converts


Many indigenous peoples are coming to Islam, subhanAllah!

Here is the story of Taufiq Boldy, who embraced Islam as a teenager. He beieves Islam is a way of curing the ills of society.

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For all brothers and sisters yearning to hear something that will fill their hearts with light in these dark days, I have decided to share this with you.

Islam Is Gaining a Foothold in Chiapas
Islam Is Gaining a Foothold in Chiapas
PRAYING TO ALLAH IN MEXICO

By Jens Glüsing

Long a bastion of Catholicism, southern Mexico is quickly turning into a battleground for soul-savers. Islam, too, is gaining a foothold and the indigenous Mayans are converting by the hundreds. The Mexican government is worried about a culture clash in their own backyard.

Anastasio Gomez, a Tzotzil Mayan from Mexico, fondly remembers his pilgrimage to Mecca. He circled around the Kaaba, the highest sanctuary of Muslims, seven times. At Mount Arafat he prayed to Allah and then he, together with 15 other Indians, sacrificed a sheep before boarding the flight back to their Mexican home.

“In Islam, race plays no role,” the young man says joyously. His enthusiasm is understandable. After all, in his home state of Chiapas, Mexico’s poorest, the indigenous people are viewed as second class humans, and whites and Mestizos treat the Indian majority as if they weren’t there. In the southern Mexican provincial metropolis San Cristóbal de las Casas, the descendants of the Maya even have to move onto the street if a white person approaches them on the sidewalk.

Gomez, 23, converted to Islam eight years ago; ever since then, he has called himself Ibrahim. On his first pilgrimage seven years ago, the Indian was still something of an anomaly. Today, however, Muslim women in headscarves have become a common sight on the streets of San Cristobal.

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A Native American Muslim’s Story

by Lois Stands-Ali

All Praise is due to Allah, the Creator who guided me to ISLAM—the Way of Life—the Red Road—the Straight Path.

I began my journey on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, in one of the communities called Oglala. When I was born, my earth parents went to the city and left me behind with my father’s’ parents. My grandmother was a mid-wife, a spiritual woman, and we attended many ceremonies and pow-wows, and I witnessed other spirits begin their journeys. I was taught to respect MITAKOYASIN (all of my relations) and to know that I was LAKOTA(the people). My grandmother shared many words of wisdom. As a child I did not understand all that she shared, yet throughout all these years, all that she told me has helped in every way you can imagine. One thing that really stuck in my head was when she told me: “There are WASHECUS (white people) out there, another world, one day you will have to learn to speak their language. Learn everything about them. Learn how they think and to out-think them because one day they will try to kill you.”

My grandmother told me that TUNKASHILA (the CREATOR Grandfather, The Wakan Tanka, The Great Holy One, Mita Onje Ate) made many people, all different, but he was the same Creator of everything – of the sky people, water people, earth people, fire people, the four-legged and the two-legged.

I remember laying my head down on her lap and she would tell me stories, and I’d fall asleep and when I woke up she would still be talking. At that time, I did not realize she was giving me the best form of education anyone can give. Now I realize that my ENA (mother), the only one I knew, was preparing me for the outside world. One day her journey ended, and when I saw her lying in this box asleep, I knew that she would be back. One day, as I played outside she came walking up to me and said :you will be WENYA CHANTE WISHAK UHA (Woman Who Has a Strong Heart).”

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The call to prayer echoed throughout the corridors of the mosque when Jamil slipped off his shoes and entered the prayer hall. After exchanging greetings of “As salaam `alaykum,” or peace be upon you, to his fellow Muslim brothers, he proceeded to offer his morning prayer. As he recited verses from the Qur’an in Arabic, his Spanish accent was clearly audible to anyone in listening distance. Upon appearance, many would assume that Jamil was a Muslim man of Middle Eastern descent. But no, in actuality, Jamil is a Puerto Rican Muslim.

This scenario is not so far-fetched. Many people often perceive Islam as a religion exclusively followed by people of Arab or Asian descent. However, Latino Muslims are breaking all conventional stereotypes of what Muslims “are” or “should be,” proving that Islam truly transcends all racial, ethnic and language boundaries.

According to the American Muslim Council, tens of thousands of Latino Americans across the country have been accepting Islam. It is estimated that there are anywhere between 20,000 and 60,000 Latino Muslims in the United States, predominately in New York City, Chicago, Miami, Southern California, and Texas.

In her book, Islam in America, Islamic Studies professor Jane Smith states that Islam was first introduced into the Latino community during the 1970s in the inner-city barrios, or Spanish neighborhoods, of the northern East Coast. In the decades since, Islam has successfully spread across the country to members of all Spanish- speaking nationalities including Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Mexicans and Colombians.

“Latinos have always had an interest in Islam,” says a 22-year-old Latina convert from the Falls Church, Virginia area. The sister, who did not wish her name to be disclosed, continues by saying, “Islam has many values that Latinos hold, such as respect for others, closeness of family ties, and worship.” Other similar themes, such as the emphasis placed on respect for the mother, the importance of education, and the central role religion has in society, remain as a common thread between Islam and Latino culture.
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Looks like these “homegrown terrorists” are a dream come true for those intent on turning the Western world into Stalin’s Russia.  

BERLIN — After thwarting what might have become a “massive” attack on American installations, German authorities will review ways to fight homegrown terrorists, including a proposal to allow Internet spying on all German converts to Islam.

Anti-terror police arrested three men in a village in central Germany Tuesday, outside a vacation cabin where they were suspected of building a bomb. Germans were shocked to learn that two of the alleged bombers were native-born and had common German names, Fritz and Daniel. All three were unemployed and living on German government benefits, but other details are sketchy.

Fritz came from an upper middle class background, and German media reported that he converted to Islam about 10 years ago. His mother was a doctor, his father owned a successful business, and he’s married and attends a technical college in Ulm.

“Daniel”, who like Fritz hasn’t been further identified, was known for angering his neighbors in Saarbruecken by praying loudly every three hours, but little else is know about him or “Adem”, the Turkish-born third suspect.

This was “something new, and not in a good way,” said Col. Christopher Langdon of London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies. They “came from the white German population. They were very traditional German residents who converted and radicalized. These bombers were not Pakistani or Moroccan. That is raising eyebrows.”

Anti-terror forces had been concerned primarily with first or second generation Muslim immigrants — not white Europeans.

Guenther Beckstein, the interior minister in the German state of Bavaria and a conservative leader of the southern wing of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party, has called for a new law authorizing online surveillance of Islamic converts.

“Germans converting to Islam should be watched because they tend to show particular fanaticism in order to prove worthy of their new religion,” he said Thursday.

The number is growing, according to the German Islam archive. In the last decade, only about 300 Germans each year converted to Islam. But in 2005, the number rose to 1,000, and it jumped to 4,000 in 2006.

As shocked as they were by the arrests, the idea of spying on other Germans unnerves many in civil-rights minded Germany, where government surveillance recalls memories of Adolf Hitler.

This week in Copenhagen, Danish authorities arrested nine people on charges of plotting terror attacks, and Kamp and other terrorism experts believe the frequency of attacks in Europe is increasing.

Magnus Ranstorp, Chief Scientist for the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College, said that while security forces don’t release information on all thwarted attacks, there are known to have been at least 40 and perhaps has many as 50 since Sept. 11, 2001.

“This is what we can expect for the future: The attack plots are going to come fast and furious,” he said. “And, as is clear in both these attacks, they’re operating in new vistas. Terrorism in Europe is a part of life now.”

Germany considers increased spying on Muslims

The following article appeared in an edition of the Russian magazine Ogonyok featuring a series of pieces on Russians who convert to Islam. (My translation).

12130.jpg  “The fashion for Islam has spread from Europe and the USA to Russia. Among the ranks of our native Russian Muslims everyone can be found, from nationalist radicals to members of the liberal intelligentsia.

“Recent sociological research has shown that Islam has become the most dynamic world religion. In the USA, for example, millions of Afro-Americans whose ancestors knew nothing of the Prophet Muhammad [s.a.w.s.] call themselves the “Nation of Islam”, whereas in Germany the native German Muslim community already numbers hundreds of thousands. The remarkable phenomenon of Euro-Islam has sprung up. The contemporary mode for Islam resembles the hippy fashion for Buddhism or Krishnaism of the sixties and seventies: this exotic culture with its spiritual practices has great allure, especially when its followers are you compatriots and can tell you about it in your own language. Sooner or later Euro-Islam will be preached in our land — and most likely it will be accepted as the latest height of European fashion in the style of “ethno-techno”. Today we can already speak of how our own native “Russian Islam” is establishing itself as a cultural-political phenomenon.

“The main bulk of Russian Muslims, prosaic as it may sound, is made up of Russian girls who marry Muslims. As a rule, prior to marriage, they were indifferent to religion, therefore they accepted the faith of their husbands without any great difficulty; moreover, “traditional Islam” in Russia is extremely liberal and does not demand rejection of the usual way of life. The second noticeable group of Russian Muslims is made up of nationalist radicals. They come to worship Allah in two ways — either through political extremism or through a religious quest based on the soil of fervent anti-Semitism. For example, in Eduard Limonov’s National Bolshevik Party thirty Russian warriors have already entered Islam. They say that the leader of the NBP is himself not far from officially converting to Islam. Less involved in the political struggle are the followers of the National Organisation of Russian Muslims (NORM) — some of them have come to the faith of the Prophet through a rejection of Judaic Christianity and after wandering through the labyrinths of Slavonic neo-paganism. As is characteristic of neophytes, radical Russian Muslims try to follow their new religion with full commitment — genuine Russian Wahhabi jamaats with over two hundred Russian adherents have already been created.

“Lastly, the smallest in number but the most striking group of Russian Muslims is composed of liberal members of the intelligentsia who have rejected Christianity at a mature age and even under the influence of liberal ideas. Here we must mention first of all Vyacheslav Polosin, the former archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church, who has taken the Islamic name Ali. His sensational conversion to Islam was accompanied by a whole P.R. campaign, which roused the benevolent interest of the Russian intelligentsia int he religion of the Prophet. Arty connoisseurs of the Orient — underground poets and artists — are more drawn to the esoteric Sufi tarikats — the Nimatullahi or Tijaniyya.

“Broadly speaking, if those who call our epoch post-Christian are right, then intellectuals and politicians would do well to take a closer look at Russian Islam. And the main thing is to understand how to build it in such a way so that the Russians, prone as they are to wild self-sacrifice, should not pick themselves as their “guides and leaders” some new “Taliban”…”

Russian-Style Islam, written by Alexander Soldatov

“Every person has a different way of coming to the Truth. For Moisha Krivitsky this way led through a faculty of law, a synagogue and a prison. The lawyer-to-be becomes a Rabbi, then he converts into Islam and finds himself in prison. Today Musa (this is the name he has adopted when he became a Muslim) lives in a small mosque in Al-Burikent, a mountain area of Makhachkala (Daghestan, Caucasus), and works as a watchman in the Central Juma mosque.”

Q: Did you find the way easily?

A: With great difficulty. It was hard then, and it isn’t much easier now. When you go deeply into Islam’s inner meaning, you understand that this religion is very simple, but the way that leads to it may be extremely difficult. Often, people don’t understand how a person could be converted into Islam “from the other side”, as it were. But there are no “sides” here: Islam is everything there is, both what we imagine and what we don’t imagine.

– It was quite a paradoxical situation: there was a mosque near my synagogue, the town mosque. Sometimes my fiends who were its parishioners would come to me – just to chat. I sometimes would come to the mosque myself, to see how the services were carried out. I was very interested. So we lived like good neighbours. And once, during Ramadan, a woman came to me – as I now understand, she belonged to a people that was historically Muslim – and she asked me to comment the Russian translation of the Qur´an made by Krachkovsky.

Q: She brought the Qur´an to you – a Rabbi?!

A: Yes, and she asked me to give her the Torah to read in return. So I tried to read the Qur´an – about ten times. It was really hard, but gradually I began to understand, and to get a basic notion of Islam. (Here, Musa looked at my friend’s son, the six-year old Ahmed, who had fallen asleep in the mosque courtyard. “Should we probably take him inside the mosque?” asked Musa.) And that woman had brought back the Torah. It turned out to be very difficult for her to read and understand it, because religious literature requires extreme concentration and attention.

Q: Musa, and when you were reading the translation, you must have begun to compare it with the Torah?

A: I had found answers to many questions in the Qur´an. Not to all of them, of course, because it wasn’t the Arabic original, but the translation. But I had begun to understand things.

Q: Musa, and what brought you into the prison?

A: … …I’ve recently seen a programme on the TV, and a representative of the Chechen republic in Moscow – I forget his name now, I believe he had some beautiful, French-sounding name, something like Binaud – he said that if the authorities were going to carry on like they had done before – barging into homes, planting drugs and weapons on people – then the people would be out in the streets protesting. This has happened to many here. So there was something planted on me. Then they came and took me away at night.

Before that, I had had a certain notion about he forces of the law here… well, I couldn’t think they would use such, well, not very polite methods. Islam doesn’t let me use a stronger word. Allah estimates what every man does, and those people will have to answer for what they have done.

But the three months I spent in prison, they probably helped me to make my faith stronger. I saw how people behaved under the extreme circumstances, both Muslims and non-Muslims, how I behaved.

It would be good, of course, if the people in power would pay their attention to this problem. They shouldn’t be trying to eradicate Islam with such unsavoury methods.

Q: Musa, why were the authorities frightened by you?

A: No idea. Even children aren’t afraid of me.
Rabbi of Makhachkala synagogue embraced Islam

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