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converting to Islam

Reader comment on item: More Converts to Terrorism

Submitted by Andy (United Kingdom), Dec 8, 2005 at 13:14

Though the idea of converting to Islam during the current war on terror makes it seem as if these converts are responding directly to a call to arms by the likes of Osama bin Laden, a potential convert may have been thinking about doing so long before such a crisis.

The question that people want to know is why they do so. Why would a westerner feel the need to covert with the sole aim of hurting his own country or western culture and values as a whole? I don't find this sort of change of attitude very surprising when you consider how easy it is for people to be be persuaded by the everyday tricks of the consumer machine: you only have to see a tennis star wearing his baseball the wrong way round one day on TV to see half the 18-25s in any european city to be doing the same thing the very next day. They may not even have been baseball cap wearers till engaged by this meme.

The point is that we are being offered the suggestion that these Islamic conversions are deep and meaningful (and therefore a threat) when many of them may be trivial, pointless and prone to revocation under little pressure, say from family. Someone needs to do some careful sociology and psychology on all this to provide some clear ideas on what it all amounts to before relying on the bare facts such as as many as 2000 Europeans or people who have imbibed western culture later in life or who grown up in the west may have coverted to Islam with the sole purpose of supporting the terrorist movements within its ranks.

In any case 1000- 2000 is an incredibly small number statistically.
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