Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Western Converts to Islam - Abdal Hakim Murad "explains"...

In an article in today's Times newspaper, Muslim convert and lecturer in Islamic studies, Abdal Hakim Murad (previously known as Tim Winter, older brother of Henry, the football writer) attempts to explain the growing number of conversions to Islam in Britain (100,000 in the past decade compared to 60,000 in the 90s according to Winter). (Actually, 75% of new converts to Islam leave the faith within five years. But that's another story...)

Using the doubtless heroic and selfless British aid worker and Muslim convert Khalil Dale (who was found beheaded in Pakistan this Islamists) as a "living challenge to standard Islamophobic sentiment", Murad asks us to question our prejudices about Islam and to consider why so many people are converting.

Apparently he is  at a loss to explain, other than to suggest many "spiritual wanderers" find Christianity "too complex" because they are "bewildered by the concept of the Trinity". As disingenuous bollocks goes that surely takes the biscuit. They're only bewildered, matey-boy, because Muslim clerics delight in "explaining" to these "wanderers" the impossibility of God having a son, whilst the Qur'an bizarrely interprets the Trinity as God, Jesus and Mary.

"When asked who converts to Islam and why, I usually have no answer"

But back to the main issue. We have to ask ourselves this question: Is a high profile British convert to Islam, one who writes copiously on the issue of conversion, really unaware of the world-wide efforts of dawah sites such as iERA to con people into believing there are scientific proofs in the Qur'an?

All he needs do is ask ANY BRITISH OR AMERICAN convert (such as poor old "Yusuf Islam" aka hairy rock star Cat Stevens. I'd wager my house that 90% of them would at some stage mention embryology, mountains as pegs, the big bang theory or one of the many other so-called miracles that the bucailleists trot out. That's why, Abdul. Because of the bare-faced lies promulgated  by people like Yusuf Estes and spread in such emetic publications as The Man in the Red Underpants.

If you want us to accept Islam as a part of British culture and even as a "reconnection with aspects of Britishness that have been lost to globalisation" (whatever that may mean) then as a representative of British Islam you should be more honest in your analysis.


  1. That guy murad was very patronizing about Christianity at a dawah event I attended with mostly invited Christians (i'm atheist). He even dared to partially quote the ayat about Christians being your greatest allies, but missed out that it also says Jews will be your greatest enemies. Shame I was surrounded by Muslims and too self concious to call him on it.

    Very good blog posts btw


    1. Hi Martin, Thanks for that. I was unaware he attended such events. I ought to pop along...

  2. What a bullshit blog... Quran doesn't say that pagan your christian trinity is Jesus, Mary, and God. Read the verse right.

    1. Hi Anon,
      Thanks for your comment.
      These are the verses I read. How do you interpret these then?:
      (They are unbelievers who say, 'God is the Third of Three (thalithu thalathatin). No god is there but One God. 5:72 ..his mother was a just woman; they both ate food (er...I don't think anyone believes Mary didn't eat food! Not unless you mistakenly think that Mary was a god for some people...). 5:75 ...and when God said, ‘O Jesus son of Mary, didst thou say unto men, "Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God"?’ 5:116)

    2. Spinoza,

      Here are some points for you to consider.

      You write: "I don't think anyone believes Mary didn't eat food! Not unless you mistakenly think that Mary was a god for some people.."

      You are right, nobody believes that Mary didn't eat food. But the point of this passage is *not* to establish that Mary ate food to people who deny this.

      The point of this passage s explained in the very next sentence, which tells us

      "Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded."

      The point of this passage is to remind people of obvious matters that they tend to overlook, and lead to the divinization of human beings like Mary. I saw evidence of this divinization years ago when Time magazine reported on a movement within Christianity to elevate Mary to the status of Divinity, alongside her son, peace be upon them both. It may well be necessary to remind these people that "Mary ate food", to make clear the signs for them -- though of course, many will remain deluded.

      Even people who do not give Mary the rank of a member of the Trinity do call her "Mother of God", and it is not far-fetched that they implicitly treat her as Divine (especially common people without theological training). Such people would also need to be reminded that "Mary ate food".

      Nowhere does the Quran explicitly say that all Christians who believe in a Trinity make Mary a member. There have been different heretical versions of Trinitarian beliefs in the past, not all of them have survived, and perhaps some of them did make Mary a member (this is a serious possibility given the attempts to divinize her in our time). *All* such Trinitarian beliefs, whatever form they take now or might take in the future developments of Christian sects, whether they include Mary or not, are refuted by 5:72, (without discussing details of the doctrine of the Trinity itself).

      Quran 5:116 is a vision of the future Day of Resurrection. It does not mention the Trinity, but it does make it clear that by the end of the world at least some people will have taken Jesus as a god, and some will have taken Mary as a god. This has obviously happened. It is *not* clear from this verse that Mary and Jesus will be part of a Trinity doctrine.

  3. I believe Abdal Hakim Murad is mostly pretty thorough in his analysis and very well succeeds in analysing sociological trends within a broader societal perspective, just like he does in his conversation on leadership and authority in the Muslim world, which can be found here: Yet when you ask "Who converts and why", you can always point towards certain sociological trends but, in the end, conversion always remains a personal spiritual journey as well and no single seeker-journey can be reduced to the sociological trends, even though they might be influenced by it. His own conversion story (can be found as a download at the bottom of the article) is a good example thereof. It has absolutely nothing to do with the stuff mentioned in this blog post.

  4. Hi Johan,
    Why do you think those who convert to Islam in the West are not doing so because of the lies spread by bodies such as iERA?
    Certainly every convert I've talked to says they believe in the Qur'an as a miracle because of the "science" it contains.
    Do you think this is a minor issue then?