(Toronto, Canada) Muhammed Robert Heft was born a Lutheran in Winnepeg–his parents from Irish/German backgrounds. By the late 90’s, he had converted to Islam and was soon turning radical, influenced by an Egyptian man “selling America as this big, evil devil that’s going around the world and trying to steal all the Muslim wealth,” Heft recalled.
Heft told PIX 11 that back in September 2001, he was “happy” about the 9/11 attacks, because “at that time, I thought America was getting back what it dished out around the world.”
Heft even served as a “human shield” in Iraq during the U.S. war days of “shock and awe”.
When he returned to Canada, he had a change of heart, especially about 9/11.
“Once I thought it through, and I thought about the people in the buildings, the actual reality of it, of course I realized that was the wrong way to think.”
Heft now works in a center dedicated to de-radicalizing Muslim youth, called Paradise 4 Ever, P4E for short.
He told PIX 11 that Muslims need to assist mosque members they may encounter with radical ideas.
“When you shoo them away, it isolates them even more,” Heft said. “You have to take some responsibility and bring them in!”