With my martyrdom operation drawing closer, I want to tell you my story, how I came from being an Atheist school student in affluent Melbourne to a soldier of the Khilafah preparing to sacrifice my life for Islam in Ramadi, Iraq. Many people in Australia probably think they know the story, but the truth is, this is something that has remained between myself and Allah (azza wa’jal) until now.
My life in Melbourne’s working-class suburbs was, despite having its ups and downs just like everyone else, very comfortable. I found myself excelling in my studies, just as my siblings had, and had dreamed of becoming a political journalist. I always dreamed that one day I would travel to countries such as Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan to cover the situations in these lands. I was intrigued by the conflicts in these countries and I was bent on understanding the motivations behind violent political and social movements. While the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Syria and Ansar Dine/MUJAO in Mali occupied my mind day-in-day-out, I also took interest in the rise of violent street gangs in Mexico, El Salvador and Brazil. Through my research I found a common link between all these organisations, they are made-up of oppressed and neglected people seeking their own form of perceived justice.
But let’s go back a little bit further…