Apparently over the Easter break, an Egyptian chap decided to convert to Roman Catholicism. His baptism was performed by the Pope.
No, not the Egyptian Pope. Not His Holiness Pope Shenoudah III. Rather, by that other Pope. The one Shanudah’s followers regard as an imposter.
Magdi Allam, an Italian writer of Egyptian Muslim heritage, is now known as Christian Allam. He has made his declaration public and has proceeded to make claims about his ancestral faith that would make migration fraudster Ayaan Hirsi Magaan proud.
ABC via Reuters reported that Allam ...
... has lived under police protection following threats against him, particularly after he criticised Iran's position on Israel.Without meaning to sound like the future wife of a future Australian cricket captain, I’d like to know where the bloody hell is my police protection. After all, I’ve publicly criticised Iran’s position on Israel on numerous occasions.
For instance, a piece authored by me and entitled “Iran’s infantile attitude to Israel” was published on the Online Opinion site on 3 November 2005. Another piece of similar import was published in the New Zealand Herald some 24 hours earlier. Here's an excerpt of what I said there ...
The Iranian President's comments are more reminiscent of Crusader barbarism and ignorance than the moderation and tolerance of the great Saladdin. If Muslim nations follow the Iranian formula in their dealings with Israel, they will go down the same path of destruction as the medieval Frankish hordes that invaded the Holy Land.i've also written extensively on why the governments of Muslim-majority states should recognise Israel. One such article was published in the New Zealand Herald on Thursday August 16 2007, and another was published recently on the ABC Unleashed portal on 20 March 2008.
Still, it's no skin off my spiritual nose if Christian Allam wants to become a Catholic. No doubt many of his Christian countrymen will have wished he'd picked a more orthodox denomination. My old school chaplain, who frequently told us that the Beast 666 in the Book of Revelation referred to the Pope, will probably still regard Allam as anything but a Christian.
People adopt and change religions all the time. It's a private decision. Mr Allam may claim that he will be the subject of death threats, but he certainly won't be getting any from me.
Thus far, I haven't found a single report of a death threat against Mr Allam. Nor has there ben any substantial report of his conversion in any Muslim newspaper or major newspaper of a Muslim-majority state. Admittedly, I have only searched through the English langauge press. The vast bulk of the reporting and editorialising has been from far-Right and/or Muslim-phobic publications such as National Review Online and TownHall.com.
It seems the violent responses from Muslims are a product of Allam's inflated view of his own importance and the active imaginations of cultural warriors. The fact is that many if not most Muslims would never heard of Allam until news spread of his conversion. Just as many of us had never heard of Usama bin Ladin until September 11.
I wish Allam well. He is entitled to make his religious choices. No doubt if he were a true Catholic and a true Christian, he would show compassion to both his former and current co-religionists. He will not allow his conversion to be used to spread racist and sectarian perversion. Nor will he play the extreme anti-religion rhetorical games of the likes of Ayaan Hirsi Magaan.
Words © Irfan Yusuf 2008