Confessions of an #ExMuslim: ‘Cam’

I interviewed ‘Cam’ late February 2017. Born & raised in Pakistan, Cam left for England, where he subsequently solidifed his conversion from Islam to Christianity. Cam’s story is directly transcribed from his oral testimony, which I noted as I interviewed him.

Summary: ‘Cam’ started his journey towards the Christian faith in Pakistan, where he was miraculously healed of polio at a Christian healing event. He became a Christian after moving to the UK, and although his family were not hostile, with at least one a covert apostate, he has had to move to try and minimize hostility to his family after news of his conversion filtered out and Islamic religious leaders started to come and ask questions.  His siblings cars were vandalized, and it appears that a local counsellor’s intervention stopped these attacks, but when he does visit his family, he only does so for short periods in the dead of night. 

 

Cam is a Christian convert from a Sunni Muslim background. He first brushed with Christianity in 1982, yet it wasn’t until 1997 where he experienced the power of Christ so irrevocably that he decided to follow Christ.

Cam’s struggle with polio caused him and his family to attend a Healing Crusades convention in Pakistan in 1997. His miraculous healing from Polio in praying against his condition changed his and his family’s perception of Christianity, yet they were fearful of admitting this to anyone else.

‘You can’t really admit to a Muslim that this happened but my family knew and they were happy about it’. 

Once he moved to the UK, he started to mix with Priests and through reading the Bible came to faith officially in 2009, the year he was baptised.

However, news of his conversion spread in the northern city in which he lived, forcing him to eventually leave:

My apostasy was getting problematic for my family, they never pressurised me to return to Islam, they were actually understanding of my faith. My dad is also an apostate but a hidden one – he converted after me. But they never told people that I was a Christian, the rest of my extended family are Muslim and since I was posting articles regarding Christianity on my Facebook page, they were starting to suspect. I had to block a lot of family members from my Facebook and limit my social circles’.

Cam started to consider leaving the city when certain Mosque figures visited his home on a couple of occasions, asking about his conversion.

I worried. I felt it was better for me to leave so my family wouldn’t have problems, I thought if I moved out then there wouldn’t be problems. It was getting very difficult to stay …. for long periods of time so I moved out.’

However, Cam’s decision to leave did not deter the violent attacks on his family’s property.

‘A couple of years ago when I was going to {the city} some people came – I was not in the city} at that time but they vandalised the cars, my sister’s car and both my brothers’ cars. They rammed a jeep or something and broke the back doors and wing mirrors, spray painted my sister’s car. This happened on two different occasions in two locations. This was even after I had left! I thought I better stay away from this.’

Cam’s family went to the police, yet it was their local councillor that proved to be effective, in that they:

 brought the baraadari (Muslim brotherhood) and was influential in stating that my family had nothing to do with Christianity…. [and said] if anything happened again they would take action and involve the elders in the community. This incident occurred {specified time} ago and so far nothing has progressed. But I don’t go to {the city} for fear of these attacks happening again. If I do go back, I arrive at night and don’t leave the house. I then leave again in the dark – I don’t stay for long.’

Cam mentioned that he never appealed to his local mosque, nor the local Islamic leadership, as it would draw attention to his apostasy, proving dangerous for his family.

‘The more extremists grow, people become hostile to apostates , they treat them as traitors, they see them as having insulted the prophet, insulted Islam. To them it’s wrong to go out of a faith that is the final faith to them even though they don’t know anything about it.’

Yet despite his awful ordeal, Cam doesn’t regret following Christ. He feels more secure where he currently lives:

I don’t live in fear at the moment, I don’t tell Muslims about my conversion. They assume I was born or come from a Christian family because I give them my Christianised name.  I converted to Christianity and I’m much more happy with my situation, there are people who have become apostates or atheists and they feel very vulnerable with the kinds of attacks they get from their families. I can see that my persecution has been upped because of my faith in Jesus Christ but I have a very supportive Church and Christian friends.’

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