October 22, 2021

Sinead O’Connor converts to Islam and changes name to Shuhada’

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By Bard Wilkinson, From CNN October 26, 2018

(CNN) Irish singer Sinead O’Connor has announced her conversion to Islam, changing her name to Shuhada’ Davitt.

“This is to announce that I am proud to have become a Muslim,” she wrote on Twitter on October 19. “This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey. All scripture study leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant.”
The singer added: “I will be given (another) new name. It will be Shuhada’.”
She spells her new name, which means “one who bears witness” in Arabic, with an apostrophe at the end. Shuhada’ comes from the Arabic word Shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith in which Muslims state (or bear witness to) their belief that there is only one God and Mohammed is his final prophet.
The name also means “martyrs” in Arabic.
Last year, O’Connor changed her name to Magda Davitt, a name she took to be “free of parental curses.”
The “Nothing Compares 2 U” singer has replaced her Twitter profile picture with a photo that reads “Wear a hijab just do it” alongside the Nike logo.
Her recent posts have included her singing the Islamic call to prayer, the Azan, and depicted her wearing a hijab.
Although her embrace of Islam attracted criticism and anti-Islamic remarks, it was broadly welcomed by fellow Muslims online.
“Salaam (a greeting that means “peace”) and keep up the good work,” said Immy Khan. “You have 1.7 billion brothers and sisters now.”
On Thursday Davitt tweeted: “Thank you so much to all my Muslim brothers and sisters who have been so kind as to welcome me to Ummah (the Muslim community) today on this page. You can’t begin to imagine how much your tenderness means to me.”
The singer formally known as O’Connor made headlines in 1992 when she ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II during an appearance on a US television show.
Sinead O'Connor tears up a photo of Pope John Paul II Oct. 5,1992 during a live appearance in New York on NBC's Saturday Night Live.

Later she said in an interview with TIME that she was prompted to do so by the Catholic Church’s record of child abuse.
She was then ordained a priest by a bishop of the fringe Catholic Latin Tridentine Church in Lourdes, France, in 1999, in which she was renamed Mother Bernadette Mary, according to the Irish Independent.
The Catholic Church dismissed the ordination of the singer at the time as “bizarre and absurd.”
In 2011, she again criticized the Catholic Church over the child sex abuse scandal, in an article for the Sunday Independent.
She dubbed the Vatican “a nest of devils,” calling for the creation of an “alternative church’,” and lamenting that “Christ is being murdered by liars” in the Vatican.
Pope Francis spoke during his visit to Ireland earlier this year of his shame over the “appalling crimes” of historic child abuse in the Catholic Church and said outrage was justified.
Pope addresses Ireland's child sex abuse scandal

Pope addresses Ireland’s child sex abuse scandal
In 2015, the mother of four posted on her Facebook page that she had overdosed in the wake of a custody battle involving her youngest son and his father, Irish musician Donal Lunny. Police later said they had located O’Connor and she was “safe and sound.”
The following year, O’Connor was reported missing in Chicago when she did not return from a bike ride, but police found her a day later.
Last year, she posted a tearful video of herself discussing her mental illness, which sparked concern among friends and family.
The footage shows her crying in a motel room and lamenting that her family has abandoned her in the wake of mental health issues.
“People who suffer from mental illness are the most vulnerable people on Earth,” O’Connor said. “You’ve got to take care of us. We’re not like everybody.”
IMAGE: Sinead O’Connor BBC

Related story:

Sinead O’Connor was booed off stage at Bob Dylan concert over tearing up Pope’s picture

Facing an 18,000-person, sold-out crowd in Madison Square Garden, O’Connor put on a brave face as she was intensely jeered for her SNL appearance.

In 1992, two weeks after she tore up a picture of the Pope on “Saturday Night Live,” Sinead O’Connor appeared at Bob Dylan’s 30th-anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden.

Then aged just 25 years old, she was introduced on stage by American singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson who praised her courage and integrity.

“I’m real proud to introduce this next artist,” he said. “Her name has become synonymous with courage and integrity.”

However, the 18,000-person sold-out crowd was incredibly hostile and O’Connor was taken aback. Rolling Stone reported that “O’Connor stared back at the crowd in shock and disappointment.”

Kristofferson walked onstage to give her encouragement and the piano player started Dylan’s gospel classic “I Believe in You” again but O’Connor waved him off and refused to sing the song, taking a step toward the crowd and away from the mic.

Looking as if she was steeling herself against the booing, O’Connor returned to the mic, demanded it was turned up and launched into an a cappella rendition of Bob Marley’s “War,” the same tune she had performed on Saturday Night Live to protest child abuse in the Catholic Church.

At the song’s conclusion, she ran into Kristofferson’s arms and can be seen sobbing as she finally broke down.

In retrospect there can be nothing but admiration for O’Connor’s bold stand, coming at a time when child sex abuse by priests and cover-ups by bishops were unknown. Now she would be hailed as a heroine for blowing the whistle and for taking such a stand in front of a crowd of people turned against her.

To add insult to injury, when the CD of the concert was released, her performance had been completely erased from the evening.

Despite this, she was the most-talked-about person the next day with a report from the Chicago Tribune stating she had “overshadowed performances by Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, George Harrison and Dylan, among others. And she didn’t sing a note.”

Neil Young had followed O’Connor on stage that evening and told the Tribune the following day, “She dealt herself a couple of hands, and the deck was stacked against her when she went out.

“In New York City, if the crowd is feeling something, you’re going to find out about it immediately.”

“We all felt sorry for her, because she’s not malicious or evil, just very young,” Young’s manager, Elliott Roberts, said of the then 25-year-old O’Connor.

“When the crowd started booing, she overreacted. She should have gone ahead and done the Dylan song.

IMAGE: Singer Sinead O’Connor performs at the Lisdoonvarna Festival 2003 at the RDS on August 30, 2003, in Dublin, Ireland.SHOWBIZIRELAND.COM/GETTY IMAGES
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