Afghan media sources have reported that a US military officer has acceped Islam in the Watapur district of t he country’s eastern Kunar province. James Grant, from the American state of Tennessee, said he converted after reading books on Islam for the last seven months at a coalition camp in the town.
Grant reportedly changed his name to Muhammad Asif. He is the father of two children.
He said he had consulted his wife before the conversion. “She did not oppose my conversion to Islam. I would preach Islam to my family first, and then to others,”.
Grant proclaimed “Kalma-i-Shahadat” in front of a crowd of Afghan and foreign military officers through an imam with the Afghan military named Hamidullah.
Over recent years, there have been regular reports of American servicemen who have been exposed to Muslims in their countries of operation, reverting to Islam.
In 2007 Reuters reported that two American soldiers in Afghanistan converted to Islam and got married in the war-torn country.
The Hewad Daily reported at the time that the pair served as soldiers in the U.S. army at Bagram air base which is the hub of U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan and lies to the north of the capital Kabul.
Another soldier, Roman Catholic reared Spc. Chris Tarantino became a Muslim whilst serving with the US Army in 2010. Tarantino is no apologist for his faith.
“I went to Kuwait and bought a prayer rug and started praying right there,” he told Stars and Stripes. “I saw it wasn’t the end of the world to say I was a Muslim.”
He also regularly speaks to fellow servicemen about his faith.
American soldiers also reportedly embraced Islam in large numbers whilst stationed in Saudi Arabia during the 1990/1 Gulf War.