CAIRO – After abandoning his far-right party to embrace Islam, a former colleague of Dutch politician Geert Wilders has visited the holy lands in Saudi Arabia to perform his first `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) in his life.
“If any person told me that I will visit the land of the two holy shrines, I would have told him that he must be insane,” Arnoud Van Doorn told Al-Madinah newspaper.“Finding Islam is a dream came true,” a tearful Doorn added.
|Far-right Dutch Politician Finds Islam|
Doorn, a member of the far-right Freedom Party (PVV) has embraced Islam earlier this year after an extensive study into the religion.
He was among party leaders who helped produce an offensive film titled Fitna that linked Islam and the Qur’an to violence.
But after Muslim outcry at the movie, Doorn began to read more about Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him), leading him to embrace Islam.
After his conversion, the Dutch politician headed for the holy city of Makkah to perform `Umrah after meeting the two imams of the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Ali Al-Hudaifi and Sheikh Salah Al-Badar.
He was given sermons by the two imams on how to lead the life of a good Muslim and confront challenges facing Islam in the West.
Expressing joy for being in the holy city of Madinah, Doorn posted different tweets reflecting his feelings.
“Prayer in the Sacred Rawda #Madinah,” Doorn said in a tweet.
“Inspiring meeting with the Imam of The Prophets Masjid His Excellency Ali Al-Hudayfee,” another tweet read.
Performing his first `Umrah has left the Dutch politician with an unprecedented feeling of happiness.
“Just finished #Umrah. I am really happy and grateful to be here :-),” he tweeted.
Experiencing his life as a Muslim, Doorn was keen on presenting a true image of Muslims in the Netherlands.
He also expressed gratitude for the support he received from Muslims in Saudi Arabia.
“I am grateful for all the support and resources we receive from Saudi-Arabia to spread Islam in The Netherlands,” he said in another tweet.
Doorn’s visit to the holy lands in Makkah and Madinah followed an invitation by the Canadian Dawah Association.
Muslims make up one million of the Netherlands’s 16 million population, mostly from Turkish and Moroccan origin.The number of native Dutch Muslim converts has risen to around 15,000 from 12,000 a few years ago.
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