his name to Dr. Mark Gabriel. I attended one lecture for Dr Mark Gabriel in 1999 where he spoke of the persecution African Christians are subjected to by Muslims. For a while he lived in South Africa but now lives in the US.

The sad thing about Dr. Mark Gabriel is that when he left Islam and wanted to embrace Christianity, he actually went to an Orthodox Church in Cairo and asked to be baptized, but the parish priest was sure that this person was trying to entrap him, since proselytizing to Muslims is illegal in the Middle East. As a result he ended up going to a protestant Church. Never the less, Dr. Mark Gabriel has written three excellent books on the topic of his conversion and the problem of terrorism in Islam. Here are links to his books:

This is his first book that speaks about his conversion from islam to Christianity
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/conservative-campus-book-store/agtiinmieaby.html

This is his second book on the true face of terrorism in Islam and how western apologist for Islam like to deny it-
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/conservative-campus-book-store/isandtebymaa.html

This is his latest book about why Islam and muslims hate Jews and Israel so much-
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/conservative-campus-book-store/isandjebydrm.html

Another strange and VERY high profile convert who left islam and caused a number of others to also leave islam is the former mufti of Egypt Shiekh Muhammed AL Faham in the 1970’s. This is equivalent to the Patriarch of Alexandria becoming muslim. I will tell you his story next time. But a note to keep in mind, is that Muslims are finally admitting that there are 6 milliom muslims who leave Islam every year in Africa alone. Here is an ARABIC interview with Imam Ahmad Al Kantaey explaining why muslim leave islam and suggesting ways to stop it.
http://www.aljazeera.net/programs/shareea/articles/2000/12/12-12-6.htm

In Christ +

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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2003, 08:47:08 PM »

Many thanks for your heartening post, Dimitrius.  I wonder why the Muslims don't advertise how many Muslims, especially high ranking Muslim spiritual leaders, leave Islam for Christianity in Africa alone.   Huh Hmmm.  Food for thought.

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