Dialogue Ireland Logo Resources Services Information about Dialogue Ireland
A to Z index



  • Today (according to Muslim figures) 5,000 of the Muslims in the UK are British converts with between 100-200 new converts each year! Muslims also claim there are 20,000 British converts to Islam (the majority = women married to Muslim men), with 3-4 converts joining per day. Most are converted in Universities, the largest number among Afro-Caribbean, who join Sufi groups.

  • Islamic missionary thrust of the Muslim institutions (Da'wah). They use:
    1. exhibitions (i.e. the major Islamic cultural exhibition in London)
    2. public debates (i.e. Ahmad Deedat-polemical debates, ridiculing Christianity)
    3. literature (produced by the Islamic Foundation, highly anti-Christian)
    4. meetings by University student organizations inviting speakers from Muslim world.

  • The Islamic Council of Europe, based in London, has become "the key to Islam's missionary strategy", reaching out to convert nominal Christians and non-Christian immigrants.
  1. Twelve most common reasons for conversion to Islam (in the U.S.):

    1. Islam's Social Laws (complete guide to life: women, protection, Shariah)
    2. The Unity of God (Tawhid vs. trinity)
    3. Brotherhood (religion for 3rd world, Christianity = white = Racism, i.e. S.Africa)
    4. The Morality of Islam (purity vs. the decadence and decline of Christianity)
    5. The Qur'an's beauty and applicability (pleasing to the ear, holy, miracle of Muhammad)
    6. The Simplicity of Islamic teaching (caters to strict cultures, flexible)
    7. The Testimony of Other Muslims (teachers, Pirs, and Sufi leaders)
    8. Islam's Rationality (easy to explain, no mysticism or mystery)
    9. The Practices of Islam (polygamy, prayers and religiosity)
    10. Its Superiority to all other Religions (latest universal religion, last revelation)
    11. The Theology found in the Qur'an (peace, piety, no sin, allows inquiry?)
    12. Islam's Spirituality (Places Allah high, distant, not personal and so not human)

  2. Other reasons:

    • Post-Colonial independence, brings about enaction of Islamic Shariah.
    • Resurgence of Islamic Fundamentalism due to decadence of West.
    • Racist bias equated with Christianity (New "Afrocentristic History" in USA)
    • Restrictive freedom of religion in Muslim lands. Allegiance to a social-political-religious way of life & penalties. Harsh reprisals taught in Islamic Law for apostasy (i.e. Salman Rushdie).
    • Oil wealth (70% world total), much spent on the spread of Islam.
    • Khomeini's revolution in Iran gave Islamic pride.
    • Success of Muslim vs. Christian Debates, using Bible as basis for debates.
    • mis-understanding by Christians of Islam, mis communication-2% missionaries

  3. Kose's, Gerholm's and Poston's reasons:

    Other common reasons for conversion to Islam gathered from Ali Kose, a Turkish writer who reported on British converts, Thomas Gerholm's on Europeans, and Larry Poston's work in the U.S.
    1. Disillusionment with the West. Disgust with Western policies toward Islamic nations and third world countries,
    2. Concerns over racism, and seeing Islam as more multiracial, or multicultural
    3. Dissatisfaction with previous religious experiences and ideology. 94 % came from Christian backgrounds, 73% C.of E., 17% Catholic
    4. Mysticism, and the appeal of Sufism.
    5. Personal contact with Muslim friends, and their life style. The appeal of Islam as a complete way of like, rules set to help you, standards, not left to worry what to choose- the appeal of the moral and ethical standard.
    6. Experiences with Islam. Converts test it out, and feel peace; a good emotional experience or a satisfying intellectual experience as it is often more of the head than the heart.
    7. Through marriage many women convert (yet some statistics = 70% male converts)
    8. Appeals to some women as they are more respected as Muslim women.
    9. Supernatural encounters with Islam, dreams, visions
    Well known converts: Martin Ling, Gai Eaton, Abdul Hakim Winter, Sarah Malik, Yusef Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), Marmaduke Pickthall.


    • Carol L. Anway, Daughters of Another Path, experiences of American Women choosing Islam. Yawna Pub. 1996
    • Thomas Gerholm and Yngve (sic) George Litham (eds), The New Islamic Presence in Europe, Mansell, London, 1988
    • Ali Kose, Conversion to Islam: A study of native British Converts, Kegan Paul, London and New York, 1996
    • Larry Poston, Islamic Da'wah in the West: Muslim missionary activity and the dynamics of conversion to Islam. OUP 1992