Conversion to Islam – a Personal Story
By Thomas L. Cranmer*
Saturday, December 19th, 2015 @ 3:51PM
A fearful twist on the boy meets girl story: Except this time it is a Muslim girl. No, she was not the one in the terrorist murders of 14 people in San Bernardino. But she was a smart, beautiful. fanatic Pakistani Muslim from a wealthy, well-educated family, whose father was an engineer with a major airline, working in Singapore.
The boy was a bright Hindu boy fluent in English from a wealthy Indian family. His mother was a doctor trained in England as a surgeon and owner of a small hospital. His father was an English-speaking engineer with a tractor company. As a condition of the boy’s visa, my wife and I sponsored the boy and guaranteed to the U.S. State Department that we would be responsible for paying his expenses if his parents did not.
Both the girl and boy got student visas 25 years ago to come to the U.S. to study at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The University specialized in attracting students from abroad that could pay the high fees. They met in their first year and fell in love. But the University went bankrupt. With my help and a professor’s influence, the boy was admitted to Columbia Graduate School of Business for an MBA program. The University of Houston admitted the girl.
The girl got high grades in Houston, but also became active in one of the most virulent radical Muslim student organizations in the U.S. The boy and girl stayed in close touch. When they graduated they were married in 1998. However, the girl’s conditions for the marriage were the boy must agree:
- to become a Muslim,
- to change his name to a Muslim name,
- to go on a jihad,
- to cease friendship with Christians (including us) and
- to cease contact with the boy’s parents.
This was a slap in our faces. We had treated the boy as a son and made big efforts to settle him into the U.S. They both had stayed in our house and even gone with us to a company picnic. Some of the people in my company thought the boy and girl were our children, even though the girl was dressed in colorful Pakistani attire.
It was a devastating blow to the boy’s parents. They had been driven out of Pakistan in 1947 when Pakistan separated from India and millions were killed. Pakistani Muslims took the parents’ properties and other assets without compensation. Muslim “friends” of theirs reported where some of her family were hiding, turned them in to authorities, and they were subsequently killed. No surprise the parents hated the Muslims for their treatment.
The boy and girl had a baby, but they refused to tell the boys’ parents they had a grandchild.
The boy’s mother delivered both of our children in New Delhi, India. We had known her and her family for four years while I was there for four years with the State Department. The mother and father had stayed at our home in Virginia after we moved back to the U.S. They now blame us for allowing their son to convert to an Islamist, and no longer speak to us.
We even gave the boy and girl a used car; then they ceased contact with us. I know how insular the Muslim culture is, but it was a surprise the normal veneer of friendship and cooperation disappeared. Most Muslims were friendly, but their life styles and true attitudes are completely different from western cultures.
I studied three Islamic languages with the Imam of the largest mosque in India over three years, lived in a Muslim section of New Delhi during four years and spent decades working and travelling in almost every Muslim country of the world, including Iran, Syria and Iraq. The cultures are very conformist, due to strict, standard training of the religious leaders in the Koran and little or no liberal arts training about world philosophies. Debate and openness to new ideas are discouraged. Little South Korea has more patents than the entire Muslim Middle East.
The Koran teaches that non-Muslims are inferior, encourages hostility and supports a comprehensive political system of domination. The Koran provides “… rules not only for manners and hygiene, marriage and divorce, and the treatment of children, slaves and animals, but also for commerce and politics, interest and debts, contracts and wills, industry and finance, crime and punishment, war and peace.” (The Age of Faith, Will Durant, p. 179)
The Muslim calendar starts with 16 July 622 with the flight (hijra in Arabic) of Muhammed from Mecca, Saudi Arabia and the start of Muslim attempts to conquer the world. By 699 Muslims took over the eastern area up to the Indus River at the edge of India. They were defeated in 717 when they tried to take over what is now Istanbul, Turkey (the center of the eastern Christian empire). Islamists took over north Africa and Spain, but were defeated in the 732 battle of Tours, France, but retained Spain from 710 until 1491. They still rule north Africa. Islamists finally conquered Istanbul in 1453 and took over much of eastern Europe in the early 1500s until 1923. In 1529 the Muslim Turks besieged Vienna and again in 1683. A Turkish vizier hanged the Greek patriarch for writing a letter around 1660 predicting Christianity would defeat Islam.
This history is alive and well in the minds of Islamists. They see the efforts for long-term domination as a matter of persistence and patience. Recent surveys show 10-40% of Muslims support violent attacks against “infidels”. They are succeeding in killing and driving out Christians from the Middle East.
We have no idea what has happened to the couple, but their hostility is an indication the Islamists are continuing to push forward.
* Thomas L. Cranmer is a Fellow at ACD.