From Disillusioned Muslim to Christian Arab Zionist
I am a Jordanian Arab from a Muslim family. I was born in 1989. In 2010, I decided to leave Islam after becoming fed up with all the jihadist violence and intolerance and persecution of non-Muslims. What made my decision final was the realization that this violence and hatred was justified by verses of the Koran and Hadith.
From 2010-2012, I was an atheist, though I continued to seek the truth regarding God and religion, even visiting Buddhist temples in Amman.
I was a university student at the time, and announced my newfound atheism through social media, which immediately turned many friends and colleagues against me. They felt I was backwards in my thinking, and I came to feel the same about them.
As you are no doubt aware, atheism is detested in the Arab and Islamic world. I faced a lot of hurtful opposition from those around me, but I kept my head down and focused on completing my university studies. It wasn’t easy. There were those who tried to have me kicked out because of my stance against Islam, but they failed.
In 2012, I decided to visit a church and learn more about Christianity. I was curious about Jesus. After four months of investigating, I joined an international church under the auspices of an American priest. On the very first day, I was asked to pray for salvation, after which one of the Christian brothers gave me weekly Bible lessons. Shortly after, I was baptized in the Jordan River.
Jordan is seen by many as a moderate Arab Muslim country. But even here, it is illegal to leave Islam. The civil courts are still governed by Sharia law, and to have someone complain against you for rejecting Islam can result in criminal punishment.
This didn’t deter me, and in 2012, I made an online video telling people in Arabic about how I’d become a Christian. Several days later, I was attacked by three radical Muslims. I also received threats from a radical Salafi movement under the leadership of Jarrah Rahahleh, an international terrorist, who used to send jihadists to Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and was arrested many times by Jordanian authorities. Further threats came from others.
I left Jordan, and joined some European demonstrations against radical Islam, but then came the terrible terrorist attack by Anders Breivik in Norway. Given his affiliation with a defense league based in England, European authorities then tightened the noose on the entire movement.
But I had already found my peace. From the darkness of Islam to the emptiness of atheism and finally to salvation in Christ, my journey for truth had brought me to the light of Jesus.
Rami Dabbas is a civil engineer by profession who writes for several media outlets. He is a pro-Israel advocate, peace campaigner, and political activist speaking out against terrorism.
A version of this article was originally published in Israel Today.