Are Muslim Converts to Christianity Sincere?

By Raymond Ibrahim Published on February 9, 2024

Muslim asylum seekers throughout Western Europe are increasingly converting to Christianity: 40 Muslim migrants aboard the Bibby Stockholm, a Barge in Portland Port in Dorset, England, have reportedly embraced Christ and are fervently attending churches and being instructed by faith leaders. Another 20 Muslim migrants were baptized last weekend in Wethersfield, Essex.

Surely this is good news for both Christians and atheists in Europe: for Christians, because they are winning souls for Christ (and gaining much needed followers), and for atheists, because the Muslim who becomes a Christian stops being a Muslim.

Sincere Converts?

There is just one problem: from the very beginning, Muslims have been notorious for insincerely saying or doing almost anything — not just falsely converting to Christianity but even denouncing and cursing Muhammad — if so doing benefits or empowers them over the hated infidel. Worse, Islam approves of such stratagems, as captured in the doctrine of taqiyya.

Such is the tragic mess of Islam. Its followers have cried wolf so often that it is nearly impossible to tell when it is true.

At the same time, and because many people tend to project themselves onto others, Muslims are converting to Christianity because they still think Europe is Christian and that Christians behave like Muslims — meaning that Christians are commanded to hate non-Christians and help fellow Christians. (Islam commands Muslims to hate non-Muslims and help Muslims.) Similarly, because Christians and converts to Christianity are persecuted all throughout the Muslim world, Muslims assume that Christians (in Europe) are eager to help any Christian minority or Muslim convert to escape the persecution.

An Instructive Example

At any rate, history offers an especially instructive example of what some Muslims are willing to do when threatened with deportation from the boons of infidel living. In 1492, Granada, the final Muslim bastion of Spain which had long terrorized Christians, was reconquered. Its Muslims were initially granted lenient terms, including the right to travel abroad and practice Islam freely. However, whenever the opportunity arose, they launched many hard-to-quell uprisings — several “involving the stoning, dismembering, beheading, impaling, and burning alive of Christians” — and regularly colluded with foreign Muslim powers (e.g., Ottoman Turks) in an effort to subvert Spain back to Islam.

The Spanish crown eventually issued an edict that Muslims either had to convert to Christianity — and therefore slough off their jihadist animus — or quit the peninsula. In response, the entire population of Granada — hundreds of thousands of Muslims — openly embraced Christianity but remained crypto-Muslims. Publicly they went to church and baptized their children; at home they recited the Koran, preached undying hate for the infidel and their obligation to re-subjugate Spain to Islam. And all this deception was legitimized by the fatwas of leading Islamic clerics.

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One historian explains the great lengths these “Moriscos” — that is, Muslim converts to Christianity who were still “Moorish,” or Islamic — went to deceive the Christians:

For a Morisco to pass as a good Christian took more than a simple statement to that effect. It required a sustained performance involving hundreds of individual statements and actions of different types, many of which might have little to do with expressions of belief or ritual per se. Dissimulation [taqiyya] was an institutionalized practice in Morisco communities that involved regular patterns of behaviour passed on from one generation to the next.

Despite this elaborate masquerade, Christians increasingly caught on: “With the permission and license that their accursed sect [Islam] accorded them,” a frustrated Spaniard remarked in the seventeenth century, “they could feign any religion outwardly and without sinning, as long as they kept their hearts nevertheless devoted to their false impostor of a prophet. We saw so many of them who died while worshipping the Cross and speaking well of our Catholic Religion yet who were inwardly excellent Muslims.”

In short, generation after generation of Muslims pretended to be and lived as model Christians in Spain — even as they had nothing but hatred for Christianity and Christians — and all to remain and eventually reconquer Spain for Islam.

A Threat of Islamic Betrayal

Nor do Muslims go to such great lengths of deception only to evade deportation. Some employ it for exclusively murderous ends. In 2013, for example, an assassination plot against a Christian pastor in Turkey was exposed; 14 Muslim suspects, including at least three women, were arrested. According to the pastor in question, Emre Karaali: “Two of them attended our church for over a year and they were like family.” One was even baptized. In reality, “These people had infiltrated our church and collected information about me, my family and the church and were preparing an attack against us.”

Citing history or the affairs of distant nations such as Turkey is ultimately unnecessary. After all, Britain itself has had ample experiences of Muslim terrorists feigning conversion to Christianity. Indeed, a few days ago it was reported:

The suspect in the Clapham chemical attack converted to Christianity with a Baptist church that “welcomes strangers”… Abdul Ezedi has been on the run for six days after allegedly dousing a 31-year-old woman and her two daughters, aged three and eight, with an alkaline substance and trying to run them over with a car before fleeing the scene in Clapham, south London. Ezedi was convicted of sex offences in Newcastle in 2018, but was allowed to remain in the country because the sentence did not reach the threshold for deportation. It has emerged that the 35-year-old was twice refused asylum before being granted leave to remain in the UK after a priest vouched for his conversion, arguing that he was “wholly committed” to his new religion.

Despite all of the above, it must be acknowledged that Muslim conversions to Christianity are not uncommon and possibly growing. Some of the aforementioned converts may be sincere.

Such is the tragic mess of Islam. Its followers have cried wolf so often that it is nearly impossible to tell when it is true. As a result, someone — either sincere converts or duped Europeans — will invariably pay the price for Islam’s lies.


Raymond Ibrahim, author of Defenders of the West and Sword and Scimitar, is the Distinguished Senior Shillman Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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