We can learn so much when others share their testimony. Nonie Darwish, in her book, “Wholly Different”, tells us that Muslims are attracted to life in the West. This is obvious from the millions pouring into the West, yet most Westerners would fear living in most parts of the Islamic world.
What most Muslim immigrants to the U.S. don’t understand, however, is that much of their attraction to America comes from the core values of the Bible inscribed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Like most immigrants, Darwish felt a natural attraction to American culture but did not fully understand why.
“When I came to America I needed to talk, but none of the other Muslim immigrants wanted to open this painful discussion over why we left and the hell we came from. Arab and Islamic pride, shame and resistance to admitting sin all stood in the way of Muslim immigrants opening up to one another. Islamic cultural taboos presents us from verbalizing the real reasons we had all left our homeland. That delayed the process of healing and assimilation. A few never recovered or healed at all.”
She believes that the pain from their native country does not dissolve away quickly. She knows that most first-generation Muslim immigrants live and die in America without fully ridding themselves of the impact of the trauma of life under Islam. They live in a prison of the heart.
“I remember that in my first few years in America, when people asked me questions about how exciting Egyptian history was, I sometimes felt tears coming down my face uncontrollably. It took me almost ten years to fully open up about my past and confront the baggage I was carrying from life under Islamic values.”
As millions of Muslims have immigrated from Islamic nations to Western nations, many of us expect them to immediately view life and freedom in the same way we do. We don’t understand they have much to overcome. Today we have a two-fold prayer:
That God will give us understanding of the struggles they have to “unlearn” from their doctrines.
Pray for a softening of the hearts of Muslim immigrants to desire to assimilate into the good things in their new culture.