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Book review: “Letting Love Win: How I left Islam and found God”

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“Letting Love Win: How I Left Islam and Found God”, Mohammed Fyaz, Independent Publishing Network, 2018

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Tim Dieppe shares his thoughts on the story of Mohammed Fyaz’s life from troubled Muslim youth to follower of Jesus.

This book is a very personal and moving account of Fyaz’s life and his journey out of Islam to becoming a Christian. Fyaz grew up as a child of Pakistani immigrants in the 1970s. He vividly describes his childhood and the abuse he suffered in a dysfunctional family. He also experienced racism on the streets and at school.  Like many other boys with similar backgrounds, Fyaz was forced to memorise the Qur’an in Arabic, without understanding a single word of what he was reading. The corporeal punishments for the slightest mistake and the continual reciting of words without understanding caused him to detest the Qur’an and consequently to reject Allah.

Fyaz’s conversion did not happen overnight with a dramatic experience or miracle. It was much more of a journey, but one which has led him to a mature faith with a very balanced perspective on the steps involved. This makes the story more real and relatable than some other testimonies that one can read. The journey was not easy. Fyaz’s family tried to abduct him on one occasion, and he landed in trouble with the police a few times. He a suicide on two occasions as he struggled to handle rejection. In all of this Fyaz can now see God’s hand, and is able to reflect on his own weaknesses.

“My name is Mohammed. The story you are about to read is my story, as I remember it. You may not like it or feel comfortable with it. It’s a story about immigrants and Islam: two topics that dominate our media and the world’s politics. It’s a story about abuse: another headline too frequently found in the news. It’s a story about alienation: alienation from my family, rejection by the community into which I was born.

Because I have left Islam, because I am a baptised follower of Jesus, a Christian, I am no longer welcome in you lives, I can no longer be one of your community… If I had the chance, I would come home, I would hug you and tell you that I love you. That I miss you. Tell you that I care deeply about you and about our people.”

Fyaz is now an outspoken campaigner for the rights of Muslims to change their religion as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He is himself regarded as an apostate by his family and lives under threat of honour violence from his former community. Publishing this book is a bold step as it exposes the many problems in his community and is very clear about his rejection of Islam and the Qur’an.

Fyaz’s account is gripping as he leads the reader through his sometimes harrowing story and reflects on his experiences. There are many lessons to be drawn about how attitudes and policies can better help people living in immigrant communities. Fyaz’s story demonstrates that we have a God who can heal and transform people, no matter how much they have been hurt or left feeling hopeless. It is a story in which love wins. I recommend it to all those interested in how we can best show love to Muslims in Britain today.

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