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Atheist to Muslim Convert
Posted: 30 July 2008 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I am interested in the opinions of others as to how someone who is agnostic/atheist/non-religious/disillusioned with Xtianity/etc, could POSSIBLY convert to Islam?

An increasing amount of these conversions are taking place, mainly (and worryingly) young women, and I really don’t understand how this can happen…this religion doesn’t respect women, does it?

Some possibilities I have come up with…different people will have different reasons. Suggestions welcome.


1.) Attention-seeking
2.) Peer pressure - e.g. “seduced by their cool Muslim friends”
3.) Indoctrination
4.) Media lies
5.) Dishonesty about what Islam is
6.) Propaganda
7.) Hippie new age curiousity and novelty - (wow i get to wear new clothes and be cool)
8.) Rebellion - esp. family rebellion
9.) White guilt
10.) The same reason as most ‘religious’ people do it….filing a gap in their lives

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Posted: 30 July 2008 04:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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11. Sexual infatuation

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Posted: 30 July 2008 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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12. Submissive women? Those who don’t feel comfortable unless they are abused.

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Posted: 30 July 2008 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Conversions to religion generally involve non-conscientious non-believers (apatheists) who experience some sort of traumatic event(s) and convert on the spur of the moment. Mostly these are emotional events and decisions.

Conversions from religion generally involve conscientious believers who realize they need to consider their beliefs critically, and having done so, usually over a span of a few years or more, find them falling short.

Conversions between religions are generally some mixture of both, but usually more on the emotional side.

There’s not much real research on the topic, but to and from are a couple of very strong data points you’ll find summarized in Amazing Conversions by Bob Altemeyer and the late Bruce Hunsberger, but their data set is based solely on students at the University of Manitoba (so mostly it involves Christianity and very young, life-long North Americans).

Byron

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Posted: 31 July 2008 04:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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thepredatorhandshake - 30 July 2008 08:17 AM

10.) The same reason as most ‘religious’ people do it….filing a gap in their lives

That would be my choice.

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Posted: 31 July 2008 04:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Carstonio - 31 July 2008 08:07 AM
thepredatorhandshake - 30 July 2008 08:17 AM

10.) The same reason as most ‘religious’ people do it….filing a gap in their lives

That would be my choice.

This is certainly one of the factors. Human nature requires that one reach some conclusions in order to obtain contentment. Plugging into religion provides this for some but I fear it terminates the legitimate quest for understanding and a glimpse at enlightenment that only comes from the questioning mind.

Wassail

Wotansson

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Posted: 31 July 2008 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Weak minded and delusional? Likes to pray many times a day and face Mecca? Hates Sam Harris? Prefers a lifestyle in the 7th century? Likes stoning people to death for adultry?

many, many good reasons.

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Posted: 31 July 2008 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Funny how you don’t consider the possibility that Islam resonates with people as the truth.

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Posted: 31 July 2008 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 31 July 2008 07:42 PM

Funny how you don’t consider the possibility that Islam resonates with people as the truth.

In determining the nature of the physical universe, human resonance is irrelevant. There’s no evidence that the universe cares about us.

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Posted: 31 July 2008 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Wotansson - 31 July 2008 08:34 AM

This is certainly one of the factors. Human nature requires that one reach some conclusions in order to obtain contentment. Plugging into religion provides this for some but I fear it terminates the legitimate quest for understanding and a glimpse at enlightenment that only comes from the questioning mind.

Excellent point. Any pursuit of contentment must leave the physical universe alone. If believing that your blue car is red gives you contentment, that doesn’t change the fact that your car is still blue. Because of that, it’s merely an illusion of contentment.

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Posted: 01 August 2008 01:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 31 July 2008 07:42 PM

Funny how you don’t consider the possibility that Islam resonates with people as the truth.

The truth being that if I change my mind I should be killed, or that fucking 9yr old girls is ethical???

Hmm…don’t think so pal.

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Posted: 01 August 2008 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 31 July 2008 07:42 PM

Funny how you don’t consider the possibility that Islam resonates with people as the truth.

That’s because the mind must be compromised in order to perceive it that way. That’s what religious faith is all about.

Byron

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Posted: 01 August 2008 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Ooooo….‘the mind must be compromised’


Excellent X man. I like that one. How true that is.

I always referred to it as ‘Intellectual cowardice’

It hits people harder when you call them a coward than when you call them stupid I have found. That ole ego thingy. grin

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 01 August 2008 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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McCreason - 01 August 2008 11:50 AM

It hits people harder when you call them a coward than when you call them stupid I have found. That ole ego thingy. grin

I call it intellectual cowardice in the case of the more ugly and vitriolic apologist types, but the intellect can be compromised by socialization and other things that have a lot more to do with the lack of introspection and critical analysis than intestinal fortitude.

But yeah, when it’s called for I’ll definitely drop that term out of the bay and let it fall on the bastards who have earned it! And they’re people who do tend to have major ego issues—it’s the compensation schtick, usually.

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 03 August 2008 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 31 July 2008 07:42 PM

Funny how you don’t consider the possibility that Islam resonates with people as the truth.

Funny how the truth is the same regardless of how you FEEL about it.

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Posted: 03 August 2008 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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I think it’s interesting that some people have claimed that the conversion is to “fill a gap” in the lives of the previously non-believing type. I think the main gist of the question, however, was, “Why Islam?” as opposed to other religions.

I’m very, incredibly new to the site (almost to an embarrassing spot considering the number of posts by others here), and it fills me with some form of trepidation to throw my hat in this proverbial ring. However, Islam, to me, especially for women, is a rather surprising choice considering some of the central beliefs of that religion. If an atheist were to choose Islam to “fill the gap” over, say, Judaism or Christianity, then I would be rather surprised and can’t think of an explanation for it other than the sociological factors with which we are not familiar. Not to say that Judaism or Christianity are in any way legitimate, but they seem to be less aggressive, at least, in their anti-woman rhetoric (though, they clearly do have it to an alarming degree).

So, I’m not partial to the belief that it is simply to fill the gap. There either must be something about Islam that I, and many others, do not understand in terms of attractiveness. Or, there is something rather specific about the marketing (!) of Islam that is appealing to certain humans which is more effective than the marketing tools of other religions. The gap can be filled by anything, be it Cheetos or Buddhism. Why Islam? I can’t be sure, but I am not encouraged by this news if it is true.

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