Converts with a holy mission?

Converts with a holy mission?

Converts with a holy mission?

Islam is the fastest growing
religion in Europe, creating in itself a new dynamic of
vulnerability in the West. In France alone between 30,000 and
50,000 people converted to Islam last year according to a report
by France's domestic intelligence agency.

The fear is "the growing group of people who found a home in
Islam and then veered into extremism, raising concerns among
antiterrorism officials on both sides of the Atlantic that the
new recruits could provide foreign-born Islamic militants with
invisibility and cover, by escaping the scrutiny often reserved
for young men of Arab descent." "Antoine Sfeir, a French scholar
who is writing a book on the trend, said a small number of
converts, many of them disaffected and often troubled young
people, saw the current wave of Islamic terrorism as "a kind of
combat against the rich, powerful, by the poor men of the
planet."

Only a small fraction of Western Islamic converts sympathize
with terrorism, and even fewer become engaged in terrorist
activity. A few dozen militant converts have been identified so
far... However small the number of them drawn to terrorism, the
police are focusing on this subset as a serious and growing
threat. "The conversion to Islam of fragile individuals
undoubtedly leads to the risk of diversion to terrorism," the
intelligence agency's report said, adding that radical groups
have recruited converts because they could cross borders easily
or serve as front men for renting accommodations or providing
other logistical support." [1]

Many of the converts to Islam are introduced to the religion
through family connections and intermarriage. Others connect
whilst serving prison sentences in European Corrections
facilities (50% of France inmate population is reportedly
Muslim).

(1) Craig Smith; "Europe fears converts" New York Times
19.07.04