Sean Stone, the son of Oscar-winning film director Oliver Stone, reportedly converted to Islam on Tuesday. The younger Stone, 27, was visiting Iran, where he is working on a documentary.
The conversion ceremony, during which Fars news agency claims he became a Shiite Muslim, apparently took place in the Iranian city of Isfahan. During the ceremony, Stone chose "Ali" to be his Muslim first name.
The Tehran Times reports:
He went to the office of Shia cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Nasseri Dowlatabadi in the city of Isfahan on Tuesday and recited shahada, the Persian service of the Fars News Agency reported.
The shahada is the Islamic profession of the faith, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger.” To convert to Islam, one simply has to recite this while believing it in one’s heart.
Stone's mother is a Christian and his father is Jewish, although he claims that the conversion doesn't mean he will be leaving behind the faith traditions he was raised with.
"The conversion to Islam is not abandoning Christianity or Judaism, which I was born with," he told AFP via phone. "It means I have accepted Mohammad and other prophets."
Stone was in the Middle Eastern nation working on a film about Rumi, a mystic poet. But, for quite some time, has has shown his admiration for the nation's culture.
The young filmmaker also has a history of defending Iran. Reuters reports:
In an interview with TheWrap at the Toronto Film Festival in September, he supported Iran’s right to a nuclear program as a defense against threats from Israel. He said criticizing the Iranian government is “like someone coming to your house and saying the father shouldn’t hit the kids,” he said. “Who are we to tell them how to rule their country?”
“Iran is ruled by law,” said Stone (pictured with coproducer Melissa Carter in Tehran). “People don’t like Ahmadinejad, but that doesn’t warrant a war or an uprising.”
In addition to directing documentaries, Stone has appeared in a number of his father's films.