No Muslim-Hating Day for Me
I never have had nor do I plan to have a Muslim-hating day, so today was no exception. It is, however, certainly an appropriate day to have intense dislike and dismay for what happened in Paris. What’s also different today that is some Saturdays I attend a Bible discussion. This Saturday I had the time, but I didn’t have the will. On a Saturday discussion I attended several weeks ago, a young man shared that he doesn’t like or trust Muslims—all Muslims. I challenged him, but he refused to bend. It was problematic for me because this was a meeting of Christians and the extreme dislike he expressed was rather anti-Jesus, anti-love-your-enemies, anti-turn the other cheek, and anti-forgive. However, I continued going because I like many aspects of it. No one brought out the haystacks and matches when I recently stated that the Old Testament God seemed a tad bit angry, what with all those floods, plagues, and smiting, so I decided I would go again sometime.
But not today. I didn’t have the energy to face a Muslim-hater. I have seen plenty of that online, but it’s different when you’re face to face. I don’t think I can model anything resembling Jesus regarding isis members today, but I also can’t call every Muslim a radical or say I dislike and distrust them. I know only one Muslim. She’s a friend of my daughter’s and I imagine she suffers today; she’s kind and generous and sweet, but she surely is being judged.
I thought about judgment today and passed some of my own. I wished that the kind, benevolent Muslims would do something about those radicals. As soon as the thought flitted through my brain, another thought countered it: “Yeah, just like kind, benevolent Christians do something about those radical Christians who do so many anti-Jesus-y things that I can’t even list them.”
I don’t know how to counter radicals of any faith. My philosophy doesn’t include an eye for an eye or a bomb for a bomb, no matter how frustrated and angry I get regarding lost eyes and dropped bombs. I believe that individuals must act in concert with hundreds and even thousands of other individuals to counter hate, to counter anger, to counter fear.
And isn’t that easy for me to think, easy to say, and easier yet to write as I sit in my safe space this darkening evening? But it’s the only choice I have. I don’t have to stay in a dark space and hate, and judge, and wreak vengeful retaliation. It’s dark, yes, but I can turn on a light. I can turn on many lights, and so can you.
I said it earlier today in a Facebook post and I’ll repeat it here: Cry your tears for Paris and the world, dry them, and then get busy: Be peaceful in your actions today. Be kind in your actions today. Be generous today. Help someone today. Forgive someone today. Tell someone “I love you” today. Do this tomorrow. Repeat.