Islamophobia is perpetuated daily in our news cycles, “Christian” dialogues, and everyday conversations. To remain silent on this issue is as hypocritical as it is unchristian.
In political rhetoric and irresponsible news fodder Islam has been associated been blamed as the root of terrorism and Muslims have been made the threat to American Christianity.
ISIS and its potential 31,500 soldiers have been portrayed as being representative of the 1.6 billion Muslims across the world. Christian’s should recognize this injustice and heed Jesus’ words to notice the logs in our own eyes before we become consumed in with the speck in our neighbor’s eyes. (Matthew 7)
ISIS represents .001% of the Muslim population. Christians have enough housekeeping to do within a much greater percentage than .001% to allow our Muslim brothers and sisters to be unfairly represented by this extreme example.
Where there are groups of people, so too there are issues with misrepresentation. Christianity has been linked to bombings, mass violence, lynching and much more. And even on a smaller less significant scale, Christians should be well aware that we face a perception issue as the result of misinterpretation:
But working and listening towards a more complete understanding of Islam is not the nice think to do, it is the Christian thing to do.
We cannot simultaneously believe that God exists in all of creation and continue minimize or ignore what the Muslim faith experience can offer towards a better understanding of God. We cannot live out our greatest commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves while we not fighting against the stereotypes and lies that are being perpetuated against our brother and sisters.
Christians need to work to push the conversation forward.
While Christians should be seeking collaboration and conversation with Muslims, a greater percentage than .001% of Christians seem to be in denial of Islamic existence. A lack of expressed disapproval of the protests against Muslim prayer in the National Cathedral suggests Christians are choosing to remain silent.
For this reason, I applaud Pope Francis for participating in “Muslim” prayer during his recent trip to Turkey.
It’s time for you and I to start making faithful displays of solidarity alongside our Islamic brothers and sisters and it might mean that it is time to start getting to KNOW our brothers and sisters. Let us heed the words of wisdom from the book of Esther:
“For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.” (4:14)
Christians need to start working for, fighting for, and embracing that all of humanity shares a sacred bond as God’s creation.
Perhaps no human bond is more sacred than the one shared through prayer. Let us start there. God knows, we could use all the prayer we could get
For such a time as this.
What do you think? How can you and your church work past Islamophobia towards more fruitful sacred relationships?