CAIRO - Negative media portrayals of Muslims and their faith have prompted a Canadian professor to study Islam and the Noble Qur'an, leading him to embrace the faith.
"When I came to Saudi Arabia I realized how wrongly the Western media portrays Islam as a religion of violence and terrorism," David Roy Woelke, a Canadian English language professor at King Abdulaziz University, told Arab News on Friday, March 30.
"In fact, it's a religion of peace and universal brotherhood."
Woelke pronounced the Shahadah on Wednesday at the headquarters of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth. He changed his name into Dawood.
He says he was led to Islam after conducting a comparative study on Islam and Christianity.
"When I came to the Kingdom I noticed that there was a great difference between Islam distorted by the West and the real Islam," he said.
"So I decided to dig further about this religion. When I studied more about Islam, Almighty Allah guided me to correct path. Consequently, I decided to embrace Islam."
Muslims are often portrayed in Western media as violent people.
A recent British study had accused the media and film industry of perpetuating Islamophobia and prejudice by projecting Muslims as violent, dangerous and threatening people.
Dawood says that his deep studies about Islam have led him to embrace the faith.
Many Muslim friends encouraged me to accept Islam as my religion," he said.
"Once a Pizza salesman told me he wished to see me becoming a Muslim very soon."
The revertee says that he now wants to strengthen his relationship with God after his reversion.
"Religion is a man-made institution but faith is the relationship between man and God, he told Arab News.
"I want to be busy working on my own relationship with God and not so busy about another man's relationship with God."
The news about Dawood's reversion has pleased many Saudis.
"Thousands of people belonging to different religions and nationalities, especially educated men and women like Woelke, are coming to the fold of Islam every year, said WAMY assistant secretary-general Dr. Muhammad Badahdah.There was huge demand for English translation of the Qur'an and Islamic books at bookstores. I am sure Islam will attract honest people like Woelke.