Christian mum stunned after teen son tricked into becoming Muslim on live Turkish TV
The Christian mother of a 13-year-old boy is fuming after a Turkish TV star tricked her son into “converting” to Islam on a live show broadcast on 11 May.
“My son did not convert to Islam. We are Armenians and Christians. If I had known [what would happen on the show], I would have been with my son,” said Alia, the boy’s furious mum.
The story was a hot news item in Turkey, but the boy’s parents now plan to sue the producers of the ATV television show for tricking the child live on air. Garo Paylan, a Turkish MP, is driving the mother’s legal case.
On TV, the boy, Arthur, was told the Islamic profession of faith by popular Muslim theologian Nihat Hatiopoglu and asked to repeat it before being given a Muslim name.
“Arthur is a naive 13-year-old boy,” said his mum. “A Syrian friend of his told him: ‘Come, we’ll talk on live TV. They will give us toys, and we will eat with the stars.’ And my son went with him. He's a child, he made a mistake, but he did not convert."
Some Muslims believe that the mere recitation of this Islamic creed is sufficient to convert a non-Muslim to Islam, even if there is no belief. And once one becomes a Muslim – no matter what the circumstances – the person is considered an apostate if they return to their original religion. According to the Hanafi school of Islamic law, which is dominant in Turkey, the punishment for a boy (child) apostate is to be imprisoned until he comes of age and then killed.