AMSTERDAM - Bringing a galaxy of noted speakers and converts from across the Netherlands, Dutch Muslims held a reception Sunday, March 31, to celebrate new people embracing Islam.
"I am very happy today," Hans, a 72-year old Dutch father, told Kuwait news agency (KUNA).Hans embraced Islam during the National Converts Day of Dutch Muslims at the Blue Mosque in Amsterdam.
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I was influenced by my son and his wife and also my three grand children.
The elderly man was among nine Dutch who pronounced the Shahada (proclamation of faith) during the event.
Hans said he was lured into Islam after seeing the peaceful life of his son's family.
When I saw how my son and his wife talk in peace and pray to Allah and come to solutions with the help of God I was very impressed," he said.
"I will now try to understand Islam more and more and to study the Qur'an and attend lectures.
His son has embraced Islam eight years ago after being introduced to the religion by his Tunisian wife.
The 6th National Converts Day was organized by the Discover Islam Foundation in cooperation with the National Platform for New Muslims in the Netherlands.
More than 1000 people attended the event, including high-profile speakers as American Muslim preacher Yusuf Estes, Greek convert Hamza Tzortzis and Farouk Al Zouman, the first Saudi man who climbed to Mount Everest in 2008.
The number of native Dutch Muslim converts has risen to around 15,000 from 12,000 a few years ago, according to Jacob von der Blom, a spokesman for the event.
Last month, Arnoud Van Doorn, a leading member in far-right politician Geert Wilders' party reverted to Islam after extensive study about the Islamic religion and Muslims.Muslims make up one million of the Netherlands's 16 million population, mostly from Turkish and Moroccan origin.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net