A Turkish author who converted from Islam to Christianity shares how an anti-Christian attitude is a significant part of Turkey’s national identity. She recalls how this identity shapes a suspicious attitude of Christianity and an opinion which does not regard Christians very highly. The secularism which Turkey’s constitution guarantees does not translate into reality. Religious nationalism has put Turkey’s Christians in a precarious environment, and they are further threatened by militant religious extremists.
9/28/17 Turkey (The Christian Post) – A former Muslim, who renounced her faith as a young girl in Turkey and later accepted Jesus as her savior after living for years as an atheist, has opened up about her spiritual journey and also revealed the things she was taught and wasn’t taught about Christians and the Muslim prophet as a kid.
The woman, who goes only by the pseudonym of “Derya Little” and now resides in the United States, detailed her life story and how she went from being a Muslim to an atheist, to a Protestant and finally to becoming a Catholic in her book From Islam to Christ: One Woman’s Path Through the Riddles of God.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Little explained that she began to lose faith in Islam when she was between the ages of 11 and 12 in the early 1990s while growing up in the town of Konya in the predominantly Muslim country.
“It was because of my parents’ divorce. It kind of turned my whole world upside down. I didn’t know anybody who had a divorce. I felt like an outsider. It also made me doubt what else they lied to me about. If they lie to me about their love, did they also lie to me about their faith?” Little said. “When they got a divorce, to find consolation, I turned to Allah and decided to pray more and recite the Quran. Every night when I tried to do that, it felt like there was nobody listening on the other side.”
It was that combination of the divorce and the “feeling of darkness” when Little prayed that, she said, led her to question her belief in Islam and read about the life of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, with a “critical eye.”
“Upon until the time I decided to read it for myself, we were taught that he was just a merciful man and never raged a war of aggression,” Little, who has a Ph.D. in politics from Durham University in England, said. “He is portrayed as an ideal man for all Muslims and that we all had to emulate him.”
One thing that took Little by surprise as a child reading about Muhammad was how women were treated under his rule.