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.

Arnoud van Doorn embraces Islam

arnoud

Former leading member Arnoud van Doorn, of Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ anti-Islamic party who became Muslim, was recently in Madinah praying with the Muslims. He reverted to Islam after he studied it. He is now our brother in Islam! He is praying in the raudah area of the mosque!

Thus we are reminded:

“And the disbelievers planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners.” (Qur’an 3:54)

Allahu Akbar!