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The brave ex-Muslim


I forget if I mentioned that I met a cab driver recently. His dashboard had an Israeli flag proudly displayed. He was from Somalia. He had been born and raised Muslim, and he had converted to Judaism. His English was passable; I could understand him quite well.

He had left Somalia with his parents when he was a teenager, fleeing the endless war there. They bounced through several countries in Europe, including France and England. He went his own way and came to Canada. Finally he came to the United States, and stayed. He married a Muslim Somali woman, and fathered several children with her. But at some point when his first few children were very young, he decided to convert to Judaism.

“Why?” I asked. Leaving the Muslim faith is usually an automatic death sentence for Muslims, because it’s Allah’s will that apostates (people who turn their backs on Islam) be put to death. Or something like that.

“The Somali culture, the Muslim culture, is very bad,” he said. “People are always tearing each other down. It’s a culture of failure. I came to America because I want to succeed. The Somalis in Africa are poor. Most of the Somalis who come here want to stay poor, because that’s what they know. They think it’s easier to live on welfare. I want to make money and support my family.”

“Why did you convert to Judaism?” I asked.

“Have you ever seen a poor Jew?” he asked. I admitted that I had not. “Jews help each other,” he said. “It’s a supportive community. They don’t tear each other down, they help each other. I wanted my children to have positive role models, successful role models. I wanted them to be part of a healthier culture, a safe and supportive culture.”

“What about your family?” I asked.

“If my parents find me, they will kill me if they can, because I am an apostate,” he said. “They don’t know where I am. I have not spoken to them in many years. My family is my wife and my children, and I came to America to make a better life for myself and for them.”

“And how is it going?” I asked.

“It’s going well,” he said. “I own a house, I have my own cab, I am saving for my children’s college education. I could have stayed in France or England and lived on the dole, but I wanted to be free to make my own life. That’s why I came to America.”

I was impressed. I shook his hand. It is a brave man who can set himself free from his family and his culture to make a better life. And America is still a place where people can do that, as long as they believe they can.

  1. 2012-05-10T06:07:51-04:00 06:07

    thanks for this The brave ex-Muslim An Alien Mind post… inspire people that looking for.. keep share. :)


  2. 2012-05-04T10:49:17-04:00 10:49

    A brave man and a very intelligent man. I think it’s quite remarkable that he was able to recognize value in another religion, aspire to it, and make the change.


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