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Brazilian followers of Islam pray at Rio de Janeiro's first mosque, on August 13, 2011 during the Muslim holy month of Ramazan.  - AFP Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO: “As-salam aleikum!” Omar greeted worshippers as he entered Mesquita da Luz, Rio’s first mosque where he had just broken his Ramazan fast at dusk.

Those are some of the only words Omar knows in Arabic, and he quickly continued his conversation in Portuguese with fellow Muslims who mostly, like him, converted recently to Islam in the world’s biggest Catholic country.

In a land known more for its bikinis and extravagant Carnival featuring scantily clad women, a small but growing number of Brazilians of various backgrounds call themselves Muslim.

For decades, it was primarily families of Libyan, Palestinian and Syrian descent who practiced Islam in Brazil.

Omar, who until just four years ago officiated as Catholic priest at a local church, explained why he embraced Islam.

“I found in Islam everything I had always looked for. I met God as he is, with no adaptation,” the 34-year-old graphic designer told AFP.

Wearing a traditional long djellaba robe, he refused to give his official name, instead only revealing his Muslim one: Omar Israfil Dawud bin Ibrahim.

“At the seminary, you learn that Islam is one of the monotheistic religions. There is no prejudice against this religion,” said Omar as he stood by his wife Alessandra Faria, who goes by the name “Fatima” after converting and deciding to wear the veil.

“In the beginning, my mother was mortified at the thought of going outside with me. I wear the veil to show I am Muslim and aware that I am part of a minority,” she said.

Fatima’s hijab may raise eyebrows in Rio, where it is more common to see women walking the streets in bikinis in seaside neighborhoods, but she says her beliefs can find a place here.

“Brazil is a mix, made up of several different cultures. This mix makes Brazilians very adaptable and tolerant.” Like most practicing Muslims here, Omar and Fatima are only recent converts to Islam. They plan to travel to Saudi Arabia next year on a Saudi government grant to learn Arabic.

Brazilian Muslims pray at Rio de Janeiro's first mosque, on August 13, 2011 during the Muslim holy month of Ramazan. - AFP Photo

‘New form of resistance’

Renovations on the mosque they attend in the suburb of Tijuca north of Rio got under way four years ago with donations from worshippers. It will soon hold up to 400 people during prayers, a major upgrade.

“The number of Muslims continues to grow, and most are Brazilians who are converting. We recruit members mostly online,” said Sami Isbelle, a spokesman for the Beneficent Muslim Society (SBMRJ).

“In Rio, there are about 500 Muslim families, 85 per cent of them Brazilian converts who have no Arab links,” Isbelle said.

Things are different in Sao Paulo state and southern regions of Brazil, where most Muslims were born as such and are often of Arab descent.

Brazil’s census does not count the number of Muslims, and only provides data on Catholics, evangelicals, Jews, spiritualists and followers of Afro-Brazilian religions.

“Muslims are listed in the ‘other’ category, along with Buddhists, for example, said Islam expert Paulo Pinto of Fuminense Federal University, who estimated Brazil is home to about a million Muslims.

The best indicator of the growth of Islam in the country is the rapid increase in the number of places of worship, according to Pinto. There are now 127 mosques, four times as many as there were back in 2000.

After the September 11 attacks in the United States, “there was a growth of interest in Islam, and many people decided to convert,” Pinto added. “Islam was seen as a new form of resistance.” But it was a “telenovela” or soap opera launched just three weeks after the 2001 attacks, “The Clone,” that sparked some Brazilians’ infatuation with Islam.

Set in Morocco, the popular show showed a “positive image of that part of the world, with a benevolent Muslim hero,” said Pinto.

“There is a tendency to think that Brazilian culture, as liberal and sensual as it is, is against the rules of Islam. But in fact, there are many conservative rules that are part of moral and sexual control. Look at how many evangelicals are successful in Brazil!”

Comments (107) Closed

Ihtesham Aug 22, 2011 12:44pm
MashaAllah, I'm so happy to see the news. May Allah keep them steadfast & may Allah unite the Muslims, aaameen..
Hasnain Ahmed Aug 22, 2011 01:21pm
What a soulful article. Really is an eye opener for the born muslims living in muslim states of the world. Thanks Dawn, ALLAH bless you all.
Usman Khan Aug 22, 2011 01:31pm
MashaAllah, Muslim should pay more attention in Tabligh in this part of the world.
Ammar Babi Aug 22, 2011 01:56pm
Alhamdullilah, we must follow the Tablighee Jamat and its our major responsibility to spreed Islam all over the world.
Ravi Aug 22, 2011 01:59pm
A person who has not understood one religion fully cannot understand another religion... All religions are same. Begin just happy with the increasing number does not prove anything .. I think you all need to wake up ...
mirza Aug 22, 2011 02:35pm
great news, may Allah help and guide them.
AJK Aug 22, 2011 02:59pm
Only positive image of Islam, tolerance and above all respect for Brazilian Laws will help Muslims.
SJ Aug 22, 2011 03:01pm
SubhanAllah!...what a pleasant surprise to read an article displaying positivism towards growing influence and popularity of orthodox Islam...unlike the generic articles which seem to be fashionable these days either against orthodox Islam or trying to promote the trimmed down "modern enlightened" polluted versions...
Expat. (us) Aug 22, 2011 04:05pm
Enlightened version of Islam is key to success.Hope Brazilian Muslims shun 'mullahism'.
Sheraz Aug 22, 2011 04:09pm
May Allah give them best reward
Rashid mumtaz Aug 22, 2011 04:22pm
MASHALLA! what a great article may Allah help them in learning Islam and make them a practicing day Islam 'll conquer the whole world inshALLAH.
Abdullah Aug 22, 2011 04:49pm
Taha lone gurazi Aug 22, 2011 04:51pm
Aslaam u alakum, masha Allah ,its grate news.may Allah grant hadayat to many more. Aamin
Chittar Aug 22, 2011 05:03pm
Nice! Now let the Ahmediayas practice their beliefs peacefully too! And since everyone here is basking on the glories of the converts from Christianity to Islam, practice the same at home. Spare the converts from Islam to Christianity and moderate the stringent blasphemy law.
Baber Aug 22, 2011 05:12pm
Ravi. I think you really need to wake up. All religions are not the same. when there is conversion... it makes a lot of difference. A positive one.
Shakeel GHOURI Aug 22, 2011 05:17pm
While I read this column I felt an absolute pleasure to know that people are getting into ISLAM, despite of the antagonist efforts to disparage the image of it in the name of so called extremism. I had to give some other comments on that topic, but when, I read your comments I genuinely realized it necessary to give you the answer. changing religion does not mean that you could not understand or satisfy with one and ultimately you changed it into another. it actually means that a person is endeavoring to find the reality of life and its creator. Allah has declared in holy QURAN "It is the wise people who look around them and try to find the reason of their existence. surely there is nothing without purpose". so it is fact that those who pursue to find the truth 'Allah' guide them. My intentions are not to hurt anyone but it is reality that someone can very hardly find a person who convert his religion in any other one except ISLAM.
Adil Aug 22, 2011 05:26pm
Yest another reason to visit Rio!!!
G.A. Aug 22, 2011 05:38pm
@Ravi - if you cannot find an answer in one book you can always try to find it in another. Humans are free to choose and it is a God given right. Try googleing a translation of the Quran and see if it answers it for you.
PP Aug 22, 2011 05:52pm
You are wrong Mr. Shakeel Ghouri. My wife was a muslim & now she ocnverted to Hinduism. I live in a muslim country & i have many muslims here converting & going to Hindu temples & strictly following our religion.
M.A Aug 22, 2011 05:53pm
Religion be it Islam or any other. It can only flourish and make strides in a country where the State and Religion are kept separate. Breathing space for both is very important and unfortunately in countries where this is not the case have lagged behind.
Ravi Aug 22, 2011 06:25pm
I pity that so many people are happy reading this ..No offence ment to anybody ....But remember that by mearly increasing the number is of NO use. Trust me it is a problem if you are too religious, people will use it against you(This is what is happening to pakistan rite now.) My sincere advice to you all is please shun religion, religion is the cause of all problems in the world.
Babbarsher Khan Aug 22, 2011 06:36pm
Hope great Rio carnival would remain as it is, full of spectacle and full of life, will not change into sea of tent wearing women, carnival Taliban style!
S M Shah Aug 22, 2011 06:59pm
Can I just ask why you have not shown their faces, are they afraid to show they faces or do they not want to be recognised...I'm serious, I wonder if its a tolerance thing or do their families not know...please tell... SMS Barrister
sam Aug 22, 2011 07:03pm
There is a growing number in all these lands who are tired of immorality that has in recent years grown to an alarming extent are looking for ways out to counter this force. They also convert to other faiths Like Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen besides Islam. So far so good. If how ever if extremists Muslims make in roads in these Muslim communities, before long they will further damage Islam's image and spoil it for good. Bringing in Islam and its teachings is fine, but bring with it the present biggotry, blind hate and intolerence as in Pakistan and all will be lost.
Abdus Sammad Aug 22, 2011 07:07pm
We really do not have to focus on "Tabligh" or increasing the numbers rather to exhibit our good actions and words. This how islam spread in the begining. We all need to pay more attention on what we say and what we do to align with Quran guidance. Only then not only we can correct ourselves but also become a magnet for others...
MSKB Aug 22, 2011 07:21pm
Dear M.A. have you studied the history of Islam hadn't you said that religion and state should be treated separately..... Qura'n and Serat-ul-Mustafa sallal laho alihe walehi wasalam is not just for religion but this guides every part/aspect of life, please learn/study before you comment on anything.....
Shahid Aug 22, 2011 07:30pm
Ravi, you should read up on Islam. If followed rightly, it is a solution and not a problem. The problem is when you guys get your truth from the media instead of reading up on it. Quran has English translations available so please read up before you start linking it to the problems. Just a sincere advice.
Saira Ansari Aug 22, 2011 07:39pm
I have recently moved from Lahore to Rio de Janeiro and will be heading to the mosque this week for the first time for my Friday prayers there for Ramzan. It will truly be a new experience of Rio for me. I haven't read much about Muslims in Rio but to read about it in a Pakistani paper is so surreal!
Janaka Aug 22, 2011 07:47pm
Why there are no converts to Christianity in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia....?????? why ?????????
Bhujang Patil Aug 22, 2011 07:48pm
One more beautiful city going to the extremists. Sad.
Muhib Aug 22, 2011 08:06pm
Islam is not like other religions dear...
Shahid Aug 22, 2011 08:06pm
Hello PP, i simply don't believe you. You might have to come up with a substantial proof to prove what you are saying. I would like to know what is your location so i can do some research myself.
Zahoor ahmed Aug 22, 2011 08:08pm
Its really great to read that islam is gaining currency in the distant parts of the world.. Someone should tell Nadeem F paracha a columnist of Dawn to read this article because he thinks islam is the mother of all ills the world is facing today
Raza Aug 22, 2011 08:25pm
Well i am glad to hear this but one thing caught my eye and the one fear i had when i started to read this article came true.The Saudi Connection.During my visit to Th US i found very large and Spectacular Mosques and Islamic Centers surprisingly all paid up properties,a very significant thing in US and guess who were the owners Yea ! you guessed it right The Saudis spreading their version of Islam the WAHABI version.During the past decade the Saudis have adopted the formula of the christian missionaries and then the Aga khan doctrine of concentrating on the down trodden and the poor.Provide them with the basic needs.Home,health education and food and you have a whole bunch of people ready to tow your line and i dont blame them as for them these are the real Messiah. So its time to wake up brothers !!!!!!!!!!!
syama Aug 22, 2011 08:29pm
Yeah, specially when we threaten to kill anybody who tries to convert.
Manoj Aug 22, 2011 08:36pm
Brazil be ready for ethnic trouble in coming years......
Expat (us) Aug 22, 2011 08:37pm
@Ravi In this case I don't see any coercion. Man was a catholic, converted to Islam with his free will.
Sister Aug 22, 2011 08:49pm
@Ravi: The MISUSE of religion is the cause of many problems. If you take the time to truly understand the religion deeply, you'll see how beautiful it really is.
talha Aug 22, 2011 08:59pm
Islam is growing everywhere, every part of the worl
shirin Aug 22, 2011 08:59pm
Proof you can never force religion on people. You can only lead by example. If so many in in non-Muslim countries embrace Islam, and Pakistani Muslim youth turning secular, then maybe, there is something repulsive about Islam practiced in Pakistan. Maybe Pakistan needs to learn Islam from Western Muslims.
Awais Aug 22, 2011 09:33pm
Allahu Akbar.... There will be Muslims on the far corners of the World iA :) MashaAllah!
Hasan, Texas Aug 22, 2011 09:42pm
Ravi, I have to disagree with you, if according to you religion is the cause of all problems, so then is democracy, socialism or any system. Just study, in the name of bringing democreacy to Iraq and Afghanistan millions of human have been slaughtered, millions have lost livlihood, cities, town, villages, even whole countries destroyed. Their way of life, their children, their future all destroyed in the name of what? not a religion, but a system. So, I invite you to pay attention to your words before you speak my friend. Religion is no more than but living and fulfilling our purpose as intended by our maker. Different people do it according to what they believe, but the purpose is same. And if anyone search and turn to their maker is nothing but a step in the right direction. I live in the West, and I know that their are many who are busy in catching the glitter of this life, but I also see many who look beyond that and find satisfaction because they believe that they have a purpose, an end one day, and a life hereafter. If they know how to live this life properly they will have a desirable hereafter.
Hasan, Texas Aug 22, 2011 09:48pm
God guide those, who seek Him. Those of us born in it take it for granted, those who are not and seek it and then submit to their creator are blessed. May Allah guide us all.
Sadiq Aug 22, 2011 09:53pm
I am happy to learn that Islam is slowly growing in Brazil. However, I am worried when I hear that the local Imam who is a new convert to Islam is being invited to Saudi Arabia for learning Arabic. There are many other places to learn Arabic, Saudi Government is actually inviting him to become fanatic Wahabi. NOT GOD for peace in Brazil.
malik Aug 22, 2011 10:25pm
more muslims means more trouble. Please leave the bikini country alone.
Karachi Kid Aug 22, 2011 10:48pm
Peace onto you Ravi, I'm glad you feel strongly about religion being the cause of all problems through out the world. But just like you, I too have a strong opinion: do you think poverty, hunger and famine, political and business corruption are caused by religion? Doesn't Islam and other religions actually teach us to feed the poor, to help provide shelter to those who dont't have any, to be modest and honest in our dealings with one another? But I will agree with you on another point, increaing numbers is not always the best idea. We have been warned by our Prophet PBUH about large numbers without any substance. Peace out fellow opinion sharer.
ALi Aug 22, 2011 11:05pm
Another sad news for Liberals.
badr Aug 22, 2011 11:43pm
Correct, critical-rational thinking, empirical analysis and humane compassion are the very antithesis of religious dogmas and blind faith in supernatural nonsense.
wajahat ali Aug 23, 2011 12:32am
you would have seen the tolerant behavior,polite manners and an urge to help others in the comments mentioned by the Islamic specialist in Brazil... this is called ''tilawatul wajood''(exemplifying the one's personality in the best manners following the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him)... this is the key to present the true picture of Pakistan we need it badly.
Azeem Aug 23, 2011 12:42am
I like the kid in the picture. He is so sweet. Mashallah the noor of Iman is very evident much on his face.
Aslam Aug 23, 2011 12:51am
Next country to Ban Burqa
samina Aug 23, 2011 01:24am
I understand why people are reacting happily here but what I don't understand is what is the point of publishing this article in the first place. Seriously, does it really matter that now many more people are following Islam. I am a muslim myself but I belive in diversity. If truly practiced, every religion teaches the same principles. Lets not forget that Islam started not because there was something wrong with the divine messages sent earlier but it refreshed all messages forgotten by many at that time.
Mishal Aug 23, 2011 02:55am
Great news..Im brazilian and also converted to Islam..but I live in Pakistan and Im very glad to know that Islam is increasing in my country =))))
Forbidden Fruit Aug 23, 2011 06:46am
Thank God brazilians aren't bigoted people. I'm so full of respect for them now that they are accepting people, of a different faith, amongst them. Even the striking contrast does not bother them. And here, we cannot stand fellow muslims whose practices differ from ours slightly!
FI Aug 23, 2011 06:55am
Baber... lets say you are right so if there are people converting from Islam to Christianity or Hinduism (they are please.wake up)... is that positive too??
Yawar Aug 23, 2011 07:04am
Mashallah, I have visited Rio/Brazil on official business twice. In my opinion, Brazilians are the friendliest people on earth and they are not the least bit arrogant. If there is any place where Islam can take hold it is Brazil.
Raja Murtaza Aug 23, 2011 07:08am
Islam thrives in secular countries and other religions diminish in muslim countries...sad truth!
yasir altaf Aug 23, 2011 07:25am
The 'TRUTH' will dominate the whole world insha ALLAH
Faisal Aug 23, 2011 09:33am
Islam offers solutions to living a fruiful life with dignity and respecting dignity of others. Peace within and Peace without. To my brothers and sisters in Brazil I have this advice: Please read the Quran and follow the Sunnah (emulating life and teachings of Holy Prophet (PBUH) according to Sahih Hadith. May Allah be with you.
gandhi jinnah Aug 23, 2011 09:55am
finding answer does not stop at any point of one's life. every religion has answers to all the questions that one dare to ask. I am glad that Brazilians have given the freedom to Muslims to practice their faith and also allowed them to convert people to their faith. But can I imagine it in Pakistan or many other Muslim countries? No. As we celebrate and enjoy the freedom to preach and welcoming the converts to Islamic fold, let us allow other religions also to preach and convert Muslims openly. 'Do unto others what you want them do to you'
Aliya Aug 23, 2011 10:06am
MASHALLAH.. ALLAH grants those with Hidaya who seek for it. May ALLAH enlighten us all with Baseerat.
Ali Aug 23, 2011 10:19am
Mashallah great. I had went through from the list of comments specially from non Muslims that really recalled me some verses of Quran. People needs to understand Islam is a complete religion which provides you a thorough way of living hence can't be just showcased. I invite you all towards the message of Allah (SWT). Just read the Quran and think....
S. K. Jumah Aug 23, 2011 10:38am
ALLAHU AKBAR . . . This is very encouraging and pleasing. Hope there will be more spread of ISLAM in other major cities.
Kimani Aug 23, 2011 10:39am
You can never separate religion and politics, politics is religion and religion is politics, there life. What you need is to moral, thats all
zubair Aug 23, 2011 10:56am
may allah bless them all
Jasbir Singh Aug 23, 2011 11:14am
Ravi, is it separate in India. Indira congress who got only 7/15seats in bye elections held in May 1984 was given record breaking majority, just because Indira ordered attack on Darbar Sahib and her son ordered killing of sikhs and blamed whole sikh community. Hundreds of thousands of sikhs, muslims etc. minority people were killed in fake encounters, fake disappearances, genocidal attacks and culprits were given plum posts in ministry whereas when ome member of family joined militants whole family was tortured sometimes even poor animals were not allowed to fed. I know a person like you who landed in a gurdwara. He stayed for a night in Gurdwara for free and ate free food and in the morning when he was leaving instead of saying thank you, he said," Religion is the root cause of all problems". Communists were all atheists and they killed nearly 4000 millions and still killing.
Hasan Aug 23, 2011 11:15am
My thoughts exactly!
nadeem Aug 23, 2011 11:16am
MR. RAVI religion is an important part and parcel of human life. muslims deserve to be happy, tha way islam is increasing in EUROPE. AMERCIA, and round the world.
shafqat Aug 23, 2011 11:17am
Mashallah... May ALLAH HELP THEM AND GUIDE THEM... Now Islam is spreading across the globe... but as a religion... remember Islam is not only a religion it is a complete DEEN... which gives the whole way of life ... it gives you social systems, financial methdology, legal system... Inshallah a time will come when Islam will be present across the globe as a deen and not as a religion...
Hasan Aug 23, 2011 11:17am
For the second time today I am in agreement with you Ravi!
ranvir Aug 23, 2011 02:41pm
A touching thought .
Muhammad Aleem Aug 23, 2011 02:43pm
Islam is not a new religion. It is in the continuity of the religion, truly preached and practiced from Adam to Jesus Christ. It is the only religion which discard the race, sect, creed and does not allow any distinction from which race or class you are. This the religion of future and will be accepted as the negative propaganda dies down
faraz Aug 23, 2011 03:04pm
Do you see clash between liberty and faith?
faraz Aug 23, 2011 03:07pm
I share the same concern. They will fund the mosques and obviously these mosques will preach their teachings. A tolerant society can be bit less tolerant after that. I hope people rejects any attempt to narrow their vision and understanding of islam.
Jack Walker Aug 23, 2011 03:07pm
They probably fear for their lives.
Hammad Aug 23, 2011 03:09pm
SubhanAllah, a beautiful news article. I hope all these brazilian families find eternal peace and happiness. May Allah bless you all! Ameen
Haaris Aug 23, 2011 03:16pm
@samina:Every religion don't teaches us the same principle.It is only islam the religion of supreme power(ALLAH).Only islam is the complete way of life.
Mohammad Azeez Hakee Aug 23, 2011 03:22pm
Alhamdolillah! Islam is returning to Brazil after more than 150 years.
faraz Aug 23, 2011 03:23pm
Blaming religion for all the ills of the world is ignorance. It is like blaming science for the weapons of mass destruction that mankind manage to pile. It is the evil between human and science, between human and religion that is the source of problem.
Abhishek Aug 23, 2011 03:23pm
Hi Guys , Nice article but tell me one thing what is more important to have more muslims part of your society or better human beings because both might not always go together. you have instances where muslims are killing muslims in irag and afganistan and you have instance of hindu and sikhs villagers taking care of abadoned sufi shrine in india. so what have you learnt from Islam is for you to decide but to my mind its more important to be a good human being than anything else.
Faisal Aug 23, 2011 04:21pm
Mr. Ahishak, the fact you are pointing towards is true, but you also need to look at the fact that these are the acts of people, not ISLAM. How about the guy that killed more then 90 people in Norway? So, it tells you that it is not the religion which is corrupt, it is the people.
shams Aug 23, 2011 05:36pm
You can be a prime minister and be a MUSLIM. And you can become an imam.
Dracu Aug 23, 2011 05:39pm
With the same token, you can say it is the good humans that we need, not more Muslims or Christians that make a society better. Has religion really helped Pakistan to be a better and prosperous country?
Abid Khwaja Aug 23, 2011 05:50pm
History of Islam is repeating itself by the Blessings of God.
Amjid Aug 23, 2011 06:06pm
I am surprised mr abhishek. you are talking about islam when hindu religion is divided into so many castes. your lower caste people are treating like animals and they is why they decided to convert into islam or christianity.
Imran Aug 23, 2011 06:20pm
AlhamduAllah..Now is the time if any Islamic Jamat to visit Rio and encourage them..Muslims world need to support the new muslims in Rio....
Ahmed Aug 23, 2011 07:02pm
Islam teaches us to be good human beings as well. It is the way of life for muslims. It maybe a matter of perspective for non muslims. It is important to have good human beings that worship non but Allah, and follow the religion accordingly.
Sam101 Aug 23, 2011 07:07pm
Ahishek's comments above makes more sense than anything else. More muslims, Christians, hindus or any religion does not make place better than better human being.
Dr Wequar Ali Khan Aug 23, 2011 07:36pm
Will be interesting to know if you shed light on Brazil'z muslim population 150 years ago; How and why it existed,and now is returning to Brazil;
adeel Aug 23, 2011 07:44pm
dear. you should know that there is a creator of this world. first of all a muslim search for true creator and then try to obey the orders by the good human being and religion has link but not same. i hope you will try to understand
Asad Aug 23, 2011 07:55pm
Dear Dracu Islam certainly would have helped has we Pakistanis followed it properly. The thing is that we have the lowest educated people, and therefore poor and uneducated often end up being misguided by people who CALL themselves Muslims. I believe for a common non-Muslim, the picture of Islam is what the media paints. The fact is almost entirely different. Islam means the peace / patience, so it is one of the most important element of Islam. If there are groups who call themselves Muslims and do un-Islamic things, one should not blame the religion for it. This may not be a good example but lets say you and I both are computer engineers and share a Computer, you use it for research and other good stuff, I use it for hacking and cyber bullying. Who would you blame, the computer, the qualification or ME?
sami Aug 23, 2011 08:29pm
Mr abishek whats more important for you,a good practicing Hindu or a good human being like have cases like Gujarat & Kashmir massacre & a nation of good human being,which still have more then 140million low cast declared human beings in a society.
rationalist Aug 23, 2011 08:50pm
This reply is a "completely made-up" fantasy story. In a muslim majority country, it is not allowed for someone to convert out of Islam. They will be prosecuted. Even in a so called secular country with muslim majority, like Malasia, it in not allowed to convert out of Islam, and if some muslima dares to love and marry someone out of Islam and plan to live in the same country, then she will be send to a "rehabilitation center" to be come a "Good muslim" again. Law there, allows a Muslim to marry only in an Islamic marriage or a civil marriage, to act as a deterant to any muslim girl before falling in love with a non muslim. I would have agreed to your story, if you had'nt mentioned "In a muslim Majority country". You went wrong there, my friend. Give your whereabouts and there are lot of good friends within this blog, who can validate your "story"
Atif Bangash Aug 23, 2011 09:09pm
So true to the point. Im also concerned about the spread of this extremist doctrine.
Med Aug 23, 2011 11:36pm
Well...Islam does teach you to be a better human being.
Mohsin Aug 24, 2011 04:59am
Dracu: Well no one disagrees that we need good human beings, without any regard to religion. There are issues every where, just imagine how things are in UP, Gujrat, Haryana and south of India and most recently mass rapping of women and murdering them etc. Human beings fight, if it is not religion, it will be socialism, capitalism etc. However, good thing about humanbeings is they learn, though there learning process is slow, but still EVENTUALLY they learn things to improve. If we see people are embracing some idealogy, then we should try to explore it, just like what we do to buy new car or do some business. If we are going to consider Pakistan, then we need to step back and see is it realy the religion or something else affecting Pakistan. How come the fastest progressing country of Asia till 1960s came to such hosh posh place. Religion was same, people were same then what factors actually affected it? In my humble opinion its geographics location of Pakistan which is resulting in such issues. Since 1970s this 'developing' country has been engaged in proxy-wars for our beloved USA. Anyways, to cut long story short, if you doing what your religion says, then I bet you are very good for humanity but if you 'use' religion for what you want, then you mess up everything; be it any religion.
Mubashir Aug 24, 2011 05:57am
Mashallah!!! Islam is slowly but surely making progress..... The need of the hour is that we as a Muslims has a duty to present the actual (The best face) of Islam....... Islam is the best, the only true religion, and the only road to true peace and salivation AND Inshallah!! it will dominate.. Inshallah!!!
coolkash Aug 24, 2011 06:08am
Mr. Dracu,, All good muslim are always good human beings... Yes, Pakistan is passing through testing times but it will pass Inshallah!! And yes Islam has made Pakistan better like; almost 97% of population don't consume alcohol; majority of pakistanis are faithful to their wives; pre marital sex is lesser as compared to non muslim contries; A muslim has to give zakat(charity) every year (Increased social reponsibility-- which is not mandatory for good human being but absolutely essential for good muslim)... Hope you understand
Sumaiya Aug 24, 2011 06:49am
SubhanAllah :)
roger Aug 24, 2011 10:42pm
Sami, Pointing fingers at others don’t help any one. Look at the state Pakistan is in. It has a failed economy, Sunnis and Shiite are killing each other, bloodshed is rampant in Karachi, abductions, Extortions, no rights for the minorities etc. There are bad apples everywhere but some people do all this under the vial of religion and Jihad. One should rise above all this and see what is the better way of living whether it is being an Atheist or Devout follower of any religion.
ellie o'leary Aug 25, 2011 09:17am
Why does a religion need to dominate? There is room for people of all religions and none -
Zehra Aug 25, 2011 09:23am
Well said, However, please remember that first and foremost, in order to be a good muslim, one must be a good person. The Quran teaches us many things. but the Prophet Mohammed (S), through his every day life has guided us on a path to be better humans. There must exist a balance towards one's duty towards Allah (namaz) and duty towards other human beings.
Sam Aug 26, 2011 09:15am
This is not forum for India Pakistan War. If Pakistan has some problem India also. So before just pointing Try to act on what did you and your country man is saying become good Human If u Have hate in your Hate how can u say u r the Best when your heart is corrupted. I have particularly Many Indian friends in US we neither fight nor abuse and not Highlight and degrade each other so try to bring mentally up to standard at least.
syed Aug 26, 2011 01:55pm
Lots of tabligh is being done from North America now in Brazil,they have lots of arab immigrants who have converted to christianity.
M.Himas Aug 26, 2011 02:27pm
H.D'cruz Jun 05, 2012 11:24am
You hit the nail on the head. There is no religious freedom in Muslim countries for Non-Muslims and some Muslims alike but just harsh laws and from mild to harsh persecution and religious bullying. When Muslims in non-Muslim countries are in a minority they pretend to be peaceful .Once they become in majority or large number they become a nuisance to society. They thrive on lies and deceit and forced conversion . This article does not mention about how many Muslim leave Islam.
Naushad Alam Jul 26, 2012 08:45am
Islam is religion of nature its commanded by almighty Allah. if any one study of Islam with clear heart surely they accept Islam