Corona crisis led Austrian boxer to Islam

LONDON: Wilhelm Ott, an Austrian professional Mixed Martial Arts [MMA] fighter converted to Islam saying that the coronavirus crisis drove him to discover his “true faith.”

He announced his conversion to Islam in an Instagram post in which he recites the faith testimony (Shahadatain), or the “Shahada” and chooses Khalid as his Islamic name. 

“My faith is now strong enough that I can recognize the only true God and speak the Shahada to be able to say proudly, yes I am a Muslim,” Ott says in the video.

Ott, nicknamed “the amazing,” told in an Instagram post that said that he studied the Muslim religion comprehensively during his time in quarantine.

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‘Islam has been on his mind for many years, but there were times when he “could do nothing with it.”

“I let myself be influenced politically. But when I had hard times, the Islamic faith gave me the necessary strength,” he said.

In the second post uploaded social media, Ott, who has been boxing professionally since 2008 pictured along with the Holy Quran that was reportedly gifted to him by fellow Muslim MMA boxer Burak Kizilirmak.

In another post he wrote “weeks before I pronounced the shahada, I injured myself every day. Once I even had to go to the hospital to have my hand sewn. On the 15th day, i had no misfortune. That day i pronounced the shahada and became a proud Muslim. Allahu Akbar. Sheitan is everywhere, be careful.”

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Muslims make up roughly 560,000 of Austria’s total population of 8.5 million. Most Austrian Muslims are of Turkish and Bosnian origin, as well as ethnic Chechens and Iranians.

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