Testimony 5: Former Muslim from Morocco – The Light that was veiled from meBy The Publishers · 4 min read

A true story by James Thurmond (pseudonym of a Christian from a Muslim background, living in Morocco)

Date of writing: July 2023

I was indoctrinated by Islam since childhood. Growing up as a strong Muslim, I never questioned my religion or or explored different opinions. I believed that my faith was superior to all others. I was convinced that the world would soon submit to Islam before our feet.

However, during my teenage years I became obsessed with music due to problems at home and at school. A few of the lyrics were a challenge to absorb and led me into an inner conflict. It left me with some puzzling questions about Islam for the first time.  First, I tried to ignore them.

Later, I stumbled upon Paltalk, a video chat service, in 2013. Following debates of Christians, Muslims and Atheists, I realized I didn’t have a deep knowledge about Islam, my own religion. I had a lack of insight into tafseers (Islamic commentaries), hadith (traditions) and laws. I took a rational stance and began to study. Suddenly I learnt that Islam stands for everything I didn’t like:

One can find a justification for rape, slavery, paedophilia, deception, murder, hatred and other vile things being propagated as words of God. The prophet Muhammad is responsible for genocides, mass rapes and ravaging Arabia like an outlaw bandit. These shameful things stripped Islam of any connection with God (let alone the many errors/contradictions and laughable reasoning).

Being confronted with these stories started a war within myself. I decided to get rid of the subliminal fear and traumas caused by Islam. It led me into a hopelessness and I nearly ended up killing myself. I became godless and wanted to let the world rot in its misery. My entire life seemed as an illusion and worthless to keep.

It took me two years to regain some faith. I started believing in a creator whom I thought would have the attributes of love and divine justice to be worthy of worship. Such a religion would deserve the right to be followed.

Nevertheless, I still carried hatred for myself and felt like a fool. I was a slave to my sins. To be surrounded by those who surrendered to Allah and to belong to the Islamic society caused more suffering. It led me to isolation and solitude.

I thought all Abrahamic religions were the same as Islam, although I sympathized with the Christians due to them being oppressed by the Muslims everywhere.  Somehow, I could relate to them in my own agony. Through my love for music I discovered Christian hymns, sung in praise of God. Often, when I was depressed the person of Jesus in those songs would comfort me.

I never had any intention of studying the Bible but when people recommended to watch videos on one of its topics, “the sermon on the mount” I agreed to do that. The outcome was confusion and admiration. The latter was refuted by silly arguments in my head. A month later I was in despair and sickness. I don’t know how but I ended up reading the New Testament, part of the Bible. A few passages in it calmed the turmoil of my soul. The words that talk about sin and forgiveness caused me to break down in tears.

Jesus was the missing piece! I felt betrayed. All these years of my wallowing in sorrow and self-abuse could have been ended by him. Jesus offered a new life! His teachings are full of wisdom. His love is unconditional. His gifts were many. I poured my heart out to Jesus and he embraced me by his mesmerizing love. I felt unconquerable and the chains of sin broken. All my past mistakes didn’t stand a chance, when confronted with the gift of his forgiveness I just received. I became a follower of Jesus since then and started reading more of the Bible. This time not out of curiosity but to strengthen my new life against sin and to grow in righteousness with Jesus.

With God’s help I changed many things in my life that seemed like a curse before. I dare not to even think of sinning now. In Islam I knew nothing about love, only about submission and fear.  In my old religion there is no close connection with God, no grace, no sanctity of life, no respect for God’s creation, no taming of sins, no salvation. Islam is a death cult enforced by swords and evil spirits of fear. Even though I’m new to Christianity, I found peace among those who truly follow Jesus. I’ve felt happy that I waited all this time just to put my trust in Jesus for all eternity.

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