Monday, March 24, 2008

Magdi Christiano

Here are some excerpts from Magdi Allam’s account of his conversion to Catholicism. The Muslim journalist was baptized by Benedict XVI at Saturday's Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Any comments Mason, or other Islamophiles? 
Yesterday evening I converted to the Christian Catholic religion, renouncing my previous Islamic faith. Thus, I finally saw the light, by divine grace -- the healthy fruit of a long, matured gestation, lived in suffering and joy, together with intimate reflection and conscious and manifest expression. I am especially grateful to his holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who imparted the sacraments of Christian initiation to me, baptism, confirmation and Eucharist, in the Basilica of St. Peter’s during the course of the solemn celebration of the Easter Vigil. And I took the simplest and most explicit Christian name: “Cristiano.” Since yesterday evening therefore my name is Magdi Crisitano Allam.

It is thanks to members of Catholic religious orders that I acquired a profoundly and essentially an ethical conception of life, in which the person created in the image and likeness of God is called to undertake a mission that inserts itself in the framework of a universal and eternal design directed toward the interior resurrection of individuals on this earth and the whole of humanity on the day of judgment, which is founded on faith in God and the primacy of values, which is based on the sense of individual responsibility and on the sense of duty toward the collective. It is in virtue of a Christian education and of the sharing of the experience of life with Catholic religious that I cultivated a profound faith in the transcendent dimension and also sought the certainty of truth in absolute and universal values.

You asked me whether I fear for my life, in the awareness that conversion to Christianity will certainly procure for me yet another, and much more grave, death sentence for apostasy. You are perfectly right. I know what I am headed for but I face my destiny with my head held high, standing upright and with the interior solidity of one who has the certainty of his faith. And I will be more so after the courageous and historical gesture of the Pope, who, as soon has he knew of my desire, immediately agreed to personally impart the Christian sacraments of initiation to me. His Holiness has sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church that until now has been too prudent in the conversion of Muslims, abstaining from proselytizing in majority Muslim countries and keeping quiet about the reality of converts in Christian countries. Out of fear. The fear of not being able to protect converts in the face of their being condemned to death for apostasy and fear of reprisals against Christians living in Islamic countries. Well, today Benedict XVI, with his witness, tells us that we must overcome fear and not be afraid to affirm the truth of Jesus even with Muslims.
Markel, SJ

1 comment:

Markel & Mason said...

First, I am glad to see another member of the Body of Christ, welcome Magdi.

Second, for those of you looking at this as fresh gunpowder for your imaginary war with Islam, keep the muskets clear. Even Allam admits he was a Muslim in name only. He did not perform salah five times a day, nor did he fast during the month of Ramadan or engage in zakat to charity. He did make the hajj in 1991, but only to escort his elderly mother.

In other words, what we have here is not a devout Muslim who became Catholic, but a fallen away, secular Muslim who became Catholic.

As to his charge that he will bravely face death for his apostasy, this is a little journalistic flair no doubt. The Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, which is a Wahhabi group mind you, said that the conversion was a private matter and that Allam was free to make it as an adult. He is under no official threat of any kind.

Madgi Allam's conversion to Catholicism does not make this views on Islam respectable. They remain inflammatory. Allam is a provocateur, not a prophet.

Mason Slidell