I want to begin by saying that I personally do not hate Muslims at all. I’ve written on many occasions of the opportunities I’ve had to become friends with Muslims and people who some Americans naively perceive to be Muslim just because of their Arab or Middle Eastern heritage.
On many occasions I’ve found myself defending Muslims just as I recall an occasion in childhood a friend whose family were practicing Muslims defended me. I’ve been blessed to have the friendships that I’ve been so fortunate to have with individuals who are Muslims, whether since birth or conversion. Perhaps this is the prime reason I have little issues with Muslims. I can reference someone through personal experiences. Not just an instance or brief encounter, but an established friendship based on mutual respect.
Mutual respect, tolerance and the benefit of being socialized was essential in my experiences with Muslims and my Arab American and Middle Eastern friends. I don’t assume that someone who may appear to be of Middle Eastern heritage practices Islam. My former Egyptian neighbor was a Christian, but constantly endured negative remarks by primarily White men who I have witness calling him derogatory names. Perhaps it’s easy for me to have respect and acceptance of others because I can empathize with the hurt, anger and confusion of being the target of hate. But empathy is not my reason or intentions of why I am comfortable and embrace Muslims with ease; it’s education.
Education is not only obtained in a classroom, but in the living room too. It’s not only found in a book, but it is found in the way you look. We’ve all heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover, so why judge someone by the way they look? You may be surprised with what you can be taught when you take the opportunity to learn.
Side-Note: My belief is that if I am to be a true follower of Christ, then I should abide by what he said is the greatest commandment. So I’ve found it to be much easier to love than to hate. If you call yourself to be a Christian, then act like Christ.
As we continue our lives eight years after the events that occurred on September 11, 2001 in Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and New York City, but most importantly to the American psyche and conscious. We must be willing to challenge those who have found comfort and acceptance in hate. Hate in any form is a cancer of your soul, incurable when unchecked.
There’s no reason why any Christian should hate Muslims or Islam. You may hate what a group of extremist who claim Islam as their faith may have done, but where is that same hate and public display when the hate is perpetrated by Christians? Don’t be a religious hypocrite or hate mongered. If you’re a Christian you are commanded to love repeatedly, so why is that so difficult for you to do?
So as I conclude I’m sure I may encounter those who choose to disagree, but it was Malcolm X who said “If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success.” So I appreciate all who choose to comment, whether positive or negative, each is a step towards success. You do not have to agree with the teachings of any religion, but that doesn’t give you license to disrespect it.References & Inspirations Louisville Courier Journal – 09/06/09 “Muslim Youth Wrestle with Post 9/11 Suspicion” New York Times – 09/04/09 “Delays in Muslims’ Cases Spur Interfaith Call to Action” Pew Forum on Religion – 09/09/09 “Muslims Widely Seen As Facing Discrimination” (PDF) NPR: Tell Me More – 09/11/09 “Muslims Seen As Facing Discrimination” Council on American-Islamic Relations – Official Website Islamic Information Center – Official Website