Aaron Siebert-Llera would wake up wearing the Star of David one day and a cross the next.
But the religion he eventually chose was neither his father’s Jewish faith nor his Mexican-American mother’s Roman Catholicism.
He chose Islam.
“I felt like I finally found a house where I can place all my morals, my ideals, the way I was living,” says Siebert-Llera, who was a wallflower at nightclubs and shunned alcohol, which is prohibited by Islam, even when working the front door at a blues club while in college at San Francisco State University.
Siebert-Llera lost most of his friends when he converted three years ago.
His parents, who divorced when he was 7, thought it was a phase. They feared that their son, a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan who grew up in Madison, Wis., and California, would abandon his sense of humor and stop voting for Democrats and Green Party candidates.
Siebert-Llera’s father, Jack, who teaches English as a second language, was particularly concerned.
Jack Siebert served on a scholarship committee with the father of John Walker Lindh, the infamous “American Taliban” captured in Afghanistan shortly after Sept. 11, and he worried that his youngest child might go the same route.
“Right away, I’m like, ‘Papa, I’m not becoming Taliban and going to Afghanistan. I’m not becoming a right-wing nut who’s going to be moving halfway across the world. . . . I’m not changing who I am,” says Siebert-Llera, 31, a student at Loyola University’s law school. (MORE)