From hatred to love –A Pakistani exMuslim tells his story.

Sunday, 10 April 2011 06:04 Circe Confronting Islam - Apostates
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I have given this man’s story this title because he said how happy he was to be in Australia where there was so much love.  He said Pakistan is filled with hate and people want to kill each other.  The words are his, written out by him but in some cases I will put XX or abbreviate names or delete sections because his family remain in Pakistan and could be identified and killed.   His story comes to me from a friend so it could be shared.

My clan name XX is shared by some ten thousand descendants of a warrior class going back several hundred years .....   My ancestors share a history with the Rajput religion but today we would be regarded as sunni Muslim.   We have no history of fanaticism or terrorism but in recent times no-one can escape the impact of terrorism and this has had a big influence on my life.

One of my ancestors rescued the daughter of a British officer.  His name was XX which means ‘facilitator of peace.’   My people were nomadic herdsmen who were given, as a reward, land to settle and to farm.

RR asked me what my ancestors were noted for and I answered that we were a warrior class whose strength enabled peace against those who would disturb it.  It is no surprise that given this background, after I had graduated Bachelor of  XX  I served my country in the army of Pakistan.    I attained the rank of XX.  After a period of  X years service, I was given retirement to farm my land.

In 2008, I visited my married sister in XX to see what opportunities there might be.  In March 2008, I made a trip to Sydney and on the 13th March, a man tapped me on my shoulder to prevent me from being run over by a bus.  The man told me to go to church and give thanks to God.  I pause for a moment to give you some background on what God was doing.

God made it clear to RR that the church door of St Matthew’s Manly should be open – it had been shut for about 6 months during the week because of renovations.   RR had been involved in seeing that the that the church was open from 10.00 am  to 12noon weekdays and this had been interrupted.   RR asked Archdeacon Terry Dein for permission to open the church door and he did so at 10.30 am on the 13th March 2008.

About 11 am, I came in through the church door seeking to discuss what had happened to me – that my life had been spared.  I also asked RR who was on duty that day whether he could help me to understand whether I could find the love of God – I was unhappy with the anger of the militants in my country.

RR told me the story of Jesus who had shown us the love of God in his life, death and resurrection and that we can know God through him.   I stayed for the Thursday service and the luncheon which followed and around the table with linked hands I prayed the prayer that RR showed me so that Jesus would become my Lord and my Saviour.  I only had a few hours to follow up with RR and the Reverend Michael Aitken but they had an enormous impact on me.

On my return to XX, RR rang me and assured me that he would send material to help me in my growth as a Christian.  Before I left for (Pakistan), I received what he had promised and we continued in email contact.   RR outlined the nature of God’s revelation in the Bible, something of the history of the church and the major doctrines of faith.

The scene now changes.   I was called up to fight the insurgents in North West Pakistan.   The situation was desperate:  not only was there the undermining of the administration of the government but there was a guerrilla activity of hit and run and retreating to a terrain which provided a network of caves in which to disappear.

My military task was to ensure that UN supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan were secured against attack and loss.  My company and I were ambushed several times but through the grace of Almighty God we survived and killed many of the terrorists.

The local people are not themselves involved in terrorism but there were outsiders from Azbakistan and others including Arabs and Chechans who were mostly thieves, robbers and ransom collectors.   Their intermarriage and tribal interrelations gave them protection against outsiders.  They tried to convince the people to fight against Christians because they were ‘killing their children and destroying their Muslim identity.’   All those who supported the UN forces or the Pakistan army were their enemy.   For one year I experienced the difficulty of war mixed with religion and politics.

I was captured and I spent 6 months being moved from one location to another.   They beat us every day; they tortured us and threatened to kill us.   More than once I was on my knees blindfolded and a gun put to my head with the threat of imminent death only to hear the trigger click and I was still alive.  This is an excruciating form of mental torture.  It took some time for me to realise that their intention, besides our debasement and humiliation, was to trade me ...for several of their jihadists in Pakistani hands.

In this situation, my mind jumps to Manly in 2008 and there came a glimmer of hope that RR and his friends would be asking the Almightly God to protect me as His servant.  I had no news of anyone during this 6 months.   My mind was not functioning clearly but I simply remember being left close to the border where my people found me.

(XX after time spent recovering), by 2010 I had recovered my mind and was given help to work in simple tasks in a shoe factory that was owned by my Christian friend XX.

I have reflected much on what has happened to me and at first my overwhelming response was of gratitude to God for sparing me yet again and so I sought to thank and praise him in my Christian faith. 

The Imam in my area noticed my absence from the mosque and questioned my absence from the services.   I was able to truthfully say that my mind was not yet clear on all that had happened to me – the anger I felt to those who had so abused me and my lack of freedom to be able to worship God openly as a Christian.   I knew that I could not keep up this attitude and if I once spoke the truth that I was a Christ follower (Christian) that I would not escape the fanatical Muslims.   I was in fear of my life because of my service against the militants of the north – they had enormous social networks which would make it impossible to live as a Christian without detection.

I thought long and hard about the future of democracy in my country – the likelihood of the insurgents destabilising even the settled areas of government in Lahore.    I thought of my son’s fate and my duty as a father to be true to my name of XX .   The memory of my short time with RR at Manly was strong and I sought to put things into perspective by returning to where my spiritual journey had begun.

I returned to my sister’s home in XX on the XX 2010.  On the 13th  ..I sent an email to RR.  ..........  He contacted me immediately and I was able to give him the news that I had survived and that I was in XX with a telephone contact number.

I have since confirmed to RR that my family in XX or any other possible contact with XX from the Church Missionary Society would not have known that I was still alive.

RR’s response was to confess that he had failed in continuing to trust God that what He had begun He would also finish and that I would be spared.   RR has said that on the 4th of March 2009, he asked  the senior minister at St Matthew’s , Reverend Bruce Clarke, to pray for my safety and protection and that of Pakistani Christians despite the news from XX that he knew of one officer, a Christian, who had been killed in the north.   On Thursday 5th of march 2009 RR and BC prayed for me and continued to do the same for some time.

I declare that I have an overwhelming awareness within me that I was prayed for in the midst of my extreme agony and threat of death.   Of this I have no doubt, even though it took some time for God to restore me to my present health and mind.

RR asked me if I could remember the approximate date of my capture and my memory said it was late February, early March 2009.   I was conscious that I was being prayed for and this gave me hope.  RR did not know my circumstances and my need for God’s help but he was led to pray with others and God answered.

My story is not just the recounting of how one unworthy soldier who has himself been put in the position of kill or be killed in the service of my country.  It is a record of a spiritual journey which was only completed with RR and his brother X on the 29th of December 2010.   RR challenged me the night before with the words of the Lord’s Prayer that if we want God’s forgiveness, we must also forgive.  I admit the shock of the realisation that following the lord Jesus meant that I should do what He did to those who crucified Him.   He prayed on the cross “ Father forgive them for they know not what they do”    I now affirm today that I have prayed for God’s grace to help me forgive those who tortured and abused me for 6 months and to ask God that they may be forgiven as I have been forgiven.

This is the story of my long search to know that love matters, that God is love and that if I am to truly call Him Father and Jesus, Lord, then I will follow him who says “If you love me keep my commandments.”  I challenge you to do likewise.

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Yes, it’s strange that an agnostic/atheist like myself posts this story but it does point out a fundamental difference between Christian teaching and Islam.   In Christianity God loves all, even sinners and forgiveness is always possible. Unlike Mohammad, Jesus Christ did NOT slaughter, enslave, rape or carryout acts of sadism on others.

In Islam allah loves very few but hates a vast number including all non-Muslims and demands harshness, violence and death for those he hates.  Muslims must love what allah loves and hate what allah hates.   Contrary to the chant, allah is neither compassionate nor merciful!   Mohammad is astonishingly sadistic and violent.

The ramifications of this fundamental difference regarding ‘how you regard and treat others’ are obvious and evident worldwide.   In the Islamic world, any remnant 'others' face the most vicious persecution carried out by the Muslim mob.