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جوري
04-01-2008, 02:40 AM
Angst-Ridden Germans Look for Answers -- And Find Them in the Koran
By Lutz Ackermann

The number of Germans who have converted to Islam has increased fourfold within one year -- despite the negative perception of Islam among the general public.


DPA
A man praying in a Berlin mosque. The number of Muslim converts in Germany increased fourfold last year.
In terms of his appearance, Kai Lühr seems out of place. Lühr, who is kneeling between bearded men in white robes and bowing in the direction of Mecca, is clean-shaven and wearing jeans and a gray jacket. He might pass as a member of the Christian congregation next door, sent here to cultivate inter-faith dialogue. But he clearly knows the Islamic prayer ritual too well for that to be the case. He bends over and prays in Arabic: "Allah listens to him who praises Him. Our Lord, to You is due all praise." Lühr bends over, stands up again, takes another bow -- up and down, 33 times.

Kai Lühr, a practising doctor, converted to Islam with his wife two and a half years ago. Since then their names have been Kai Ali Rashid and Katrin Aisha Lühr. The 43-year-old regularly attends Friday prayers in the courtyard mosque in Frechen, near Cologne, where he prays together with Moroccans, Palestinians and two other German converts -- a former boxer and an engineer. "You'll meet a few German-born Muslims in any mosque these days," says Lühr.

A soon-to-be-published study on Islamic life in Germany confirms the Cologne doctor's impression. The study sheds light on a phenomenon that may seem surprising given the image of Islam in Germany, where the religion is often associated with terrorism, forced marriages and honor killings: In Germany, some 4,000 people converted to Islam between July 2004 and June 2005. The study, which was financed by the Interior Ministry and carried out by the Soest-based Muslim institute Islam Archive Germany, reveals that the number of converts increased four-fold in comparison to the previous year.

The figure of 4,000 conversions means the usual explanations for why Germans convert are no longer sufficient. The annual number of converts remained constant -- at about 300 -- until three years ago. The converts were mainly women "who married a Muslim partner," Muhammad Salim Abdullah from the Islam Archive points out. Today, people are increasingly converting "of their own free will," he says, adding that the converts still include many women, but also plenty of university graduates -- middle-class citizens like Kai Lühr.

Baptized and raised as a Christian, Lühr studied at university and then opened a general medical practice with an additional specialization in naturopathic medicine. His income was good, he married Katrin, a professional dancer, and they moved into a loft apartment together. However, at some stage the couple realized something was missing. "When critically-ill people come into my practice after already having been sent from pillar to post, it makes you despair sometimes," Lühr says. He developed an interest in Christianity, Buddhism and the Dalai Lama. But he found no answers.

"People want to be different."

Lühr's conversion process seems typical. Many converts were originally practising Christians who began having doubts about their religion at some point, says Mohammed Herzog, a Berlin imam who used to be a Protestant minister until he converted to Islam in 1979. The number of German-speaking converts in his mosque has also risen noticeably, Herzog says. Some 10 years ago, the annual number of converts was about 50 -- now it is double that. "Only rarely do the converts include people who were complete atheists before," Herzog says.

Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, a sociologist of religion, has investigated converts in Germany and in the United States. She says the "overcoming of a personal crisis" is often a prime motive, frequently in combination with a search for the Other: "People want to be different," she says.

While fundamentalist Christianty also offers these possibilities, Islam allows a person to stand out from the crowd to a greater degree, in Wohlrab-Sahr's opinion. Moreover, Islam has become a perennial theme in the media thanks to today's frequent debates on Muslims. "Islam is more visible as a genuine alternative," Wohlrab-Sahr says.

It's hard to find a common denominator for what exactly makes Islam so attractive to people from a Christian background. Salim Abdullah speaks of "defiant reactions" in the face of the constant criticism brought against Islam, although he's also familiar with converts who appreciate the "clear rules for behavior" provided by the Koran. Lühr, who always carries a prayer mat in the trunk of his Alfa Romeo GT, laments the "decline in values" that Western society, in his view, has suffered: "In Islam, values still count for something," he says.


Sometimes the newly-acquired Muslim values can clash with Western principles, in the opinion of some. The key question is how literally Islam's holy book is interpreted. "Converts tend to practise their religion in a more puritanical fashion," says Wohlrab-Sahr. "Born Muslims are often more liberal."

A Hamburg lawyer's office provides an intriguing example of what she means. Thirty-six-year-old Nils Bergner prays to Allah five times a day. The German convert works together with a Turkish friend Ali Özkan, also a Muslim. The two visit the mosque together, but it's only in the German's office that the prayer rug is regularly rolled out. "I just can't manage it," says Özkan. "The first prayer is at 6:00 a.m. -- much too early."

Recently, they were invited to dinner. The desert was tiramisu. Bergner hesitated because of the alcohol in the recipe. "I said, you can't be serious," Özkan recalls. "Go ahead and eat it, I said. It's just a flavoring." But Bergner left the tiramisu untouched.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/...460364,00.html
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جوري
04-01-2008, 02:46 AM
I enjoyed this one too lol.. I love how they pass it off to the number of birth rate amidst Muslims.. I went to catholic school btw, you couldn't get a 14 year old catholic girl to keep her legs together if her life depended on it.. what a joke..
here rejoice with me after the 5000-6000 converts from Germany, I can't think of a more apropos one up save this!


Muslims outnumber Catholics, Vatican says
By Megan Levy and agencies
Last Updated: 1:46am BST 01/04/2008



Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion, the Vatican has announced.

Damian Thompson: Brown is terrified by Scottish Catholics
Muslims now make up 19.2 per cent of the world's population, outnumbering Catholics at 17.2 per cent, according to the Vatican's 2008 yearbook of statistics.



"For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us," Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

"It is true that while Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children, Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer."

Monsignor Formenti, who compiled the yearbook based on 2006 data, said that if all Christian groups were considered - including Orthodox churches, Anglicans and Protestants - then Christians made up 33 percent of the world's population, or about 2 billion people.

The Vatican recently put the number of Catholics in the world at 1.13 billion people.

It did not provide a figure for Muslims, generally estimated at around 1.3 billion.

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Monsignor Formenti said that while the number of Catholics as a proportion of the world's population was fairly stable, the percentage of Muslims was growing because of higher birth rates

Data on Muslim populations had been compiled by individual countries and then released by the United Nations, he said, adding the Vatican could only vouch for its own statistics.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...vatican131.xml

:w:
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snakelegs
04-01-2008, 03:26 AM
ummm......maybe it's the weather?
welcome back!
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☆•♥°ąყ℮Տիმ°♥•☆
04-01-2008, 08:07 AM
:sl:
Welcome back sis!
Missed your posting
Very intresting read also.
:w:
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IbnAbdulHakim
04-01-2008, 09:07 AM
mashaAllaah very interesting read !!

Assalamu Alaikum
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guyabano
04-01-2008, 10:08 AM
Originally Posted by Eve Persephone
... the percentage of Muslims was growing because of higher birth rates
Greetings to you and welcome back

Well, of what I see everyday, I see not more or less people converting to Islam as usually. A lot of Statistics Webpages also show, that this growth rate of Islam is mainly because of brith growth within islamic families.
Europe, principally dominated by catholic christians, 'produce' less children. Living costs in West-Europe get simply too much high and mostly families decide for only one child, specially because BOTH Partners have to work to be able to afford an appartement or a small house.

Peace
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------
04-01-2008, 10:12 AM
:salamext:

^ It aint cheap in other countries lol
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aamirsaab
04-01-2008, 10:22 AM
:sl:
There have been quite a number of german reverts to Islam. Plenty of vids on it on utube.
Not to mention the number of koreans, tibetans, americans and mexican reverts to Islam.

Booyah!
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guyabano
04-01-2008, 10:29 AM
Originally Posted by aamirsaab
:sl:
There have been quite a number of german reverts to Islam. Plenty of vids on it on utube.
Not to mention the number of koreans, tibetans, americans and mexican reverts to Islam.

Booyah!
Sure, but you also forget to mention then the muslims leaving Islam every day.
All in all, I see no progressing of Islam, except through birth rate
I know this topic tend always to be wiped under the carpet, but it exists

Peace
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IbnAbdulHakim
04-01-2008, 10:35 AM
^ thres a difference in peoples awareness of it :) and practise of it :D

my family and friends are a proof of that...
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aamirsaab
04-01-2008, 10:40 AM
Originally Posted by guyabano
Sure, but you also forget to mention then the muslims leaving Islam every day.
All in all, I see no progressing of Islam, except through birth rate
I know this topic tend always to be wiped under the carpet, but it exists

Peace
Indeed there are muslims who leave Islam. But they are vastly outnumber by those who join :) Also consider the fact that a lot of the reverts have looked into Islam as a result of bad media portrayal...:D

Birth rate is a factor as is revert rates which have increased noticably in the west.
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Ali.
04-01-2008, 10:56 AM
:sl:

An interesting read. I heard about the number of Germans converting quite a while before this read, I'm glad to hear it's still increasing, alhamdulillah; das ist gut!

:w:
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AvarAllahNoor
04-01-2008, 11:01 AM
Originally Posted by IbnAbdulHakim
^ thres a difference in peoples awareness of it :) and practise of it :D

my family and friends are a proof of that...
Haha, so true. It's like a mate of mines famlily. They go to the Gurdwara on Sundays, they sit for about five minutes then, rush to the Langar (free kitchen) to eat! :rollseyes
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IbnAbdulHakim
04-01-2008, 11:04 AM
^ its all about the langar :D
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crayon
04-01-2008, 01:37 PM
In the top 25 countries with the highest birth rates, only 2 (if i'm not mistaken) are considered muslim countries, afghanistan and somalia. Why then are the religions of those countries not on the rise?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._by_birth_rate

Yes, high birth rates in certain muslim countries are a reason for the increasing muslim population, but in my opinion, not the most significant.
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Whatsthepoint
04-01-2008, 01:53 PM
Originally Posted by crayon
In the top 25 countries with the highest birth rates, only 2 (if i'm not mistaken) are considered muslim countries, afghanistan and somalia. Why then are the religions of those countries not on the rise?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._by_birth_rate

Yes, high birth rates in certain muslim countries are a reason for the increasing muslim population, but in my opinion, not the most significant.
If 6,000 thousand poeple converted in a country of 80 million, an approximate of 36,000 would have to convert in the EU, or 525,000 in the entire non-islamic world, that is of course if we suppose the world population converts evenly, which I don't think they do...
Estimates of Islam's overall growth vary from 20 to 40 million per year, which makes me believe conversions play a very small part in it.
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barney
04-01-2008, 02:03 PM
It does bring the point up, If everyone born to muslim parents is muslim for life, whilst the only new christians are those who accept jesus as their lordandsaviourinsureandcertainhopeoflifeeverlastin g, then of course Islam is going to eventually become the only religion.

If you are born into something and cant leave; that thing will grow faster than something you have to choose to be, and frankly makes no sense to be part of.
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Whatsthepoint
04-01-2008, 02:12 PM
Originally Posted by crayon
In the top 25 countries with the highest birth rates, only 2 (if i'm not mistaken) are considered muslim countries, afghanistan and somalia. Why then are the religions of those countries not on the rise?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._by_birth_rate

Yes, high birth rates in certain muslim countries are a reason for the increasing muslim population, but in my opinion, not the most significant.
Forgot to answer your first question.
Yes, you are mistaken. 4 out of top 10 countries in the list are muslim and one is half muslim.
As to why christanity doesn't gain a lot from this countries, 5 of which are christian I believe its because the the poupualtion growth of the rest of the christian world is bellow average (Europe, North America) or slightly above average (South America), whereas it is slightly or way above average in most muslim countries.
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Whatsthepoint
04-01-2008, 02:13 PM
Welcome back Purest!!!
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Muezzin
04-01-2008, 03:33 PM
To the titular Angst-Ridden Germans - mashallah! Congratulations on finding Islam and happiness!

To the people getting all nitty gritty with numbers - miss the point much?

Originally Posted by barney
It does bring the point up, If everyone born to muslim parents is muslim for life,
Not necessarily. If, in adulthood, they don't have faith in their hearts, if they don't truly believe, then they're no longer Muslims, regardless of parentage.

whilst the only new christians are those who accept jesus as their lordandsaviourinsureandcertainhopeoflifeeverlastin g, then of course Islam is going to eventually become the only religion.
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

If you are born into something and cant leave; that thing will grow faster than something you have to choose to be, and frankly makes no sense to be part of.
Yeah, I didn't want to be human either. Sloths have a much better lifestyle.
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Whatsthepoint
04-01-2008, 03:40 PM
Originally Posted by Muezzin
To the people getting all nitty gritty with numbers - miss the point much?
:D.
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جوري
04-01-2008, 04:24 PM
Think the first article speaks for itself.. it wouldn't matter however whether conversion as in the 6000 Germans just last year, or by birth rate.. tis one of the signs of the end of the world.. that Islam would dominate =)

I am not back by the way... but I am having car problems =(

cheers
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Khayal
04-01-2008, 05:07 PM
:sl:

An interesting read!!

Thanks dear Sis, for sharing this article with us.:)

:w:
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AvarAllahNoor
04-01-2008, 05:43 PM
Originally Posted by IbnAbdulHakim
^ its all about the langar :D
It's true sadly. Though they think they are the most religious of all. Why boast! 'Allah Gaht Gaht Ki Janeh'' - ''Allah knows the most inner thoughts, without us having to say''

Oh Well.
:rollseyes
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fatima_01
04-01-2008, 06:27 PM
high birth rates or not who cares islam is on the rise babyyy :D
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