By Imam Samy Metwally
(January 18, 2015) – I spoke to the media this week to share my observation that more people than ever have come to the main Ottawa mosque to convert to Islam.
It is true that 15 to 20 people have come to the mosque to convert to Islam since this past fall; however, they have included both men and women.
It also must be said that most people who make the weighty decision of converting to a new faith do so after having researched the religion a great deal in advance.
Even if I do not see the vast majority of those converts again in the mosque, it does not mean that they are involved in any suspicious behaviour.
On the contrary, the vast majority of converts continue to live life as they always have – as contributing members of society.
They may simply attend a mosque closer to where they live, or decide not to regularly attend a mosque at all.
Furthermore, it was also mistakenly suggested that I was questioning people’s intention.
This is untrue.
Of course I am not in a position to judge a person’s intention in any matter, including in making the decision to become a Muslim.
Muslim communities do have a responsibility in ensuring that enough supports exist to provide correct information about Islam, and assist those who want seek understanding on how to live their life as a Canadian Muslim.
That is true for both converts, and those who are born into the faith.
Imam Samy Metwally is the Imam of the Ottawa Mosque, the Ottawa Muslim Association.