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Elderly Brit Converts to Islam after 14 Years in Turkey

He ‘fell in love with Islam after reading about Prophet Muhammad…’
MUĞLA – An elderly British man living in Turkey has converted to Islam after getting to know Islamic traditions and customs during his stay in the transcontinental Muslim country, Yeni Safak reported on February 21.

Cliff Peter Barber, 72, has been residing in Turkey, in the city of Fethiye, the country’s coastal Muğla province, for the past 14 years.

“I fell in love with the religion of Islam after reading about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the start of the Islamic faith,” he said.

After reciting the Islamic proclamation of faith, or Shahadah, the British Muslim chose to adopt a new Arabic name “Jameel”. However, changing one’s name is not a must to convert to Islam as long as the name’s meaning doesn’t contain any contradictions with Islamic Shari`ah.

There are five pillars of Islam but the primary, and most important is to believe that there is only one God and creator and that the Islamic prophet, Muhammad (PBUH), is God’s final messenger.

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The Department of Religious Affairs in Muğla has gifted him with a copy of the Holy Qur’an and other Islamic religious books.

Islam Among Brits

According to Kevin Brice, a researcher at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, thousands of British people convert to Islam annually. He estimated that there are approximately 100,000 converts to Islam in Britain.

In Britain, around 6,000 people convert to Islam per year and according to a June 2000 article in the British Muslims Monthly Survey, the bulk of new Muslim converts in Britain were women.

As of 2015, there were 2 billion Muslims all over the globe, with one out of four people in the world being Muslim; making Islam the second largest religion on Earth.

In a 2015 article, the Pew Research Center said that “0.3% (3,220,000 people) of the expected Muslim population growth (1,161,780,000) in the period of 2010–2050 would be due to conversions.”

According to 2016 study by Pew Research Center found that only 0.3% (500,000 people) of the Muslim population growth in the period of 2010–2015 was due to conversions, while (152,000,000) of the Muslim population growth was due natural increase (births minus deaths).