Now a Christian, Former Muslim Feared Family's Retribution
by Fred Jackson
(AgapePress) - A Christian evangelist who was raised a Muslim says her parents disowned her when she moved out of their home and became a Christian. And she says she even feared for her life.
Maha McDiarmid was born in Chicago. But as the daughter of Islamic parents, she grew up in a society where women are treated as second-class citizens. So at age 19, she decided to leave home.
"I always felt like there was something outside my home that I wasn't getting inside my home," McDiarmid says. "When I moved out, my parents disowned me. For a while I was a bit in fear of my life because there are these things called 'honor killings'."
She explains what "honor killings" are. "I'm not sure if you've ever heard of them, but the family name needs to be redeemed somehow," she says, "and that's usually by their killing or institutionalizing or deporting the woman who's left or dishonored the family name."
She says her family disowned her with good reason. "A Muslim girl just doesn't move out of her house - that's not something that's done," she says. "The only reason that I'd ever have to move out of my house is if I was getting married."
"So I'm either living with my husband or my father - and if my father wasn't alive, then with a brother or an uncle," she says. "But I'd never just be living on my own ... not, at least, from the background that I came from."
But even though McDiarmid was disowned by her earthly family, she soon found a replacement when a friend helped lead her to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now both she and her husband, Dean, work as evangelists for Jews for Jesus.