In Brunei it is not rare for Chinese people to embrace Islam, so one comes across such stories quite often. Given below is a news story from Brunei.
Chinese Woman Embraces Islam
By Aemy Azlena
Bandar Seri Begawan – The Muslim community in Brunei welcomes another Chinese convert into its fold as 25-year old Siti Khadijah Abdullah, known as Melly, formally converted to Islam on Friday.
The conversion ceremony was held at the residence of Hj Jadi-Hj Salleh in Kampong Lambak Kanan.
Present to perform the conversion ceremony were personnel from the Islamic I)akwah Centre, lead by an officer of the Conversion Unit, Rokiah Mohammad.
Siti Khadijah Abdullah, the only member in her family to have converted to Islam, revealed that she always had an interest in the religion since she was a young girl and learned about it in school and her everyday life.
According to Siti Khadijah Abdullah, the teachings and practices of Islam fascinated her and opened her heart to accept the religion.
Following the conversion ceremony, Siti Khadijah Abdullah will take part in a programme by the Islamic Dakwah Centre aimed at guiding her to live her life as a Muslim which is expected to start sometime in January. — Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin
What interests me however is how much of this is an isolated phenomenon and how much of it impacts the larger society. One of the main obstacles for many people to convert is the close association of Islam with a certain ethnic group e.g., with Malays which is quite unfortunate. Also many converts change their name which is another reason why Islam seems ‘alien’ to some of their relatives. One reason for changing names is that the new converts want to adopt more “Islamic” names. Since many of them are new to Islam they do not know that in Islam one is not required to change one’s name in Islam. All names that have a good meaning are Islamic names. They do not have to be Arabic names. Chinese, Persian, French, Welsh, Urdu, Quechua names are as Islamic as Arabic names.