Interview with rap artist turned Muslim

A growing number of rap artists are leaving the bad boy hip hop lifestyle for a more spiritual one.

The Canadian Dawah Association says that an increasing number of rappers this year have embraced Islam or acknowledged they had in the past. Amir Junaid Muhadith, better known by his stage name, Loon, talks to Al Jazeera’s Sami Zeidan about his spiritual journey.

He set out to disprove a faith, woo a girl and now he loves both

Carlos Sandoval Bashair Alazadi

When they met at a 2007 Washington camp for scholarship winners, Bashair Alazadi was 16 and wore the traditional headscarf of all Muslim women. Carlos Sandoval was 17, Catholic and a smartass.

“I grew up in Tacoma, and I’d never seen a Muslim,” said Sandoval, a graduate of Mount Tahoma High School. “To me at the time — Arab, Islam, Muslim — it was all the same.” Born in Iraq, relocated with her family to Everett at age 4, Alazadi was used to questions about Islam. Especially after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. She wasn’t all that impressed with the depth of Sandoval’s inquiry.

“He asked why I wore the scarf,” she said. “He wanted to see my hair.”

The two stayed in touch — first by email, then telephone — and went to college together at Pacific Lutheran University.

A relationship that began as a challenge, Sandoval admitted, changed his life. “Initially, I hated Islam. I tried to convince her she’d been brainwashed, that her religion was oppressive,” he said. “I bought a Qur’an so I could read it and stump her with questions. The more I read, the more I learned, the more I came to appreciate Islam.” Read the rest of this entry »

Great British Islam

This documentary tells the little-known story of three English gentlemen who embraced Islam at a time when to be a Muslim was to be seen to be a traitor to your country. Through personal journeys of still surviving relatives, the programme looks at their achievements and how their legacy lives on today.