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Myriam Francois-Cerrah,: ‘I found Qur’an mother of all philosophies’


Myriam Francois-Cerrah, a former actress, her screen began at age 12 acting in the 90s hit film Sense and Sensibility. Now she is gaining more popularity for being one of a growing number of educated middle class female converts to Islam in Britain.

In 2003, following extensive research into the faith, she embraced Islam after graduating from Cambridge. At the time, she was a skeptical Roman Catholic.She said,

“The Qur’an was pivotal for me. I first tried to approach it in anger, as part of an attempt to prove my Muslim friend wrong. Later I began reading it with a more open mind.

The opening of Al-Fatiha, with its address to the whole of mankind, psychologically stopped me in my tracks. It spoke of previous scriptures in a way, which I both recognized, but also differed.

It clarified many of the doubts I had about Christianity. It made me an adult as I suddenly realized that my destiny and my actions had consequences for which I alone would now be held responsible.

In a world governed by relativism, it outlined objective moral truths and the foundation of morality.

As someone who’d always had a keen interest in philosophy, the Qur’an felt like the culmination of all of this philosophical cogitation.

It combined Kant, Hume, Sartre and Aristotle. It somehow managed to address and answer the deep philosophical questions posed over centuries of human existence and answer its most fundamental one, ‘why are we here?”

In the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), I recognized a man who was tasked with a momentous mission, like his predecessors, Moses, Jesus and Abraham (peace be upon them all).

I had to pick apart much of the Orientalist libel surrounding him in order to obtain accurate information, since the historical relativism which people apply to some degree when studying other historical figures, is often completely absent, in what is a clear attempt to disparage his person.

She said I have never seen my conversion as a ‘reaction’ against, or an opposition to my culture. here is a need for a confident, articulate British Muslim identity which can contribute to the iscussions of our time. Islam is not meant to be an alien religion; we shouldn’t feel like we’ve lost all trace of ourselves. Islam is a validation of the good in us and a means to rectify the bad.

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