Kristiane Backer, who at the height of her career as one of Europe’s leading pop culture icons, converted to Islam.
In the early 1990s, Kristiane Backer became one of the very first presenters on MTV Europe. Lets see what she talks about with Rohail Amjad
Rohail Amjad: Assalam o Alaikum, Welcome to the show. How are you? How are the Interfaith dialogues going on?
A. Fine, thank you, Alhamdulillah. We try and do what we can…
Rohail Amjad: How difficult was it for you to cope with the cultural change considering your transformation from a VJ on MTV to a Muslim preacher?
Kristian Backer: I have written a book about it all 🙂 From MTV to Mecca. In a nutshell, it was a gradual process- so you grow into
Rohail Amjad: What in your opinion, having understood Islam better than many Muslims around the globe, the reason behind the huge gap existing between Muslim character nowadays and the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah?
Kristian Backer: A lot of young people are not interested in religion because of the way it is presented to them- as scary and full of dos and don’ts. I was lucky, I encountered a more intellectual and spiritual approach. So I learned about the concepts, the philosophy, the arts, the culture and the inner dimension at the heart of the religion. This is what opened my heart and eventually made me want to practice.
Rohail Amjad: One perception is that most of the converted Christians do revert back? Have you ever faced such a situation?
Kristian Backer: The reason is that converts often feel isolated from their old circle of friends and are not really included in mainstream Muslim communities. This isolation is too hard for some to take. How are Muslims failing converts and what can be done about this questions every Muslims should be asking themselves.
Rohail Amjad: If I ask you to tell your reader what really is the purpose of life is? What would it be, in short, please?
Kristian Backer: To worship and serve God- to serve the Good in whatever way you can
Rohail Amjad: Did embracing the Islamic life style affect your life?
Kristian Backer: Of course! My life now has meaning and a purpose. The emptiness I used to feel is now filled with God. It is such a gift to be able to connect to the Divine.
Rohail Amjad: What is the difference you feel between “KRISTIANE BACKER” as an MTV presenter and “KRISTIANE BACKER” who is the presenter of an interfaith dialogue?
Kristian Backer: Well, before it was pure entertainment. Now I go on stage with God! And that is a humbling feeling.
Rohail Amjad: You have been featuring in many adverts in London’s underground tube stations praising “Mohammad (S.A.W) (P.B.U.H)? What inspired you the most of “Prophet Mohammad”(P.B.U.H)?
Kristian Backer: As a woman I love Muhammad for his kindness, his nobility, and the way he cherished, respected and cared for women- apart from being a model Statesman, a Judge and a Prophet who guided people to salvation… He was also an environmental champion and that was what I highlighted in the IBM (Inspired by Muhammad) Campaign. His teachings are universal and applicable now as before!
Rohail Amjad: One of the British Parliamentarian namely “George Galloway” had been warning the British government about the residence of a guy whose party had been declared as a terrorist organization by the Canadian court and he is being harbored? why is it so?
Kristian Backer: Very good question! And why is he only being investigated now I wonder?
Rohail Amjad: What motivated you towards Islam?
Kristian Backer: I was touched by the Muslims I met here and in Pakistan- their hospitality, their willingness to sacrifice for others and their dignity even when poor. Reading about the concepts and philosophy of Islam – the essence of the teachings, not the cultural interpretations- I realized it is the truth. I converted because I wanted to feel Islam and practice it- start praying and generally bring God into my life.
Rohail Amjad: Do you think that the friendship with Imran Khan(ex-cricketer) was the reason for initiation of your journey of faith?
Kristian Backer: Yes, Imran introduced me to Islam. He did a lot of Dawah on me for nearly three years. But he didn’t present a fire and brimstone version of Islam, rather he explained to me the Islamic worldview and we debated so many issues from women’s liberation, fashion and plastic surgery to environmentalism or spirituality.
His view was always fueled by faith and on deeper reflection, it began to make sense. Having said that I always had a fascination for the unseen and passion for philosophy. Part of my family is quite religious although I never knew that till recently. So I think I have inherited my leanings to a degree.
Rohail Amjad: You met Imran Khan, courtesy your friends, how did you find him as a guy?
Kristian Backer: Charismatic, inspiring, idealistic
Rohail Amjad: Do you think that the recent terror attacks in London will affect UK-Pakistan relation?
Kristian Backer:NO for once the culprits were not Pakistani. However it did set back Muslim – British relations as Islamophobic attacks have increased since the attacks.
Rohail Amjad: Any message for Muslims?
Kristian Backer: Revive the character of our Prophet (PBUH), follow him in good actions, lead by example.
Pleasure talking to you, take care , wish you all the best