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New York Times tells remarkable story of how a Muslim Jihadist became a Christian


Istanbul, Turkey Credit: Filip Knezic/Flickr/Creative Commons

Istanbul, Turkey Credit: Filip Knezic/Flickr/Creative Commons

At the end of March, New York Time’s journalist Patrick Kingsley wrote an unusual article  on the stunning conversion of a Muslim Jihadist to Christ.

He stumbled upon the man while visiting a basement room filled with 22 Christian refugees in Istanbul, Turkey. Kingsley noted many had Muslim sounding names.

Though Kingsley noted that it is not unusual for Muslims to convert to Christ as a ruse to claim asylum in other countries, there was one man, Bashir Mohammad, 25 who did not fit that narrative.

He was a Christian, who wasn’t interested in asylum. It was also obvious he had a leading role with this group.

As Kingsley talked with Bashir, he found out more about his story. At age 15, Bashir began listening to extremist preachers calling for violence. This led him to eventually join the Nusra Front, an off shoot of Al Qaeda, that was seeking to set up a Muslim Caliphate in Syria.

Fighting with this group, Bashir witnessed prisoners being run over with bulldozers and another prisoner forced to drink litres of water and then they tied his genitalia shut with a string.

But when he saw Syrians soldiers bulldozing prisoners, just like his group had, he realized there was little difference between the two. Muslims were slaughtering Muslims.

Disgusted, Bashir returned home and fled to Istanbul along with his wife, Hevin. But he was still a fervent Muslim. Bashir’s daily prayers resulted in complaints from neighbors and he expected his wife to wear a full Hijab.

However, things changed when his wife became very ill. Bashir contacted his cousin Ahmad who now lived in Canada. But Ahmad who had invited Bashir to attend the Jihadi lectures as a teen had now become a believer in Christ.

And when Ahmad asked if Bashir would put the phone close to Hevin so the Christian group could pray for her, shocked, Bashir said no.

But as Hevin’s condition worsened, Bashir relented and within days of the prayer his wife was better. The Koran mentions Jesus several times and though it considers Christ as a prophet of Allah, it also talks about the Lord’s healing ministry. Many Muslims consider him a healing prophet.

But this healing caused Bashir to have a different perspective on Christ. He was more than just a prophet. Then both Bashir and his wife had dreams about Jesus. Hevin dreamed that Jesus parted the sea for them and Bashir had a dream that the Lord gave them food.

Ahmad gave Bashir the address of an Evangelical pastor in the area who led both Bashir and Hevin to the Lord.

This decision came at cost. Bashir knows because of his conversion to Christianity Muslim extremists would kill him without a second thought. Bashir would have done the same thing just a few months earlier.

The former Jihadist told the New York Times:

“There’s a big gap between the god I used to worship and the one I worship now. We used to worship in fear. Now everything has changed.”

This is similar to the powerful testimony of Mario Joseph, a former Muslim Imam from India who became a Christian. Mario said the Koran states that people are the slaves of Allah and he can do anything he wants with them.

What attracted Mario to Christ was the thought that God loved him and that he would become a child of God if he embraced Christ:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (John 1:12 NASV)

God would be his heavenly father, his Daddy. Mario realized this is the type of relationship he wanted with God and left Islam to become a Christian.

Sources:

 

 

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