Belfast Telegraph

Liam Neeson 'considers converting to Islam'

Ballymena's famous son Liam Neeson has found a spiritual connection with Islam, according to the Sun newspaper
Ballymena's famous son Liam Neeson has found a spiritual connection with Islam, according to the Sun newspaper
Liam Neeson and wife Natasha Richardson
Liam Neeson, center left, awaits the casket of his wife Natasha Richardson along with other pallbearers as they stand in front of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Lithgow, N.Y. on Sunday, March 22, 2009.
Actor Liam Neeson waves as he arrives to St. Peter's Church in Lithgow, N.Y., Sunday, March 22, 2009, for the funeral of his wife Natasha Richardson.
Liam Neeson and his mother-in-law Vanessa Redgrave walk through St. Peter's Cemetery in Lithgow, N.Y. on Sunday, March 22, 2009 after a funeral for his wife and her daughter, Natasha Richardson.
Actors Liam Neeson, right, and Vanessa Redgrave, left, stand with family members before a funeral for his wife and her daughter, Natasha Richardson, at St. Peter's Church in Lithgow, N.Y., Sunday, March 22, 2009.
Family and friends of Natasha Richardson gather for a photo prior to the funeral of Richardson in front of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Lithgow, N.Y. on Sunday, March 22, 2009. At left is Vanessa Redgrave, Richardson's mother, and right is Liam Neeson, Richardson's husband.
Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson at the 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson's wife Natasha Richardson
Liam Neeson leaves Lenox Hill Hospital in New York
Video image taken from PATV of Liam Neeson, whose wife Natasha Richardson died after a skiing accident, embracing Sarah Jessica Parker during a visit to New York's Broadway
Liam Neeson, whose wife Natasha Richardson died after a skiing accident, talking with Matthew Broderick during a visit to New York's Broadway
Liam Neeson in Broadway March 19, 2009
Liam Neeson in Broadway March 19, 2009
Video image taken from PATV of Liam Neeson, whose wife Natasha Richardson died after a skiing accident, with Sarah Jessica Parker during a visit to New York's Broadway
Liam Neeson waves to journalists as he arrives with family and friends to the funeral of his wife Natasha, March 22, 2009

Liam Neeson is considering converting to Islam, according to newspaper reports.

The desire to convert has sprung from spending time filming in Turkey, according to The Sun.

The Northern Ireland actor, who comes from a Catholic background, told the newspaper that the call to prayer in Istanbul drove him to distraction for the first week of filming but he then began to find it "the most beautiful, beautiful thing".

Neeson, a former altar boy in Ballymena, said: "There are 4,000 mosques in the city. Some are just stunning and it really makes me think about becoming a Muslim."

The actor has been nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA and three Golden Globe Awards during his career.

He has starred in a number of notable roles including Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List and Michael Collins.

Neeson was married to actress Natasha Richardson for 15 years before her death on 2009, when she suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident at the Mont Tremblant Resort, in Quebec.

It’s not the first time Neeson has spoken about religion.

The 59-year-old faced criticism in 2010 after refuting claims by author C.S. Lewis that Narnia lion Aslan is based on Christ.

Neeson – who voiced the character in the film adaptation – instead claimed Aslan was based on other spiritual leaders including Mohammed and Buddha.

“Aslan symbolises a Christ-like figure but he also symbolises for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries,” he said at the time.

“That’s who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that’s what he means for me.”

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