Swiss Politician Bans Minarets then Converts to Islam

streich

Source: http://www.islamicbulletin.org/services/new_muslims/streich.htm

The Swiss politician Daniel Streich, who rose to fame as a result of his opposition to mosques in his homeland, has now embraced the faith he reviled.

Daniel Streich was a member of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) in Switzerland. A well-known politician, Streich led the calls for a ban on minarets across Switzerland. He was active in building anti-Muslim sentiments throughout Switzerland. This sustained campaign led to him being given a high ranking position in the Swiss Army.

Switzerland Minaret Ban and Daniel Streich

Streich was an important member of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP). His importance could be estimated from his influence on party’s policy making, in which he always had a prominent role. His movement against minarets was aimed at gaining political attention and interest. He won the slot of military instructor in the Swiss Army due to his popularity.He was also committed to his party (SVP) and stood as a local politician in the commune of Bulle.

Daniel Streich Conversion to Islam

Streich attempted to understand the Qur’an and Islamic teachings in order to argue against Muslims on tenets of their faith. In the course of his efforts the ex-Christian began to agree with and acknowledge the proclamations of the Qur’an.

Born in a Christian family, Streich had a comprehensive study of Islam merely to malign and confront, but Islamic teachings had a deep impact on him. Eventually he de-linked himself from political activities and he embraced Islam. Streich has termed the SVO activities against the Muslims as satanic.

He says that he used to read the Bible and often went to chapel, but now he recites the Holy Quran and offers his prayers five times a day. He further says that he cancelled his party membership and made public his conversion. Streich says that he has found the truth of life in Islam, which he could not find in Christianity.

“Islam offers me logical answers to important life questions, which, in the end, I never found in Christianity,” says Streich. He is now a committed Muslim, who attends the mosque, recites the Qur’an and prays five times a day.

According to figures from the Union of Islamic Organizations and Communities, some 3,000 to 5,000 Italians have recently converted to Islam from Catholicism.

Post-Conversion Life for Daniel Streich

Recently the question of ban on minarets was put to voting in Switzerland, wherein the Swiss nationals gave the issue a legal status.

As per voting results 42.5 per cent people voted in favour of the minarets and 57.5 per cent supported the ban, while the Muslim population in Switzerland is only 6 per cent. The most wondrous thing in this regard, therefore, is the support of 42.5 per cent of population for only six percent Muslims. The analysts claim that ban on minarets and Islamic rituals has attracted the people towards Islam.

Streich has now focused his intentions on participating in the building of the new Conservative Democratic Party in the canton of Freiburg. Freich’s new movement is in contrast to his previous one and he aims to promote religious tolerance and peaceful cooperative living, in spite of the fact that ban on mosques minarets has gained a legal status.

He is vehemently opposed to the Minaret ban and is hoping to establish Switzerland’s fifth mosque and the most beautiful in Europe.

More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Streich

Deen Show: The Christian Preachers son accepts ISLAM

This is the story of a Dr.Jerimiah who’s both parents were Christian preachers and how he came to know Islam as being the truth from God. As a Christian Dr. Jerimiah grew up in the Church and him and his family would go to the church almost ever day. He fasted, prayed and would try and memorize parts of the Bible and also observed the Sabbath as well. They stuck to the Bible literally in everything they did until he finally found Islam.

CNN: I’m a feminist, and I converted to Islam (Theresa Corbin)

CNN Editor’s note: Theresa Corbin is a writer living in New Orleans. She is the founder of Islamwich and a contributor to On Islam and Aquila Style. A version of this piece first appeared on CNN iReport.

(CNN) — I am a Muslim, but I wasn’t always. I converted to Islam in November 2001, two months after 9/11.

I was 21 and living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was a bad time to be a Muslim. But after four years of studying, poking and prodding at world religions and their adherents, I decided to take the plunge.

Questions and answers

I am the product of a Creole Catholic and an Irish atheist. I grew up Catholic, then was agnostic, now I’m Muslim.

My journey to Islam began when I was about 15 years old in Mass and had questions about my faith. The answers from teachers and clergymen — don’t worry your pretty little head about it — didn’t satisfy me.

So I did what any red-blooded American would do: the opposite. I worried about it. For many years. I questioned the nature of religion, man and the universe.

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Theresa Corbin

After questioning everything I was taught to be true and digging through rhetoric, history and dogma, I found out about this strange thing called Islam. I learned that Islam is neither a culture nor a cult, nor could it be represented by one part of the world. I came to realize Islam is a world religion that teaches tolerance, justice and honor and promotes patience, modesty and balance.

As I studied the faith, I was surprised many of the tenants resonated with me. I was pleased to find that Islam teaches its adherents to honor all prophets, from Moses to Jesus to Mohammed, all of whom taught mankind to worship one God and to conduct ourselves with higher purpose.

I was drawn to Islam’s appeal to intellect and heartened by the prophet Mohammed’s quote, “The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female.”

I was astounded that science and rationality were embraced by Muslim thinkers such as Al-Khawarizmi, who invented algebra; Ibn Firnas, who developed the mechanics of flight before Leonardo DaVinci; and Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, who is the father of modern surgery.

Here was a religion telling me to seek out answers and use my intellect to question the world around me.

Taking the plunge

It was 2001, and I had been putting off converting for a while. I feared what people would think but was utterly miserable. When 9/11 happened, the actions of the hijackers horrified me. But in its aftermath, I spent most of my time defending Muslims and their religion to people who were all too eager to paint a group of 1.6 billion people with one brush because of the actions of a few.

I was done being held hostage by the opinions of others. In defending Islam, I got over my fear and decided to join my brothers and sisters in the faith I believed in.

My family did not understand, but it wasn’t a surprise to them since I had been studying religion. Most were very concerned for my safety. Luckily, most of my friends were cool about it, and even curious to learn more.

The scarf

These days, I am a proud wearer of hijab. You can call it a scarf. My scarf does not tie my hands behind my back, and it is not a tool of oppression. It doesn’t prevent thoughts from entering my head and leaving my mouth. But I didn’t always know this.

Studying Islam didn’t immediately dispel all my cultural misconceptions. I had been raised on imagery of women in the East being treated like chattel by men who forced them to cover their bodies out of shame or a sense of ownership.

But when I asked a Muslim woman “Why do you wear that?”, her answer was obvious and appealing: “To please God. To be recognized as a woman who is to be respected and not harassed. So that I can protect myself from the male gaze.”

Surprisingly, Islam turned out to be the religion that appealed to my feminist ideals.
Theresa Corbin

She explained how dressing modestly is a symbol to the world that a woman’s body is not meant for mass consumption or critique.

I still wasn’t convinced and replied, “Yeah, but women are like second class citizens in your faith?”

The very patient Muslim lady explained that, during a time when the Western world treated women like property, Islam taught that men and women were equal in the eyes of God. Islam made the woman’s consent to marriage mandatory and gave women the opportunity to inherit, own property, run businesses and participate in government.

She listed right after right that women in Islam held nearly 1,250 years before women’s lib was ever thought of in the West. Surprisingly, Islam turned out to be the religion that appealed to my feminist ideals.

Getting married

It might shock you to know that I had an arranged marriage. That doesn’t mean I was forced to marry my father’s first choice suitor, like Jasmine from “Aladdin.” Dad didn’t even have a say.

When I converted, it wasn’t a good time to be a Muslim. Feeling isolated, alienated and rejected by my own society pushed me to want to start a family of my own. Even before converting, I had always wanted a serious relationship but found few men looking for the same.

As a new Muslim, I knew there was a better way to look for love and a lifelong partnership. I decided that if I wanted a serious relationship, it was time to get serious about finding one. I wanted an arranged marriage.

I made a list of “30 Rock”-style deal breakers. I searched. I interviewed. I interrogated friends and families of prospects.

I decided I wanted to marry another convert, someone who had been where I was and wanted to go where I wanted to go. Thanks to parents of friends, I found my now-husband, a convert to Islam, in Mobile, Alabama, two hours from my New Orleans home. Twelve years later, we are living happily ever after.

Not every Muslim finds a mate in this manner, and I didn’t always see this for my life. But I am glad Islam afforded me this option.

Living in a post-9/11 world

I never had to give up my personality, American identity or culture to be a Muslim. I have, at times, had to give up on being treated with dignity.

I have been spat on, had eggs thrown at me and been cursed at from passing cars. And I have felt terror when the mosque I attended in Savannah, Georgia, was first shot at, then burned down.

In August 2012, I moved back home to New Orleans, where being different is the norm. I finally felt safe — for a while. But now, with the continuous news coverage of the un-Islamic group known as ISIS, I have been subjected to much of the same treatment I received in other cities. And I now feel less safe than I ever have.

It enrages me to know there are some who call themselves Muslims and who distort and misappropriate Islam for political gains.

It weighs on me knowing that millions of my countrymen see only these images as a representative of my religion. It is unbearable to know that I am passionately hated for my beliefs, when those hating me don’t even know what my beliefs are.

In my journey to Islam, I came to learn that Muslims come in all shapes, sizes, attitudes, ethnicities, cultures and nationalities. I came to know that Islam teaches disagreement and that shouldn’t lead to disrespect, as most Muslims want peace.

Most of all, I have faith that my fellow Americans can rise above fear and hatred and come to learn the same.

 

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/14/opinion/muslim-convert-irpt/index.html

Annemarie Schimmel

Annemarie Schimmel, SI, HI, (April 7, 1922 in Erfurt, Germany – January 26, 2003 in Bonn, Germany) was a well known and very influential German Orientalist and scholar, who wrote extensively on Islam and Sufism. She was a professor at Harvard University from 1967 to 1992.

Early life and education

Schimmel was born to Protestant and highly cultured middle-class parents in Erfurt, Germany on 7 April 1922. Her father, Paul, was a postal worker and her mother, Anna belonged to a family with connections to seafaring and international trade. Schimmel remembered her father as “a wonderful playmate full of fun”, her mother made her feel she was the child of her dreams and her home as full of poetry and literature, though her family was not an academic one.
She began studying at the University of Berlin in 1939 at the age of 17, during the period of Nazi Germany. She received a doctorate on late medieval Egypt at the age of 19. Following this, she was drafted by the German Foreign Office while continuing with her scholarly work in her free time. At the age of 23, she became a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Marburg, Germany in 1946, where she earned a second doctorate in the history of religions in 1954.

She was deeply influenced by her teacher Hans Heinrich Schaeder when she was pursuing undergraduate studies at the University of Berlin. He suggested her to study the Divan of Jalaluddin Rumi.

Work

A turning point in her life came in 1954 when she was appointed Professor of the History of Religion at the University of Ankara (Turkey). There she spent five years teaching in Turkish and immersing herself in the culture and mystical tradition of the country.
She was a faculty member at Harvard University from 1967 to 1992 and became Professor Emerita of Indo-Muslim Culture upon her retirement. She was also an honorary professor at the University of Bonn. She published more than 50 books on Islamic literature, mysticism and culture, and translated Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Sindhi and Turkish poetry and literature into English and German.

For her work on Islam, Sufism or mysticism and Muhammad Iqbal, the government of Pakistan honored her with its highest civil awards known as Sitara-e-Imtiaz or ‘Star of Excellence’, and Hilal-e-Imtiaz or ‘Crescent of Excellence’. She was conferred with many other awards from many countries of the world, including the Leopold Lucas Prize of the Evangelisch-Theologische Faculty of the University of Tübingen and the 1995 prestigious Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. This award caused a controversy in Germany, as she had defended the outrage of the Islamic world against Salman Rushdie in a television interview. Schimmel’s award speech is available here in translation entitled, A Good Word is like a Good Tree.

Personal life

She was briefly married in 1955 in Ankara to a Turk, adopting Cemile as her Muslim name. Although she had no immediate living family, she is survived by a well-loved son of a cousin and his family.

Works by Annemarie Schimmel

As Through A Veil : Mystical Poetry in Islam, New York : Columbia University Press, (1982)
And Muhammad Is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety, 367 pages, (1985), The University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 0-8078-4128-5
Nightingles Under the Snow, (Poetry), London-New York : Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publications, 1994, 1997, [1]
Anvari’s Divan: A Pocket Book for Akbar, hardcover, Metropolitan Museum of Art (January 1994)
A Dance of Sparks: Imagery of Fire in Ghalib’s Poetry
A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry, University of North Carolina Press (November, (1992); ISBN 0-8078-2050-4
Deciphering the Signs of God: A Phenomenological Approach to Islam (1991-1992 Gifford Lectures, online), 302 pages, ISBN 0-7914-1982-7
Gabriel’s Wing: Study into the Religious Ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal
Mystical Dimensions of Islam. German edition: . English translation: North Carolina Univ. Press, 512 pages, copyright 1975, (1986),ISBN 0-8078-1271-4 . Spanish translation: Las dimensiones místicas del Islam, trad. de A. López Tobajas y M. Tabuyo Ortega, Madrid, Trotta, (2002), ISBN 84-8164-486-2.
Introducción al Sufismo”, Spanish translation: Kairós Editorial, 152 pages (2007).
Rumi’s World : The Life and Works of the Greatest Sufi Poet
Im Reich der Grossmoguls: Geschichte, Kunst, Kultur, (2000), Verlag C. H. Beck. English
translation: The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture, [Paperback], Ed. Reaktion books Ltd, London, http://www.reaktionbooks.co.uk, (2004), 352 pages, ISBN 1-86189-251-9 another edition (2006).
Look! This Is Love
The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalaloddinn Rumi, London: East-West Pub., (1980).
Islamic literatures of India, Wiesbaden : O. Harrassowitz, (1973)
Mohammad Iqbal, poet and philosopher: a collection of translations, essays and other articles; Karachi : Pakistan-German Forum, (1960).
Classical Urdu literature from the beginning to Iqbal, Wiesbaden : O. Harrassowitz, (1975); (A history of Indian literature ; V. 8: modern Indo-Aryan literatures.
Islam: An Introduction, Albany: State University of New York Press, (1992)
We believe in one god: the experience of God in Christianity and Islam, edited by Annemarie Schimmel and Abdoldjavad Falaturi ; preface by Kenneth Cragg ; translated by Gerald Blaczszak and Annemarie Schimmel; London : Burns & Oates, (1979)
Islamic Calligraphy
Calligraphy and Islamic Culture, New York University Press, (1990).
Islamic Names: An Introduction (Islamic Surveys), [Paperback], Edinburgh University Press, England, 134 pages, 81995),ISBN 0-85224-612-9 . Hardback edition, (1990),ISBN 0-85224-563-7
Meine Seele ist eine Frau”, copyright 1995, Kösel Verlaf GMBH, Munich. English edition: My Soul is a Woman, The Feminine in Islam, (1997), 192 pages, Continuum, New York and London, Continuum International Publishing Group . ISBN 978-0-8264-1444-1 .
Make A Shield From Wisdom : Selected Verses from Nasir-i Khusraw’s Divan, translated and introduced by Annemarie Schimmel; London : I. B. Tauris in association with the International Institute of Ismaili Studies, (2001).
Ernst Trumpp;: A brief account of his life and work
Das Mysterium der Zahl, ed. Eugen Diederichs Verlag, Munich, (1983). English edition by Oxford University Press (1993), 314 pages, titled The Mistery of Numbers, The Mystery of Numbers.
Islam and the Wonders of Creation: The Animal Kingdom (2003)

Links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annemarie_Schimmel