They are part of the national fabric that holds our country together. They contribute to America in many ways, and deserve the same respect as any of us. I pledge to spread this message, and affirm our country’s principles of liberty and justice for all.
Asalaamu alaikum. Peace to all who read this. My name is Saif Allah Downs. I'm a 31 year old revert to Islam. I was a Christian for many years but never truly satisfied that I had found my home, the place where I belonged. I had struggled to understand my faith and that led to somewhat of a dilemma where I found myself jumping from denomination to denomination trying to find the truth that I sought in Christianity. I looked and looked and looked some more but never found it. I really didn't have that many rules and guidelines to live by according to the Bible and I was happy with that because I was lazy and didn't put much effort into anything that I did. So I was fine with this. But there came a day where I was not fine with how I was living, my belief in God and my fellow man. I was lost. I found my home in Islam. But it was a long trip that encompassed many different paths till I found the right one. But I'm being told by people that are like I once was - hateful and a bigot - telling me that I'm wrong for choosing this path. I can't blame them really, for what they believe. I really can't. I was once there. And the news, other media, and even school and college books portrayed Islam in an uncertain and dark light. But I came to understand that Islam is NOTHING what I thought it was. It is a way of life that requires peace, understanding, compassion, honesty and much more. These things are now what shape my life. They make me who I am today. I just pray that those reading this that don't know about Islam will find it in their hearts to pick up a Qur'an and read. Read the words that Allah (God in English) has given as a guide and a judge of mankind. Please, read and understand.
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I wasn't going to make this story about Islam, just my experiences with Ramadan. But I feel as a conservative (which doesn't have to be synonymous with bigot) I have to say something about the hateful intolerance I've seen towards cultures and beliefs we insulated Americans don't understand. … Continue Reading »
For years, I've been engaged in interfaith work in a variety of ways. I work for the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi (the Peace of Christ). Through my job, I have helped organize a couple of Fall Assemblies at which we had a panel of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim … Continue Reading »