I’ve been seeing this statement a lot on Facebook, and I must say I agree. I’ve attended a mosque during Ramadan, and I was made to feel welcome. I played on a playground with a Muslim girl for hours (after eating lunch with other Muslims from her Mosque), and we had a great time. I see Muslim women at the store, and I don’t think they are going to blow me up. I think they are beautiful women with adorable children. Woman who I’m sure I could relate to in some ways.
However, in saying “Not all ______ are like that!”, it is a good idea to check what their belief system actually says, and whether the people who are doing harm are following the belief system or going against it.
I’d already been thinking about this a lot lately. And then, a couple days ago, I read an article in Voice of the Martyrs. It included a quote by a former Muslim which I found very insightful.
“In the midst of the chaos, a man visiting his office in Baghdad urgently asked if he could share eight words with the pastor. Joseph, 38, paused to hear the story, once he had heard many other times, yet still delighted in — another Muslim coming to Christ because of ISIS.
‘I was blind and I am seeing now.’
‘How?’, Joseph asked.
‘I was a Muslim and now I’m seeing. From the date ISIS came to Mosul, I started reading the Quran. I wanted to tell the people, ‘This is not true Islam’. I read the Quran daily, for four hours, five hours. I wanted to defend my religion. I discovered this is the true Islam.’
Stories like this come frequently as Joseph serves in Iraq, despite the growing threat of ISIS. The pastor knows the chaos caused by the extremist group is creating rare opportunities for the church in Iraq. For example, he has seen large numbers of Muslim youth leave Islam after learning how the Quran inspired ISIS and its slaughter of Christians. Many of these youth eventually realize the still need God in their lives. ‘They start seeking,’ Joseph said. ‘When they have a Bible, they start reading about the real God and how God is love. He doesn’t kill people. He doesn’t hate Christians. He doesn’t hate the Yazidis. He doesn’t like to kill anyone. Many people come now to Christianity because they are seeking God.” –VOM, Iraq and Syria Special Field Report
Not all Muslims are terrorists. This is definitely accurate, and something we would do well to remember. However, from their own experience, this terrorism we see perpetrated by ISIS is indeed inspired by the Quran.
Ideas have consequences. Strong beliefs even more so.
What do you think an “extremist” Christian (the kind that actually follows the teachings of Jesus) would be like?