Arab Press Says Hussein Has Returned to Islam

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An Arabic daily newspaper in Kuwait has printed a photograph of Hussein Qambar Ali, also known as Robert Hussein, shaking hands with a local Muslim sheik, declaring that the widely publicized convert to Christianity has returned to Islam.

According to the January 31 issue of Al-Rai Al-Aam, Hussein repeated the one-sentence creed of Islam on January 29 before Sheikh Mohamed Al-Awadhi and Sheikh Salah Al-Rashed, identified as leaders in the local Islamic Presentation Committee (IPC).

However, a spokesperson at the offices of ipc says the two sheiks are not leaders representing the Muslim organization. "We are not dealing with Qambar," the spokesperson says. "He did not come to IPC."

Rashed says that in order to make official his reconversion to Islam, Hussein would have to repeat his profession before a religious court. According to Islamic belief, anyone who recites the words of the shahadah, or creed of Islam—"I witness there is no God but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God"—becomes a Muslim.

In a phone interview, Hussein, 45, refused to comment on the report of his reconversion.

However, Rashed confirmed that Hussein went to court on February 16 to "regain his rights," including visitation of his two children, whom he has not seen for the past year and a half. "The courts have already issued what is called a declaration certificate," Rashed says.

Hussein's public declaration of his conversion to Christianity in December 1995 led to Kuwait's first formal court case over charges of apostasy (CT, March 4, 1996, p. 78).

The former Muslim's subsequent conviction last May by a Kuwaiti Islamic court, amid threats against his life, brought a hail of international ...

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