An American Catholic Christian and survivor of a terrorist attack in Mumbai last November overcame hatred and opened his mind to learn and discover Islam.
Dennis O’Brien, a Catholic, wanted to comprehend the basis of faith of people accused of committing the attack in Mumbai. He discovered, in fact, the gunmen were certainly not following Islam at all. In fact, anyone who might take the time to open their eyes, open their minds and open their hearts would have to come to the very same conclusion.
On Sunday, just after Eid salat and standing before a crowd of thousands, Dennis O’Brien embraced Islam. He publicly declared his belief or what is called Shahadah: “There is only one God and the Prophet Muhammad is his last messenger.”
O’Brien, who heads the Education Committee of St Anthony’s Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware, says this was a surprise, even to him. But said he was at peace with it. “Today I feel free of sin,” he remarked.
After several months of studies and asking questions with Muslim friends and associates, “I feel comfort in Islam,” he said.
O’Brien, a former Marine who served in Vietnam, also said he wanted to express solidarity with Muslims, even though extremists who say they practise the faith “tried to kill me”.