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Aug-06-2009 23:50printcomments

Book Review: Storm Over Morocco Reveals Mysteries of Islam

Frank Romano sought to learn the mysteries of Islam, and on many levels, in numerous ways, he literally became one of the very mysteries that his journey beckoned to find.

Storm Over Morocco book cover
Visit Storm Over Morocco to purchase a copy.

(SALEM, Ore.) - A firestorm of indoctrination; that is one term you could use to describe the experience of Frank Romano, who plunged into the deepest shadowy depths of all the world's major religions, faiths... and belief systems - in a life-changing journey.

The third edition of his book, Storm Over Morocco, shows a side of Islam that even studied readers and many Muslims themselves don't know.

The world changed more dramatically for this man from the west coast states of California and Oregon than he ever imagined possible. It began after he moved to Paris to study religion and theology, and eventually ventured to Morocco to find what wasn't taught at school. It was the beginning of a journey that would take him to the very edge of existence.

Frank Romano sought to learn the mysteries of Islam, and on many levels, in numerous ways, he literally became one of the very mysteries that his journey beckoned to find.

I also have tried to discover truth about Islam in my travels, spending time with many Muslim people, always trying to enhance my understanding of their belief structure and values. Like many before me, I have seen the amazingly good side of it, and I have seen a very dark side of it also.

It is the same thing I see in my own native religion, Christianity, or in Judaism. Religious expressions frequently bear little resemblance to its teachings.

But only a small handful of world travelers have seen Islam from the perspective of Frank Romano. His perilous journey of inspiration left him with an overview that would be very difficult to replicate.

Most curious Western minds will find these chapters hard to put down. Romano's writing leaves an indelible impression as he fills in the colors and then reduces the light so that you are reading from the shadowy rooms - illuminated only by candles that flicker dimly throughout a Muslim mission that more closely resembled a fortress.

To make these long-sought discoveries, this author had to enter a world that his friends in Casablanca repeatedly warned him against.

He would ultimately live the life of a monk with a magnetic attraction to the brotherhood of Islam. In this world he learned what real religious devotion is... and means. But the connection to the other faiths of the world, normally recognized by Muslim people, was non existent at the Mission where he would ultimately live as a prisoner.

Frank Romano existed within a radical Muslim sect. While he was initially accepted, he came to be distrusted. Perhaps it was impossible for this American from France to ever be fully trusted. He was ultimately accused of being a Zionist spy. Before it was over he would endure an Inquisition, and worry if he would be publicly lynched.

He arrived at a point where he knew he had to escape the oppressive control. It was not a decision he easily reached, but fear for one's life is motivating. Confusion over the right answers hung like a haze in the air.

But then one day as he was meditating, he began humming, and gaining a focus he had never known. It all became clear and Frank Romano realized that he was right all along; the message of all religious teachings is universal love. It is there for all to see and feel and know.

"I felt I had discovered something deep within as a result of the last few months of self-searching. Subsequent thoughts flowed like a waterfall from the same place as the mysterious force flowing in and through me."

Romano says he felt as though he had accessed the wavelength of the supreme consciousness.

"The secrets of the Bible, the Torah, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Vedas, the Qur'an, the Buddhist Scriptures, were somehow unlocked, revealing the truth linking all peoples, races, worlds- even universes."

Romano's book is an adventure and an education. I feel I learned a great deal from it and I don't think you have to be a previous student of Morocco or Islam or religion at all to appreciate it. Finally, it is extremely important to note that Storm Over Morocco is not a criticism of Islam, instead it portrays Romano as a student who learned a great deal from that religion.

In his own words, "The book is an autobiographical narrative about my spiritual path and about fundamentalist religions and brainwashing techniques. It also discusses the status of women in orthodox/fundamentalist Islamic communities."

The 2nd and 3rd Editions include two new chapters (Ch. 1 and an Epilogue): One new chapter, the “Epilogue”, covers the author’s recent quest for spiritual peace among religions in the Middle East, notably highlighting interfaith activities in Israel and Palestine. He takes readers to the middle of the Jenin Refugee Camp, West Bank, where he spoke with many former prisoners of the Israeli government. The author believes that from the Jenin Refugee Camp, the heartthrob of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis will flow the river of peace that will reach the four corners of the world.

The other new chapter, Chapter 1 (“Rage at Knife Point”), reveals decisive moments in the author’s childhood -- after fighting his sometimes violent father and struggling as a counselor for some of Northern California’s most dangerous young criminals -- he turned to fighting for victims of world conflict by organizing interfaith peace projects in the Holy Land.

Today Frank Romano is an attorney who practices in both France and the United States. He explains that his experience has been the inspiration to organize and participate in interfaith events including but not limited to fundamentalist Muslims, Jews and Christians in Israel and Palestine. (see: Interfaith Marches in Bethlehem Deliver Message of Peace - Tim King Salem-News.com)

He is a tenured professor at the University of Paris, adjunct professor at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, and member of the California and Marseille Bars.

You can order a copy here: amazon.com/Storm-Over-Morocco-Finding-Fanatics/dp/1934209430


Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), the first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several other awards including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Anonymous August 8, 2009 3:26 pm (Pacific time)

This concept has been written in books centuries old. Those books seem to be forgotten tho, so its good to see a new revival. Our country is headed into a revolution against a rogue government, so I am hoping more articles like this come out to wake people up, and use their keyboards for change instead of rifles.


Anonymous August 7, 2009 1:54 pm (Pacific time)

Amazing story, thank you.


Henry Clay Ruark August 7, 2009 8:24 am (Pacific time)

To all: Where ELSE will you find such heartening and illuminating review of a life with multiple meanings for anyone now involved with the ongoing national events surely shaping current American lifestyle " With obvious reflections from AND ON what the Founders first taught us was demanded for true freedom and liberty ? No matter what eventually occurs our inevitable ties to the rest of the world and to what happens in its ruling religions is undeniable, now growing in both complexity and inescapable connection.

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