Army Specialist Terry Holdbrooks recently told CNN that he arrived at Guantanamo Bay prison in 2003 as an "angry atheist," but left a year later as a practicing Muslim (audio below).
The former prison guard was impressed by how the Muslim detainees “could wake up each day and smile” even though they were locked up indefinitely without a trial, reports Mediaite.com.
“Obviously there’s something more to Islam than I had been told,” said Holdbrooks.
Holdbrooks started speaking for hours with Gitmo detainees about Islam.
Holdbrooks said his fellow soldiers didn't care that he was talking to the detainees because they were busy drinking during their four days off, reports CNN.com.
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One detainee gave him a copy of the Quran, which changed his life.
“You understand that if you become a Muslim your unit is going to look at you differently, your family, your country…you understand…your country is going to look at you in a way that isn’t going to be good. It’s going to make things difficult for you,” Holdbrooks was told by the Islamic detainee.
Holdbrooks insisted that he wanted to become a Muslim and was converted in the prison.
Holdbrooks said his fellow soldiers didn't mind, but his superiors suggested that he trade in his military uniform for a orange jumpsuit as the Gitmo prisoners wear.
Holdbrooks left the military in 2005. The detainee who converted Holdbrooks was released in 2007 with no charges or trial.