In modern West, a number of conspiracy theories appeared accusing renowned people converting into or supporting Islamic culture. These conspiracies had lethal impact on career and image of many influential people. They were painted as cultural outsiders and even traitors based-on abstract, faint, or no evidence, carried on by nothing but ludicrous notions.
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It’s believed that Diana had fallen for Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan. Soon the rumors of their relationship were in magazines and media. Later, conspiracy theorist also believed that Diana was murdered by British Intelligence to prevent her from marrying Dodi al-Fyed and making a Muslim the stepfather to the heir of the British throne.
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Apollo astronaut, the first person to step on moon surface was claimed to have converted Islam following a phenomenon that he had experiences while in space. According to this legend, he heard some strange sounds on moon in a language that he did not understand. Later, he heard the same voices in Egypt and was informed that it was Islamic call for prayer.
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In 2008, ‘The Sun’ claimed that Michael Jackson had changed his name to Mikaeel while wearing Arab garb in a ceremony that he attended with some of his friends including an imam along with Canadian songwriter Dawud Whansby and British singer Yusuf Islam. Rumors spread on Internet in no time. Some videos even showed an edited clip of Jackson saying “inshallah” to his fans in Tunisia. Some others suggested that Jackson’s family was adherent to the Nation of Islam.
As per the memories of architect Albert Speer, Adolf Hitler supported Islam, which he did not ever claim, but expressed through subtle suggestions and depiction and praise of brave warriors in Islam or “warriors of heaven”. He believed that people are following wrong religion and also had appreciation for Islam for its better standards of hygiene.
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Thomas Jefferson was criticized for using the “Almighty God” in the beginning of the preamble of his proposed Virginia Statue on Religious Freedom in 1779. People wanted him to replace it with “Jesus Christ”. Although, he was skeptical view toward Islam, he believed that neither pagan nor Mohammedan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the country because of his/her religion. It lead to rumors that Jefforson favored Quran and so on.
Most of these conspiracy theories either had political base or were created out of sheer rumors. People like Jefferson easily fell victim to such insidious games played by religiously rigid or foul nationalists. Moreover, religious intolerance always makes spicy treat for media.