REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Joseph Burke was raised in New York. Most of his life he lived as Catholics, ranging from Catholic school to university. However, when he was already understand a little about Islam.
“My father had traveled to Malaysia several times, so he had Muslim friends,” he said. Sometimes Joseph’s family to accept them as guests.
Joseph has always had an interest to see the outside world, witnessed the cultural diversity, as well as religious differences. It was curiosity that led him to learn some basics of Islam while embracing Catholicism.
“I was prepared to take courses in religion and I know the basics of Islam. But I do not really understand much until I went to Indonesia,” ungkapya. “It was the first time I moved and lived in Muslim-majority country,” he admits.
Joseph studied electricity in college and 2 years after that he came out and joined a team of energy experts from General Electric as a technical field. He began to frequent travel abroad to work on power projects and build power plants.
The first time to Indonesia in 1994, he went to in order to work on the establishment of power plant projects. In Indonesia, he admitted that he enjoyed meeting with local people. “They are people who are very friendly and very open and excited to be involved chat with you because you are different,” she said her experience.
Living in Indonesia he began to learn about Islam. Two years later, 1996, he pledged his Islam. I married shortly after that, we traveled again, then settled back in New York in 2002 after a short stay in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Thailand as well.
Why is he interested in Islam? “I have a deep understanding of Catholicism. I think that led me to Islam is a logical nature. As an engineer, I really appreciate something that is logical,” said Joseph.
“That’s what I feel when I talk about Islam and lived among Muslims. I feel the same fraternity that they are for and it really encouraged me anyway.” said Joseph.
When he went to Australia and Malaysia after becoming a Muslim, he studied Islam more deeply. “I take classes and learn from others, and how they brought to me is really piercing and create awareness that as this is the right way.” (Continued)