Danielle LoDuca is an American author from Oakdale New York. Although she was raised Catholic Christian, she later chose to be agnostic (i.e. skeptic of God) and viewed all religions with disdain. In 2002 she accepted Islam after studying the Quran and travelling to the middle east. Here is her story:
I never aspired to be a Muslim, I didn't even want to be a Christian. The whole concept of 'organized religion' was distasteful. I sought to use my mind, not resort to some ancient book for assistance in living my life. If you had offered me millions of dollars to join one faith or another, I would have declined. One of my preferred authors was Bertrand Russell, who maintained that religion is little more than superstition and generally harmful to people, despite any positive effects that it might have.
I remember laughing out loud while reading the book 'Hey, Is That You God?' by Dr. Pasqual Schievella, in which he derided the concept of God through satirical dialogue. It all seemed so logical. Thinkers like us were surely above religious devotees, I thought smugly.
On September 11, 2001, I had class at 9am at my university in Brooklyn. We had a large window facing the Twin Towers. I arrived in my classroom that morning to find one of the Twin Towers burning. I joined a few other classmates looking out the window at this very startling sight, wondering what had happened and imagining all the damage done and possible lives lost. We were all utterly shocked as we watched the second plane slam into the other tower. To me, the plane looked like some sort of military plane due to the angle I saw it from and the shadow causing the plane to appear black. My class was dismissed. I went back to my apartment and by the time I got up to the roof of my building the towers had collapsed. It really bothered me that the message of the perpetrators of the attack was not made clear at that time. I wanted real answers. My peaceful fantasy world was shattered on this day.