German conversions to Islam have quadrupled

While I’m acutely aware of the advantages of demographic growth–there’s strength in numbers, especially these days–I don’t obsess about dawah.  My attitude has always been that the best outreach is living your life openly and honorably as a Muslim. 

I think it’s undignified (and ineffective) to hawk something priceless door-to-door like a cheap trinket. 

Still, given the Eurabia-style bile that’s bubbling up all over Europe and the US these days, how can one as a Muslim not chuckle at the news that despite all the bad press conversions are dramatically up in Germany?  According to this article, the number of Germans embracing Islam has jumped by a factor of 4. [HT: SeekersDigest.]   

Incidentally, this sort of news must send a shiver down the scaly spines of Islamophobes.  Think about it.  Islam is stubbornly spreading at a time when hysteria is at an all-time high and Muslims’ shrillest critics are getting regular airtime in the MSM.

Muwahahaha!  [Cue creepy organ.]

Muslim Converts in Germany: Angst-Ridden Germans Look for Answers — And Find Them in the Koran – International – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News

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.

  • MSK

    Dear S,
    I found the last few paragraphs quite interesting:
    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.


  • svend

    Yes, it is an interesting insight, though incomplete. From a psychological perspective, it’s entirely natural for converts to start out “more Catholic than the Pope”. People go through phases all the time during major life changes. The article might’ve added the equally demonstrated fact that this phenomenon tends to be short-term. Converts continue to evolve as they work things out. Eventually, the differenes with “born” members become neglible.
    It’s also interesting what a trivial example was selected. I wonder how often the MSM mocks convertes to Judaism for “overdoing” by going cold turkey on shellfish or pork. Why isn’t that just an inspiring sign of one’s new spiritual commitment?

  • Abu Sinan

    It also doesnt point out that there is actually debate on these issues. Some Muslims would avoid anything with alcohol, whilst others would say that since there is not enough alcohol in the dessert to get drunk if you ate 20 of them, there is no harm.
    Just like some Muslims have no issue with mouthwash and perfume with alcohol and others would not use it.
    Most of these stories contribute to the idea that Islam is some monolithic entity.

  • svend

    True, AS.
    Also, the idea that born Muslims are more liberal is quite misleading, as it compares an exceedingly small group of people in a very specific situation with a massive portion of humanity (i.e., the billion or so born Muslims). There’s no shortage of puritanical Muslims, alas.
    Moreover, it’s not unusual for established converts to swap gripes about the occasionally excessive zeal or strictness born Muslims around them.
    So this article’s a bit superficial. I think a more meaningful analysis would be to compare the differences between born Muslims and converts to those separating born again Christians and rank & file (i.e., nominal) Christians.

  • svend

    Forgot another important point, given that this is being written about Germany, which has so many Turks. If the “born” Muslim being interviewed is one of these self-hating Kamalist secularists that plague modern Turkey and its diapora then the comparison is worthless, as their conception of Islam has little in common with that of the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims. Very few Muslims would look down on a convert’s sincere attempt to avoid alcohol.
    Tiramisu is, incidentally, one of the loves of my life. I too agonize over whether it contains alcohol and feel obligated to skip it when there’s doubt. WIth great gnashing of teeth.

  • Abu Sinan

    We avoid anything with alcohol in it that we eat. The mouthwash and perfume thing just misses the point. Am I going to get drunk no matter how much Aqua di Gio I put on? I must admit my favourite secent is oud oil, but as I am not made of money, I do not wear it every day.
    Your comments about Turks in spot on. I was born in Germany lived there, and have spent a lot of time there since I was a kid, before and after my conversion.
    There are a lot of Turks out there who drink, eat pork, do any number of things that no practicing Muslim would do. But I guess this is the same for any Muslim community, some just seem to be known for it, like fact that Bosnian Muslims are often heavy drinkers, a fact I saw for myself when I was there.
    One must remember Turkey is a place where wearing the hijab is BANNED in some places.

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  • Evergreen

    Silly literalism that misses the point discredits religion by making it seem trivial. The prophet’s injunction was clearly against intoxication. That is, the state of mind and lifestyle of distraction that makes piety and mental clarity impossible. The greater spiritual danger of intoxication is not in tiramisu, but in the deafening barrage of images and noises in Western consumer culture. (That also tips into idolatry in the basic sense).

  • Frau Holtz

    “While I’m acutely aware of the advantages of demographic growth–there’s strength in numbers, especially these days”
    Your insecurity is exposed by your obvious relief at the demographic growth despite your attempts to disavow its importance to you. Still if Islam is the religion of god, how could it ever find itself in a position of weakness relative to other ideologies? You seem nervous though or you would not even need to mention the benefit of having many, many co-believers (the Jews have survived several millenia without massive demographic growth). Int he end your carefully veiled supremicist attiutde shows just another Muslim dividing the world into believer and unbeliever (not exclusive to Islam but not an inclusive vision either) and yet you wonder why non-Muslims often see you as a divisive and self-righteous group of peope.
    “Incidentally, this sort of news must send a shiver down the scaly spines of Islamophobes. Think about it. Islam is stubbornly spreading at a time when hysteria is at an all-time high and Muslims’ shrillest critics are getting regular airtime in the MSM.
    Muwahahaha! [Cue creepy organ.]”
    Actually the article addresses the phenomenon with a very rational explanation that says notion about the veracity of Islam. Islam’s exposure pulls in a certain number of people attracted to new (relative to the leitkultur) movements. For one being religious is the most radical way to rebel in a tolerant secular society. Some people just like to be different. Freedom and personal responsibility scare some people and ideologies which offer a pre-formed program for living attract a certain number of adherents. Evangelical Christianity spreads like wildfire in the world despite two centuries of well-evidenced, sustained criticism and rational exposition of the falsehood of the religion. Assuming the numbers are even true there is no reason tis conversion phenomenon in Islam will not wax for a time and then end with a few true believers left. Think of all the communes, cults, etc. in the 1960′s and 70′s where are they today. Maybe the people will stay in Islam but without Islamic structures like jizyah in place to promote conversion there is no reason to see it being a wide-spread phenomenon. Besides how many millions of Germans are fully aware of Islam and have no interest in converting?