After many years of deep spiritual deliberation and soul-searching, I have decided to officially convert to Islam. Yes, you read that correctly – I hereby denounce Western Christian ‘values’ for good, and am embracing a new way of life that promotes the principles and culture that resonate with me at a spiritual level. I am not alone in this regard. An increasing number Westerners are finding themselves drawn to the strong culture and captivating wisdom of the world’s fastest growing religion. So what convinced me to make this transition? Well, I guess it’s really been a journey that began a long time ago. Over the years, I’ve watched so-called Christian conservatives attack the very fabric of our society and undermine every attempt by progressives to promote equality for the poor, women and oppressed minorities. I’ve watched so-called Christian conservatives refuse to accept the burden of their privilege, while millions of people pay the price for their violent and oppressive history. I’ve also become drawn to Islam’s values and strength of conviction, which holds stead-fast in the face of unprecedented ridicule and vicious attacks by the right across the Western world. Among Islam’s many agreeable qualities, the following principles really stand out for me, and helped convince me to make this life-changing decision.
Islam Promotes Discipline
The holy Qur’an states “Be as steadfast (in pursuing your sacred purpose) as you have been commanded to be, and do not follow the desires of the people.”. This teaching encourages Islam’s disciples to remain principled, and never give in to peer pressure, or act to satisfy the shallow desires of the people who surround them. This gives one strength in the face of opposition, and the courage to make a stance when it is the right thing to do.
Islam Promotes Harmony
The Qur’an states that “God advocates justice, charity, and regarding the relatives. And He forbids evil, vice, and transgression“. Thus Islam promotes a simple set of values that encourage a peaceful and harmonious society, where people can live together without fear of aggression, so long as they take heed and do God’s bidding.
Islam Promotes Equality
Islam states that God created “the heavens and the earth and the diversity of [our] tongues and colors “. There is therefore no room for racism in Islam, unlike Christianity which has a long history of racism and white supremacy.
Islam Promotes Peace
A widely held myth is that Islam promotes war and conquest. The truth is that Islam strictly forbids violence, except when it is necessary and justified. Examples of just aggression, would be righting of a wrong, preserving one’s religious values, or defending the name of the Prophet. Muslims do not begin conflicts, they simply react to oppression, which is something the West needs to understand if it is ever going to be at peace with the Middle East.
Praise Allah, and may Peace be Upon Him.