Dr Laurence Brown
A product of Christian-American ancestry dating back to the year 1677, up until his conversion to Islam in April of 1994, Dr Brown easily could have passed as an example of a man who lived the stereotypical American dream.
A graduate from two Ivy League universities with subspecialty training in ophthalmology, Dr Brown served as a respected ophthalmologist in the U.S. Air Force for a period of eight years. His term of service was distinguished by earning the position of Chief of Ophthalmology, both at Lakenheath Air Force Base in England and at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida (the largest military base in the free world).
Midway through his Air Force career, Dr Brown's ‘ideal American family' included a wife, two children, a country estate, the requisite two cars and a dog, and the full array of comforts and toys which clutter the houses and lives of those preoccupied with materialism. Yet Dr Brown ended up sacrificing virtually everything he had worked for when he faced a religious conviction which overturned his lifelong priorities.
Following a personal miracle through which the life of his daughter was spared, Dr Brown redirected his focus to religious study in an attempt to make good on a promise made to God. In the process, Dr Brown followed the chain of revelation through the Abrahamic religions from Judaism to Christianity and, in the end, to Islam. It is the result of that study which he relates in his most religiously challenging of books. In the same manner that Dr Brown's choice of religion confronted his slice of the American dream, so too do his religious conclusions threaten to upset the Western religious establishment.
Laurence Brown received his BA from Cornell University, his MD from Brown University Medical School, and his ophthalmology residency training at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. He now lives in the holy city of Madinah, Saudi Arabia, where he continues his work as a medical director and subspecialist in cornea, cataract, glaucoma and refractive surgery, and writes for a pastime.