Easter blessings to you all! Today I celebrate the reason I can live. Here is some wonderful news out of Italy, a Muslim converts to Christianity.
Italy’s most prominent Muslim commentator, a journalist with iconoclastic views such as support for Israel, converted to Roman Catholicism Saturday when the pope baptized him at an Easter service.
As a choir sang, Pope Benedict XVI poured holy water over Magdi Allam’s head and said a brief prayer in Latin.
“We no longer stand alongside or in opposition to one another,” Benedict said in a homily reflecting on the meaning of baptism. “Thus faith is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close.”
An Egyptian-born, non-practicing Muslim who is married to a Catholic, Allam often writes on Muslim and Arab affairs and has infuriated some Muslims with his criticism of extremism and support for the Jewish state.
Allam also explained his decision to entitle a recent book “Viva Israel” or “Long Live Israel,” saying he wrote it after he received death threats from Hamas.
“Having been condemned to death, I have reflected a long time on the value of life. And I discovered that behind the origin of the ideology of hatred, violence and death is the discrimination against Israel. Everyone has the right to exist except for the Jewish state and its inhabitants,” he said. “Today, Israel is the paradigm of the right to life.”
I will pray for Allam, and many like him, who has already received death threats from Hamas, and he now faces additional danger, as converting from Islam is apostasy and punishable by death. Though killings are rare, Islamic legal doctrine does call for the death penalty for rejecting Islam.
Peace of Christ to you on this blessed Easter.
HT to Crunchy Con