I know the feeling, having been a Muslim myself, and still on the arduous journey to Latin-rite Catholicism (from Islam to Coptic Orthodoxy to Orthodox Orthodoxy to Melkite Catholicism). It’s the priest’s right to make the call, I believe. [edited] I was envious for the whole journey of those who could call themselves “Christian”, but I knew enough to not settle for some sect that would baptize me (or receive me based solely on saying the “sinner’s prayer”) on the spot [edited].
I still have some envy towards Roman Catholics/Latin-rite Catholics, as I have been stonewalled trying to get a transfer, but I’m learning to take more pride in some of the theology of my Eastern heritage, such as:
*]Christus Victor and Ransom atonement, which are common in the East, and to which I personally hold, instead of Anselmian Satisfaction atonement, which is the standard in the West (but I believe both views are orthodox in all Catholic churches),
*]Especially its Patristic heritage in St Chrysostom (after whom I took my Christian name) and Sts Gregory of Nyssa and Grergory Nazianzus, and the other Eastern Fathers and ecclesiastical writers like Origen,
*]And the beautiful Byzantine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, which is challenged in pure spiritual beauty only by the Tridentine Mass,
*]And in Byzantine Church architecture (which, I’m proud to say, is far better than anything built after the post-Conciliar style of Roman Churches)
*]And Ikons (which I personally love and find most useful),
Even if I disagree with most of the theology where it diverges from the West (i.e. on Hesychasm, the Essence-Energies distinction, and Palamism in general).
I had a solid training in philosophy and theology, Greek and Latin, and a drive to learn it all (which I’ll never be able to do), having read the Bible through and being able to quote the Philokalia and the “non-Catechism Catechisms” (such as the various books by Timothy Ware, Anthony Coniaris and John Zizioulas) to the Orthodox priest, and later the two Summae and the Catechism to the Catholic priest - my knowledge of Christian theology and acceptance and embrace of its culture - might have had something to do with it (I still struggle, and likely always will, with an overly-rational and overly-intellectual faith).
Or the fact that I was supposedly baptized as a baby, as I had a non-practicing secularist Christian parent, even though I’ve never found any documentation to back this up nor have any family members of any sort that can witness for it - I’m still looking for a conditional baptism, as I have a lingering fear - that I’ve come to interpret as the Spirit - that I wasn’t baptized: or it may be the personality of the priests.
Again, are there specific points you’re having trouble with? Theology, dogma, culture? That the priest pointed out as impediments, or a general “I’m not going to baptize you because I don’t like you/think you may be a backslider” refusal? I could see - although I know not of this situation - of a priest having a bias against Muslim converts for some reason, or from past experience.
It seems callous for a priest to deny the Baptism of salvation to someone for anything other than the most glaring reasons (e.g. rejection of dogma or the Trinity or hypostatic union, an unwillingness to commit to the faith or learn the Bible and the Catechism, or persistent living in sin, such as multiple Shariah-legal wives) but I’m not one to say, “ask another priest”: I don’t know the situation as the priest does, so I’d trust his judgment, but, priests, as all other humans, are fallible, and can have their biases and prejudices which aren’t always supported by the Code of Canon Law.