David Baer proposes a novel approach to the historical record of Islamic conversions during the Ottoman age and gathers fresh insights concerning the ... Show synopsis David Baer proposes a novel approach to the historical record of Islamic conversions during the Ottoman age and gathers fresh insights concerning the nature of religious conversion itself. Rejecting any attempt to explain Ottoman Islamization in terms of the converts' motives, Baer instead concentrates on the proselytizers - in this case, none other than the sultan himself. Mehmed IV (1648-87) is remembered as an aloof ruler whose ineffectual governing led to the disastrous siege of Vienna. Through an integrated reading of previously unexamined Ottoman archival and literary texts, Baer reexamines Mehmed IV's failings as a ruler by underscoring the sultan's zeal for bringing converts to Islam. As an expression of his rededication to Islam, Mehmed IV actively sought to establish his reputation as a convert-maker, convincing or coercing Christian and Jewish subjects to be honored by the glory of Islam and Muslim subjects to turn to Islamic piety.