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Why do people convert to Islam?

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran

Submitted by xtain (United States), Jan 26, 2006 at 15:22

There must be some reasons why people do convert to the religion of Islam. After all, 1/5 of the world's population is Islamic. Here are some probable reasons.

At Islam's creation, the Arabian Penninsula was in dire need of some sort of coherant religion. Without a unified and secure Christian, or Persian, or Judaic infulence, Arabians fell for the first mass monotheistic movement. But there are other reasons. Many in the Penninsula felt disillusioned by the money oriented Mecca, its fickle gods, and very omni-worthlessness of every one of their many gods.

The poor are attracted to Islam because of its zakat, or alms giving, where 2.5% of all assets are redistributed to the needy. This was a huge difference compared to the aristocratic pre-Muhummad Mecca. The religious were attracted to the absolute "monotheism" of Islam, and the Koran's strict commands seemed straight forward enough--providing a much needed law structure.

At least in America, Muslims convert by playing on the class structures and social structures in society. Specifically, the Nation of Islam converts in the prisons, where many African-Americans find purpose. The Nation of Islam believes that there is a white and Christian conspiracy to keep down all blacks, which is ridiculous. It advocates racism and intolerance. The Nation of Islam portrays Africans as a blessed people; but they are in every religion, just like every other man and woman of any background.

The main reason for conversion is ignorance of one's own religion, ignorance of Islam, disillusionment with society (which is no reason to leave a religion, especially one that teaches the meek will inherit the earth), and false truth.

How could anyone follow a religion of such contradiction, open militance (or at least anti-total-pacifism), subjugation, and inter-war?
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