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Monday, August 2, 2021

More than 600 people convert to Islam in Qatar during Ramadan

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Holding up one finger to signify one God.
Holding up one finger to signify one God.

Some 615 expats in Qatar became Muslim during the fasting month of Ramadan, QNA reports, citing figures released by the Qatar Guest Center and Sheikh Eid Charity Association.

Of the new converts, some 417 are men and 144 are women, and the vast majority (517 people) hail from the Philippines. There were also 32 Sri Lankans, 26 Indians, 15 Nepalis and 25 people from the United Kingdom.

Qatar regularly announces conversions to Islam, which can number in the thousands annually.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The numerous conversions have to do in part with easy access to information about the state religion.

But many expats who move to Muslim countries may also be motivated to convert because of the social and economic benefits, according to some groups.

In 2009, a Nepali trade union called on its government to investigate conversions of nationals who traveled to the Gulf and Malaysia, fearing migrants were being pressured into accepting a new faith.

However, speaking to several expats in the Gulf, Asia News reported many as saying they willingly converted to improve their overall situations. The publication quoted Manoj Karki, who left Kathmandu to work on an oil rig in Qatar, as saying:

“I was hardly managing to save money from my salary, but since I have changed my religion to Islam, I am now more safe, comfortable, and with easy access to jobs.” His wife, who works as a maid in Doha, followed her husband’s example: “My husband converted to Islam and he advised me to do the same, so I did.”

Outside Islam

Converting to faiths other than Islam can be a tricky endeavor in Qatar.

According to a 2013 US State Department report on religion in Qatar, it is illegal for non-Muslims to proselytize here, and anyone caught doing so can face up to 10 years in jail.

Christmas 2014 at Qatar's church complex
Christmas 2014 at Qatar’s church complex

The report added, however, that the government typically deports suspected proselytizers instead of initiating legal proceedings.

The law also stipulates two years imprisonment and a fine of up to QR10,000 ($2,746) for anyone possessing written or recorded materials or items that support or promote missionary activity.

Additionally, converting to another religion from Islam is considered apostasy and is a capital offense, but the report said that since the country gained independence in 1971, there have been no recorded punishments for this.

Thoughts?

27 COMMENTS

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Ali
Ali
6 years ago

Why do you have to pressure and nag people all the time let them read and think and decide freely what they want !

Alyafai
Alyafai
6 years ago

i was a fan of Shabina until i read this poorly done article.its an article too biased and pleasing western readers.The converts are misrepresented as converts for economic reasons,i challenge her to interview the 25 british expats to know the true story of their conversion,which she failed to focus.There is no compusion to convert to Islam and all non-muslims bear the witness.And the ones who are converted dont become millionaires or gets nationality.So stop using news based on “according to this media” and do your own research!

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Alyafai

They is no compulsion to convert to Islam but there is compulsion to stop you leaving! Qatar has the death penalty for apostasy! Don’t tell me but they never use it, if so why have it in the first place and why not abolish it.

Mat Aris Mamat
Mat Aris Mamat
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Thats why think carefully and you must be 100% ready to be muslim.
Dont convert just for another reason.
Meaning you must be honest

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Mat Aris Mamat

So you agree that people should be killed for leaving Islam?

What about children who have no choice as their parents indoctrinate them as Muslims but then decide as adults they no longer want to be Muslims. Should they be killed as well even though they had no choice?

Misha
Misha
6 years ago
Reply to  Alyafai

Why should she interview the British? Just because it is a western country? That would be equally biased. She should interview the majority or one from every nationality. I am curious as to an overwhelming majority are from the Phillipines.

Alyafai
Alyafai
6 years ago
Reply to  Misha

She should interview British converts because they are better educated and have read Quran or read books on Quran and converted not like most blue collar workers who might have converted for economic reason! Tony blaise sister in law converted ,not becaus she got economic benefit from Muslims ! When God guides all falsehood has to perish !btw Isis are not real Muslims ! Any one who kills other human is not a part of Islam for no reason!

Btw u all replies are a live witness
That Islam never force any one ! And ur lucky we still tolerate u giving jobs !because our Quran says ur brothers in monotheistic religion !

What I found so ironic was how could shabina just cover up sugarcoating hypocritical about economic benefits and saying as per other media! She should as a journalist interview them not just grab mes from the peninsula and gulf times n add masala to it.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago
Reply to  Alyafai

First of all take your sense of entitlement elsewhere because as a Qatari myself you don’t give me job or anything else for that matter.

Second of all, as I said in my comment above which apparently you didn’t read. I think the article was biased (focusing on 15 Nepalis) of the 615 converts and focusing on the westerners would be just as biased (focusing on the 25). These numbers are the facts.

Alyafai
Alyafai
6 years ago
Reply to  Misha

You talk mediocre,why should any one offer you a job,learn to earn Misha,as qataris there are more doors for opportunities.i saw the same news in The peninsula and gulf times but what she wrote from her “according to asian news” was not called for,talking about economic benefit,thats streching a chewing gum,if thats so u have to interview them and asked what it is they like about islam ,have they read Quran or any books on history of islam, that would be a brave meduim.Well i see this happens in most of the media,but didnt expect from this site i followed.

Akmal farah
Akmal farah
6 years ago
Reply to  Alyafai

Actually, hold on a moment. Have you been to Industrial area, where they bring free food and gifts to Muslims or those who convert to Islam? Think about it, Free food and better treatment by default and maybe a promotion if you are lucky.. And the best part of all that is the fact that those who fund and sustain those practices believe their sins will be all wiped out. Islam rewards those who influence it and please correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t there a phrase in Quran that says those who influence others to become Muslims are guaranteed a spot in heaven or something similar?

The numbers of people who convert is by no means a good thing. It shows clearly that some are doing this to gain benefits. You want to measure how much people truly convert? Conduct the test in completely different circumstances where those converting can never receive financial or social status benefits of any kind.

Thanks

Val Cocora
Val Cocora
6 years ago
Reply to  Alyafai

no compulsion to convert to islam?
just ask your brothers in isis about that, they kill non muslims left and right.
get your head out of your ar$$e.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Val Cocora

Deleting for stereotyping.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Alyafai

The article was simply putting the numbers in the context of religious freedom in Qatar.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

If people freely convert to Islam then that is their choice as a human beings, but I find it highly ironic that it is still technically the death penalty if you leave Islam. If it’s so good you wouldn’t have to threaten someone with death to keep them to stay!

I also find it sad that some people “fake” convert because they believe they will earn more money or have an easy time. That doesn’t send a good message about working in Qatar. I also know many that did fake conversions to marry Muslim women, again quite sad when the opposite doesn’t have to happen. Another act of discrimination against women.

However I also know people that decide that Islam is for them and convert from their previous delusion and again I have no problem with that. It is the mixture in the world that makes it interesting.

Rapha31
Rapha31
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I know a lot of people who converted for the benefits that goes with it. They just revert back when on vacation.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Rapha31

Two of my friends converted to marry Muslim women, but they still hang out at the bar with me and love a bacon sandwich

Phill
Phill
6 years ago

Bad news for MIMH.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Phill

I don’t see how this is bad news for me. If you read my posts I’m pro freedom of choice. I have no problem with people being Muslims, I just have a problem when they force it on others a la Ramadan.

Rane de Beer
Rane de Beer
6 years ago

As soon as people have to implement laws to promote/protect a religion, or declare it The Official Religion of the country, you know something is wrong. Anything that is forced only promotes hypocrisy and unhappiness. Better for the politics and religion to be totally seperated so that they can’t poison each other….

Mat Aris Mamat
Mat Aris Mamat
6 years ago

If they convert to muslim just for economic and financially benefit, they are not honest.
When i read the title i could guess the reason behind especially in middle east countries.
Bear in mind i am not jealous at all.

QMalabari
QMalabari
6 years ago

Shabina shows how to manipulate a positive thing into negative news!!

Anon
Anon
6 years ago
Reply to  QMalabari

Who says it’s positive? I think any conversion to religion is not only negative to the individual, but also to the fate of wider humanity. This is no time to be investing in childish superstitious belief.

Anon
Anon
6 years ago

It’s generally a shame that in these increasingly enlightened times, the mostly weak and vulnerable are exploited by propaganda to convert to Islam (or any other faith). While faith may offer psychological succour to some, it does little to advance humanity and remains in my mind a serious obstacle to progress. And of course, it’s all irrational rubbish from a time of myth and superstition too. Luckily there are millions of people who claim to be Muslims or Christians or Jews and just go through the motions when necessary and many obviously don’t buy into the childish claims of it at all…….and those of no faith is growing far more rapidly than those who still fall for it, luckily. How anyone can still buy into the claims of Islam and the inherent contradictions of the Quran these days is beyond me………if you’re a Muslim reading this and offended; a) I don’t care, you don’t have a right not to be offended and b) have a serious look at the face value claims of the Quran in light of what we know in the modern world. It just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. And if you’re going to bang on about the oblique medical claims, well, sorry, but Galen in ancient Greece knew about those a 1000 years before the Quran was written.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago
Reply to  Anon

This is your opinion and I respect that as well as your choice to be an atheist but do you not realize how offensive your choice of words are (as opposed to your actual opinion)? “Those who still fall for it”, “how anyone can still buy into the claims”. If you need to imply people are idiots to strengthen your argument, then you’re doing it wrong.

Also we do not know if these converts are being exploited. There are no details in this article as to what he means by “being safe, comfortable and easy access to jobs” and who is responsible for these new benefits.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

If Brits convert to Islam then they are signifying their rejection of freedom of thought and expression, liberalism, and the tolerance of other religions. For better or worse those are the Christian values that have developed and underpinned British society and which are slowly being eroded by the rise of repression, intolerance, and isolation, and their “accommodation” by successive British governments. If the converts are sincere in their motive of embracing Islam and it’s principles then they have no place in British society. That may seem an extreme view in the pages of DN but it is one that is rapidly gaining ground in Britain.

Expat
Expat
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Why are you so bothered if Brits convert to Islam? Why do you feel so threatened by it? The values that developed and underpinned British society were torture, murder, terrorism and slavery of anyone who dared oppose the Kingdom/Monarchy so please stop with the BS.

Your post shows how much of a bigot you are and is full of contradictions. I pity you for not understanding what “freedom of thought and expression” is. You say “…signifying their rejection of freedom of thought and expression…” implying that you are strong believer of freedom of thought and expression yet a few sentences afterward you say “…they have no place in British society.” Which is it pal? Do you embrace freedom of thought? Or do you embrace freedom of thought within Christianity or whatever the British society is made of? You reminded of George Orwell’s Animal Farm “all pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others”.

I don’t believe that your extremist views are gaining ground in Britain because I have been there on several occasions and everyone is getting along pretty well. It is the minority of small minded people which you are a part of who sit behind their keyboards and wage hate wars against the freedom of choice of other people which make it seem to you as if its gaining ground. You should be ashamed of what you posted, not because you might have offended someone, but because you made a joke out of yourself for trying in vain to show us that you embrace freedom of thought!

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago

Closing this thread for getting super ugly!

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