“I have received letters from people … who are looking for a religion which does not compromise too much with the modern world,” Eaton
February 26 (IslamOnline.net) – Jonathan Birt, the son of Lord Birt
and Emma Clark, the granddaughter of former liberal prime minister
Herbert Asquith, are only two of 14,000 mostly-elite white Britons
having reverted to Islam.
the first authoritative study of the phenomenon, carried by the Sunday
Times on February 22, some of the country’s top landowners,
celebrities and the offspring of senior Establishment figures have
embraced the Muslim faith after being disillusioned with western
new study by Yahya (formerly Jonathan) Birt, son of Lord Birt, former
director-general of the BBC, provides the first reliable data on the
sensitive subject of the movement of Christians into Islam.
uses a breakdown of the latest census figures to conclude that there
are now 14,200 white reverts in Britain.
publicly for the first time about his faith this weekend, Birt argued
that an inspirational figure, similar to the American revert Malcolm X
for Afro-Caribbeans, would first have to emerge if the next stage, a
mass conversion among white Britons, were to happen.
need great transitional figures to translate something alien (like
Islam) into the vernacular,” Birt, whose doctorate at Oxford
University is on young British Muslims, was quoted by the Times.
image of Islam projected by political Islamic movements is not very
attractive,” he said.
Birt said he had no coherent reasons for reverting, but “in the
longer term I think it was the overall profundity, balance and
coherence and spirituality of the Muslim way of life which convinced
me,” he said.
it emerged this weekend that Emma Clark, the great-granddaughter of a
British prime minister has reverted.
whose ancestor, the Liberal prime minister Herbert Asquith, took
Britain into the first world war, said: “We’re all the rage, I
hope it’s not a passing fashion.”
who helped design an Islamic garden for the Prince of Wales at
Highgrove, his Gloucestershire home, is now helping create a similar
garden for a mosque in Woking, Surrey, on the site of a car park, said
the British newspaper.
fresh evidence came this weekend that Islam has received formal
acceptance at the heart of the Establishment.
Queen has approved new arrangements to allow Muslim staff at
Buckingham Palace time off to attend Friday prayers at a mosque.
member of staff in the finance department is the first to take
advantage of it, said the
have come to Islam through love or marriage.
Backer, a former girlfriend of the cricketer Imran Khan, said she was
introduced to the religion through love but reverted after her
has shrunk from speaking publicly about her religion before because of
fears it might affect her work prospects.
sowed the seeds, but when (the relationship) finished (the faith) took
on a momentum of its own,” she said.
to Sufi mysticism, Baker said that white reverts had to overcome
prejudice both from those born into Islam and from non-believers.
the mosque women come up and say to me, ‘You have hair showing: you
must cover up completely.’ I say, ‘Mind your own hair, you’re
here to think about God’ ”.
reverts have been inspired by the writings of Charles Le Gai Eaton, a
former Foreign Office diplomat, it added.
have received letters from people who are put off by the wishy-washy
standards of contemporary Christianity and they are looking for a
religion which does not compromise too much with the modern world,”
said Eaton, author of Islam and the Destiny of Man.
prominent reverts are even more wary, said the Times.
Earl of Yarborough, 40, who owns a 28,000-acre estate in Lincolnshire,
declined to discuss anything about his faith.
have nothing to say to you,” said Yarborough, who has apparently
taken the name Abdul Mateen.
leaders are harnessing modern campaigning methods to promote their
faith. Groups have sprung
up on the internet publishing “trophy lists” of white
state-funded school in London founded by Yusuf Islam, formerly the
singer Cat Stevens, has turned to Premiership footballers to provide
role models, said the Times.
close to the school say reverts including Nicolas Anelka, the
Manchester City striker, and Omer “Freddie” Kanoute, of Tottenham
Hotspur, have made visits.
trend is being encouraged by Muslim leaders who are convinced that the
conversion of prominent society figures will help protect a community
stigmatized by “terrorism and fundamentalism“.
Muslim Council of Britain has co-opted Joe Ahmed-Dobson, son of Frank
Dobson, the former health secretary, to chair its regeneration
community has been unfairly targeted and these developments encourage
it in a time of difficulty,” said Zaki Badawi, chairman of the Imams
and Mosques Council.