Wednesday, 13 November 2013

This is an extract from an interview of a 48-year-old Tunisian, now resident in France, whose life was thrown into turmoil when he converted to Catholicism.
After the conversion, the descent into hell?

My wife demanded a divorce on the day she found the bible I was hiding beneath the mattress. The news of my conversion spread like wildfire. My youngest daughter suffered a lot psychologically due to it because at school she was regularly the target of mockery: the daughter of the "kuffar".

In the days that followed I lost all my family, including, very painfully, the affection of my mother who from then on swore only by my other brother, a "declared Muslim" but an alcoholic.

My divorce was pronounced in less than three months and the judgement required me to pay my former wife a monthly maintenance payment equivalent to 400% of my income at the time.

Since my family and my country had left me, I left for exile in France.

You tell of how a visit from the bishop of Tunis to your hospital bed even sounded the death knell for your professional career?

Yes, when I was hospitalised in a clinic in Tunis to undergo a major surgical operation, I had the honour of receiving the affectionate visit of the bishop of Tunis. I was a high Tunisian government official, my minister-in-charge was immediately informed of this visit and the consequences weren't long in coming.

Around me, all the medical staff were thrown into turmoil and I suddenly became the pariah that had to be got rid of quickly. Three days later, they asked me to leave when though I hadn't completely recovered from my rather serious operation. The weeks that followed confirmed that I had been shunted aside professionally.

In the end, I resigned and fell into a profound depression.
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