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My Name Used to Be Muhammad: The True Story of a Muslim Who Became a Christian

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Author: Tito Momen

Published: November 5th 2013 by Ensign Peak (first published January 1st 2013)

Format: ebook , 278 pages

Isbn: 9781609077105

Language: English


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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. His training to memorize the Qur'an began at age five. It was at this same age that he began copying the entire Qur'an word for word. H 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. His training to memorize the Qur'an began at age five. 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 expected 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.

30 review for My Name Used to Be Muhammad: The True Story of a Muslim Who Became a Christian

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily Adams

    I think if I had rated this book immediately after we read it, I would have given it 4 stars, but my opinion has changed a bit after some reflection. Burke gave me this book for Christmas and we read it together this past month in less than a week as we were so fascinated by the story. While Tito's history is interesting and his conversion to Mormonism is quite remarkable, I found myself reflecting on the impact this story might have on the pool of readers who are most likely to read it (as in t I think if I had rated this book immediately after we read it, I would have given it 4 stars, but my opinion has changed a bit after some reflection. Burke gave me this book for Christmas and we read it together this past month in less than a week as we were so fascinated by the story. While Tito's history is interesting and his conversion to Mormonism is quite remarkable, I found myself reflecting on the impact this story might have on the pool of readers who are most likely to read it (as in those who frequent Deseret Book for all their literary choices). You see, with a brother who dreams of being an international lawyer in the Middle East and who has now traveled to Jordan, Egypt, Israel, etc., I couldn't help thinking how skewed a perspective this book might give to someone who's only exposure to Islam or the Middle East is through its pages. Tito's life experience was being raised in an Islamic Fundamentalist community where most people hated Christians had held great animosity towards Western Culture, especially the USA. However, this is not true of all or even most Muslims. I believe this book could put an unhealthy fear into Americans that the entire world hates us and our culture, which is not at all accurate once you talk to people like my brother who have actually been in that region in the world and had many positive experiences with the people there. In that same breathe, that is not to discredit his experience or say that we shouldn't exercise caution if thinking of a trip to that region, but I think it is unhealthy to think that everyone practicing Islam will be hostile towards Americans.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shadow

    "The next time I see him will be on the other side. I do believe he'll be there. At that point he won't be a Muslim and I won't be a Christian. We will simply be children of God." -Tito Momen

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This is a frank and honest description of a very intriguing yet incredibly difficult paradigm shift; Islam to Christianity. Momen had an interesting and unique upbringing in Nigeria which is an integral part of his story. He was raised to be far more observant than the rest of Muslims his age, not only within the religion but also in his village. He was curious and intelligent which put him on the path for a colorful ride. What I appreciated about the book was that Momen does not belabor his own This is a frank and honest description of a very intriguing yet incredibly difficult paradigm shift; Islam to Christianity. Momen had an interesting and unique upbringing in Nigeria which is an integral part of his story. He was raised to be far more observant than the rest of Muslims his age, not only within the religion but also in his village. He was curious and intelligent which put him on the path for a colorful ride. What I appreciated about the book was that Momen does not belabor his own sins, faults, or experiences yet he does not hide them. He goes from nearly militant Muslim who has simple questions, to rebellious and acting out, to Christian to imprisoned. He shares his experience factually including his darkest moments of discouragement and the turning of tides when the miracles occur that strengthen his resolve and testimony. I like the way he tells his story as it does not feel forced or contrived. He is honest, sincere and open. He clearly explains how Jesus is the literal Son of God and how the atonement makes sense in his understanding of sacrifice. It's so simple and beautiful as he explains it. It is also one of the most difficult accounts to read due to the politics of Nigeria and Cairo. Also a very touching relationship shift at the end. http://amusingreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jolee B

    I may be more inclined to give this book a 4 or 4.5, but marked it 5, because I really want people to read it when it comes out (I read an Advanced Readers Edition). The only reason for lower marks is because it is a biography, so by nature, there are parts that move slower. (Not slow, just slower). Anyway, this is the true story of a Muslim who was converted to Christianity - specifically Mormonism - while studying to become an Imam (Islamic preacher) at a prestigious university in Cairo. His li I may be more inclined to give this book a 4 or 4.5, but marked it 5, because I really want people to read it when it comes out (I read an Advanced Readers Edition). The only reason for lower marks is because it is a biography, so by nature, there are parts that move slower. (Not slow, just slower). Anyway, this is the true story of a Muslim who was converted to Christianity - specifically Mormonism - while studying to become an Imam (Islamic preacher) at a prestigious university in Cairo. His life is incredible, to say the least! His is a story of intense faith and hope, throughout his life, but especially during the 15 years he spends in prison for his beliefs. I was really impressed with the description of both Islam and Mormonism in this book, and felt the author did a good job of explaining that his personal upbringing in Islam was quite extreme. He did not lead the reader to believe that all Muslims were/are this way. The co-author, Jeff Benedict, did a great job of tying various stories together to show how small events in our lives will lead to much bigger events later on. I especially enjoyed the tie in of the prodigal son throughout the book. The book comes out in November 2013, so mark it on your calendar as a must read!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jaymie

    5 star story and 3 star writing so I settled in the middle with 4 stars. An incredible life story that sucks you right In. The writing was lacking for me in many ways. A rushed ending. I wanted a little more info on how his father came to want to see him again and his change of heart. What his future held for him after he left Nigeria & just throughout I felt some bits were not detailed enough. Overall I really enjoyed this book and think his story is one to read. 5 star story and 3 star writing so I settled in the middle with 4 stars. An incredible life story that sucks you right In. The writing was lacking for me in many ways. A rushed ending. I wanted a little more info on how his father came to want to see him again and his change of heart. What his future held for him after he left Nigeria & just throughout I felt some bits were not detailed enough. Overall I really enjoyed this book and think his story is one to read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Head

    I read large excerpts of this book in an "LDS Living" magazine with my wife. Sorry for the length of this review, but what an incredible story! This man was raised in Nigeria to become a militant Islamic cleric and a leader of Jihad. His father sent him to a radical Sunni school in Syria and when he graduated from that he got an appointement to a highly sought after Islamic University in Cairo run by the Muslim Brotherhood. Through his own research, questions, integrity and seeking, he came to dou I read large excerpts of this book in an "LDS Living" magazine with my wife. Sorry for the length of this review, but what an incredible story! This man was raised in Nigeria to become a militant Islamic cleric and a leader of Jihad. His father sent him to a radical Sunni school in Syria and when he graduated from that he got an appointement to a highly sought after Islamic University in Cairo run by the Muslim Brotherhood. Through his own research, questions, integrity and seeking, he came to doubt Mohammed's validity as a holy prophet. But he could not discuss this train of thought, for obvious reasons, with anyone there. He wrote his thoughts down in notes/journal form and they were ultimately discovered and he was publicly dennounced, humilitiated and expelled from the University. His father disowned him in Nigeria. He turned to the world and went into Cairo and worked at a night club and became a disc jockey, living a life of sin and worldiness. A close friend of his became a Christian and when Mohammed questioned him about he invited him to his church (LDS). Mohemmed attended and wanted to join, but was forbidden by law. After some time they found a technicality so he could be baptised and he was. His fiance quit him and reported him. His father held a funeral for him in Nigeria and his mother committed suicide because she gave birth to him. He decided to change his name from Mohammed to Tito and was approved to do so, but when he went to sign the paperwork he was arrested and severally beaten for abandoning Islam and defiling the name of Mohammed by changing his own name. Trumped up, ficticious chares of drug smuggling were leveled against him and, without so much as being able to speak for himself, he was found guilt and sentenced to life in prison with no appeal. What follws is fifteen years of abject hardship, faith, serious sickness and health conditions, perserverance, and miraculous expereinces that lead to this man's ultimate freedom, healing, and a deathbed reunion and reconiclliation with his father. Highly recommended and a testament to faith, the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the reality of God's knoweldge and care for His chidren, even in the most difficult of circumstances. I will own the entire book as soon as it is available.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Asim Shaiban

    well this book is attacking our beloved Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him in an indirect way . this book gives an imaginary hope for those who wants to stay as a mormon or Christians . you can't tell me that because a Muslim become a Christian, Christianity is a true religion ask yourself why did he become Christian , what is wrong in Islam ?? where are the mistakes in Islam The writer never give a real reason to show the readers why he lift Islam , what did he saw about Islam that made hi well this book is attacking our beloved Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him in an indirect way . this book gives an imaginary hope for those who wants to stay as a mormon or Christians . you can't tell me that because a Muslim become a Christian, Christianity is a true religion ask yourself why did he become Christian , what is wrong in Islam ?? where are the mistakes in Islam The writer never give a real reason to show the readers why he lift Islam , what did he saw about Islam that made him change his faith , well I did not wait to write all my thoughts here , I was in UVU to ask the writer in front of an audience about why he lift Islam ? but my friend nasr was faster than me and asked him ,but he did not answers and the real problem is the audience were really dispirit that they did not care so I'm telling you clearly that this is a nonsense Jesus himself worship one god and Mormon worship three gods so how can Mormon be a real religion ?? it doesn't make sense and they say you have to pray about it to find out weather it is true or not what a stupid excuse !! they truly sounds like 2+2=5 but you need pray to understand, who need to pray to know that 2+2= 4 !!! anyway , to all the readers who read this book you are simply not intelligent , intelligent people don't waste their time with nonsense ! and this is a gift from me to all readers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRIxw... how did Muhammad peace be be upon him tell about that when there was no super technology , it a true from god without a doubt ……..

  8. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Well, all I can say to my Goodreads friends is, you should read this. Recently written, it's a true story of one man's journey that is very applicable to today's world. A child raised and groomed by his Muslim extremist father converts to Mormonism and pays a price beyond comprehension. It will give you a wrenching view of what it means to live where there's little religious freedom. Our Branch President here in Kyiv Ukraine works for the U.S. State Department and lived in Cairo when Tito was im Well, all I can say to my Goodreads friends is, you should read this. Recently written, it's a true story of one man's journey that is very applicable to today's world. A child raised and groomed by his Muslim extremist father converts to Mormonism and pays a price beyond comprehension. It will give you a wrenching view of what it means to live where there's little religious freedom. Our Branch President here in Kyiv Ukraine works for the U.S. State Department and lived in Cairo when Tito was imprisoned there. He would visit him in jail and accompanied him to the airport when Tito was freed after serving fifteen years of his life sentence.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Black

    This book gave an in-depth look into the Islamic religion which I admit I didn't really know much about. I bought the book thinking it would tell of his conversion to Christianity in general but I was surprised to learn that he actually converted to the Mormon church. He goes through his thought process and how easy it was for him to accept Joseph Smith because he had been taught his whole life to believe in the prophet Muhammad. The book doesn't get overly preachy and mainly just tells the over This book gave an in-depth look into the Islamic religion which I admit I didn't really know much about. I bought the book thinking it would tell of his conversion to Christianity in general but I was surprised to learn that he actually converted to the Mormon church. He goes through his thought process and how easy it was for him to accept Joseph Smith because he had been taught his whole life to believe in the prophet Muhammad. The book doesn't get overly preachy and mainly just tells the overall story of how he went from a hardcore Muslim destined for the jihad to a devout Mormon in Egypt. A very quick and interesting read that I would recommend to anyone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Tito Momen’s Story is one of confusion, searching, falling, and finding. It is an amazing telling of a humble man who could not fake what he believed, even when it was ingrained in him from every angle. I was absolutely enthralled and amazed to see how each event in Tito’s life prepared him for the next one. It was an engaging and inspiring read. I especially loved the themes of self-realization, blessings in disguise, and the story of the prodigals son. I totally recommend this to any Christian Tito Momen’s Story is one of confusion, searching, falling, and finding. It is an amazing telling of a humble man who could not fake what he believed, even when it was ingrained in him from every angle. I was absolutely enthralled and amazed to see how each event in Tito’s life prepared him for the next one. It was an engaging and inspiring read. I especially loved the themes of self-realization, blessings in disguise, and the story of the prodigals son. I totally recommend this to any Christian or Non-Christian seeking to deepen their faith.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    A heartbreaking amazing journey. I was so impressed with Tito and what he went through for his beliefs. I found it astonishing that he would keep the Word of Wisdom in prison. I would think that with food being so scarce that would be the first thing to fly out the window. He is an amazing Saint and I hope he has now found happiness. I found the ending left me wanting more. Did he get married? Has he found peace in Ghana? What is he up to now? I really wanted to know more about his current life. A heartbreaking amazing journey. I was so impressed with Tito and what he went through for his beliefs. I found it astonishing that he would keep the Word of Wisdom in prison. I would think that with food being so scarce that would be the first thing to fly out the window. He is an amazing Saint and I hope he has now found happiness. I found the ending left me wanting more. Did he get married? Has he found peace in Ghana? What is he up to now? I really wanted to know more about his current life.

  12. 5 out of 5

    alaynejane

    Really amazing story and definitely made me think about how blessed I am. So many times people have to go through insanely tough times after changing their life around. I think that's what makes me people afraid to change even when they know they should. This was a really inspiring story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    This book had a profound personal impact on me. I rated it 5 stars for that impact and the life story of Tito Momen....rather than the writing. I enjoyed the writing overall - I was quickly drawn into the story and events, but some parts of the story moved more quickly and smoothly than others. I appreciated the fact that the author made it clear that this was his experience and that his life as a Muslim was not the universal experience of Muslims - nor was the treatment of Muslims with question This book had a profound personal impact on me. I rated it 5 stars for that impact and the life story of Tito Momen....rather than the writing. I enjoyed the writing overall - I was quickly drawn into the story and events, but some parts of the story moved more quickly and smoothly than others. I appreciated the fact that the author made it clear that this was his experience and that his life as a Muslim was not the universal experience of Muslims - nor was the treatment of Muslims with questions or Christians the same throughout Islam. He shared many insights into the different communities in Nigeria, Cairo, elsewhere in Egypt, etc. I was profoundly touched by his desire to understand the 'whys' of his Muslim beliefs in order to be a better Imam. I am a person who always needs to know "why" & I can't abide people who think that it's wrong to ask "why." I may not always find the answer...but I want to understand as much as I can. I also want to share the "whys" with others. I was so impressed with his struggle to understand and find truth. I was amazed at the trials and brutality that he suffered when he became a Christian - the betrayal from so many areas - his girl friend, family, students, friends, etc. The violence with which he was treated for his beliefs was heart-breaking to me. I come from a family which at certain times in its history experienced intense persecution for religious beliefs. I didn't realize until far into the book, that the Christian church to which he converted was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This book made me very grateful for the freedom of religion that I have. It made me feel more intensely about my Christianity and its importance. I was so humbled by the strength of his beliefs and his faith in the face of such incredible persecution and abuse. I would definitely recommend this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    This is a truly remarkable, faith-building book. It was particularly interesting to learn more about Muslim culture and practices in Nigeria. I was also intrigued by the descriptions of Cairo, Egypt and the prisons there. His conversion story feels a bit incomplete, but it is enlightening. I'd like to learn more about his current religious feelings and life. I was also hoping for pictures! I'm not sure where I learned about this book. Somehow it made it onto my to-read list. I should probably fig This is a truly remarkable, faith-building book. It was particularly interesting to learn more about Muslim culture and practices in Nigeria. I was also intrigued by the descriptions of Cairo, Egypt and the prisons there. His conversion story feels a bit incomplete, but it is enlightening. I'd like to learn more about his current religious feelings and life. I was also hoping for pictures! I'm not sure where I learned about this book. Somehow it made it onto my to-read list. I should probably figure out a way to note where I learn of books that I want to read in the future. If I had made a note I might not have been as surprised as I was to discover the religion he joined. I was also surprised by the support and acceptance he received from Christians and the greater Christian community despite denominational differences while he was in prison. I'm curious if the Deseret Book editions are edited. Some things he experiences are a bit graphic and dark. Maybe they have more of his conversion story. I'll have to take a look at a Deseret Book version and compare. I really enjoy reading about people from very different backgrounds who are extremely different from me. Biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies are great that way.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    I would love to meet this man. What an incredible story! My heart ached for him as a young boy living in an extreme fundamentalist Islamic city with a father who did not allow him many childhood freedoms. His life was spent studying and writing passages from the Quran and sitting at the feet of the imam. He was being groomed to become one. His father sent him to a radical Islamic school in Syria and when he was kicked out of there, made him attend an Islamic university in Cairo. His journey from I would love to meet this man. What an incredible story! My heart ached for him as a young boy living in an extreme fundamentalist Islamic city with a father who did not allow him many childhood freedoms. His life was spent studying and writing passages from the Quran and sitting at the feet of the imam. He was being groomed to become one. His father sent him to a radical Islamic school in Syria and when he was kicked out of there, made him attend an Islamic university in Cairo. His journey from a strict believer in Islam, to an alcoholic and womanizer, and then to a Christian is almost unbelievable. But life as a Christian in Egypt almost cost him his life. His faith in God through the most difficult of circumstances is nothing short of inspiring. I know his experience with the Islamic faith is not like all those raised in that faith, but his descriptions of traditions and customs gave me a greater understanding of what life is like for those living in cities where extreme views of Islam practices affect everything in their life. It was heart-breaking. An easy book well worth reading.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mikaela

    Such a compelling true story that gave me a better understanding of both Christianity and orthodox, fundamentalist Islam (which I know doesn’t represent all Muslims, but was still enlightening). Momen grew up in a very orthodox Muslim family/community and his father was a Muslim extremist. After an incredible series of events Momen eventually discovered Christianity while in Egypt. Specifically, he became introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is remarkable consider Such a compelling true story that gave me a better understanding of both Christianity and orthodox, fundamentalist Islam (which I know doesn’t represent all Muslims, but was still enlightening). Momen grew up in a very orthodox Muslim family/community and his father was a Muslim extremist. After an incredible series of events Momen eventually discovered Christianity while in Egypt. Specifically, he became introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is remarkable considering the church is still not officially recognized in Egypt and thus proselyting isn’t allowed. This eventually landed him in prison for many years before he was finally released. There’s some strong content, but nothing overly detailed or graphic... just matter-of-fact descriptions of some of the horrific events of Momen’s life and time in prison.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ginny

    I felt he entire book was long-winded with exhausting detail about every aspect of his life until he's released from prison. Then it ends. Just like that. What happened after he was released? What did he do for a living? Did he marry? Have a family? Ever see his cousins again? I would like to know these things especially after feeling very involved in his daily life up to being released.

  18. 5 out of 5

    A.L. Sowards

    My Name Used to Be Muhammad, by Tito Momen. I enjoyed this memoir. It’s about a man who grew up in a very fundamentalist Islamic home and community, then rebelled a bit while in Cairo attending university, then converted to Christianity, then went to jail for it. His life was so different from mine. Lots of good messages in the book about forgiveness, redemption, and love. 4.5 stars

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    This is a well written book that looks into a man's life as he changes everything about himself. I love that this book does not put down Islam as he talks about his journey towards Christianity. He just relates why Christianity changed his life. I does not diminish the faith that he grew up in. A wonderful journey with someone who has given everything for his faith.

  20. 4 out of 5

    April

    So thought provoking! I'm so grateful he shared his story! We should be so grateful for religious freedom in this country and around the world! And do all we can to promote it and help those under persecution.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kyrie Papenfuss

    Feel very grateful after reading this to live in a country where I can practice my religion and am not oppressed because of my gender! What an inspiring book and faith-filled man Tito is! I was in tears many times while reading this!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Wow! Amazing! Very brave and honest. Highly recommend!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristie

    Due to the gravity of some parts of this book I had a hard time getting through it, but hopeful feeling at the end left me feeling uplifted by the book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    Wow! What an incredible book I couldn’t put it down.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Patti Raney

    Amazing story, of what one man endured for his new found faith.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    This may be a book about conversion, but the thing that struck me the most was that it was really a book about the need for religious tolerance. You see, Tito Momen (formerly Muhammad Momen) was raised under a very harsh interpretation of Islam. He was even sent to be educated at a very radical school that hated America and Israel and preached the Jihad of war. So when he converted to Mormonism, he not only lost his family and the girl he loved, he was also thrown into jail for about 15 years. I t This may be a book about conversion, but the thing that struck me the most was that it was really a book about the need for religious tolerance. You see, Tito Momen (formerly Muhammad Momen) was raised under a very harsh interpretation of Islam. He was even sent to be educated at a very radical school that hated America and Israel and preached the Jihad of war. So when he converted to Mormonism, he not only lost his family and the girl he loved, he was also thrown into jail for about 15 years. I think this is a book that's going to touch anyone who reads it. Tito is engaging, and he doesn't blame anyone. While he has converted away from Islam, he doesn't disparage the religion at all. He does speak against extremism, but I think that is something you should speak against. Now, I don't believe in either Islam or Mormonism (Mormonism theology is not compatible with Christianity), so this isn't a "one religion is better than the other" post. What I want everyone to take away is that we need freedom of religion. What freedom of religion means to me is the ability to convert from one religion to another freely. Even if we think that person is damning himself to hell, or if their family wants to disown them, well, I suppose we cannot make disownership illegal. But what governments should do is to allow their citizens to change religions freely. After all, what is the good of staying a nominal __[insert name here]___. Why not let them choose? After all, one great gift we all have is free will, and we can choose which path to take. And that's why I'm glad to be from Singapore, where we can choose what we want to believe in. You can choose to be a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Taoist or even an Atheist. If you want to convert between any religion, that's legal too - well, your family might not be happy, but you definitely won't get arrested. It's something that I learnt to treasure from reading this book. If you ever need a reminder about the need for freedom of religion, just read this book. It'll convince you very quickly how precious this freedom is. Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. This review was first posted at Inside the mind of a Biliophile

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)

    "I was blindfolded, disoriented, and afraid. I was still in leg irons and handcuffs as two men holding each of my arms pulled me through a labyrinth of hallways. Eventually we stopped and I collapsed to my knees. I could tell that there were other prisoners nearby. I could hear them crying and screaming. It sounded as if they were being tortured. I was so scared. Oh Lord, I thought, Help me. Please." -Tito Momen Whew! This was one fabulous biography! Sometimes when I read biographies I have to let "I was blindfolded, disoriented, and afraid. I was still in leg irons and handcuffs as two men holding each of my arms pulled me through a labyrinth of hallways. Eventually we stopped and I collapsed to my knees. I could tell that there were other prisoners nearby. I could hear them crying and screaming. It sounded as if they were being tortured. I was so scared. Oh Lord, I thought, Help me. Please." -Tito Momen Whew! This was one fabulous biography! Sometimes when I read biographies I have to let them stew in my brain for a little while because usually I feel a little blown away about the great things that humankind has done. This book is no exception! It does have parts that are a tad slower but weren't a problem for me at all! Tito Momen was raised in an extreme Islamic family. The story of his childhood is one of very strict religious rules. I found that part of the book FASCINATING! Especially when he described the roles of women because for this specific group of Islamic people it was very oppressive. His mother throughout the story is such a sad character that finally has her one specific shining moment. It was quite tragic. Tito grew up and went to university and began questioning Islam and it's teachings. He was deeply educated in the Islamic faith but then very courageously converted to Christianity (specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). He wrote his thesis on Christianity and was turned in to his school for having a Bible and Book of Mormon in his apartment. This decision caused him to lose his fiance, his schooling, his family disowned him and his mother committed suicide. Then he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for his beliefs. It's very humbling when you can read a story where you can see the hand of God in someone's life. There were a lot of trials that Tito experienced that had he not had them his life would have turned out very different. When I read biographies that's what I take away the most. That our life is full of small defining moments that shape who we become. Very very good book! I recommend it! "My spirits were lifted. I had hope again. Hope has a way of being self-perpetuating. Hope breeds faith. And faith produces miracles." -Tito Momen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    When I heard about this book I was intrigued. I've often felt that ignorance breeds hatred, especially when it comes to other cultures and religions, so I jumped at the chance to review this book hoping to gain a better understanding of what Muslims believe. My Name Used To Be Muhammad is very eye opening to the practices of Tito's particular group of Muslims. It was interesting to learn how various groups have interpreted the Qur'an so differently. Tito grew up with very strict observances and i When I heard about this book I was intrigued. I've often felt that ignorance breeds hatred, especially when it comes to other cultures and religions, so I jumped at the chance to review this book hoping to gain a better understanding of what Muslims believe. My Name Used To Be Muhammad is very eye opening to the practices of Tito's particular group of Muslims. It was interesting to learn how various groups have interpreted the Qur'an so differently. Tito grew up with very strict observances and interpretations, and even he was surprised once he left his home to learn how differently other Muslims worshiped. Although many of the practices described were somewhat unusual to me, it was the abuse (especially against women and children) in the name of Allah was quite disturbing. I can't wrap my mind around the idea that any non-loving action is what God would want. How can one be so devout and then harm others because they don't worship exactly as you do? It was hard to read certain parts of this book. I felt somewhat uncomfortable reading about Tito's rebellious time of life, and about certain things that happened to him in prison. While I learned quite a few things that Muslims do in their religious practices, I didn't learn as much about why they do them as I had hoped. But, several times in the book Tito tried to ask questions about his beliefs and he was yelled at, and sometimes abused. So, maybe the why isn't really known-at least not amongst those who were taught as he was. My Name Used To Be Muhammad is the kind of book that makes you very aware of your blessings. I am so happy that I live in the USA, and that I have the freedom to worship as I choose without fear of being arrested, tortured, or killed. I am so grateful that as a woman I am able to play an active role in my family and society. I am valued!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This is the story of a Muslim boy brought up in a harsh Muslim Brotherhood environment. Beatings were common for small infractions. His mother was not allowed to leave their property or speak back to her husband. Unquestioned obedience was expected of all, first to the father, and higher up to the local Imam. When Tito went to college he started asking questions (not allowed) and was expelled from the university. Not only was he expelled, but his very life was in danger from militant Muslims. Wh This is the story of a Muslim boy brought up in a harsh Muslim Brotherhood environment. Beatings were common for small infractions. His mother was not allowed to leave their property or speak back to her husband. Unquestioned obedience was expected of all, first to the father, and higher up to the local Imam. When Tito went to college he started asking questions (not allowed) and was expelled from the university. Not only was he expelled, but his very life was in danger from militant Muslims. When he ran into an old friend, a former Muslim who had joined the Mormon church, he was intrigued and asked if he could attend church with him. When the Mormons not only allowed questions but welcomed them, he was amazed. He ended up being baptized as a Christian. Then because the Muslim fundamentalists considered him an infidel, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He eventually was released after about 15 years in prison. I learned a lot reading about his upbringing and the Muslim Brotherhood culture. I've read some 3rd hand accounts about women, but was surprised to find that men are also treated harshly. He glossed over much of his prison time; those fifteen years were covered in the last few chapters. Amazingly, he kept his faith in God through his interment, and gives examples of his prayers resulting in unusual results which he recognized as God's hand in his life. He is an amazing man, and I'm glad he has the courage to write this book. He is considered a traitor by the Muslim Brotherhood, and very well could still be on their hit list.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Josephine

    This was not just a book about a man who served 15 years in prison as a result of religious persecution, although that was in there. It was not really even about a Muslim man who converted to Christianity, specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, although that was in there too. No, this book was so much more than that. It was about a broken man who found healing and peace through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. By the end of the book I was almost in tears (that's This was not just a book about a man who served 15 years in prison as a result of religious persecution, although that was in there. It was not really even about a Muslim man who converted to Christianity, specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, although that was in there too. No, this book was so much more than that. It was about a broken man who found healing and peace through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. By the end of the book I was almost in tears (that's big for me, I rarely let books make me cry) but not because of the terrible things he went through. No, those things just made me cringe. What made me near tears was the love I felt for Tito from our Savior. Tito Momen's story truly is a testament that God never forgets us, even when we may think he has. It is a testament to the fact that God works in mysterious ways. This was a powerful, uplifting book that has made me want to be a better person. The story of Tito's conversion to Christ felt similar to my own "conversion." Jesus Christ is there for us, we just need to let him in, and he can work wonders in our lives. That does not mean life will be easy, as this book clearly shows. But what is an easy life compared to a clear conscience? The only reason for 4 instead of 5 stars is because of some confusion in the text about things. Although I realize the author tried to explain things as clearly as possible, and had he gone more in depth the book would have been longer and boring. I appreciated the shortness of the book, but wished I understood some things better.

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