Indian film actress Monica, who has been queen of Tamil film industry for many years converted to Islam, The Times of India reported on May 31, 2014. Earlier, Bollywood’s internationally famous music directors A.R. Rahman and Yuvan Shankar Raja had converted to Islam. However, while Rahman and Shankar have continued to work in the film industry, Monica has decided to quit the film industry to get married and raise a family. 

 “I embraced Islam because I was attracted to Islamic rules especially the women’s rights in Islam. I started reading about Islam in 2010 with the misconception that it promotes extremism. However, during my research I found out that Islam is indeed a religion of peace,” she said.

 “I have been practicing Islam for almost four years now. My father is a Christian and my mother is a Hindu and they support my decision fully. My last film ‘Nadhigal Nanaivathillai’ would be releasing soon and I won’t be acting in films henceforth,” Monica said during a press conference (video below) at RKV Studios on May 30, 2014.

Monica, 26, has changed her name to MG Rahima where ‘M’ has been extracted from her father’s name Marothi Raj while ‘G’ represents her mother’s name Gracy.

Born as Rekha Maruthiraj, she took the name Monica for her acting career in Tamil and Telugu films. Later, she changed her name to Parvana for Malayalam films

Monica has acted in nearly 70 Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films like Inidhu Inidhu Kadhal Inidhu, Isai Arasan 23m Pulikesi, Varnam and the 2013 film Jannal Oram.Monica won Tamil Nadu State Award as the best child actor for her performance in En Aasai Machan.