Influential Italian Muslim, Magdi Allam Converts To Catholicism, Baptized By Pope Benedict

Calls Islam "Evil" At An "Intrinsic" Level

March 24, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - - In an elaborate Easter Sunday ceremony, iconoclastic Italian Muslim Magdi Allam was accepted into the Catholic faith and baptized by Pope Benedict.

Allam is the deputy editor of Italy's leading newspaper "Corriere della Sera" which on Sunday published a letter written by him encouraging other Muslims who have become Christians to acknowledge that fact publicly. He also suggested that the Church should step up its efforts to convert Muslims, and be "less prudent" in that regard.

In Allam's letter he credited the Pope with providing the inspiration for him "to see the light, by divine grace, as the healthy and ripe fruit of a long process," and praised him as someone, "whom I have admired and defended as a Muslim for his brilliance in presenting the indissoluble link between faith and reason as the foundation of true religion."

Allam further explained that his conversion came as a result of a long process of introspection:

"...On my first Easter as a Christian I not only discovered Jesus, I discovered for the first time the face of the true and only God, who is the God of faith and reason. My conversion to Catholicism is the touching down of a gradual and profound interior meditation from which I could not pull myself away, given that for five years I have been confined to a life under guard, with permanent surveillance at home and a police escort for my every movement, because of death threats and death sentences from Islamic extremists and terrorists, both those in and outside of Italy.

Allam's security detail provided by the Italian government came as a result of a series of death threats resulting from Allam's criticism of the 2003 London terror bombings.

About his Sunday baptism, Allam said, "Yesterday has been the most beautiful day of my life, when I chose the most simple and explicit name. Since yesterday, my name is Magdi Christian Allam."

Of most importance, Allam took the opportunity to reject some of the key propositions of Islam calling it "evil" at an "intrinsic" level:

"...I had to ask myself about the attitude of those who publicly declared fatwas, Islamic juridical verdicts, against me - I who was a Muslim - as an "enemy of Islam," "hypocrite because he is a Coptic Christian who pretends to be a Muslim to do damage to Islam," "liar and vilifier of Islam," legitimating my death sentence in this way. I asked myself how it was possible that those who, like me, sincerely and boldly called for a "moderate Islam," assuming the responsibility of exposing themselves in the first person in denouncing Islamic extremism and terrorism, ended up being sentenced to death in the name of Islam on the basis of the Quran. I was forced to see that, beyond the contingency of the phenomenon of Islamic extremism and terrorism that has appeared on a global level, the root of evil is inherent in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictive..."

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