Jakob Guhl, writes on conversion, radicalisation and the role of families.
Jakob is an intern at FATE and assists the Policy Department. Currently, he is pursuing his postgraduate studies at King’s College London, with a focus on jihadism and home-grown radicalisation in the West.
Unlike many members of her generation, my Grandmother is not the least bit religious. On the day my god-son got baptized, she arrived fashionably late at the church, essentially skipping the service. When asked whether she still wanted to take part in the communion, she politely declined: “No thanks, I have had a good breakfast”.
So while my Grandmother does not have a dog in the fight, I imagine that it would nevertheless create a fairly tense atmosphere during Christmas dinner if I suddenly told her I had converted to Islam. Choosing to study subjects as lofty as Political Science and Religious Studies had already triggered a lot of curious questions along the lines of “do you really think THAT is the right thing for you?” Joining a faith she mostly knows through a media focused on Islamists and jihadists might just be a bit too much to swallow.