President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is among the top five people in the world who can help humanity, American Islamic preacher Khalid Yasin said praising the Turkish leader’s vision.
Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson were among the best friends of Yasin, who, while belonging to the Christian faith, converted to Islam 57 years ago thanks to Malcolm X. Yasin, who acquired his Islamic knowledge from great Islamic scholars and devoted his life to preaching Islam, has explained Islam in 117 countries and dozens of cities to date, apart from his lectures in the United States, and has been instrumental in the conversion of more than 75,000 people to Islam.
During a recent visit to Istanbul, he spoke about how he became a Muslim, his bond with Malcolm X, what he went through during his journey of teaching, the conferences he gave and Türkiye.
“Erdoğan’s vision is very good, there are no people with his vision. He’s in the top five people who can help the world. I have never met Erdoğan, but I would like to meet him. I would be happy if I could contribute to his grand vision from my weak idea,” he said.
“At first, I would thank him for what he did because it is not easy. Erdoğan is not only useful to his country, but also to the world. And I would pray for him to preserve his current vision,” Yasin added.
Regarding his conversion to Islam after growing up as a Christian, Yasin said that he started to examine Islam after reading a letter written by Malcolm X and published in the New York Times in 1964.
“I did not immediately become a Muslim. I started reading and researching. I was reading very well about Islam, I loved reading everything. In 1965, Malcolm X gave his last sermon. I was there where the sermon was held in Harlem, New York. I listened carefully to everything in his speech. I already knew him and saw a huge change in Malcolm X. Malcolm X had changed a lot after his pilgrimage. There was a huge difference before and after the pilgrimage. He used to talk only about black people in his sermons, there was discrimination. After his pilgrimage, the content of his sermons changed, and he began to talk about more global issues,” he explained.
“In that speech, me and three people experienced a great intensity of emotion. We were sitting upstairs, and Malcolm X called us when he noticed our intensity. We met there. Then I became a Muslim too. I am still the judge of my duty for my faith and religion. As a social activist, I will continue to do my duty to elevate people’s own humanity,” he said.
Yasin visited Türkiye eight times so far since he began his lectures across the world. Yasin frequently travels overseas to spread his faith and has called himself a “media-bedouin,” remarking that the Bedouins are willing to settle wherever there is a presence of “water and shelter.”
His latest visit to Türkiye comes as part of the Purpose of Life Tour. “I came to Turkey as part of this tour. I will start explaining Islam from Purpose.tv through Real Media Group. My speeches and conversations will be translated into many languages and will also be translated into Turkish. Each of my conferences was attended by 20-30,000 people. Now I want to reach larger audiences than social media. I will also continue my conferences where I go to countries and explain Islam. Since Türkiye is closer to Europe, I would like to strategically open a studio in Türkiye.”
“I read the history of Türkiye very well. The history of Türkiye among Muslim countries is amazing. Türkiye is the country with the most amazing history among Muslim countries. It’s a great country. If God gives me life, I want to stay here a little longer. I want to open an office here. I also want to be a brick of the new Türkiye! I love Türkiye very much.”
Regarding the increasing threat of Islamophobia in the Western world, Yasin said that they fear Islam because they do not know about the religion.
“I also teach about Islamophobia. Islamophobia will not continue, it will pass! God will fix them all. I would like to remind Muslims that what people often refer to as Islamophobia is not hatred or fear of Islam. You fear what you know, you hate what you know. They are because they don’t know. They don’t hate Islam, they actually hate some of the things Muslims do, but they don’t know about it either. This hatred stems from the deterioration of the movements of Muslims. Because they see some of the things Muslims do as Islam. We must take a serious look at ourselves… As far as I can see, there is not only Islamophobia but also Muslimphobia. This is the subject of most of our lessons,” he outlined.
Yasin was born in Harlem, New York and raised in Brooklyn as a Christian along with nine siblings. Although not an orphan, he was put up for adoption due to his family’s financial state. He grew up in foster homes from the age of 3 along with some of his siblings, until he was 15. He describes each foster home as having a different Christian denomination, so he covered a wide spectrum of Christianity.
Yasin has described his youth in “the ghetto,” where it was “Me and my two brothers Sam and Julius, against the world. We had nothing, but converting and accepting Islam, now we have everything.” When first reading about Islam, he often used Encyclopedia Britannica as a reliable source on Islam and its concepts. Yasin felt the grief of African American people, and he was especially influenced by the turbulent 1960s and figures like Malcolm X. Yasin converted to Islam in 1965.
Source: Daily Sabah
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