A 60-year-old American woman in Wisconsin has converted to Islam after watching the Turkish series ‘Dirilis: Ertuğrul’.
She said the show’s portrayal of the Islamic values of peace and justice had inspired her to convert to Islam after finding the show by chance while browsing Netflix.
The Wisconsin resident, who has chosen the name Khadija following her conversion, told Anadolu Agency(AA) she became interested in Islam after watching the first few episodes.
“I like learning new history. It was an eye-opener to what I did know about the religion and I tried to look for more in it,” the 60-year-old was quoted as having said.
She watched the entire series four times and started watching for a fifth time before going online to find her local mosque.
Khadija told AA fellow worshippers “were shocked to see” her turn up at the mosque.
“I went and they were shocked to see me, I think. I became a Muslim right that day,” she explained.
Khadija’s decision has been praised by Muslims, but her Baptist Christian community has not been as keen on her conversion.
She said: “The people around me believe that I was brainwashed. I do not discuss this issue with people anymore. I do not interfere with their beliefs. They should not have any reason to interfere with me.”
The mother of six told AA she has not revealed her decision to convert to her children, but that at least one of her sons has worked it out.
“The others haven’t asked,” she said. “They suspect but haven’t asked and I figure they will ask eventually.”
The popular series ‘Dirilis: Ertuğrul’, known as “Resurrection: Ertuğrul” in English, follows the struggle of Ertuğrul Gazi, whose descendants went on to rule the Ottoman sultanate as it expanded across Anatolia and Thrace.
The show has often been described as a Turkish “Game of Thrones”, takes place in 13th century Anatolia, prior to the establishment of the Ottoman Empire.
The Turkish series has been wildly popular in many Muslim majority countries, including Pakistan, where it was first aired at the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan encouraged youths to watch the show, saying they would learn about Islamic values and culture from it.
However, the series has been shunned by some states, including Egypt, which claims the show is part of an effort by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to revive the Ottoman Empire.