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As we see scholars and sheikhs delivering khutbas [sermons] and lectures, writing books to defend Islam, it is no wonder to find lay Muslims practicing da'wa [spreading Islam] while employing wisdom and fair exhortation. Muhammad al-Ghazali (1917-96), a renowned Egyptian religious scholar, a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood movement and the head of da'wa for Egypt's ministry of religious endowments, expressed the hope that the hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants "will not only maintain their religion, but become pioneers in spreading it, if only the Muslim umma (nation) wished for that and worked for that to happen." Hamdi Hassan, a professor of media studies at al-Azhar University in Cairo, wrote that the Muslim presence in Europe is an example of Muslim proselytizing turning from the defensive mode that characterized it during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to a new mode of expansion. In Saudi writings, these notions of proselytizing acquire a militant, confrontational tone. It is the enemy who will attack us and is more dangerous to us. The call on Muslim immigrants to Islamize Westerners finds resonance in some works by Western Muslims.
One source of these writings is the Saudi scholar Safr al-Hawali, who has invoked the need to conquer the West with da'wa, using terms unequivocal in their combativeness: And if one would ask: Why should we not invade Korea and Japan [as the Muslims have] human resources for da'wa? to this someone else would answer: No, we should direct [the human resources for da'wa] to Europe and America. Muhammad al-Qadi al-'Umrani is a Sunni Muslim living in the Netherlands, who wrote a Ph. dissertation at King Muhammad I University in Morocco on migration.
In the early phases of this struggle, as demonstrated by Bernard Lewis, Islam was more tolerant: In Muslim lands conquered by Christians, Christianity was imposed by force, and Muslims were sooner or later forced to choose between conversion, exile, and death; in Christian lands conquered by Muslims, Christians were tolerated alongside Jews as "People of the Book." One reason for this difference in attitude was that Muslims considered Christ a precursor while Christians considered Muhammad an impostor.
Islamic scholars found that to ban or ignore mass Muslim migration would only alienate immigrants.
Instead, they focused on strengthening the immigrants' Muslim identity while using them in the service of Islam.
But these risks, argued Idris, do not deny the merits of the Internet; they only emphasize the need for Muslims to further utilize these technologies in the service of Islam. Some Internet sites created by Muslim scholars and organizations reserve significant space for literature on Christians converting to Islam.
Conversion efforts are promoted also by print media, books, and DVDs, but the Internet shines as an especially effective medium. Islamic Internet sites promote conversion in several ways: basic introductions to Islam; basic information for non-Muslims who wish to convert; news celebrating Islam as the world's and the West's fastest growing religion; and guides instructing Muslims in the West on how to bring others to Islam.
The conversion of Christians in Europe and the United States to Islam has become a matter of debate in some Western countries.