The New Racism
In one sense I found the 9/11 commemoration therapeutic and in another sense it was like opening an old wound. Our national attitude toward Muslims is hard to ignore. There is no doubt that sense 9/11 it is hard not to think twice when interacting with a Muslim whose numbers in USAmerica are only growing. As a pastor I am fearful that our unspoken fear towards Muslims may be driving us to a new racism. One where we walk the other way, view with suspicion, and in general look down upon those of the Islamic faith. As the wise old prophet Yoda once said, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. And hate leads to suffering.” He was not that far off base. It all begins with fear and nothing has scared us more as a nation than what happened 10 years ago on 9/11.
I posed the question in my sermon on 9/11 Sunday: How should we as Christians treat Muslims?
The answer is really easy. Just treat them the way Jesus would treat them. Easy to say. Hard to do.
Jesus said, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Can we do that? Can you? Can I? Easy talk. Hard walk. But this is at the heart of what it means to follow Jesus.
My church has chosen to affiliate with a powerful network of churches called the Southern Baptist Convention. This network is taking bold steps to put Jesus’ words from Matthew 5:44 into action. Check out www.LovingMuslims.com. I have attached a PDF of a fantastic 8 Day Prayer Devotional called Loving Muslims. We made copies of this available to everyone in our church on 9/11 Sunday. It’s a good start on the long road of self-admission, sin confession, and love toward our Muslim neighbors.
After all, Jesus is the only hope they have too.