Former German MTV host promotes Islam with new autobiography

In 1991, Kristiane Backer had the life thousands of young people dream of: She had been selected among thousands of contenders as the first German VJ for MTV Europe. Still, she was empty inside. “I am feeling so low,” she wrote in her diary. Then, in August 1992, she fell in love with Pakistan’s most famous cricket player Imran Khan. The relationship ended two years later, but Backer went on to convert to Islam in 1995.

Her story was recently published in a book entitled “From MTV to Mecca, how Islam changed my life.”

In the biography, Backer talks openly about the superficiality of the television and music business – which almost broke her, she says – and about her two failed marriages. As a convert to Islam, she has been living between two worlds, not feeling fully accepted by either. Having grown up as a Protestant in Hamburg, the 43-year-old Backer now prays five times a day to Allah and follows the Muslim law of abstaining from alcohol. She donates money to the poor and observes the Ramadan fast.

“I would be happy if my book inspired people to discover their spiritual side and to open themselves up,” said the former VJ. “On the other hand, I want to help clarify some prejudices against Islam. I want to build bridges and help support the dialogue between different religions and cultures.”

Continue reading her story here.

Former President George W. Bush: “Islam is a noble faith”

Transcript of a speech by former President George W. Bush at the White House, 17th October 2005.

President Bush: Please be seated. Thank you. Welcome to the White House. This is the fifth year in a row that it’s been my honor to host an Iftaar in the State Dining Room.

Our distinguished guests represent the millions of Muslims that we’re proud to call Americans, and many Islamic nations are represented here that America is proud to call friend. We welcome the representatives from many countries with large Muslim populations. I want to thank you all for coming to celebrate an honored tradition of the Muslim faith, and wish you a “Ramadan Mubarak.”

I want to thank those in my administration who have joined us. I want to thank the Imam for joining us today, and thank you for leading us in prayer after these short remarks. I want to thank all the ambassadors from the Organization of the Islamic Conference. I welcome other members of the Diplomatic Corps. And I want to thank the Muslim — American Muslim leaders who are with us today. Thanks for taking time out to celebrate this important dinner.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reverts say Islam brings them peace

Like two young girls relating tales of their first love, Siti Sara Phang Abdullah and Nur Balqis Elaine when recounting their conversion into Islam. This month of Ramadan, the two recent converts are also excited about fasting.

Raised in a Christian home, Sara, 19, was at first fascinated by Muslim culture. She was enamoured by traditions like head scarfs, and how her Muslim friends all seemed to have a prayer constantly on their lips – like right before eating or going to the bathroom.

Read the rest of this entry »