Sunday, 27 July 2014

Interview with Christian Today | Sarah Ager

I was incredibly fortunate to be approached by one of the editors of Christian Today and asked to share my story of conversion and speak about why interfaith is so important to me personally, and why it's crucial for society at large. There were also some refreshingly tough questions about Salvation, the Trinity, and violence in the Muslim world.

Although the article was met with rather a hefty dollop of criticism (to put it mildly), it also received praise from Christians and Muslims alike who appreciated that such a popular Christian magazine had reached out and been bold enough to present a positive story about Christian-Muslim dialogue, in the knowledge that there would probably be considerable backlash for doing so. 

I'd like to say a special thank you to Lucinda Borkett-Jones, who was an absolute delight to chat with and incredibly generous in her write up of our conversation. I'm also very grateful to the readers of Christian Today who sent me public or private messages of support and appreciation. At times such as this, when tension so often derives from the cracks we have allowed to form between religions, those who take risks to challenge others on matters of principle and strengthen ties between people of different faiths (even if it means readers may press the dreaded 'unlike' button) deserve to be highly commended for their actions. 

And I hope that the readers who liked and shared the article found themselves challenged in a positive way and were given hope that there are innumerable Muslims out there working for peace and that it's possible work together to counter-act the terrible things done in the name of both our religions. 

Below is a short extract from the article which, if it tickles your fancy, you can find in full here

"At university, Sarah Ager was known for her Christian faith. Her parents are Salvation Army ministers. She grew up going to church and being in the church choir. Belief in God and being a Christian were a fundamental part of her identity, until she converted to Islam when she was studying English in Leicester. 
She wasn't peeved with the Church, didn't know much about Islam, and she didn't convert in order to marry a Muslim. 
So what led her on this journey? She decided to look into Islam when she met some Turkish Muslims at university. "The main reason I started studying [Islam] was because I was embarrassed," she says. 
"I knew nothing about Turkey or Islam, I didn't know what they believed; I was intimidated. I thought 'I have to at least Google this religion'." 
But Sarah didn't stop at a quick Google search..."

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