Naser Khader: I feel more distanced from Islam (Update: Considers converting)

Naser Khader: I feel more distanced from Islam

Via Kristeligt Dagblad, BT (Danish):

Last Sunday, Danish Constitution Day, Naser Khader (Conservatives) spoke at the Maarum Church in North Zealand. This despite various criticisms based on his Muslim background. Khader used the opportunity to speak of his personal dilemma between Islam and Christianity.

The entire speech is available in Danish here, I bring just the beginning, which deals directly with his feelings towards Islam.

In the past years I've both doubted and searched. I define myself both as a cultural-Christian and cultural-Muslim. Because Christianity is so big and important and part of the culture in this country, the Lutheran-Evangelical spirit is therefore also a part of me. I received Islam with my mother's milk, but for a long time I've felt more and more distanced from my childhood faith.

This is not because I was rejected by the Islamic scholars I've visited. Certainly there aren't many mosques I'm welcome in, but that in itself did not make me believe less.

It's more because I can't reconcile myself with the fundamentalist interpretations of the Koran I increasingly see. I feel that violence is exercised against my childhood faith, when there are calls for intolerance, hate and crimes against humanity in the name of God.

Islam hasn't always been this way. It was formerly a place of inclusiveness and energy and a place to take care of society's weak and outcast. Islam formerly played the same role in the World as Christianity does today. Today there are unfortunately too many who don't live by the loving messages which exist also in Islam. There are too many who follow a hateful and militant interpretation of the scriptures. And I think that's sad.

Therefore, some of what I admire most about the Danish Church is the inclusiveness it has. There is tolerance and openness, which makes a deep impression on me.


In an interview to TV2 News, Khader says he's considering becoming an atheist or converting to Christianity.

"I'm in the middle of a process, and I don't know where it will end. Maybe I'll become a hard-core atheist, maybe I'll stay and fight for reform from within Islam. Yes, the easiest thing would probably be to become a Lutheran-Evangelist Christian. But I don't know how it will end."