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"New" Muslim

Reader comment on item: Muslim Soldiers in the West, Criticized by their Communities
in response to reader comment: I am a muslim soldier in US Army

Submitted by DJM (United States), May 21, 2009 at 15:33

I am a muslim serving in the military. I'm considered a "New" muslim because I recently switched over from a christian faith. When I started looking into Islam, I first thought I would look into seeing what the terrorists were about. I didn't have a clear view of Islam and wanted to find out more info. Come to find out, a lot of what pure Islam teaches is what I believe myself. I don't look at myself as changing faith/religion so much as I'm finally following my personal beliefs and values that's supported in Islam. Now I hope to someday get married to a good woman to have a family.

I was deployed to Afghanistan a few times. I've been shot at with small arms, mortars, RPG's and I've even been blown up in an IED... I've seen the worst of people but I didn't let any of that cloud up my judgement. I don't feel it's right to judge a people or religion as a whole based on a few idiots. I've also need the best... watching people waiting in line to get medical treatment out in the remote villages. I got back from my most recent deployment only a few months ago and I "officially" accepted Islam while in Afghanistan. I'm still continuing to learn more and I feel that this is the path I'm called to follow.

Most people don't know I'm now muslim. People I work with don't know I chose to be either. But I told my parents and close friends, the more important people in my life. For the most part, I got comments from all sides about how "wrong" it is. My parents actually asked me (first thing) "So, you think Muhammad is a god?".. I told them, "No, nobody does." and that confused them. they also asked about the so called teachings of terrorism (killing infidels) and I told them that's not what it's about and they were still confused. Like most people, all they know is what's spread over the media, that's IT! Hopefully, they'll have a better understanding but it won't be right away.

I had an interesting converstation with someone recently. This guy was talking about Jihad being Holy war and I explained to him it was a misused word by saying Jihad is struggleing in the way of Allah(swt). He acted like the whole idea of "Holy War" was a new thing. He was surprised when I told him that it's not the first time and asked him about the christian holy war long ago. He didn't believe me about it and I had to tell him about the Crusades was a Holy War, blessed off by the Pope (at the time) himself! Saying that got him quiet.

... but still, people don't think or take the time to validate what they hear. I hear a lot of different stuff but tend to research a little more to get to the truth. I have a lot to learn and, Inshallah(God Willing) I'll continue for many years. Al Amreeke, I saw in your comments that you are MI... so am I. Good luck to you.

DJM

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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