why a christian cares about islamophobia

posted by missmsian

Because I could be the victim tomorrow. It seems that all it takes is for a news network or political party to create an invisible, overpowering fear and we, as media consumers, either become really stupid or remain purposely ignorant to the truth (which is worse?)

I know it’s almost ludicrous to put myself in a Muslim person’s shoes in the West where Judeo-Christian values are so celebrated–and I have relatively light skin, to boot! But there are places where Christians are discriminated against as badly as Muslims are here. It just shows how precarious our “rights” are and how much they depend on respect and the recognition of one another’s humanity.

Because disagreeing theologically isn’t the same as being racist. Do I believe that my religion has the answers to questions about faith? Yes.

However, this belief doesn’t give me any right or reason to be Islamophobic. Islamophobia deals with feelings of hatred and/or suspicion of Muslims that is often coupled with actions meant to curb their civil and/or human rights. The Park 51 Islamic centre (misnomer: “Ground Zero mosque”) debate is one example. In Canada, we have the proposed niqab ban in Quebec and the unfair detention and trial of Omar Khadr, to name a few high-profile cases … not to mention the numerous “everyday” situations where we attempt to expel Muslims from the community via verbal threats, economic exclusions, etc. 

Disagreeing about faith, on the other hand, means that I still treat those who disagree with me over who Jesus is as precious people, loved by Him.

Because the church doesn’t have a clean slate, so how dare we speculate on what Muslims are or aren’t.

We don’t even need to go as far back as the Crusades to see this. When people say Canada and the U.S. were founded on Christian values, I always feel uncomfortable, because these nations were founded on the rape, plunder and killing of Indigenous peoples and their land. How can we call Muslims “terrorists” when churches have allowed and encouraged the Atlantic slave trade and Canadian residential schools, to name only a few injustices done in the name of God?

Because I believe in a gospel of love and that’s a gospel nobody’s going to pay attention to if I’m speaking about it while holding matches and a Quran in my hands.

*When I use “we,” I’m loosely referring to Western society, which I believe is overwhelmed by white, Christian discourse even though not everyone in the West adheres to those beliefs or even fits into those categories.

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