Amy Welborn has a great report from Christmas in Indonesia where the Muslims help to foil attacks on Christians by extremist Islamic groups by turning up in large numbers to the Christian services.
Since moving to the USA I’ve heard a lot of anti-Islamic bigotry. Its understandable, and I can’t profess to having a love of Islam myself, but we have to remember that most Muslims are not radical murderers.
How would we like it if people considered all Catholics to be terrorists because of the IRA?
Could you please give an example of “anti-Islamic bigotry” which you have personally witnessed? And could you give a description of some sort to quantify “a lot”? If I sound skeptical, I am. False statements to this effect are made by aggressive Muslim immigrants who refuse to assimilate and want the American culture to adapt to them.
The bigotry I have experienced are overstatements like, “Europe is being Islamicized.” or “Muslims want to take over Western Europe.” or “We’ve already got enough problems with the Mexicans without the Muslims taking over.” I’ve heard terms like ‘sand nigger’, ‘Paki’, ‘Muzzie’ used along with general expressions of disgust, mockery of Islamic culture and ridicule of Islamic customs.I have to admit, I find it difficult to appreciate Islam. Of all religions I find it most repellent. I have my own criticisms of Islam, and would expect immigrants from any culture to attempt to assimilate to their new country as soon as possible, but there is an ignorant portrayal of Islam, which leads to a bigoted understanding of individual Muslims, which can do no one any good.We may dislike Islam. We may fear Islam. We may criticize Islam, but we should do so after really trying to understand it, and although we may hate Islam we are not allowed to hate Muslims.
Father:I’m not sure what you mean by “bigotry,” but I wouldn’t use the term to describe the expression of the first two “overstatements” you cite, which I think are essentially correct statements. The third is a graceless way of stating a very serious problem: We have not yet assimilated the enormous recent influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants (especially illegals), and any substantial immigration of from a group like the Muslims–so determined to resist assimilation into American life–has to be regarded as extremely problematic. I don’t know the terms Paki and Muzzie (are they derogatory? offensive?), but the phrase “sand n—-r” is the one example you give that can fairly be called bigotry.No Christian could quarrel that we are obliged to love (and to try to understand) Muslims. I am fortunate to have Muslim friends, who are not difficult to love. But it is unfair to label as “bigotry” the rational suspicion of Islam, given its cornering of the terrorism market, its announced aims of world domination, its repression of Christianity and Judaism wherever it takes hold, and its general antipathy to Western values.As for mockery of Islamic culture and customs, mockery is inconsistent with the Christian ambition to be all things to all men, but let’s be sure to distinguish mockery from amusement, laughing from sneering. As G.K. Chesterton said:”[I]t is perfectly natural to be amused at a Dutchman for being Dutch or a Chinaman for being Chinese…. Hence in international relations there is far too little laughing, and far too much sneering…. [N]obody should be ashamed of thinking a thing funny because it is foreign ….”http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features/gk_america_nov04.asp
We agree. I am opposed to mindless bigotry, however it is expressed, and open to intelligent and informed criticism of both Islam and the problems of foreign immigration.
Drat it. I hate it when you, like, get all reasonable. Where’s the fun in that?This forces me to return to the original subject of your post and agree that the Muslim gesture you cite is very cheering–downright Christ-like, we might say.
“How would we like it if people considered all Catholics to be terrorists because of the IRA?”Good point!!
Definitely inspiring; thanks for bringing it to my attention.
SAT7 is a satellite channel broadcasting in the middle east and africa, predominantly Muslim areas, and it is ecumenical (Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, not sure who all else). SatTV is huge in this part of the world and it gets around government censorship. Many Muslims have learned a lot about Christians from it and apologized for believing terrible things about Christians that they were told. Yeah, there’s been some bomb threats, but very little compared to the positive feedback the station has been getting from Muslims in their midst.Just wanted to share another positive tidbit. We need to hear it given the current situation.