March 28, 2008

Conversion Sparks Controversy

by Rohan Parker

Magdi Allam has been hailed in the past decade as the voice of moderate Islam. He has made countless overtures to Muslims to inveigh against terrorism and to officially recognise the state of Israel. He has been labeled a bridge between faiths.

That has changed overnight, however, as on Holy Saturday, the night before Easter, the Egypt born editorial writer for an Italian newspaper, was baptized by Pope Benedict XVI.

In a ceremony televised across the world, Allam bowed his head before the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica, received a sprinkling of holy water, and renounced Satan and announced himself Christian.

Since then, extreme prejudice has been shown the convert, by those of his former religion. Even some liberal Muslims living in Allum’s city of residence in Italy have been angered by the public conversion, even though he was instrumental in helping them achieve a more change-oriented view.

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