MUSLIM STRATEGIES TO CONVERT WESTERN CHRISTIANS
By Uriya Shavit & Frederic Wiesenbach
The history of Muslim-Christian relations is to some extent that of two civilizations championing a universalistic message and competing for world domination. In the early phases of this struggle, as demonstrated by Bernard Lewis, Islam was more tolerant: In Muslim lands conquered by Christians, Christianity was imposed by force, and Muslims were sooner or later forced to choose between conversion, exile, and death; in Christian lands conquered by Muslims, Christians were tolerated alongside Jews as "People of the Book." One reason for this difference in attitude was that Muslims considered Christ a precursor, while Christians considered Muhammad an impostor. In Muslim eyes, Christianity had some truth in it; in Christian eyes, Islam was completely false.  Today, the balance of tolerance has dramatically reversed: In the West, freedom of religion allows for people of all faiths to convince others that theirs is the one and only truth; on the other hand, in some Muslim societies, non-Muslims are prosecuted, and promotion of other religions is a punishable offense.
Exact data on the number of converts to Islam in the West is incomplete because conversions are not always recorded. While the data do not suggest a massive wave of new believers, there are enough to matter. In Germany, statisticians estimated that several thousand Christians convert to Islam every year.  In Spain, the number of converts reached around 20,000 in 2006,  and in the United Kingdom, perhaps 14,000 had converted by 2006.  In the United States, perhaps 20,000 to 25,000 people a year convert to Islam. The number of converts significantly increased in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack, although it is not yet certain that the conversion surge in the United States has continued. 
While the data do not suggest that conversions can fundamentally change existing European demographics, they do highlight the challenge of conflicting values for Western democracies. Freedom of religion guarantees every person the right to convince or be convinced that a different faith than his own is true; however, some Muslim converts reject the very liberal foundations that allow them to operate freely. And the same Muslims who accept conversions to their faith may not accept conversion away from it. When even a very small percentage of converts to Islam turn fanatic, there is a very real security risk, not only in the state of residence but also in every country with which that state enjoys reciprocal visa-free travel. Indeed, this is a major reason why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security now requests pre-screening even for travelers from countries not requiring visas prior to travel to the United States. 
Writing about the "duties of Muslims living in the West," Egyptian-born Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, perhaps the most influential contemporary Sunni jurist, wrote:
Muhammad al-Ghazali (1917-1996), a renowned Egyptian religious scholar, a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood movement and the head of da'wa for Egypt's Ministry of Religious Endowments, expressed the hope that the hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants "will not only maintain their religion, but become pioneers in spreading it, if only the Muslim umma (nation) wished for that and worked for that to happen." 
Hamdi Hassan, Professor of Media Studies at al-Azhar University in Cairo, wrote that the Muslim presence in Europe is an example of Muslim proselytizing turning from the defensive mode that characterized it during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries to a new mode of expansion. 
In Saudi writings, these notions of proselytizing acquire a militant, confrontational tone. One source of these writings is the Saudi scholar Safr al-Hawali, who has invoked the need to conquer the West with da'wa, using terms unequivocal in their combativeness:
The call on Muslim immigrants to Islamize Westerners finds resonance in some works by Western Muslims. Muhammad al-Qadi al-'Umrani is a Sunni Muslim living in the Netherlands, who wrote a Ph.D. dissertation at King Muhammad I University in Morocco on migration. He invokes the conversion of "a considerable number of Westerners" to Islam as one positive result of migration and contends that migration for the purposes of commerce and da'wa has been proven throughout history to be a constructive contribution to the spread of Islam. 
Muslim scholars traditionally reacted to new technologies — especially those developed in the West — with skepticism, fearing that such new innovations could bring more harm than good to Muslims. Printing machines entered the Ottoman Empire three centuries after they were first introduced in Europe. Scholars regarded them as bid'a, an unlawful innovation, and it took the Napoleonic conquest of Egypt in 1798 to allow acknowledgment of their merit. While liberalizing forms of interpretation have allowed more flexible approaches for some Muslim scholars since the late Nineteenth Century, this has not been the case in Saudi Arabia. During the 1920s, Saudi scholars protested King 'Abd al-'Aziz Ibn Saud's decision to use wireless communication, claiming it was devilish.  The introduction of television broadcasts in the 1960s also caused outrage.
The attitude towards the Internet has proved quite different. Even the strictest Wahhabi scholars have legitimized the Internet — and launched their personal websites. Clerics understand that the Internet is a crucial arena in the fight for the souls and minds of the younger generation, and also that the Internet can be better controlled and screened compared to other media technologies. Using the Internet for Islamic purposes was not only permitted by scholars, even strict Wahhabi ones, but even encouraged.
Ja'far Sheikh Idris, a Sudanese professor of theology, wrote in 1999 that new technologies allow Muslims to spread da'wa more easily and are, indeed, proof that Islam is the true religion (for only God could have known fourteen centuries ago that the day would come when the world would turn into one global village, needing only one global Prophet — Muhammad). However, these new technologies also allow non-Muslims to do the same with their ideas; indeed, at this point in time, the West enjoys better capabilities in making use of these technologies and might weaken Muslims' beliefs through them. But these risks, argued Idris, do not deny the merits of the Internet; they only emphasize the need for Muslims to further utilize these technologies in the service of Islam. 
Islamic Internet sites promote conversion in several ways: basic introductions to Islam; basic information for non-Muslims who wish to convert; news celebrating Islam as the world's and the West's fastest growing religion; and guides instructing Muslims in the West on how to bring others to Islam. Such guidelines are, at times, detailed and have the ring of marketing expertise.
A key method Internet sites use to promote conversions is through the testimonies of former Christians who have converted to Islam. Perhaps, the most famous conversion narrative is The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the American black nationalist, who described his early life as one of gambling, doing drugs, and dating many women amid crime-ridden neighborhoods in Boston. After conversion, he headed the Nation of Islam and then, after pilgrimage to Mecca, found true Islam. What the Internet has done is replicate and mass produce the genre, allowing Islamists to bombard the audience with narratives, each with enough variation in personal stories so as to allow a greater opportunity for readers to identify with one narrative or another.
These narratives play a dual role: To a potential non-Muslim audience, they serve as apologia celebrating different aspects of Islam's superiority over Christianity. They aim to prove that any difficulties faced during the process of conversion may be overcome. The other role narratives play is to reassure Muslims that their religion is the true one and to educate them on tactics of persuasion in bringing non-Muslims to Islam.
A connecting thread for many narratives on conversion, suggested directly or indirectly, is the concept of reversion: the idea that everyone is born in a natural state of Islam — a state of submission to the will of God — which is corrupted by family and society and that, rather than converting away from something, coming to accept Islam is reverting to that original human state.  The way to Islam is thus depicted as natural, almost obvious, rather than rebellious or exotic.
There are several Islamic interest web portals involved in catalyzing conversion, among other activities. Islamway.com, launched in August, 1998, is the world's most popular Islamic website, according to the web traffic-ranking company, Alexa.com,  and offers content mainly in Arabic and in English from the 'Asir region in southern Saudi Arabia. Its vast fatwa (religious edict) bank suggests it is dominated by the Wahhabi school. IslamOnline.net, one of the world's most popular Muslim websites, launched in June, 1997, and offers content in Arabic and in English. Yusuf al-Qaradhawi serves as head of the supervising committee. The Islamic Garden, launched in March, 2001, and operating from Cairo, is a basic English-language site focusing on introductory contents; and diewahrereligion.de, a German-language site operating from Cologne, associated with the mass-converter Pierre Vogel, who studied Islam in Saudi Arabia, has some resonance with young German Muslims.
The narratives associated with these four websites divide generally into three sections. First, the narrator explains why he was discontent with Christianity or with his life in general; then, he depicts how he first came to learn about Islam; and, finally, he glorifies the merits of Islam. Narrations seem to depict real life experiences, emotions, and convictions and are rich with biographical details, some of which relate to sensitive personal issues such as crises in marital life. This creates an impression of authenticity and generates empathy, allowing the reader to forget that the confession is part of a larger project to persuade that Islam is a true religion.
Scholars studying conversion find that spiritual poverty is a frequent condition prior to conversion, and a sense of closing the distance to God is the result of embracing a new religion.  The online narratives by converts to Islam, much like the autobiography of Malcolm X, reflect this. Converts commonly begin with depictions of the agonizing lives they had before they found Islam. In narrating their religious affiliation prior to conversion, two main story lines are common: that of converts who were Christians either because they were coerced or because of opportunistic consideration, and that of converts who were strictly practicing Christians, but developed grave doubts about their faith.
While an uneasy relationship with Christianity varies in its consequences and reasoning, all narrators describe practicing Christianity in their early life as a result of their social background, rather than from a self-made spiritual choice. Asserting the concept that every person is born a Muslim and only society corrupts him serves to rationalize the conversion process. The former relation to Christianity is depicted as having more to do with culture, tradition, and society than with true personal faith.
While secularism, and even atheism, is an option in Western societies, it hardly finds resonance in these narratives. Lacking empirical evidence, it is impossible to determine whether this background of religiosity reflects the overall reality of converts or an editorial decision made by site managers. However, because a wider spectrum of backgrounds would support the claim of these sites regarding Islam's universality, there is reason to believe the common religious background is not an editorial manipulation.
In detailing doubts that clouded them, often from an early age, converts whose relation to Christianity was profound describe how they gradually developed an understanding that Christianity is an inherently irrational religion. They invoke a variety of disagreements with several Christian dogmas: the concept of God as a human being; the concept of the Trinity; the concept of sainthood; and the concept of original sin. Discrepancies in the Old Testament and the New Testament are also mentioned by several narrators.
Another depicts Islam as a remedy to the growing secularization of Western life, which Christianity fails to fill. Hayat Anne Collins Osman, an American whose age is not specified, writes in "Could I Speak with God Directly" on IslamOnline.net that she was raised at a time when "Americans were more religious than they are now." Her parents were involved in a church community, and they often invited priests to their home. In junior high school, she attended a Bible study program for many years. However, the more she learned her Bible, the more she doubted it. The idea of original sin did not make sense to her: "I had a baby brother, and I knew that babies were not sinful." The concept of the Trinity also troubled her: "How could God have three parts, one of which was human?" 
Converts to Islam describe a range of circumstances for their conversions. They mention hostile Western media portrayals of Islam that encouraged them to further their knowledge; Muslim friends, colleagues, and neighbors who introduced them to Islam; falling in love with Muslims; incidental meetings; and traveling to Muslim countries.
While circumstances differ, four themes are repeated:
First, the converts knew nothing, or almost nothing, about the true foundations of Islam before embracing it.
Second, converts were not drawn to Islam because of any material benefit or social pressure.
Third, narrators present the path to Islam as an individual quest and never as a group experience.
Fourth, converts say that they were introduced to Islam by individual Muslims, most commonly ones without formal religious training, but with a simple desire to share the truth with others.
In describing how negative press and social prejudices had the counter-effect of introducing Islam as the true religion, the narratives turn weakness into strength. It is God's will that Islam spreads; thus, attempts to dishonor it in the West are bound only to promote it. Such is the narrative of David Pradarelli, whose age is not mentioned and whose story appears on IslamOnline.net under the title "Finding the Truth." He testifies to having been raised as a Roman Catholic, who always had "deep fascination with the spiritualities of other cultures." Spending some time in the Catholic Franciscan order, Pradarelli was disappointed in what he describes as the order's arrogance and hypocrisy. Once he had left the order, he began searching for a way to find God. Then,
It is not a coincidence that these narratives emphasize personal friendships with Muslims as essential to brining about conversion. Many studies have found that friendship and kinship networks facilitate conversion.  Religious scholars -- such as Qaradhawi -- who emphasize the duty of the lay Muslim migrant to bring others to Islam, understand that, while the news media is powerful, it is no substitute for personal relations. Indeed, an emphasis on personal relationships underscores Fethullah Gülen's movement, and Tablighi Jamaat as well.  Islamic websites seek to encourage such relations by offering testimonies that demonstrate their efficiency. Muslim acquaintances are mentioned in several narratives as a bridge between complete ignorance and embracing the truth. They are depicted as particularly kind and warm people whose grace transforms the narrator's prior prejudices against Muslims. While saving no effort in bringing others to Islam, these lay Muslims do so in a non-imposing, gentle manner. Their happiness, inner peace, devotion, and hospitality serve as the best incentive for others to embrace Islam.
Another account refers to Muslim friends and shows how they played a similar role in the conversion of Omar Faruq (formerly Thomas Ordinius), a 48-year-old German convert of thirty-one years who appears on diewahrereligion.de. He describes having a friend of Turkish descent in school who introduced him to other Turkish Germans. Through this group of friends, he was introduced to Turkish culture and embraced its warmth and hospitality. He started to learn Turkish and developed an interest in Islam. Visiting his friend's village in Turkey, he was invited by a local imam to a Friday prayer. At the time, he still feared Islam, but he became increasingly involved in the religion. Back in Germany, a friend told him about a Turkish mosque in Mannheim, thirty kilometers from his home. He went there with the friend and officially converted. Three years after converting, he traveled to Medina, where he studied Islam and Arabic. 
Selma Cook explains in a narrative, "Why I Became a Muslim," on The Islamic Garden, how, after moving into a new apartment and meeting Muslim neighbors,
This, it turned out, was enough: The beautiful sound of the Arabic language touched the narrator's heart, and the plain and direct language of the English translation struck a chord within. 
Narratives also suggest that Muslims can bring people to Islam even without intending to. This again serves to emphasize the concept of reversion: Islam's truth is inescapable, and, therefore, the mere introduction to its tenets can open the process of fully embracing it. Here, a subtext is directed to Muslims reading the narrations: Interactions between Muslims and non-Muslims should not be feared; they will eventually serve the interests of Islam.
Sebastian from Kassel describes how falling in love with a Muslim was instrumental in his finding the true religion. While the relationship led him to the righteous path, conversion was not necessitated by a need to please a spouse, but, rather, by deep belief. Sebastian testifies that, at the time of developing a relation with a Muslim woman, he thought it was a sign from God that he should convert in order to be able to marry her. Two months later, he ordered a copy of the Qur'an. His girlfriend noticed his transformation, but apparently did not appreciate it. They broke up. However, his interest in Islam only increased. He read more and more of the Qur'an, and, several months later, he converted. 
Another narrator, Anna Linda Traustadottir, a native of Iceland, raised in Canada and the United States, mentions her Muslim spouse, whom she met while working in Damascus:
In a narrative mentioned above, Abu Muhammed Abdullah Yousef says that he encountered Islam when he left the United Kingdom in 1976 for a Muslim country to teach electronics to commissioned and noncommissioned air force officers. Nothing in the behavior of his Muslim students impressed him: they neither prayed; nor did they have a religious attitude, and some were even drinking and womanizing. He started to read the Qur'an for two reasons: First, he wanted to be a good instructor and hoped reading the Qur'an would help him understand his students' mindset; second, he wanted to prove Islam was wrong. However, the result of his endeavor was quite the opposite. Once the students found he was reading the Qur'an, they brought a sheikh to the classroom to speak with him. After questioning Abu Muhammed about his beliefs, the sheikh told him: "You are a Muslim. You just don't know it yet."  For several months, Abu Muhammed continued to read the Qur'an, and, the more he read, the more he was impressed by its logic, consistency, and purity. Several months later, he converted.
One notion suggested directly or implied by almost all narrators is the complete transformation Islam brought about in their lives. Where there was a void, Islam brought meaning; where there was disorder, Islam brought harmony; where there was despair, Islam brought hope. After embracing Islam, all hesitation and confusion faded away. Each found peace with himself, with his surroundings, and with God.
In "Why I Came to Islam?" Susie Brackenborough advances, as an ultimate proof for Islam's truth that the Qur'an prefigured science in discoveries made by scientists only hundreds of years later. She suggests: "These 'miracles' have been discovered by scientists (such as the study of embryology) and explorers (such as the world is indeed round and not flat) many years after the revelation, and many more miracles are still to be found as our society develops and progresses."  Her words echo a theory rooted already in Nineteenth Century Muslim scholarship, which remains resonant today in many Islamic books and websites, especially those directed to a Western audience. Still, this train of argument, while common, is ironic, given Islamic societies' contemporary deficit in science. 
Invoking science as proof for Islam's truthfulness, Amina Islam, an Austrian scientist, contends that "the holy Qur'an confirmed not only my idea about God and the world, but all his statements, e.g., about natural sciences, did obviously not contradict the reality."  Mosa Rigani contends that the Qur'an's assertion that there exists a "partition wall between fresh water and salt water" fascinated him as a miracle, proving the holy book's truthfulness. 
In some narrations, the egalitarianism of Islam is invoked as a reason for embracing it. Here, an incentive is offered for people of all colors and social strata to embrace Islam without fear of prejudice, but the subtle reference to Western society, where such differences still matter, is also clear. An anonymous narrator, depicting her conversion under the title, "Dressed all in white — the coward within," recalls how, on her first visit to a mosque, she was impressed by seeing that "every country or race you could imagine was represented in these rows of people, all standing, bowing, and prostrating before the maker of all. No intermediary — just the individual and the Creator."  John Pugh, a Catholic-born Australian, writes: "It is known in Islam that an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab." 
Some narrators depict the transformation Islam generated in their lives. Fabio Mosa Rigani claims that embracing Islam was the best decision he has ever made: Islam changed him into a better human being; now, he is punctual and has stopped smoking. Steven Krauss (Abdul Lateef Abdullah), an American from New York born in 1973, who embraced Islam at twenty-eight, explains that, after converting to Islam, he understands why so many people who do not believe have so much fear inside them: Life can be frightening without God. Finding Islam, he has acquired the ultimate "self-help" program; a path that puts everything in its proper place, that makes sense of life: "Now, life is order. Now, I know why I am here." 
Several narrators tell of an emotional experience that drew them to Islam. The anonymous "Dressed all in white" recalls that, before going to the mosque for the first time, she felt her inner light was burnt out, but, in the mosque, she found "a feeling of peace, inner solitude, and quietness that I'd also found in reading the Qur'an and pondering over its meaning and trying to practice what it tells us." 
Other narrators combine an emotional occasion with prior rational acceptance of Islam's truthfulness. Jennifer A. Bell tells how, when her marriage was in trouble, she was losing faith in Christianity and found no comfort in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Shintoism, and other religions; she went on the Internet and visited chat rooms to escape from reality. There she met a man who was different from all the other men she talked to, although she could not quite explain why. Only in their third or fourth meeting, did the gentleman tell her he was a Muslim. Then he started to explain to her what Islam was about and sent her e-mails with verses from the Qur'an that supported everything he told her. It "all felt right." Nevertheless, Bell was still not convinced that Islam was the true religion. When her marriage finally broke apart, and she became depressed, she contacted the man again: "He seemed to know so much about everything." He told her to take a bath, clean herself from head to toe, sit quietly to clear her mind, and concentrate on God. It sounded bizarre to her, but, nevertheless, she did it. Then, "the most amazing thing" in her life happened: she started shaking, but as quickly as the shaking started, it stopped. Calming peace filled her heart and soul. That peace "was so absolute. I felt God enter my heart, and I accepted what he had to offer. Between this experience and what this friend has been telling me about Islam, I had finally found a religion that matched my feelings on theology." 
Narratives from converts to Islam are dichotomizing: They depict Christianity as irrational and Christian life as empty; in contrast, they depict Islam as a rational religion that provides a connection to God, personal peace, and social harmony. Westerners may interpret these narratives as assaults on their culture. But perhaps their more important target is the Muslim immigrant: The narratives of converts offer these immigrants reassurance about their roots and task them with a spiritual mission, one that compensates them for the daily hardships many of them face and rewards them with honor and dignity. Some Muslim immigrants — especially young ones — obtain their knowledge on Islam and its relation to Christianity through immensely popular Islamic websites, such as the Saudi Islamway.com; lacking access to other sources of information — for example, national programs for multi-faith dialogue, or more moderate Islamic media — might encourage these young Muslims to adopt views scornful of the societies in which they live.
The right of any person to proselytize, or the right of any person to convert to a religion of his choice, is a basic tenet of Western liberal [constitutional democratic] societies. The unique context of some Muslim conversion efforts should not be ignored, though: They do not envision two civilizations living in harmony, but one, Islam, gaining world domination. There is some irony in the fact that the most vocal and popular proponents of efforts directed at the Islamization of the West and de-legitimization of values it holds dear either operate from within the boundaries of, or are inspired by, Arab regimes which officially preach for multi-faith dialogue and are dependent on American support for their survival.
 Khalil Breuer, "Debatte: Warum Islam?" Islamische Zeitung, Mar. 2007; Martin Spiewak, "Meinungssstark aber ahnungslos," Die Zeit (Hamburg), Apr. 19, 2007.
 Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 11, 2006.
 International Herald Tribune (Paris), Aug. 8, 2006.
 The New York Times, Oct. 22, 2001; NBC News, Mar. 11, 2008.
 "DHS Reminds Visa Waiver Program Travelers of ESTA Requirements Effective Today," Department of Homeland Security, Jan. 12, 2009.
 Uriya Shavit, "Should Muslims Integrate into the West?" Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2007, pp. 13-21.
 Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, "Duties of Muslims Living in the West," IslamOnline.net, Mar. 24, 2008.
 Muhammad al-Ghazali, Mustaqbal al-Islam Kharij Ardihi: Kayfa Nufakiru fihi? (Amman: Orient Public Relations and Translation, 1984), p. 104.
 Hamdi Hassan, "Taf'il an-nishat al-I'ilami fi d'am Surat al-Islam wal-Muslimin fi Uruba," in Al-Muslmun fi Uruba (Cairo: Dar al-Bayan, 2002), compilation of presentations given at an international conference on Islam in Europe, Vienna, May 12-14, 2000, p. 312.
 Safr bin 'Abd al-Rahman al-Hawali, Al-Muslimun wa Risalat al-Mustaqbal (Alexandria: Dar al-Iman, 2000), p. 41.
 Muhammad al-'Umrani, Fiqh al-Usra al-Muslima fi al-Muhajar (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiya, 2001), p. 50.
13 For example, James Brandon, Virtual Caliphate: Islamic Extremists and Their Websites (London: Centre for Social Cohesion, 2008); Souad Mekhennet, Claudia Sautter, and Michael Hanfeld, Die Kinder Des Dschihad (Munich: Piper, 2006), pp. 156-84.
 Douglas A. Boyd, "Saudi Arabia Broadcasting: Radio and Television in a Wealthy Islamic State," Middle East Review, Summer and Fall 1980, p. 20.
 Ja'far Sheikh Idris, "Al-Da'wa … wa wasa'il al-Itisal al-Haditha," Al-Bayan (Dubai), no. 148, Apr. 1999.
 "Al-Muslimun al-Judad," Asharq al-Awsat (London), Mar. 18, 2001.
 For example, Yasir Hussein, Al-Islam Mustaqbal Uruba (Cairo: Dar al-'Amin, 1997); Muhammad Haneef Shahid, Why Women Are Accepting Islam (Riyadh: Darussalam, 2002); Ibn Ahmad Rasoul, Bruder Johann Ibn Goethe (Islamische Bibliothek, 1419, h.); Murad Wilfried Hofmann, Religion on the Rise: Islam in the Third Millennium, Andreas Ryschka, trans. (Belysville, Md.: Amana Publications, 2001).
 Zakir Naik, Why the West Is Coming to Islam, Islamic Dawah Centre International, Birmingham.
 For an overview, see Lewis R. Rambo, "Theories of Conversion: Understanding and Interpreting Religious Change," Social Compass 46 (3), 1999, p. 262.
 Lamman Ball, "God, If You Exist Then Guide Me," IslamOnline.net, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Lewis R. Rambo, Understanding Religious Conversion (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993), p. 87.
 "Top Sites in Islam," Alexa.com, accessed Jan. 19, 2008.
 V. Bailey Gillespie, The Dynamics of Religious Conversion: Identity and Transformation (Birmingham: Religious Education Press, 1991), p. 79.
 Abu Mohammed Abdullah Yousef, "You Are a Muslim, You Just Don't Know It Yet," IslamOnline.net, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Hayat Anne Collins Osman, "Could I Deal with God Directly?" IslamOnline.net, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 David Pradarelli, "Finding the Truth," IslamOnline.net, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Anonymous, "Journey of a Lifetime: My Way to Islam," accessed Jan. 2, 2009.
 Rambo, Understanding Religious Conversion, p. 84.
 Alex Alexiev, "Tablighi Jamaat: Jihad's Stealth Legions," Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2005, pp. 3-11; Rachel Sharon-Krespin, "Fethullah Gülen's Grand Ambitions," Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2009, pp. 55-66.
 Thomas Ordinius, "Warum Islam/Konvertiten/Faruk aus Köln," diewahrereligion.de, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Osman, "Could I Deal with God Directly?"
32 Selma Cook, "Why I Became a Muslim," The Islamic Garden, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Sebastian, "Warum Islam/Konvertiten/Sebastian aus Kassel," diewahrereligion.de, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Anna Linda Traustadottir, "An Icelander's Journey to Light," ReadingIslam.com, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Yousef, "You Are a Muslim."
 Susie Brackenborough, "Why I Came to Islam," accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Aaron Segal, "Why Does the Muslim World Lag in Science?" Middle East Quarterly, June 1996, pp. 61-70; see also Toby Huff's review of George Saliba, Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007), in Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2008, pp. 77-9.
 Amina Islam, "An Austrian Scientist Discovers Islam," ReadingIslam.com, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Fabio Mosa Rigani, "Warum Islam/Konvertiten/Mosa aus Frankfurt," diewahrereligion.de, accessed Mar. 19, 2008.
 Anonymous, "Dressed all in white—the coward within," The Islamic Garden, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 John Pugh, "An Australian Man Finds His Way Home," ReadingIslam.com, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Steven Krauss (Abdul-Lateef Abdullah), "A Martial Art Led Me to Islam," IslamOnline.com, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
 Anonymous, "Dressed all in white."
 Jennifer A. Bell, "Looking for the Truth Since the Age of Eight," IslamOnline.com, accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three Page Two Page One
Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors
American Foreign Policy -- Political & Psychological Warfare
American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East
International Politics & World Disorder:
War, Peace, & Geopolitics in the Real World:
Foreign Affairs & U.S. National Security
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Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
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U.S. Intelligence Agencies
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U.S. National Security Strategy
Uriya Shavit is a research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center, Tel Aviv University, and author, most recently, of The New Imagined Community: Global Media and the Construction of National and Muslim Identities of Migrants (Sussex Academic Press, 2009). Frederic Wiesenbach is a graduate student at Frankfurt University, currently studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
The foregoing article by Uriya Shavit and Frederic Wiesenbach was originally published in the Middle East Quarterly, Spring, 2009, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (Article URL: http://www.meforum. org/article/2104/muslim-strategies-to-convert-western-christians)
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POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS
POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE
Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor