US priest embraces Islam Published: Friday, 28 December, 2007, 02:09 AM Doha Time
An American Christian priest, Severedo Royce, now known as Ali Guatemala, has embraced Islam and was one among the 17,000 American Muslims who performed Haj this year.
Speaking to the Saudi daily Asharq Alawsat, he said that as a divinity student he had in his final year worked as a staunch evangelist. His focus of attention was on the inmates in the prisons of Queen City, Texas.
Explaining the circumstances that led to his conversion to Islam he said: "As a divinity student one had to be well-acquainted with the sacred books of the other revealed religions. I had to read the Holy Qur'an and the very first verse I read was the turning point in my life. It is the opening lines of the chapter entitled "Cow": 'This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah'. It was an affirmative statement about the authenticity of this Book that rules out any suspicion or doubt.
"When I began reading further I found many basic points contradicting my Christian faith. So I sought the help of my superiors in the church. They evaded my questions and advised me not to read the Qur'an too much because it is the "work of a Satan!" As time passed by I became increasingly convinced that the Qur'an is truly a divine revelation, inimitable and impossible to be the work of any human being.
"I went through a turbulent period of inner conflict but I was firm in my prayers that the Almighty should guide me to the true religion. Ultimately I decided to become a Muslim.
"I had to face severe opposition and anger from my family members. My sister, who is a Jew by faith, frightened me saying that the Muslims may kill me. I was physically seized with this fear and stayed away from the mosque for some time. But ultimately I discovered that it was an imaginary fear. My sister herself conceded that the Muslims had not deceived me.
"When I arrived here (Makkah) and entered the precincts of the Holy Ka'aba, I began to tremble and weep in an involuntary manner. I could regain my composure only after some time.
"I have for the past five years been using sleeping tablets for getting sleep. But when I arrived in Mina I fell asleep naturally. It is something that I have been missing for so many years."
Now, I don't care how cynical you try to be in public, you and I both know this is the proof we've all sought to show that believing Muslims are the stupidest creatures on Earth. You talk garden slugs? Nope. You say, maybe, chipmunk road-kill? Ha!. Try .... space dust? Come on friend, 'fess up: it's believing Muslims. Then again, maybe you don't like taking sleeping pills. OK, so convert. Who cares? Sleep it off. We'll pretend you never brought up this stuff. When you come out of it, we'll still be at McSorley's Tavern. 15 East 7th Street, East Village. New York , NY. "Ali Guatemala" who has a Jewish sister, was a divinity student, converted to Islam. Yee, ah. I'm in for that one. Pour me another, bartender, it's gonna be a long night.