I Was Taught to Hate Islam
A Greek Woman Embraces Islam
By Tina Styliandou
I had belief in God,
fear and love for Him, but everything else confused
I was born in Athens, Greece , to Greek
Orthodox parents. My father's family lived in Turkey, Istanbul
for most of their lives, and my father was born and raised
there. They were wealthy, well–educated, and as most Christian
Orthodox who lived in an Islamic country, they held on to their
- A time came when the Turkish government decided
to kick the majority of Greek citizens out of Turkey and
confiscate their wealth, houses, and businesses. So my father's
family had to return back to Greece empty-handed. This is what
the Turkish Muslims did to them, and this validated, according
to them, their hatred towards Islam.
- My mother's family was living on a Greek island
just on the border between Greece and Turkey. During a Turkish
attack, the Turks occupied the island, burnt their houses, and
in order to survive, they escaped to the Greek mainland. Even
more reason to hate the Turkish Muslims then!
Greece was for more than 400 years occupied by Turks, and
we were taught to believe that for every crime committed towards
the Greeks, Islam was responsible. The Turks were Muslims and
their crimes were reflecting their religious beliefs.
- This was actually a very wise plan of the Greek
Orthodox Church (religion and politics in Greece are the same
thing) to build hatred in the hearts of the Greeks against
Islam, in order to protect their religion and prevent people
from converting to Islam.
- So for hundreds of years we were taught in our
history and religious books to hate and make fun of the Islamic
In our books, Islam was actually not a religion and Muhammad
(peace be upon him) was not a prophet! He was just a very
intelligent leader and politician who gathered rules and laws
from the Jews and the Christians, added some of his own ideas
and conquered the world.
At school, we were taught to make fun of him and of his
wives or his Companions. All the "caricatures" and slander
against him which are published today by the media were actually
part of our lessons and our exams!
Alhamdulillah (thank God), Allah protected my
heart, and hatred against Islam didn't enter it.
- Other Greeks have also succeeded to rid
themselves of the burden of the Orthodox religious inheritance
placed on their shoulders and they have opened, by the will of
Allah, their eyes, ears, and hearts to see that Islam is a true
religion sent by Allah, and Muhammad is a true prophet, and the
seal of all prophets.
- Muslims believe that Allah sent messengers
to mankind as a guidance to them, starting from Adam, Noah,
Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them
all). But Allah's final message was revealed to the Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him).
It was a great help to me that both of my parents were not
very religious themselves. They rarely practiced their religion
and used to take me to church only during weddings or funerals.
What drove my father away from his religion was
the corruption he was seeing daily among the priests.
How could these people preach for God and
goodness, and at the same time steal from the church's funds,
buy villas, and own Mercedes cars, and spread homosexuality
amongst them? Are these the righteous representatives of the
religion who will guide us, correct us, and lead us closer to
God? He was fed up with them and this
led him to become an atheist.
The churches lost most of their followers, at
least in my country, because of their actions. In Islam a sheikh
or scholar of the religion helps and guides others with full
passion and only with the desire to please Allah and earn their
way to Paradise.
In Christianity to become a priest is a
profitable occupation. This corruption "within" drives many
young people away from the religion they were born with and
leads them to search for something else.
As a teenager I loved to read a lot and I wasn't really
satisfied or convinced with Christianity. I had belief in God,
fear and love for Him, but everything else confused me.
I started searching around but I never searched
towards Islam (maybe due to the background I had against it).
So alhamdulillah He had mercy on my soul
and guided me from darkness to light, from Hell to Paradise God
He brought into my life my husband, a born
Muslim, planted the seed of love into our hearts and lead us to
marriage without us really paying attention to the religious
My husband was willing to answer any question I
had concerning his religion, without humiliating my beliefs (no
matter how wrong they were) and without ever putting any
pressure on me or even asking me to change my religion.
After 3 years of being married, having the chance
to know more about Islam and to read the noble Quran, as well as
other religious books, I was convinced that there is no such a
thing as a trinity, nor was Jesus God.
Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God,
Who has no son, nor partner, and that none has the right to be
worshipped but Him alone! No one shares His divinity, nor His
In the Quran Allah described Himself. He said:
[Say: He is God, the One.
God, the eternally Besought
of all! He begets not nor is He begotten. and there is
none like unto Him."] (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)
No one has the right to be invoked, supplicated,
prayed to or shown any act of worship but Allah alone.
The religion of Islam is the acceptance of and
obedience to the teachings of Allah which were revealed to His
final Prophet Muhammad.
I became a Muslim, keeping it secret from my
family and friends for many years. We lived with my husband in
Greece trying to practice Islam, but it was extremely difficult,
In my home town there are no mosques, no access
to Islamic studies, no people praying, or fasting, or women
wearing hijab .
There are only some Muslim immigrants who came to Greece for
a better financial future and who let the Western lifestyle
attract them and eventually corrupt them. As a result, they do
not follow their religion and they are completely lost.
It was incredibly difficult to perform our
Islamic duties, especially for me, as I wasn't born as a Muslim,
and didn't have an Islamic education.
- My husband and I had to pray and fast with the
use of calendars, no Adhan (the Muslim call for Prayer)
in our ears, and no Islamic Ummah (community of Muslims) to
support us. We felt that with each passing day we were
stepping backwards. Our faith was decreasing and the wave was
- So when my daughter was born, we decided, in
order to save our own souls and our daughter's, if God wills, we
have to migrate to an Islamic country. We didn't want to raise
her in a western open environment where she would struggle to
maintain her identity and might end up lost.
Thank Allah, He has guided us and gave us the
chance to migrate to an Islamic country, where we can hear the
sweet words of the Adhan, and we can increase our knowledge and
love for Him, and our beloved Prophet Muhammad.