Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Name Used to be Muhammad ~ Book Tour

My Name Used to be Muhammad
by Tito Momen and Jeff Benedict
ISBN: 9781609077105
$17.04 (hardcover)

About the book:
The True Story of a Muslim Who Became a Christian.

Tito Momen was raised Muhammad Momen. He was born in Nigeria and was taught to observe the strict teachings of Islam. At age five he woke at 4:45 every morning to attend the mosque and perform dawn prayer with the other men in his village. Training to memorize the Qur’an began at age six. It was at this same age that he began copying the entire Qur’an word for word. He was being raised to emerge as a leader among clerics, capable of leading a jihad, or holy struggle, to convert nonbelievers to Islam.

However, Tito’s path took an unexpected turn when he was introduced to Christianity. His decision to believe in Jesus Christ cost him his family and his freedom. Tito thought he would spend his remaining days enduring a life sentence in an uncivilized Egyptian prison. For fifteen years he suffered and waited and prayed. Tito said, “I never gave up hope. I never stopped believing.” Although he was falsely imprisoned, beaten, and ridiculed, Tito’s remarkable true story is one of faith, forgiveness, and testimony that God does hear and answer prayers.

My thoughts:
I need to make a disclaimer before I write down what my thoughts are about this book. When I accepted the book review I didn't realize that Tito becomes a Christian within the Mormon Church. I am a Christian but I have to say when I received the book I almost decided to not do the review because my beliefs as a Christian are very different than the beliefs the Mormon Church has & I am unable to review this book as a "Christian" book. So, my review for the most part will not be on the faith-based side of this book.

That being said there are many similarities to parts of the Old Testament (indicated in parenthesis) and also I thought several times as I was reading this book that Tito left the Muslim faith for a faith that is similar in many ways such as faith through works and actually earning a place in heaven instead of fully receiving redemption through the cross and death and resurrection of Christ.

I have known several Muslim people over the years and in fact we have family that is from Palestine and one of my cousins was raised Muslim and married a Muslim man. I've talked some with them and it's interesting to see how their history includes basic characters from the Old Testament such as Abraham, Jacob, Isaac and of course Ishmael. Tito points out toward the end of the book how God saved him from following Osama Bin Laden and becoming part of the Jihad by exposing him to the Mormon faith and ending up with him in prison for 15 years because of his choosing Christianity over being a Muslim. He talks about how many of the boys he grew up with became part of the Jihad and he is thankful he was spared.

One of the things I found very interesting was to see his shock, amazement and how scandalized he was when he went to Egypt by what he thought when he witnessed the behavior of people he thought were Christians because they were from America and Europe. He was first exposed to Rock Music through Michael Jackson, The Eagles and Lionel Ritchie. Then came cigarettes and alcohol - both forbidden within the Qur'an.  Slowly he drew away from his faith but continued wrestling with guilt. I found it interesting that he was introduced to these vices by Muslim friends and classmates.  It wasn't until he began seeing fellow Muslims who attended the club he DJ'd at and noticed major changes in them that he started seeing a difference between "Christians" as he had been taught were like and Christians who had changed through faith. He was amazed that they choose not to drink, smoke and behave promisicously even though they professed a faith in Jesus Christ. They lived their faith instead of going through the motions - which was the same way he was seeing fellow Muslims behave.

After he became a believer he professed his faith in Jesus Christ, was disinherited by his father, lost his fiance who actually turned him in to "the brotherhood" and ended up in prison on trumped up charges.

This is a very interesting book. Like I said I almost decided to not read this one but ended up enjoying the book from a historical and biographical sense. It's amazing how Tito came from a devout faith in Muslimism and embraced a faith in Mormonism. He went from one very similar faith toward another - only instead of worshipping Mohammad he chose to worship Jesus Christ as well as The Book of the Mormon.

About the authors:
Jeff Benedict is considered one of America’s top investigative journalists He has published several acclaimed books, including Out of Bounds and Pros and Cons. His work has also been published in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, among other publications, and he has appeared on ESPN, NBC Nightly News, CBS’ 48 Hours, and ABC News.

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of this book to read and review with my honest opinion. I was not required to have a positive review and no money exchanged hands. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing!

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