Richard L. Dixon (former Muslim)
Testimony of Leaving Islam
Hello my name is Richard L. Dixon and I am also an ex-convert from Islam.
I converted to Islam in the spring of 2003 while working at DePaul University as the acting director of Dining Services. I had just gone through a painful divorce and rejected my relationship with Christ. Up to that point before my conversion, I had been studying Islam for close to a year. In fact I even wrote a paper defending Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance (I would be happy to send it to you) and speaking out against the likes of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham for being hateful and racist. Needless to say, they were correct in their characterization of Islam and I was wrong. During this period, I was very close to a group of Muslim students on campus because I had helped to set up a Halal station in the Dining facility that I was over. In fact, I was in close contact with the Founder and President of the Islamic Food & Nutrition Council Of America (IFANCA). I was very much into the sphere of things.
I remember the day that I approached one of the student with my proclamation that there is no other god but Allah and the prophet Mohammad was his messenger. After my conversions I started attending prayers at the Student Center on Fridays afternoons. I even participated in a panel discussion with other college students who also had recently converted to Islam. I even made a speech during that discussion detailing my conversion. I remember in particular, one college student who challenged my conversion on the fact that I was doing this because of my divorce and succumbed to the moment and not because I truly believed in Allah. I was quite dismayed in the boldness in his assertion and generally stuttered in my response to him. I replied that he was a liar (typical response when a Muslim is proved wrong) and that my conversion was genuine. Actually he was right and that I was wrong because even doing that discussion I had misgivings about my conversion to Islam. My misgivings reflected on several accounts:
- I didn't appreciate the fact that Muslim Men and women prayed in segregated groups and women were treated as second-class citizens.
- My ritualistic prayers did nothing for me because I could not establish a personal relationship with god.
- How could Islam be a religion of peace when it adherents were at war with other religions around the world.
- Why did Muslims who were citizens in this country have so much disdain for the United States?
- Even though Islam preached tolerance toward religions, why there was none in predominantly Muslim countries when it concerns other religious minorities.
Even with these misgivings about my new found faith I continued to speak, walk, and pray in the ways of Islam. One day while I was closing up, a group of Christ Missionaries from the Moody Bible Church came in and asked that I know of anyone who wanted to receive salvation from God. Well I sat down and talked with them because I say it as an opportunity to defend the Islamic faith against the unbelievers. Throughout the discussion we went back and forth. They were very kind and non-threatening yet quite persuasive. However, I stood firm in what little belief I had in the Prophet Mohammad. They asked could they come back next week to talk to me and I said yes. Well the next week they brought back a young man of Lebanese descendant who was a Missionary as well who happened to be well versed in the Quran. The first question that he asked me if I died right now would I go to heaven? I said that my works here on earth would get me to heaven. He then dismantled my very belief and thought process. A few weeks later, I gave my life back to Christ and starting attending services at Moody Bible church. I did not and still have not told the Muslim students at DePaul University that I have recanted my belief in Islam (I have since left DePaul to seek other food service opportunities) this is the first time that I have publicly come out and boldly state that I have left the Islamic faith.
Several incidents in my life these past few months have further convinced me and validated my decision to leave Islam as the right thing to do. First the war in Iraq has affected me personally because I have a brother over there. For the sake of my brother’s security I will not disclose where he is stationed. Observing on the news, Internet, and to my brother about the horrible things that Islamists have done to innocent persons has convinced me that Islam is a religion of war and violence and not one of peace. Beheadings, the intentional targeting of non-combatants, and a declaration of war against non-believers is not the characteristics of a great religion. As I had stated earlier, Islam is at war with every religion of the world and violence exists between Muslims and non-Muslims in over sixty countries.
Secondly, while working another position as a foodservice manager I have run across and befriended a young Muslim woman (I did not wish to reveal her name for safety purposes) who recently migrated from India on her husband’s visa. In the time that she has been in this country, he has verbally, physically, and sexually abused her. She finally had enough and decided to leave by which time her family turned their backs on her. She was characterized as a whore, slut, unfaithful, and her own father has threatened to kill her. In addition, her soon to be ex-husband has constantly left threatening messages on her cell phone and has stated over and over again that he could come to her place of employment and kill her, himself, and everyone else that was associated with her in any type of way. As a direct result, she has had to seek psychological counseling because of this emotional trauma. She has been declared an enemy of Islam. She cannot seek confide, seek solace, or safety with any of her relatives and friends because she has been betrayed by them. In each case, they have taken the side of the husband because he has all the rights and she has none. I am happy to say that she is staying with an uncle and his wife who has seen past this entire situation and realize that this young woman’s husband and immediate family members have acted like monsters towards her. She is in therapy, seeking a divorce, upgrading her immigration status, and found a new job. She is a thoroughly modern woman who will be an outstanding American citizen. Her experience has convinced me that under Islam, women have no rights and are the property for men to do as they wish with them.
In retrospect, we in this country should cherish our freedoms rather they be speech, assembly, or religion and don’t them for granted even for the slightest moment. In most Muslim countries with the exception of one (Turkey), there are no freedoms and definitely no tolerance of other religions. It is my hope and prayers that these countries soon become free and open to all their citizens as in the United States.
Faithfully submitted In Jesus Christ,
Richard L. Dixon