Yahya Birt, muslim convert, writer,
publisher specialising in British muslim affairs
and son of ex Director of the BBC, John Birt
As Islam continues to appeal to the British public, high profile people have converted, including the son of the former director-general of BBC, Yahya Birt.
Yahya Birt, formerly Jonathan Birt, who converted to Islam in 1989, is the son of former BBC Director General Lord Birt. Yahya Birt received his doctorate from Oxford University on the subject of young British Muslims.
Regarding his conversion to Islam, “It was the overall profundity, balance and coherence and spirituality of the Muslim way of life which convinced me,” The Times quoted him as saying.
Birt, who has authored many journal articles and is the director of City Circle, a progressive charity made up of mostly young Muslim professionals in England, and is also the commissioning editor at Kube Publishing, has played a large role in the debate on British Muslims.
In 2004, he released a study on the subject of Christians converting to Islam, where he concluded that at the time, there were 14,200 Caucasian Muslims in Britain, which he attributed to Britons being disillusioned with western values.
“Obviously, conversion to Islam has become particularly controversial in the west of late. Converts challenge the received order of things by upsetting boundaries, and are often labelled traitors or, more kindly, as eccentrics,” Birt stated in his online blogg.
He added, “Yet while a few are drawn to Islam as a vehicle of radical anti-western protest, the timeless truths it addresses still attract those seeking meaning to life.”