Involved with the neo-Nazi skinhead movement, Marc Springer grew up as an anti-Islam, anti-Muslim racist. His passion into reading eventually led him to read about Islam and Muslims, and finally to Islam, turning around his life completely from disbelief to a devoted worshipper of Allah. He says: People say that miracles do not happen today, but I would contend that my story proves them wrong:
I started to look into Islam, its history and beliefs. This was when the Internet was gaining in popularity so I used both paper texts and sources from the Internet to help me gain an understanding on the basics of Islam and its history. At this time I was living in Washington state and was not aware of a Muslim community there, so there was really no one I knew with whom I could talk to. Shortly after this my wife’s job transferred her to England so this was all about to change.
When I got to England my interests strayed for a while. I was in a new country with a long and rich history, so I spent a few years exploring this history and traveling all over Europe. But from time to time events would draw my attention back to the Middle East and the politics there. I was now in a country with a long-standing and well-established Muslim community, although the town I lived in didn’t have any such community. I began now to read in earnest about Islamic beliefs, ideology, and history. I also started reading The Qur’an.
From the very beginning some things struck a chord with me and answered doubts I had always had concerning the religion I was raised in. I had always taken issue with the idea that God would ever have offspring. From my reading I recognized this belief as one pulled from pagan sources. Zeus, Odin, and numerous other pagan gods all had children.
In the case of Odin, his followers even believed he hung on a tree, much like Christians believe that Jesus (pace be upon him) hung on a cross. Odinists, the name given to the followers of this ancient Northern European religion, also believed in a trinity of sorts formed by Odin, his son Thor, and his consort Freja. It was clear this innovation of the Christians did not have its basis in God, but in previous pagan beliefs.
The other issue that I had always struggled with was the concept of original sin. The idea that God could be so unjust as to hold myself and everyone else responsible for the sins of others who died thousands of years before me just seemed so unjust. I had a basic concept of God, and the idea He could be so unjust to do such a thing just did not sit well with me. It always seemed to me that Christians just didn’t have the answer to these questions, and if they did, their answers just reinforced these unjust positions. I looked to Judaism, but that religion offered more questions than answers as well. Their attitude towards the prophets, peace be upon them all, was disgraceful. Their religious texts accused these greatest of men of the most terrible crimes and I refused to believe God would pick such men to lead his people on earth. If Judaism held such beliefs how could I look to them for guidance?
It seemed clear that Islam had all of the answers. It cleared up the confusion of the lie of the trinity, and asserted Jesus’ (peace be upon him) true role as a prophet, and not the son of God. Islam revered all of the prophets, peace and blessings of God be upon them, and recognized them for the great people they were. In Islam, and the values it promotes, I saw the answer to my problems and questions, and the future of mankind. The issue was to now try to implement Islam in my life.
I have said before, I had married a woman who came from the same background as I did. She didn’t have an easy time dealing with my interest in this subject, whether it be Islam or Middle Eastern politics. I knew the way I needed to change my life to start living in a proper manner was going to cause us serious issues. It eventually came to the point where I would be unable to practice my newfound religion and stay married to this lady, so we split up. Before I left England I went with a young Lebanese man I had met to London where I said my Shahada in a mosque there.
When I left my ex wife I was forced to leave England. I would have loved to stay there because the opportunity to learn about my newfound religion there would have been great, but Alhamdulillah, I was to learn later why God chose this turn of events for me. I quickly got a job working for the US government in Alaska.
Of course there is not much in the way of a Muslim community in Alaska, and what there is centered in Anchorage and Fairbanks. I was working hundreds of miles from either of these cities, so I took the opportunity to continue reading and searching out information concerning Islam the best I could, from the Internet and other sources.
I traveled from time to time to the Washington DC area for business. I made friends here within the Muslim community. At this point I had been thinking about getting married.
To be continued next week
– Courtesy: islamicbulletin.org