Member of the Swiss Political Party that Pushed for Minaret Ban Converts to Islam

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment


Original article by: Jason Hamza van Boom on December 4th, 2009

Daniel Streich, Member of the Swiss Political Party that Pushed for Minaret Ban Converts to Islam

The news about Switzerland’s ban on the construction of minarets has made the headlines, providing shocking evidence of the strength of increasing intolerance in Europe.

Daniel Streich, military instructor and, until recently, a Swiss People’s Party (SVP) politician in the city of Bulle, has left the party, the political party that pushed the minaret ban initiative. The reason: He converted to Islam. For two years he kept this secret from his ex-party. Now, with the “witch hunt against Islam,” this situation has become unbearable for him.

He was a true SVPer and Christian. He read the Bible and regularly went to church. Now Daniel Streich, military instructor and community council member, reads the Qur’an, prays five times a day and goes to a mosque.

“Islam offers me logical answers to important life questions, which, in the end, I never found in Christianity,” says Streich.

Because he could no longer stand the “SVP’s witch hunt against Islam” Streich left the part two weeks ago (around November 10, 2009) and has made his conversion to Islam become publicly known two years after his conversion. Now he’s participating in the building of the new Civil Conservative Democratic Party in the canton of Freiburg. The former churchgoer is vehemently against the minaret initiative: “If the initiative passes, it will be an absolute deep blow for me. I would have to ask myself, why I applied myself professionally and politically for over 30 years for this political system.” In contrast, Switzerland urgently needs more mosques. “It is not worthy of Switzerland to force Muslims to practice their faith in back alleys.”

Reactions in the SVP were mixed. “Everyone can believe what he wants to,” says General Secretary Martin Baltisser. SVP-National Council member Alfred Heer had a less friendly reaction. Political scientist Georg Lutz: “The SVP and Islam stand closer to each other than people suppose. Both advance a conservative worldview.”

Source

Myriam Francois-Cerrah…from Hollywood to Makkah

May 15, 2012 § Leave a comment


The opening of Al Fatiha, with its address to the whole of mankind, psychologically stopped me in my tracks. It spoke of previous scriptures in a way which I both recognized, but also differed. It clarified many of the doubts I had about Christianity. It made me an adult as I suddenly realized that my destiny and my actions had consequences for which I alone would now be held responsible.

This is a short story about Myriam Francois-Cerrah, previously known as Emilie Francois (born in 1983), began her screen career at age 12 in Ang Lee‘s Sense and Sensibility (1995) in which she played Margaret Dashwood alongside Emma Thompsonand Kate Winslet. She went on to star in Paws (1997) alongside Nathan Cavaleri and Heath Ledger, and New Year’s Day (2000). [Admittedly, i have yet to watch any of her movies]

Francois-Cerrah,  British actress of French and Irish heritage, who reverted to Islam in 2003. I was introduced to her by a WardinaSaffiya (i shall write about her, soon enough) a couple of months back.

Myriam currently works as a freelance journalist, with her articles featured in “The Huffington Post“, “New Statesman“, The London PaperIndex on Censorshipthe F-Word, the magazine Emel,. Myriam has an MA with honours in Middle East politics from Georgetown University, and a BA from Cambridge University in Social and Political science, and is due to complete her PhD at Oxford University in Oriental Studies in 2012.

The Qur’an was pivotal for me. I first tried to approach it in anger, as part of an attempt to prove my Muslim friend wrong. Later I began reading it with a more open mind.

The opening of Al Fatiha, with its address to the whole of mankind, psychologically stopped me in my tracks. It spoke of previous scriptures in a way which I both recognized, but also differed. It clarified many of the doubts I had about Christianity. It made me an adult as I suddenly realized that my destiny and my actions had consequences for which I alone would now be held responsible.

In a world governed by relativism, it outlined objective moral truths and the foundation of morality. As someone who’d always had a keen interest in philosophy, the Qur’an felt like the culmination of all of this philosophical cogitation. It combined Kant, Hume, Sartre and Aristotle. It somehow managed to address and answer the deep philosophical questions posed over centuries of human existence and answer its most fundamental one, ‘why are we here?’

In the Prophet Muhammad, I recognized a man who was tasked with a momentous mission, like his predecessors, Moses, Jesus and Abraham. I had to pick apart much of the Orientalist libel surrounding him in order to obtain accurate information, since the historical relativism which people apply to some degree when studying other historical figures, is often completely absent, in what is a clear attempt to disparage his person.” 

[Excerpts from British Actress Inspired by Prophet’s Life]

More links on her:

Her blog http://myriamfrancoiscerrah.wordpress.com/

Writes at http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/myriam-francois

http://www.usislam.org/converts/myriam_francoiscerrah.htm

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