Converting from Islam to Christianity—a dangerous path for many.
A born-and-raised Muslim shares his difficult conversion to Christianity.
Violent, religious persecution is real and happens frequently in various parts of the world. It’s also one reason why thousands of individuals and families avoid changing faiths and seeking beliefs they feel are more correct in their hearts.
In fact, on March 9, 2013, The New York Times published an article about a Muslim group that attacked a Christian neighborhood in Pakistan, and it states, “In Lahore [Pakistan], several thousand people attacked the Joseph Colony, a Christian neighborhood of about 200 homes, after a report that a Christian sanitation worker had blasphemed the Prophet Muhammad.”
The new book, My Name Used to Be Muhammad, is a very real and personal account of Tito Momen—a Muslim man, deeply educated in the Islamic faith—who courageously converts to Christianity, even though through this decision he is disowned by his family and sentenced to years in prison.
Excerpt from My Name Used to Be Muhammad: “I was blindfolded, disoriented, and afraid. I was still in leg irons and handcuffs as two men holding each of my arms pulled me through a labyrinth of hallways. Eventually we stopped and I collapsed to my knees. I could tell that there were other prisoners nearby. I could hear them crying and screaming. It sounded as if they were being tortured. I was so scared. Oh Lord, I though. Help me. Please.”
I found Momen’s description of his early life as a Muslim to be intriguing. It was very restrictive, gender roles were very well-defined, and scholarship was deeply prized. He was inquisitive, and that quality led him away from his Muslim faith really before he even discovered Christianity. I enjoyed his account of his conversion, and it was interesting to see the differences between the Bible and the Qur’an that he pointed out. And it is truly appalling how Christians are treated in Muslim countries.
However, this book didn’t really resonate with me. Momen seems to gloss over his personal responsibility as he makes immoral choices that not only go against his Muslim upbringing but also common decency. He has a “devil made me do it” kind of attitude about his actions. I am happy that he found the peace of the gospel, and I am certain that his personal mistakes helped to prepare him for his conversion. However, I did not find him to be a particularly sympathetic character.
My Name Used to Be Muhammad is available in bookstores nationwide and on Amazon.com.
About the author:
Tito Momen was raised to observe the strict teachings of Islam. However, his path took an unexpected turn when he was introduced to Christianity and baptized. Tito’s remarkable true story is one of faith, forgiveness, and testimony that God does hear and answer prayers.
Jeff Benedict is one of the country’s top nonfiction writers. He is the author of eleven critically acclaimed books, including The System, Poisoned, Little Pink House, and Without Reservation. He has a law degree and is a Distinguished Professor of Writing and Mass Media at Southern Virginia University. His blog is at www.jeffbenedict.com.