… Searching for a point of focus to release this rage, I became associated with a paramilitary racist group of young adults. I participated in regular assaults on people and engaged in various criminal activities. At 16, I found myself incarcerated, serving a six and one half-year sentence … for robbery, assault, and weapons charges. Immediately I fell in step with the gangs of ‘white supremacy’ and cultivated my rage and anger into pure ‘Hate’ of all people who were not ‘Anglo Saxon’.
I began correspondence with the KKK and, upon my release on parole, I was a full fledged card-carrying hate monger. For the next three to four years, my activities were heavily involved with Klan cross-burnings, media appearances, night raids of beatings, property desecration, etc. My parole was violated for possession of weapons and suspicions of robberies.
With this last violation of parole, at the age of 20, the search for peace began. I had so much rage and hatred inside me for so many years, it was beginning to consume me from the inside out. I lashed out at the prison staff in hatred. I had anger and hate literature, graffity drawings covering my cell walls, and tattoos covering half my upper body; I was not exploding, but imploding…
[The search for truth] began upon my arrival at Federal prison. An African American offered to assist me in my cosmetic needs. He said he was a Muslim and Muslims are commanded to help those in need. It struck my interest to check this Islamic thing out. But I was under the impression that this was a religion exclusively for African Americans. I was thinking, no way can I become a Muslim. I am White!
Still, I asked this brother for some literature on Islam. I found out about the universality of it, how it transcends color, ethnicity and race. It sounded real, pure. It began to appeal to me. This brother invited me to Jumuah service. I was given a Qur’an, and as I read the translation, I felt the purity of it, the truth of it. There was no hocus-pocus, no spookism, no mysticism, just plain, simple understanding ‘Truth’. When I heard the Adhan (the call for the prayer) I felt closeness to God that penetrated my heart and soul.
After some research and study of the Qur’an, I discovered its total infallibility, no contradictions in it. There are religions based on believing in certain sciences, multiple deities, the religion of three-gods-in-one. I was a thinking man and none of them made any logical sense to me.
Here was Islam, based on the belief in one God, who created the creation itself out of nothing, and the fact that this book I was reading (Qur’an) had not one vowel or language character changed in over 1400 years was a miracle in itself. Thus, I was sold on the oneness of God and the unity of Islam.
From the book: The Sun is Rising in the West: New Muslims tell their story about their journey to Islam. Muzaffar Haleem and Betty Bowman, Amana Publications. Copyright http://IslamiCity.com