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From atheist gamer to Muslim convert: How Zahra found friendship and faith in the Ottoman Empire

From atheist gamer to Muslim convert: How Zahra found friendship and faith in the Ottoman Empire

22/05/2020 11:52:00 PM

From atheist gamer to Muslim convert: How Zahra found friendship and faith in the Ottoman Empire

When Zahra Fielding downloaded a mobile game with provocative online ads, she didn't expect to find friendship, let alone discover a new faith. Today, the ex-atheist proudly wears a hijab, and is grateful for the Singaporean gamer who unintentionally introduced her to Islam.

But the more Zahra learned about Islam, the greater affinity she felt with the faith."This has been a journey for me, I didn't just come out and say, 'Hey guys, I'm going to become a Muslim,'" she points out."It started with asking Kim one day, 'Is it offensive for me to try on the hijab? I'd really like to wear it and see what that feels like.'"

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After a while, Zahra started covering her hair on weekends, then at work by donning a head turban."Initially no-one said anything. Then after a couple of days, some of the team were curious. They were like, 'Hey did you get a bad haircut, are you starting a new trend?'" she says, laughing.

"It became an organic conversation. 'Well, I'm actually learning more about Islam and I'm not sure if I want to wear hijab or not, so I'm finding out.'"Zahra has spent her first Ramadan in isolation with her cat.()Marriage and moving to Malaysia

Earlier this year, Zahra began attending Kuraby Mosque in Brisbane and made her Shahada, the Islamic profession of faith.She's one of thousands of Westerners who convert to the faith annually, though Zahra prefers the term "revert" because she says in Islam, everyone is born Muslim.

And her journey is still unfolding — both online and in real life."I let the sister who did my Shahada know that I would be interested in looking into an arranged marriage, because I'm tired of being heartbroken and I'd like a husband," Zahra explains.

"She said she'd put together my profile, then I jumped onto this Muslim marriage app."Just as Zahra formed an unexpected international friendship with Kim on a mobile phone game, she's now met her fiance online, too."He does digital editing for a [Muslim] revert organisation in Kuala Lumpur, so he was really fascinated with my story and wanted to know about how I found Islam," she says.

"After a couple of days [of chatting], I'm like, 'OK, I need to try and keep the relationship halal, how do we do that when he lives in Malaysia, I live in Australia?'"A "halal relationship" is one that'spermissible under Islamic law

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. Generally the couple's families must meet early on, to ensure the relationship isn't hidden.In Zahra's case, geographical distance didn't stop this ritual. She and her fiancé introduced their mums via video chat and, she says, "the rest has been history".

As soon as travel restrictions lift, she's moving to Malaysia to get married.Kim says she'll be there for the wedding — "Inshallah" — ready to meet her gamer friend for the first time, outside of the Ottoman Empire.RN in your inboxGet more stories that go beyond the news cycle with our weekly newsletter.

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Advertising element of Islam. They will share this news millions time. Good business for abc. Hijab and the game are the main reason? Are you kidding? There is no such a logical reason to be spiritual that can be found, Its just a garbage of provoke the ignorant. she just dont want to change back, or leave the religion as that's a D----- sentence, in the eyes of Islam

Wow, she fell for the trick. NAIVE !! Big. Farkin. Deal. I really hope that this woman does not go to Malaysia. Islam will not solve your loneliness. Insanity isn’t confined to fat white men. How exactly is this news? I didn’t know the Ottoman Empire exists anymore? So everything I’ve learned in history as school was a lie

This is an unacceptable bias and free service to Islam by our we’ll respected ABC. There are hundreds of stories of young men and women leaving their religion including Islam and becoming atheists. I chalange the ABC to publish any ? I advice the ABC to be more careful with their bias by providing free service to any religion. There are thousands of stories of young men and women leaving their religion including Islam and becoming aethiests. I chalamge you to publish any ?

Fuck, right, off. YasMohammedxx She obviously had mental health problems before the game. A loner who probably should had invested in a cat rather than joining an evil cult. Is this the same Ottonan Empire that killed and looted millions of people and ruled by the sword ? The Ottomans committed unbelievable atrocities it’s no game. It has a happy ending though with the Knights of St John in Malta 🇲🇹

Wasn't much of an Atheist if a hijab and some conversations convinced her that at least one God exists 🙄 An atheist finds religion and it makes the news. Where's all the stories the other way around? Good to see that the ABC in the past has also covered people leaving Islam and the difficulties they face. Some people have been killed overseas for leaving or converting to another religion from Islam.

What a joke, the covering is to stop men sinning, women are inherently evil and the downfall of men. I wonder how long she’ll keep this attention getting nonsense up for? As long she is happy Why should a woman have to cover up to control a mans sexual behavior ? Does the woman feel intimacy knowing she’s controlling the mans sexual desire ? Or is any attention good attention ? I just don’t get it.

Who the hell cares? Does she have rocks in her head..... ooops my bad You can be stoned to death for being accused of being an adulterer ... that is Islam If this was a young lady who was wooed over the internet by a Mormon or Scientologist, would the ABC have run such a sympathetic story? Women being whipped & jailed in Iran for protesting against headscarves would be fascinated to hear the insights of a young westerner that states headscarves aren’t a form of oppression. There’s a story you won’t see on the ABC.

We don’t need to foster strong relations with a bully state - we need to maintain what we have with a view to gradually reducing our trade with China over the next few years If women in the Middle East are in prison for taking off their hijab then this amounts to western bigotry. The abc and these stories tell the imprisoned women they are “something other” perhaps people they see as less than human. Western bigotry knows no bounds. Insensitivity !

So she stopped playing the game or? She should have looked further, From atheist gamer to lower class human. What an ignorant girl! DefundTheABC What absolute Tosh! She'll also find she won't be able to leave once she discovers the darker side of this 'religion'. Well done to this lady. She asked what is the purpose of life. And she found the truth, to worship the Creator, not the creation. Too bad for the regular haters stalking the ABC for such articles. They are pathetic.

This isn’t news. This should not be a top story on our national broadcaster. It’s a story of someone with mental health issues who turned to religion for comfort and, it seems, attention. Some people are desperate to be brainwashed, brain dead followers...... Excellent, perhaps she could develop a game based on the Armenian genocide?

Ottoman Empire good! British Empire bad! So we have the hypocrisy covered. Let's revert back to the young lady. Hope she's happy, can do as she pleases in life. Well maybe in the society she turned her back on. Not so much now. Now Zara should go and live in Saudi Arabia. Dont come back. Stay away. Rag head. Trust ABC to bring shit like this.

Truely I am pleased she has found what makes her happy. I support her choice 100%. Just can’t help myself cause I am a happy dick head. Empty hands or minds are the devils play ground. Just ask Pete. You can get a ray gun for that. Loving rays. LARPing as a Mohammedan in a western country is peak cringe. I truly hope she gets the full experience.

Is she joining ISIS as well? No one is that desperate! sharialaw muslimwomen ItaButtrose what happened to fixing the ABCaustralia ? JoshFrydenberg you wish to save money start with the ABC auspol ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ Life tip: Don’t give your life over to the teachings of a man who married a 6 year old just because you are lonely.

Just wondering when you are going to do an article on the white, Christian children, sex slave trade in Muslim countries? Or do you only care about domestic violence? Which now includes 'givng your partner the silent treatment' First world violence problems. Wait until those nasty atheists begin threatening her life for being an apostate.

Abc loves muslim world and hates christian western society. Yet hates women being treated badly. One of those worlds have pushed women to the highest high that they have ever seen. The other is still oppressing. Abc really is a confused bunch. Thanks 'journalist' Now do a story on Muslims that choose to leave Islam. You might find that story interesting.

ABCNEWS Oh really? Hardly news worthy, care factor Zero.. Good to see the ABC is balancing all the pro Christian pieces they put out. ? Atheist gamer. Jehovah’s Witness skydiver. Buddhist freediver. Shinto stamp collector. Love to see her mental health report Makes sense to reason the same people outraged by this would also be outraged with the close relationship our Govt has to churches, especially cult like ones such as hill song

...whatever works for you. Everyone is different. Getting in was the easy part...If she decides to get out, the penalty is death So in other words she joined a cult. Ping BrooksHeatherly Can we have a report on the many more who detox from their religious brainwashing and become free and happy as atheists?

This isn’t news. Poor girl... zarakayk YasMohammedxx would either of you care to comment on Australia’s national broadcaster running this story on how freeing a arranges marraige is and how liberating the hijab is? There are more ppl leaving it than converting to it. They don't come forth only because of the fear of being killed. Not an achievement at all.

This would have to be the most ridiculous report ever. Why should anyone care about this? Is this a joke it is the exact path that happens in extremism, except fortunately she went in a better direction! Literally recruited online. ABC representing mainstream Australia again 🙄 Western women converting to Islam and wearing a hijab: 'LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!!!'

Wow creating more domestic violence Its 2020 and its not news when people decide to believe in a fairytale. Who ? The Ottoman empire was BRUTAL in ways we cannot imagine to the nations of people it ruled over & yet the ABC's biggest concern was that the game she downloaded may have been SEXIST!!? Which is worse? Atheist or Muslim

'I'd been single for a very long time.', Lol. How old is this kid, 12. I think the part people are overlooking here is the “gamer” part. Just because I play games on my phone doesn’t make me a gamer. It means I’m bored for a short time. How many hours has she put into Animal Crossing, Call of Duty or even Age of Empires lately? 😄

Shouldn't this be on the SBS page, ohhhhh forget there owned by the Australian tax payer to 🙄🙄 Looking forward to the atheist gamer who converts to Judaism story. I thought empires were bad. Are they good again now? To convert to Islam requires the person to either be in love or mentally ill. I was in love which is definitely a manifestation of cognitive impairment 🤪🤪🤪

more religious bullshit Sounds like she was a vacuum in search of a new mission to game? How long will this identity last? New clan? WHY ARE YOU REPORTING THIS ABnC? Addictive personalities are easily transferred from one addiction to another addiction via brainwashing (a common tool of religious organisations.)

DefundtheBBC Only a foolish, uneducated woman blindly follows a pedophile's teaching. Terrible article, celebrating turning women into second class citizens who have to cover up and be slaved to their husband. I see mental health instability and a poor girl crying for help. Shame on you give me my taxes back.

Has the ABCaustralia ever done any stories on Muslims who have woken up to themselves and denounced Islam and or converted to another religion? I only see propaganda suggesting Islam is great, but what else do we expect from a biased leftist abc. Just to be clear; wearing a hijab is not a requirement in the Quran. It’s a requirement of subservient women by controlling men.

The ABC sound like they are glorifying converting to Islam. That's misguided. Each to their own, but if anyone in the West insisted women conceal themselves, the ABC would attack the 'patriarchy' and men for misogyny. In the name of being PC, ABC overlooks true oppression. 🙄 Religions take advantage of the weak or people who find themselves in desperate situations. Once in it's all about control.

ABC does positive spin story on Islam . Let me guess must be Ramadan ? Allah thanks you for keeping women covered up . From irrelevant drain on taxpayer funds to full on fakenews propaganda outlet: How TheirABC found cringe and cowardice in the relentless white anting of Western Civilization. auspol

Sounds like someone was lonely. Uuuummm this article is kinda frightening, it's a celebration of how you can twist the meaning of mysogonist policy to make you feel better about being objectively oppressed in a sexist manner (even when it's by choice) LOL - How is this news? Woman selects bedtime story.... Where is the news in that?

Atheist muslim girl converted to muslim What a new mind blowing an unbelievable ununiversal phenomenal..... Lol, A muslim is muslim only and can not be atheist muslim, secular muslim, moderate muslim or liberal muslim. Lol Never heard of a WOMAN actually wanting to be Islamic .. what a strange day This is a good news story. I think all women should convert to Islam, cover themselves and be subservient. Thanks ABC.

So she converted? What's the issue? People trade-in their beleifs for new ones all the time. Look at Trump supports. In 10 years it'll be something else. a muslim woman? is always a property of the husband He'd divorce her n marry another woman She wont be allowed to pray with men etc She is just a second class to men

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‘The community is shaken’: Ten people hospitalised after car crashes into Sydney Muslim fashion shopNSW Police say there is no indication an incident that saw a car crash into a Muslim clothing shop in western Sydney, injuring ten people, is terror-related. Why do you have to communalize the news? Just fuckin call it a shop! Also, HOW ARE 10 PEOPLE EVEN ALLOWED IN A SHOP YET? What the fuck is Muslim fashion shop? Do they sell whip for lashing drunk people? Brown on brown violence. Not our problem.