Mr. Bean Converted to Islam!: Another Hoax Staining the Image of Islam

youssef sourgo
Youssef Sourgo is currently a Master’s student in Linguistic and Literary studies at Ain Chok Faculty of Letters and Humanities. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in American cultural studies from Ben M’sik faculty of Letters and Humanities. He is a ...
Mr. Bean Converted to Islam!: Another Hoax Staining the Image of Islam

Casablanca- There is nothing in the world that stains the image of Islam more than a ridiculous hoax reported first as “news” and then spread through social networks about the conversion of an internationally recognized figure to Islam. When the sources of such deceptive news are verified and the news is found to be inaccurate, it is evident that Islam is the only target of the hoax as manifested by the subsequent backlash in harsh attacks from non-Muslims—particularly atheists.

Recently, it was reported in many Arabic news websites that Rowan Atkinson, the world-renowned comedian widely known for his role as Mr. Bean, had announced his conversion to Islam. This unverified report stirred a huge positive, yet premature, reaction among Muslims active on social networks.  An immediate, significant increase in traffic on social media was recorded in countries where Islam is the predominant religion.

The reaction would have been completely natural had the news been verified or proved accurate. However, the veracity of this report has not yet been established, and the  new outlets that have disseminated the information do not have any reputation for journalistic credibility.  Thus, the report is a hoax. The fact that it is a hoax has put Islam and Muslims under a derogatory spotlight  due to the wave of harsh criticisms and attacks that have been leveled subsequently.

For example, http://www.israellycool.com/  is as the name indicates an Israeli news outlet whose content aims principally at depicting Israel in a positive light. This website has recently published articles mocking the unverified claim that Mr. Bean converted to Islam. The articles were not clearly aimed at falsifying the initial claim, nor at attacking the way in which the unverified news was spread; rather, the articles leveled attacks, both explicitly and implicitly, at Muslims and Islam in the most mocking tones

When unverified reports are eventually proven inaccurate, Muslims become the first target of mocking and satiric comments from certain non-Muslims. Muslims are described as religious adherents who aspire to empty controversy and deception. Islam can, thus, be described as a religion that attracts potential converts by deceptive means.  Both assertions are ridiculous sweeping generalizations.

While the sweeping generalizations engendered by hoaxes about celebrities converting to Islam are lamentable, the premature reactions of Muslims on social networks only depict a lack of willingness to personally take the trouble to verify “news” published on social networks. However, the hoaxes themselves, which are in fact usually published by Muslims themselves in hopes of shedding light on the greatness of Islam as a final, religious shelter, end up staining the image of Muslims and Islam because they subsequently trigger more acute hatred against the religion in its entirety.

As long as the veracity of “news” is not confirmed, people should take the trouble to verify whether the news is authentic or merely a deceptive hoax. Premature reactions of jubilation at the “news” only add insult to injury, thereby  accentuating the negative repercussions that hoaxes later engender.

Until Mr. Bean himself announces his conversion in a video, or is reported to have done so by authentic and reliable sources, I will personally consider this “news” to be a hoax.

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Comments

comments

  • ammar abdeslam spain

    my dear writer,
    i think MR BIN converting to ISLAM or not dosnt make any difference.the only think that makes sense is muslims self confidence ,good education and hard working.
    in my opinion as a muslim,we had rather prooving islam’s capability than waiting strangers to do it for us .

  • dingding

    Who gives a fuck in which category you put this news???

  • Joe Marley

    And what about the news about muslims leaving islam? Or converting to another religion? Oh wait. Thats ILLEGAL! Lol. If a muslim converts to buddhism, while living in Morocco or Egypt, he will EXECUTED or IMPRISONED. Funny right? U guys get so excited and proud by people converting TO your religion, but you get angry and violent when a muslim converts away from islam. Do u not see how insane that is? Oh wait. You guys dont understand “objectivity.”

    • Khawaja Abdul Ahad

      In Islam , these things are not allowed.
      All non MUSLIMs are the same
      Dont judge islam with its followers

      • Analyst

        Khawaja Abdul Ahad,

        Are you implying it is alright to force muslims to remain in Islam even if they no longer wish to be associated with Islam? What sort of treatment is this?

        Would it be okay for a Hindu priest to prevent a Hindu from converting to Islam? If your fine with that, then okay but if you say that it’s not okay but it’s okay for Hindus to convert to Islam, then your religion is effectively practicing double standard/discriminatory treatment.

        You should take a good look at your religion & ask hard questions about it. Don’t be a blind believer. Question everything.

        • khyzer naseef

          if you really want the answer then you should consult quran
          and if you really want to know the answer then my brother do consult quran you will get all the answers that you want to know

          • Oni

            I give you one example. There is no country without rules and regulation. Everything has it’s borderline like what to do and what you can’t do. Islam is also like that. Our god which is Allah made that rule that no one can convert to another religion after they already in Islam. Do you will argue with your God of your believed? Ok, maybe you can not understand this but I think you will agree that your country is more important than your life? is it right? It is the same for us.. The purity of Islam is more important that lives of its people. Waallahulam..

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