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Muslim leaders rap publicity on Allam's conversion March 25, 2008

Some of the 138 Muslim intellectual leaders who signed an appeal for dialogue with the Catholic Church have now criticized the publicity that greeted the conversion of Magdi Allam, the Italian journalist who was baptized by Pope Benedict XVI at the Easter Vigil.

Muslim leaders said that the highly public conversion was being viewed in some quarters as an open challenge to Islam rather than an individual's private religious choice. The spokesman for the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, Imam Issedin Elzir of Florence, said that "the case garnered more attention than it merited, given that each day many convert to Islam and many to Christianity.”

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