March 23, 2008, - 12:30 pm

Small Victory: On Easter Sunday, Italy’s Most Prominent Muslim Converts to Catholicism

By Debbie Schlussel
I love the story of Magdi Allam, the pro-Israel, anti-HAMAS, non-practicing Muslim, who, today, was converted by the Pope to Catholicism. He represents the fact that the only “moderate” Muslims are non-practicing ones and former ones.
Magdi Allam is brave, indeed, as his life has already been in danger for his courageous views, but now, he’s become the ultimate apostate, converting away from Islam at the hands of the Pope and in a publicly broadcast ceremony:

Italy’s most prominent Muslim, an iconoclastic writer who condemned Islamic extremism and defended Israel, converted to Catholicism Saturday in a baptism by the pope at a Vatican Easter service.

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An Egyptian-born, non-practicing Muslim who is married to a Catholic, Magdi Allam infuriated some Muslims with his books and columns in the newspaper Corriere della Sera newspaper, where he is a deputy editor. He titled one book “Long Live Israel.”
As a choir sang, Pope Benedict XVI poured holy water over Allam’s head and said a brief prayer in Latin. . . .
Vatican Television zoomed in on Allam, who sat in the front row of the basilica along with six other candidates for baptism. He later received his first Communion.
Allam, 55, told the newspaper Il Giornale in a December interview that his criticism of Palestinian suicide bombing provoked threats on his life in 2003, prompting the Italian government to provide him with a sizable security detail. . . .
Allam, who has a young son with his Catholic wife and two adult children from a previous relationship, indicated in the Il Giornale interview that he would have no problem converting to Christianity. He said he had even received Communion once – when he was 13 or 14 – “even though I knew it was an act of blasphemy, not having been baptized.”
He did not speak to the press Saturday and his newspaper said it had no information about his conversion.
Allam said in the interview that he had made a pilgrimage to Mecca, as is required of all Muslims, with his deeply religious mother in 1991, although he was not otherwise observant.
“I was never practicing,” he was quoted as saying. “I never prayed five times a day, facing Mecca. I never fasted during Ramadan.”
Allam also explained his decision to title a recent book “Viva Israele” by saying he wrote it after he received death threats from Hamas.
“Having been condemned to death, I have reflected a long time on the value of life. And I discovered that behind the origin of the ideology of hatred, violence and death is the discrimination against Israel. Everyone has the right to exist except for the Jewish state and its inhabitants,” he said. “Today, Israel is the paradigm of the right to life.”
In 2006, Allam was a co-winner, with three other journalists, of the $1 million Dan David prize, named for an Israeli entrepreneur. Allam was cited for “his ceaseless work in fostering understanding and tolerance between cultures.”

Sadly, he is among the infinitesmally tiny fraction of Muslims who think this way. And like I said, he epitomizes that this tiny fraction is either non-practicing and completely assimilated or converted away, as he has just now become.
Congrats to Mr. Allam, and may more of your former fellow co-religionists join you in ideology and faith.

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11 Responses

It just shows that not all muslims are terriosts. We need more true muslims like him to defeat radical islam.
[S3D: ALL MUSLIMS ARE NOT TERRORISTS, BUT MOST MUSLIMS SUPPORT TERRORISTS--MORALLY, VOCALLY, AND OTHERWISE. THAT'S WHY YOU SAW A GOOD CHUNK OF DEARBORNISTAN'S MUSLIMS MARCHING DAILY FOR HEZBOLLAH IN SUMMER 2006.
YOU ARE USUALLY RIGHT ON TARGET. BUT IN THIS CASE, THE POINT OF THIS POST IS CONTRARY TO YOUR POINT OF VIEW. THE POINT IS THAT MOST MUSLIMS--THE ONES WHO ARE RELIGIOUS, AND MANY WHO ARE NOT--ARE NOT LIKE HIM. THE "TRUE MUSLIMS" ARE THE EXTREMISTS. THEIR VIEWS DOMINATE CONTEMPORARY ISLAM, BOTH IN SHI'ISM AND SUNNI ISLAM. THE FEW MUSLIMS THAT ARE "MODERATE" (AND THE TERM "MODERATE MUSLIM" IS LARGELY AN OXYMORON) ARE MOSTLY NOT RELIGIOUS IN ANY WAY AND COMPLETELY SECULAR. IT SHOULD BE A STRONG HINT THAT HE CONVERTED AWAY. HE--AND HIS MODERATION--WERE EXTREMELY REMOVED FROM THE RELIGION. SAME GOES FOR AYAAN HIRSI ALI, NOW AN ATHEIST. DS]

Squirrel3D on March 23, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Anyone such as Allam (or yourself) who is willing to convert, or to publicly stand up to the Muslims is very courageous. It is an indication of how much our civilization has voluntarily let itself be browbeat by the Muslims that something like this is news. When a non-Muslim converts to Islam, it is not considered a news story because other religions to not seek to terrorize or kill those who attack them or leave their ranks.
Hopefully the day will come when Muslims who do not support terrorism or coercion will leave this horrible religion in droves.

c f on March 23, 2008 at 1:25 pm

The only place I ever see the claim that “all muslims are terrorists” is when islamic apologists use the term to attempt to stifle debate about islam. The problem with “moderate islam” is that the vast majority are silent for whatever reason when it comes to those who use the koran to justify violence ,hate, intolerance, and general idiocy. This man does not count as a “moderate” since he is now a apostate, and now under the threat of death for leaving the “religion of peace”
Which makes me think, only in this crazy world does the religion that demands (by threat of violence) to be called the “religion of peace” the only religion that kills those who leave that religion? The irony is beyond belief.

AME2 (AW/SW/NAC) Baker on March 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Islam is like the Mexican Mafia. When 75% of mosques and muslim community centers are known to spew hate for non-members, they are a serious threat.
Wonder what this guy will do to stay alive.

samurai on March 23, 2008 at 2:55 pm

Squirrel3D
Aside from the points Debbie made, the point you made is oxymoronic – that he is a ‘true Muslim’, when what he did was apostatize – cease being Muslim in the first place i.e. become a NON-Muslim in order to be a TRUE-Muslim. If Islam was all about peace and goodness, no one would have to convert OUT of it to lead a virtuous life: indeed, one could do it consistent with Quranic teachings. However, the fact remains that it isn’t, and therefore, the people who have discovered their consciences have generally had to convert out of it – either openly or (in most cases) surrepticiously. Given that there is a death sentence for apostasy – and not just official executions in an Islamic country, but also unofficial Islamically sanctioned vigilante murders in non-Islamic ones, what he did was indeed courageous.
As for those who are MINOs (Muslims in Name Only), they may be apparently harmless, but the problem is that they lend a statistical weight to Islamic groups worldwide (be it CAIR, MCB, et al) who use that as a basis for demanding more privileges for the mini ummahs in those countries. I’m therefore slightly more intolerant than Debbie – in my book, the only good Muslim is an ex-Muslim (by which I mean an apostate, not a dead Muslim).

Infidel Pride on March 23, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Let us pray for the safety of Mr. Allam.
I hope, that Italian government is going to do more than to pray for his safety.

AppleCider123 on March 24, 2008 at 3:43 am

Any observant Muslim who so much as shakes your hand or inadvertently touches a non-Muslim has been defiled and must go throw a ritual cleansing before praying. “Good” Muslims think of ALL non Muslims as FILTH. This is their ‘religion’. The people with ‘heart’ and any real sense of spirituality will leave in droves if given the chance.

poetcomic1 on March 24, 2008 at 11:36 am

May G-d Bless him and his family.

Minnie Mouse on March 25, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Yes. May G-d protect his life, and his family’s lives.

    Occam's Tool on February 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Thanks for news of this conversion, Debbie. I had never heard about this courageous convert before!
I am recovering from an auto accident… and this is my first time, back on line.
Happily, and always… one finds something “unexpected” on your site!!

The Canadien on March 30, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I’ve been to China travel, in my opinion chinese people are very freidly, and i especially like the city of
beijingshenzhen, i have a friend from china, i ike her blog
discount china, now she is in Jewish, just now, she send me
a Jewish Directory website, i think the it is very useful.

jersey on May 26, 2010 at 4:24 am

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