Pope Benedict XVI publicly baptized on Monday an Egyptian-born Muslim journalist, known for his renunciation of Islamic beliefs. The traditional Easter vigil service held on Monday at St. Peter's Basilica, marked the beginning of 55-year-old Magdi Allam's life as a Roman Catholic, after he admitted that he has been a non-practicing Muslim all his adult life.
Taking "Christian" for his middle name, Allam, a deputy director for the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, wrote in an article, "I had to do this. Beyond extremists and Islamist terrorism at the global level, the root of evil is inherent in a physiologically violent and historically conflictual Islam."
According to TimesOnline, the outspoken commentator also said in Corrierre dela Serra that he has been "liberated from the obscurantism of an ideology which legitimizes lies and dissimulation, violent death, which induces both murder and suicide, and blind submission to tyranny".
The newly converted Christian, who has been living in Italy for 35 years with his Catholic wife and who has been an Italian Citizen since 1986, also said in his paper that he had "seen the light" and now a part of "the authentic religion of Truth, Life and Liberty".
Allam praised Benedict for bravely making his conversion possible. He was quick to admit in his paper that the Pope's move has "sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church that until now has been too cautious in the conversion of Muslims."
Allam has been under police protection for two years, after being a target of an Italian-Muslim group, for his crusades.