I may not be popular for writing this, but I hope to be the sort of person who would not stay quiet when I see that fear is winning over love in a situation.
Let me start by saying the horrible acts of Isis are evil, scary and we should all speak out against them… we should pray for these atrocities against humanity to end.
What we should not do is decide that because of this terrorist group all Muslims are evil. Putting that blanket over the entire religion of Islam, calling the Islamic community a threat and dangerous is like grouping all Christians in with Nazis or the Klu Klux Klan. None of the Christians I know are out to exterminate the Jewish people from the earth or “maintain white supremacy” but they identify as Christians and so do the members of the hate groups I mentioned above.
I don’t know the Quran at all… but I do know that there are some pretty terrifying things in the bible and if I was to be judged on passages like Deuteronomy 21:18-21 it would not be an accurate portrayal of how I actually think.
18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
I am a Christian, the bible is important to me… but I do not think stoning our children is a good thing… EVER!
I have a hard time thinking that I should usher my children away from the woman playing alongside her children at the park, simply because she is wearing a hijab. We’re both just moms out with our kids not mortal enemies.
Rachel Held Evans has a series called Ask a… in her Ask a Muslim post, she interviewed Khurram Dara a Sunni Muslim.
One of the questions that stood out to me in particular was about the criticism that mainstream Muslims are not doing enough to constrain and denounce the extremists in of their faith. Is this fair?
Dara answers honestly with “While I think many members of the American Muslim community do denounce extremism, I think we could all be doing more.”
Isn’t that the answer we all have? We could be doing more. We could be loving better. We could… Yes we are enough just as we are… but we could be more.
All of this reminds me of how Jesus treated the Samaritans. Jesus a Jewish boy from the line of David sits at a well and chats with a Samaritan woman. Not only was is scandalous to be speaking with her because she was a woman (not even considered a person under the laws of the land) but she was a Samaritan. A part of a culture who had been in conflict with the Jews for over 500 years. I can only imagine the terrible attacks that happened between these two groups. Yet Jesus saw the woman… not all of her labels… but really saw her.
When asked by an expert of the law “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus replied with a story of a GOOD Samaritan. The man who stopped and attended to his injured neighbor was someone who was thought of with lesser spiritual practices, scum really, but he was the one who showed mercy. He was the one who went above and beyond in the kindness department.
Terrorist attacks, church shootings and Christian beheadings are absolutely terrifying, in fact they freak the crap out of me and I agree that they need to be stopped. But pay attention to where your anger is directed.
We need to be cautious about labeling people according to religious umbrellas instead of seeing individual, human being, neighbors.