Islam setelah 9/11

imageSeorang pengacara Yahudi, Siebert-Llera yang memeluk Islam setelah serangan 9/11 mengatakan ia sudah menemukan ‘sebuah rumah di mana ia dapat menempatkan semua moralnya’.

“Saya merasa seperti akhirnya menemukan sebuah rumah di mana aku dapat menempatkan semua moralku, hal-hal ideal menurutku,” kata Siebert-Llera, pria yang sejak dulu tidak menyukai klub malam dan menghindari alkohol, yang dilarang Islam, bahkan saat harus bekerja sebagai resepsionis pada sebuah klub biru ketika masih berkuliah di San Francisco State University.

Setelah 11 September 2001, Siebert-Llera, yang cukup dapat membedakan antara ekstrimis-ekstrimis Islam yang membajak pesawat dengan mayoritas Muslim yang mempraktikan Islam, memutuskan untuk mengenal Islam lebih banyak. 

Ia membeli sebuah al-Quran dan membaca cepat halaman-halamannya. Namun, ia tidak menemukan ayat-ayat yang sebagian orang katakan telah mendukung terorisme.

Dua tahun kemudian di Chicago, ia berjumpa dengan seorang perempuan muda Meksiko-Amerika di Loyola, tempat ia melanjutkan studi pascasarjananya. Suatu hari, sang perempuan itu tiba-tiba memasuki kelas dengan mengenakan hijab. Dia telah beralih kepada Islam.

“Saya sungguh melihat sebuah perubahan di dalam dirinya, seperti kenyamanan dan suatu level umum dari kebahagiaan. Dia seperti berada dalam kemudahan dengan kehidupannya,” kata Siebert-Llera.

Beberapa minggu kemudian, Siebert-Llera menyertai temannya ke “the Mosque Foundation” di Bridgeview, tempat ia mengajukan pertanyaan-pertanyaan mengenai Islam dan begitu terkesan dengan apa yang ia pelajari.

Ia pun menyadari bahwa Islam bukan sekedar melayani. Islam adalah suatu primer yang mencakup semua hal mengenai jenis kehidupan yang terkontrol, yang sejak lama dirindukan Siebert-Llera.

Ia pun menghubungi orang tuanya dan kakak perempuannya, Andrea, pada 6 Oktober 2004. Keesokan harinya, ia resmi menjadi Muslim.

Setahun menjalani hidup sebagai muallaf, ia berjumpa dengan Huda, sesama mahasiswa hukum, perempuan Amerika keturunan Syiria dan juga Muslimah yang taat. Mereka pun menikah pada 2005. (icc-jakarta.com)

 

image
Siebert-Llera, right, found in Islam all the kind of disciplined life he has always craved for.
(Chicago Sun-Times Photo)

Jew Finds Solace in Islam
imageCAIRO — American Aaron Siebert-Llera never took Islam seriously when he first began his soul-searching quest. But finally, he found in the Islamic faith all the kind of disciplined life he has always craved for.

“I felt like I finally found a house where I can place all my morals, my ideals, the way I was living,” Siebert-Llera told the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday, September 14.

Siebert-Llera was born to a Jewish American father and Roman Catholic Mexican-American mother.

He used to pray wearing the Star of David in some days and the cross at others.

But the 31-year-old never found the “internal” thing he was searching for.

Then came the 9/11 terrorist attacks, changing the course of his life.

He began reading about Islam, knowing enough to differentiate between extremists who hijacked the planes on 9/11 and the majority of practicing Muslims.

He also bought a copy of the Noble Qur’an, skimming through the pages to find the passages that some claim to be preaching terrorism but he never found any.

Two years later in Chicago came the turning point in his life.

He met a young Mexican-American woman at Loyola where he had been pursuing his graduate studies.

The woman talked into the class one day, donning a hijab after she reverted to Islam.

“I definitely saw a change in her as far as comfort and general level of happiness. She was at ease with her life,” said Siebert-Llera.

Siebert-Llera then began to think of Islam seriously, visiting the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois, where he learnt about Islam’s tenets like prayers, zakah and hajj.

In 2004, he embraced the Islamic faith, praying the five daily prayers and starting fasting during Ramadan.

A year later, he met a devout Muslim of Syrian origin and got married in 2005.

The Same Man

Siebert-Llera lost most of his friends when he reverted to Islam.

His family also thought that conversion would turn him into a “terrorist” and lose him his sense of humor.

But he has never been discouraged.

“Right away, I’m like, ‘Papa, I’m not becoming Taliban and going to Afghanistan,” he said.

“I’m not becoming a right-wing nut who’s going to be moving halfway across the world. . . . I’m not changing who I am.”

Siebert-Llera believes that his family has accepted his conversion to Islam.

Just before he was going to break his first fast of Ramadan on Thursday, September 13, Siebert-Llera received a phone call from his mother, wishing him a Happy Ramadan.

The young man still keeps his cell phone handy, waiting for sister and father to do the same. He knows they will

Link :
http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/557367,CST-EDT-muslim14.article
http://newsinitiative.org/project/faith_videos/2007/08/29/aaron-siebert-llera/
http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1189064931419&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

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