Umar Lee Converts Back to Christianity

Prominent (former) American Muslim Umar Lee has converted back to Christianity, and the blogosphere and social networks are on fire. Lee was guided from “streets of St. Louis and a working Southern Baptist home to Islam as a teenager,” according to his author profile on Amazon. He has been featured on the Voice of America, was a political correspondent for  (where I worked as well for nearly eight years), and received a Brass Crescent Award for best blog series.

In a video posted on Youtube, Lee cited numerous reasons for going back to Christianity, including infighting and division in the Muslim community, being judged on things like a woman’s hijab or the length of a man’s beard, on apostasy, on how Muslims are killing Muslims, on how he doesn’t know a happy Muslim and a host of other reasons. Many things he cites are problems, indeed. But these problems exist in other faith traditions as well, and there is so much good and change happening in the Muslim community that he doesn’t even address.  Well, it’s too earlyin all of this – and the story needs to unfold more — before we can venture forth an opinion.

Watch his video explanation.


About Dilshad Ali
  • Nicole Bardaouil

    I’m a convert (rather ‘revert’) myself, and although I share many of Umar Lee’s views, but I don’t share his conclusions! Yes, most Muslims have bad manners, but that’s not because of Islam! Most are NOT raised to be good Muslims!!! Anywhere you go, Muslims are like the rest of mankind: busy earning their livelihood, and their main religious duty is to MAKE MONEY!!! And for the sake of that they make lots of the ‘unlawful’ (haram) lawful (halal)!!! Including among themselves!! I’ve been stabbed and backbitten, deceived and embezzled, by many Muslims and Arabs, but I knew that these aren’t the manners of Islam and/or the Prophet you hate so much on this website!!! Most Muslim scholars as well aren’t very good preachers, esp. back home in the Muslim world! They themselves are busy ‘earning livelihood’ and for the sake of that they make the haram a halal thing!!!! They are no better!!! What turned me to Islam were the original teachings, the clear Quran and the authentic hadith, and the example of the early Muslims (Muhammad’s Companions). Umar Lee knows that God (Allah) does not stop ‘testing’ the believers. Allah has tried Umar Lee, and Mr. Lee apparently failed the test eventually. Lee was a cab driver? Who married twice while Muslim. His first marriage failed (reasons???), and I don’t know about his second, but..being a cab driver, working with Muslim colleagues and many ‘bad people’ on the street (including lost Muslim youth), what did he expect? That’s a redneck job where u’r surrounded with rednecks all the time, including Muslim ones!!! You think those have high manners or high level of religious education??? They’re all busy running after money to escape poverty!!! Same with Muslims back in the lands of Islam!!! They are dirt poor, unless they are from the elitist Gulf Arabs or the higher class of any Muslim society (which remains a minority, of course)!

    Umar Lee, you’re a sad failure. I had a feeling something wasn’t quite well about you, ever since I read your “the Rise and Fall of Salafi Da’wah in the West” on your blog..maybe n 2005 or 2006? Not sure… but,…you and all the Salafi converts in your stories…were so ignorant, you ‘over-did’ things, you had a burnout (And in ur case…u r an extreme example)!!!! But this has happened in the dawn of Islam, it’s not something to taunt Islam about!!! It’s the fault of the ‘apostate’ for his lack of knowledge and right perspective on matters surrounding him!!!! Converts drown themselves in an INSANE level of spiritual overdose, due to their extreme excitement!!! OF COURSE when all they do is breathing Islam, eating Islam, discussing Islam, Islam this, Islam that, …you get TIRED eventually!!!!!!!!!! They overkilllllll the religion with their discussions and analyses!!!!!! And they expose themselves to all kinds of peoples, esp. the poor ones who are vulgar, thieves and stupid, regardless of their religion!!!!! What did he expect??? Thsoe were the type of people he surrounded himself with!!!!! They drove him up the wall, then to the pit of Hell!!!! They almost did that to me but I knew better than to judge Allah or Muhammad for the faults of their sloppy followers!!!! No one does that!!!!

    • Noor

      What a snobbish hateful comment.

    • Avni El Terible Kuka

      You’re absolutely right my beautiful sister in Islam. And may Allah (Swt) continue to make you a shining light in everything that you do.

      Following Umar lee on facebook, and on his youtube channel and even on his website for over a year it was pretty clear. The man had no interest in Islam in general. He is only interested in Islam as a trend. The movements, and the culture behind the African American Muslims in America. It’s very simple.

      Anyway, to all you hating devils on this webiste, Islam lives quite well in this Caucasian European mans house, and it will continue to prosper inshaAllah.

  • Fahim Ayman Faruk

    If his reasons for embracing Islam were built on shaky ground, then it’s no wonder that changes in emotional states and attachment, perceptions, paradigm shifts etc. (all inherently rooted in some psychological phenomena or another) will cause one to leave. That’s why Islam encourages us to attain verified faith that is firm and unshakeable, and it was for this reason that coming to Islam for me, from agnostic atheism, involved getting at the very core roots of (1) the existence of God, (2) the miracle of the Qur’an, (3) the veracity of Islam as an overall worldview, and (4) the prophet hood of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wassalam).

    Because now, even if I’m distressed at the state of the Ummah, how far we’ve fallen, or the personal problems of individual Muslims and communities–if I am to be rationally consistent, absolutely none of these undermines the truth of (1) to (4), and therefore does not impact the veracity of Islam. In fact, the more you immerse yourself in Islam, and understand (3), you realize that the totality of the set of beliefs that Islam imparts in a believer who is open, about the world, is only mirrored in phenomena like the Ummah’s problems. We already know that these problems were foretold, and their existence affirms that when you stray from genuine guidance–bad stuff happens. Yet, Islam equips us with the necessary tools and beliefs to attain self-empowerment and change ourselves so that global change becomes possible and real.

    He says: “I don’t know a single happy Muslim.” I know many, but that’s besides the point. All we need to ask is: was the one who embodied Islam to the fullest, despite the most difficult of situations, verifiably happy? Namely, was the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wassalam) happy? No doubt he was. Nuff said. What led this brother away from Islam wasn’t reason, logic, or evidence–it was the pitfalls of deifying your own limited human subjectivity.

    • Safiya Outlines

      Salaam Alaikum,

      Masha Allah what an excellent comment. I would have just said that people get so caught up in being Muslim, they forget about Allah and you have broken down exactly why that is so harmful to one’s iman.

      The Book of Assistance starts with Certainty for a very good reason, for this should be the starting point of our Islam.

    • Noor

      “Because now, even if I’m distressed at the state of the Ummah, how far we’ve fallen, or the personal problems of individual Muslims and communities–if I am to be rationally consistent, absolutely none of these undermines the truth of (1) to (4),”

      Not if you think that the reasons of these problems are Islam’s teachings.

  • Uncle Davey

    The video you linked to – the message says this video does not exist. Evidently it has upset some folk who don’t like freedom of speech…