More Than 600 People Convert To Islam In Qatar During Ramadan
Some 615 expats in Qatar became Muslim during the fasting month of Ramadan,
QNA reports, citing figures released by the Qatar Guest Center and Sheikh Eid
Of the new converts, some 417 are men and 144 are women, and the vast majority
(517 people) hail from the Philippines. There were also 32 Sri Lankans, 26
Indians, 15 Nepalis and 25 people from the United Kingdom.
Qatar regularly announces conversions to Islam, which can number in the
The numerous conversions have to do in part with easy access to information
about the state religion.
But many expats who move to Muslim countries may also be motivated to convert
because of the social and economic benefits, according to some groups.
In 2009, a Nepali trade union called on its government to investigate
conversions of nationals who traveled to the Gulf and Malaysia, fearing
migrants were being pressured into accepting a new faith.
However, speaking to several expats in the Gulf, Asia News reported many as
saying they willingly converted to improve their overall situations. The
publication quoted Manoj Karki, who left Kathmandu to work on an oil rig in
Qatar, as saying:
''I was hardly managing to save money from my salary, but since I have changed
my religion to Islam, I am now more safe, comfortable, and with easy access to
jobs.'' His wife, who works as a maid in Doha, followed her husband's example:
''My husband converted to Islam and he advised me to do the same, so I did.''
Non-Muslims Take Part In 'Experiencing Ramadan' Day
An 'Experiencing Ramadan' day aimed to bring communities together.
Women's group, Sisters4Sisters hosted a special iftaar for thirty non-Muslims
who were fasting as part of the initiative. Among the guest speakers on the
night was Preston MP Mark Hendrick.
Sofia Begum-Ali from the group told us, "It is the second we are hosting this
event and it proved to be very successful. Some of the non-Muslims took part
last year but it was fantastic to see thirty people of all ages participate
this year. This is all part of the inter-faith work we do.
"We would like to thank everyone for taking part and the speakers for their
support. A big thank you also to all the team at Sisters4Sisters."
The group raised Ł260 for charity on the night through donations.
A cheque for Ł3542 was also presented to charity Human Appeal on the night.
This money was raised by the group through a 5km sponsored walk and a cake
sale held earlier in the year.