It’s not known exactly how many have converted to Islam in Germany Two of the men held in connection with a plot to bomb US military installations and other targets in Germany are converts to Islam. It has raised the question of whether converts are more likely to become radicalized. Perhaps just as shocking to many Germans upon hearing that the terrorist attacks planned could have been more deadly than those carried out in London or Madrid was the fact that two of three suspects taken into custody, Fritz G. and Daniel S., were Germans who had converted to Islam. It led Bavaria’s interior minister and premier designate, G_nther Beckstein, to argue that in certain cases, German authorities should keep an eye on people who convert to Islam. While there is no central register for converts, the conservative minister told the financial daily Handelsblatt last week that when “security forces learn of a conversion, they should establish whether it involves a liberal and humane form of Islam or an Islamist one.” The controversial suggestion has unleashed a discussion over the nature of conversion, religious zeal and the appeal that converts have to Islamic radicals.
By Nicholas Hellen and Christopher Morgan MORE than 14,000 white Britons have converted to Islam after becoming disillusioned with western values, according to the first authoritative study of the phenomenon. Some of Britain’s top landowners, celebrities and the offspring of senior Establishment figures have embraced the strict tenets of the Muslim faith. The trend is being encouraged by Muslim leaders who are convinced that the conversion of prominent society figures will help protect a community stigmatised by terrorism and fundamentalism.