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From Jihad to Jesus

Bashir Mohammed’s Story

The New York Times this week carried a great article about a young Syrian man, Bashir Mohammed, who began following Jesus despite the most challenging circumstances.

He was no ordinary citizen. Instead the embraced some of the most violent extremist ideologies:

His is a story that began in a Kurdish part of northern Syria, Afrin, where he grew up in a Muslim family. Mr. Mohammad flirted with extremism in his teens. His cousin took him to hear jihadist preachers as a 15-year-old, and he adhered to some of the most extreme interpretations of Islam, “even the ones you haven’t heard of.” But when war broke out in Syria, after the country’s 2011 uprising, Mr. Mohammad initially joined the secular Kurdish forces in their fight for autonomy.

But despite his anger, Mohammed eventually became disillusioned with the constant fighting among people of many different Muslim factions:

Patrick Kingsley @ New York Times
Patrick Kingsley @ New York Times

Mr. Mohammad finally began to question Nusra’s motives. Scanning government territory through his binoculars, he says he saw Syrian government soldiers executing a line of prisoners with a bulldozer and concluded there was little difference between their behavior and that of his colleagues.

Disenchanted, he risked execution himself by deserting Nusra, and returning home to Afrin. “I went to Nusra in search of my God,” he said. “But after I saw Muslims killing Muslims, I realized there was something wrong.”

His is a story of incredible transformation, a change which his wife is very much thankful for. As for Mohammed, he explains the change he has seen:

“We used to worship in fear. Now everything has changed.”

Read the whole article of Mohammed journey to becoming a follower of Jesus @ NY Times: The Jihadi who turned to Jesus

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