Thanks so much for this story, and those comms.It is a little hard
for me to believe all of this happening to him, but if that is true,I must
concure.Let us keep in mind, it is not religion that makes people
hate, it is the good or bad spirit that enters those who reign others. And
then again we forgot what we got.The wars and persecutions rose from
groups that did split away from truth, Islam and Christianity and who knows how
many others are a split away from the original truth. We do not know now how
true Mohammed was, or Budda, all we know is what people have transfigured into
our minds.I know there is Truth in Islam, in Christian and Jewis
Believes.Mormons seem to forget that the BM is the most original source
you can get.As long as LDS is LDS it will never ever preach to persecute
other people !
Let's be candid here. There are allot of former Mormons who share how
mistreated they were for choosing to leave the faith. We can cast stones at
Islam if we like, but there is a reason that the Brethren stood up in conference
and told us not to mistreat those who leave. Some members of the faith can be
just as awful to those who choose to leave.
To claim that Muslims were persecuted for many years by Christians really misses
the reality of history. The reality of history is that for 500 years the Ottoman
Empire ruled over south-east Europe, which had a largely Christian population.
Christians were second class citizens in the empire.On the other
hand, even when Iraq and Egypt were under British control, local Christian
populations were not given special treatment. India was a Hindu majority land
largely under Muslim rule for 500 years. Jews might have been more
persecuted in Europe, but they were not part of the ruling class in Muslim lands
either. History is complex, and a narrative of persecuted Muslims and persecuted
Christians is just too simple and does not work with the actual events of the
past. Christian Ukrainians and Muslims Kazaks were both subjected to Russian
There are many ways religion is used to justify violence. In Burma some
Buddhists use it to attack and persecute Muslims.
The cultural fight is much more complex than "Islam" and
"Christianity". "Islam" is no more unified and monolithic than
is "the west". Cairo is not Kabul, anymore than New York City is Provo,
and in fact, NYC and Provo have a lot more in common in many ways. There are many Muslims in both the United States and in other countries that
value religious freedom. There are even some who have signed documents stating
they unilaterally oppose any criminal penalty for conversion. There are Amadiyya
Muslims who are rejected as Muslim just as much as Mormons are rejected by some
Christians, except actually it is more like Amadiya are now treated how Mormons
were in the 1890s when many Christians thought they were doing God a service
killing Mormons in Florida and such places.
This is a very moving story. Tito's family is not the norm of Islam, their
interpretation of it is only one of many. It is not the dominant
form of Islam in any culture. It is a good story to share, but it needs to be
shared without judging and using it to ask how we can all love each other more.
As with everything, the small group of extreamists yell louder that the average
Muslim. They get the most press. The sad thing is that the majority of the
Muslims let them get away with it. They don't stand up to them.Maybe the father grooming his son to be the "Chosen One" may be more
prophetic than he ever knew. His son will bring many to Christ thereby becoming
the Chosen One.
Hutterite to make a comment like that showa while you comment a lot on
these boards you dont know what religion teaches. Look up the first great
commandment and the second one like unto the first and tell me if it teaches
Inspiring. Thank you.
These are among the key findings from a survey of 11 Muslim publics conducted by
the Pew Research Center from March 3 to April 7, 2013. Face-to-face interviews
were conducted with 8,989 Muslims in Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon,
Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories, Senegal, Tunisia and
Turkey.In many of the countries surveyed, clear majorities of
Muslims oppose violence in the name of Islam. Indeed, about three-quarters or
more in Pakistan (89%), Indonesia (81%), Nigeria (78%) and Tunisia (77%), say
suicide bombings or other acts of violence that target civilians are never
justified. And although substantial percentages in some countries do think
suicide bombing is often or sometimes justified – including a 62%-majority
of Palestinian Muslims, overall support for violence in the name of Islam has
declined among Muslim publics during the past decade.Overall, views
of extremist groups are negative across the Muslim publics surveyed. A median of
about a third or fewer have a positive view of al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, or
Hezbollah. And in no country polled do any of these organizations receive
majority Muslim support."(Pew) via truthseeker
I've just returned from a stateside mission, where there are many different
ethnic groups. The church is very aware of persecution muslim converts may
receive and is careful in the conversion process so the convert or his/her
family is not subjected to death or persecution. If the investigator comes from
a country that does not allow religious freedom, the process stops.
@ patriot - please do some research before making broad brush statements about
Islam being the violent faith and Muslims being the great persecutors. It was
Jews and Muslims who were persecuted for hundreds of years by Christians.
Despite their relatively recent history, given that both religions are thousands
of years old, they have more often been aligned in their beliefs than not.
During the Crusades, when the established Christian church sent mercenaries to
the Holy Land to "convert" the "infidels," there was no
distinction between Jew and Muslim. The only distinction was between Jew and
Gentile. Sadly, that kind of oppression and persecution continued in Europe
through Pogroms that included wholesale slaughter of Jews and Muslims alike.
And then, we arrive in the 20th century, where Christian nations refused aid to
Jewish refugees and turned a blind eye to Jewish genocide. Yes, I am a
Christian, but for much of its history, it has not been a legacy to be proud of.
If you want to brand one group of people as evil because of the actions of a
segment of the group, then you cannot leave Christians out, for our history is
far more bloody than that of Muslims.
My wife and I were privileged to live in the mid-east for several years, among
most of our friends, who were Muslim. We had many friends among that religion.
Most knew we were Mormons, and indicated their respect for our religion because
we did not drink alcohol.When you became friends with them, if they
invited you as a Westerner into their home to eat, that was considered an honor.
This even though you were consideredWe do not communicate with them
as time and tide has separated us. I believe there are "good" Mormons
and "not-so-good," Mormons. The same applies to Muslims. There are the
"Wahabis," primarily from Saudi Arabia; the Sunni's and Shia, each
with different views of their religion, but zealots among them are those who
would take Brother Momen's life because of his conversion.We
must always remember that we are all children of our Father in Heaven and
understand them in that context. Brother Momen is an excellent example of one
who is willing to place his life in danger, to religious zealots, for his
beliefs, as did his Savior, and for this I applaud him.
And how often we think out lives are difficult when the biggest decision of the
day is deciding what shoes to wear. Many in the West know nothing of the pain
and suffering so many endure just to be allowed to exercise the tiniest bit of
free agency.Thank you for sharing Tito's story.
"Religion makes us hate one another like nothing else can."If that is true than the inverse is also true - religion makes us love one
another like nothing else can (actually, this is true regardless of the veracity
of Hutterite's statement). People who use their religious beliefs to foster
hatred of others do not understand their religion. We have to be careful to not
get cultural and political aspects of some religions mixed up with the core
Hutterite,Not really. I think it is rather when religion is
hijacked by political interests (as in Northern Ireland or in the Muslim
countries dealing with extremism) that the problem presents.Religion
can be a useful tool to "brand" the conflict such that folks see their
interests aligned with those who are driving the conflict for very non-religious
reasons.Also, religion sometimes is a marker for ethnic, tribal, or
other differences that divide the populace.Note that it will be
religious groups (without political interests) that will provide the relief
efforts in the wake of conflict or natural disaster.
@Hutterite,"Religion makes us hate one another like nothing else
can."I concede that's true, but how many times have you
seen or heard of a Christian threatening or targeting another Christian for
death if they choose to leave their denomination for another? Or leave the
Christian faith for Islam or another religion for that matter? I say never, and
that's the difference! The fact that religion has made us hate each other
like nothing else as you stated is a true conviction of our failure to heed the
Master's admonition when he said "Be one, for if ye are not one, ye are
not mine." To me, it's one more solid proof that the Bible alone was
not and is not sufficient in and of itself to bring us all to Christ. If it
was, there would be no divisions whatsoever among Christians as to which church
is truly the Church of Jesus Christ. That I believe is at the core of all the
It is wonderful to read of this mans faith. Hutterite; Actually politics
and political agendas make more people kill and persecute others. Those who are
seeking control over the souls of other people use religion as a way to force
people to their political agenda. I am always amazed at the number
of people, including atheists, who get a holier or smarter then thou attitude
toward others and then feel they know what is best for everyone. Not ever, not
even once, has true followers of Jesus Christ Killed or plundered in the name of
Christ. There has been those seeking political and monetary gain that have used
religion to further their personal agenda. True followers of Jesus Christ
are not easy to spot, they are those who serve others without an agenda, without
gain or praise of the world. You could meet them and never know it.
Patriot: A false religion is one which forces obedience on its adherents
through threats of violence and outright violence, and doesn't permit Free
Agency. A false political movement is one which forces citizens to adopt the
"party line" and squashes freedom, eventually devolving into violence
totalitarianism. Both become totalitarian, and such political ideologies in the
past century were responsible for the deaths of 100 million people. Could we
have identified the "great and abominable church?"
Religion makes us hate one another like nothing else can.
Great story, thanks for sharing
And the Muslims call US "crusaders"?
Patriot,Do other faiths sometimes turn to violence when someone
joins another faith? Yes, sometimes some of them do.Which religion
reacts with violence? Many would have to cop to this (at least the individual
adherents thereto).The majority of Muslims outside of the US are
extremists? That seems highly unlikely. You will have to provide some
statistics and a proper context. From all the news I get and interviews I hear,
I take it that many (probably most) most devout Muslims want nothing to do but
live their lives and have the extremists leave them alone.I
understand that there appear to be more extremists among Muslims. But I recall
the "troubles" of Northern Ireland. There is also the Lord's
Resistance Army in Uganda.
@patriotand yes the mormon fundamentalist do engage in the same
types of behaviors, I have worked with some of those brave enough to leave.
@patriot The Muslim fundamentalist he belonged to is no more a reflection
of Muslim's then the Mormon fundamentalist are a reflection of the LDS
Church or any other Christian religion.
This was a touching story. Thanks for writing it. @patriotPlease just calm down. I know wonderful Muslims. I don't believe there
is a stat saying that more than one of every two Muslims is an extremist
terrorist. I doubt it's even close to that.
Thanks for sharing this. I too read the abridged story in LDS Living and was
touched in ways that words cannot sufficiently describe. I treasue that feeling.
Thanks, Tito, for your example of courage and faith.
We live in a world that goes out of its way to make excuses for the Muslim faith
and the Nation of Islam and the barbaric way they manage their religion. It is
time we call it as we see it and stop trying so hard to sugar coat things. From
this post we read "one who had been persecuted — beaten and threatened
with death — for believing in Jesus Christ." Now I ask does
Christianity or the Jewish Faith or the Hindu Faith turn to violence when
someone leaves their ranks and joins another faith? Which religion reacts with
violence ...documented and predictable? MUSLIM!!! Yes say it people - MUSLIM!!!
What does that say about the Muslim faith? Yes yes we know it is only the
extremists but the FACTS are the majority of Muslims outside of the US ARE
EXTREMISTS. Muslims in the US live in fear ...even in the US ...to speak out for
fear of being hunted and targeted for death. This sounds more like the Mafia
than a religion. True religion is all about peace. False religion is all about
vengeance and hate.
Wow. Thanks for this story.Twice this week in the DesNews have been
stories of Islam, showing the two faces of those who are Muslim. I
also loved the other story of Aden Batar, a Muslim refugee in Utah who is the
head of the refugee program for Catholic Community Services.The
biggest impression I come away with from both these stories is that the choice
for Muslims is the same choice for everybody else--of any religion, or of no
religion:To believe in, have and exercise love, kindness and
compassion for their fellow humans....Or not.
I read an abridged version of Tito's memoir in LDS Living a few months ago.
The story captivated me and resonated with me and my family profoundly. The
level of this man's faith and endurance is very powerful. I've been
looking forward to reading this book ever since. Thank you for telling your
story, Mr. Momen, and thank you Mr. Benedict for helping capture the words. An
I did not grow up in Utah.I was fortunate to be in a neighborhood
with a lot of boys my age. (always easy to get enough for a baseball or
football game)I knew these boys from the 1st grade all the way
through high school.A couple of the boys went to the same church I
did, so I knew what religion they were.I never asked or knew what
church, if any, the other boys went to. It did not matter one bit.They
were good kids.Isn't that the way it should be?
“The next time I see him will be on the other side. I do believe
he’ll be there. At that point he won’t be a Muslim and I won’t
be a Christian. We will simply be children of God.”I cannot
express it any more succinctly. The more that people understand we are ALL
children of God, and treat each other accordingly, the better this world will
This sounds like a truly inspirational story. So glad to read of something
positive and inspirational!.
Wow, so amazing. We "hear" about such experiences but never get to read
them first hand like this. Thank you for making this available.
Sounds like a good book to read. What I have read hear has brought tears of joy
as one embraces the Love of God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. Thanks for
Thank you for this insightful and wonderfully written story.
Brought tears...just reading this story.
Powerful book. It isn't for a younger audience, as it contains chapters
which are honest in depicting the immorality of exposure to a oversexual
"western' culture. My 11 year old boy powered through it ahead of me
and we had to have some frank discussions. The book is very self disclosing and
doesn't paint things comfortably. It is very honest and the voice of Tito
is frank and honest if not at times naive. A must read for anyone wanting to
understand the cultural battle being waged today in the clash between Islam and
I just read "My Name Used To Be Muhammad", and there is no word to
describe it but stunning. It is an incredible story, and he is an incredible