Robbie Maestracci gave up a life of crime when he converted to Islam five years ago.
I was married young at 22. I was using drugs throughout my marriage and when my marriage ended, I went into a nosedive. I’d felt like I’d failed at conventional life. I didn’t deal with it well and I turned to drugs and crime.
In 2007, I was sentenced to 10 months in prison for drug-related offences.
I believed in God but theologically I didn’t feel satisfied with Christianity. In the back of my mind, I’d always wanted to read the Koran and to go to a mosque.
One day, when I was having a really bad day, I felt like I needed to reach out to someone. I found a phone number for a cab driver named Mohammed who I’d met a couple of weeks earlier. I called him and asked if I could go to the mosque with him. He asked me why, and I said, ‘Look, I need guidance, I need help’, so he picked me up and took me there that evening.
I spoke with one of the imams and I watched the brothers pray and had this total feeling of serenity within myself. It was that feeling of coming home, of belonging.
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