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MMA Fighter Jeffrey Monson Converts to Islam, Cites Solidarity with Palestinians

Russian mixed martial artist, boxer, and submission grappler Jeffrey William Monson has announced his conversion to Islam. In a widely circulated video clip on June 20, the 53-year-old athlete recited the Shahadah, the Islamic declaration of faith, at an Islamic center in Moscow. Monson expressed his emotional connection to the plight of Palestinians, stating, “I embraced Islam to be with my brothers and sisters in these difficult times in Palestine,” and was visibly moved during the declaration.

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During a press conference, Monson described his journey to Islam as a profound transformation. He shared that over the years, he had sought meaning and purpose, finding that Islam resonated with his values and beliefs, providing a sense of peace and fulfillment. Monson emphasized that his decision was the result of extensive introspection and exploration of various religious philosophies, highlighting his commitment to standing in solidarity with his Muslim brothers during complicated times.

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Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Monson is renowned for his achievements in jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts, boasting a career record of 60 victories, 26 defeats, and one draw. He gained Russian citizenship after renouncing his US nationality in 2018 and was elected as a deputy of the State Assembly of Bashkortostan from the United Russia party in September 2023.

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