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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blog Tour: My Name Used to be Muhammad by Tito Momen with Jeff Benedict


My Name Used to be Muhammad by Tito Momen with Jeff Benedict

Book Description:

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.

Review:

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!

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. 

Title: My Name Used to be Muhammad
Author: Tito Momen and Jeff Benedict
Publisher: Ensign Peak
Published: November 2013
ISBN: 1609077105
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book