Anjem Choudary - I read in The Metro this morning, has converted – in an impromptu street-corner ceremony on an 11 year old boy “to Islam” without obtaining his parent’s consent. The boy was apparently “coaxed onto the platform at an Islamic ‘roadshow’ in Birmingham”.
It is obviously the type of stunt to outrage the public and generate publicity that Choudary revels in. What concerns me more is this:
“The ‘reversion’ of such a young boy without parental consent was condemned as ‘unethical’ by Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, a member of the Muslim Council of Britain”
I notice Mr Mogra doesn’t declare the ‘conversion’ invalid. He only says that it is ‘unethical’ to perform the conversion in this way. Now from what I’m led to believe, in Islam, conversion is a one-way street. Abandoning Islam after conversion – a sort of spiritual buyer’s remorse, at it were – could be considered apostasy, which, to Islamic fundamentalists, is a very serious ‘crime’.
So, does the MCB really need to be more forceful? Instead of merely criticising the means and ignoring the outcome, shouldn’t it be organising authoritative British Imams to issue a fatwa making it clear that conversions of this sort are not recognised?
Though I’m not actually sure they can do that. According to the website – MuslimConverts.com – minors can quite happily convert:
If you are a child you do not need your parent’s permission to become a Muslim. If you fear they may harm, you can become Muslim in secret and tell them when you are ready.
I doubt there is any secular law against what Choudary is doing either. But it’s calculated to be provocative and boy do I smell trouble. Of course, that’s what he’s looking for.