Monday, March 24, 2008

Muslim Convert

Magdi Allam, an Egytian-born journalist who resides in Italy, was baptized into the Catholic faith by Pope Benedict during this past Easter Vigil service. Allam, who is deputy editor of the Corriere della Sera newspaper, was considered one of Italy's most controversial Muslim commentators for denouncing Muslim extremism, and for his castigation of multiculturalism.

Under Islamic law, converting from Islam is considered apostasy and is punishable by death, something that did not deter the new convert.

I'm quite surprised that more vociferous consternation hasn't been heard from Muslims around the world as a reaction to Magdi Allam's conversion. The late Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, who was a Jewish convert and the archbishop of Paris from 1981 until 2005, was accused of betraying his Jewish ancestral faith by converting to Christianity some sixty seven years before his death. This type of criticism, some have suggested, undermined Lustiger’s chances for the papacy after the passing of Pope John Paul II.

Although I’m digressing from the original subject matter of this post, I have decided to include Cardinal Lustiger's epitah, which he wrote himself before succumbing to bone and lung cancer on August 5, 2007. I think it's quite beautiful.

I was born Jewish.
I received the name
Of my paternal grandfather, Aaron
Having become Christian
By faith and by Baptism,
I have remained Jewish
As did the Apostles.
I have as my patron saints
Aaron the High Priest,
Saint John the Apostle,
Holy Mary full of grace.
Named 139th archbishop of Paris
by His Holiness Pope John-Paul II,
I was enthroned in this Cathedral
on 27 February 1981,
And here I exercised my entire ministry.
Passers-by, pray for me.

† Aaron Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger
Archbishop of Paris


Tracy said...

I was watching this story on the Today show this morning, very interesting and exciting, I pray that this man will not be harmed for becoming Catholic, very brave of him.

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard much outrage either from the muslim world....but I can wager a guess (and that's all that it is) that perhaps they're quiet because they'd rather not draw light to this.

typically if they find out someone has converted they quietly go and kill them. No one hears about what happened to the victim or why. They don't want others to know that there is ANY considerable number of Muslims who convert to Catholicism in any given year.

anywhooo- kudos to him. He was brave in my book before his baptism just for speaking out against the hypocrisy rampant in Islam these days.

Shirley said...

Can you imagine if every religion in the world killed others who didn't belong to their faith? There is something very twisted about a "religion" that advocates killing in any form. I pray that St. Michael will protect this man and that he will inspire many others to leave Islam for Catholicism. By the way Tom, my first visit to your blog; Wonderful, and I love the music- will have to visit more often!

Tom in Vegas said...


I'm with you on this one. I hope that he is allowed to live out his faith in peace without any harm either to him or his family.


Excellent point. Hurting this man would attract unwanted attention to Muslims in Italy (already a minority). It is - I think - Italy's overwhelming Catholic populace that offers him some kind of refuge.


Welcome to my blog!! Anyone related to PG is welcomed here:)

You are so correct in pointing out the savagery in killing other people because their religious beliefs are not in accordance with yours. But there we see the mindless brutality of fundamentalism. Muslims who have a benevolent application of Islam are going to have to fight desperately to save their religion from overzealous misanthropes. Right now they have a MAJOR (putting it mildly) public relations nightmare on their hands.

Take care and come back as often as you like!

Jennifer said...

I pray that he will be safe and will be a faithful role model to other muslims thinking of converting.

Catherine said...

Wow, that IS beautiful. Very beautiful, actually.

I feel compelled to point out that the Qur'an explicitly says that there should be no complusion in religion, so its not the entire religion that is to blame...

Sheep 1 said...

That is a really beautiful epitaph and he really looks like a good man. We pray for the safety of the Muslim who converted to Christianity.

Your blog is very nice. I've been checking out the Cannonball nominations:-)

God bless.