Maybe I’m naive and uninformed, maybe I’m actually misinformed. Maybe I read the wrong news, or maybe it’s biased and subjective. Maybe the people I follow on twitter and Facebook are representing only one side of the argument. Maybe I’m in the wrong camp politically. Maybe it’s because 90% of my friends in Malawi are muslim. Maybe I’m too politically correct, maybe I’m too soft and compromise as to not offend. (1)
Maybe they should go back to where they came from. Maybe their religion is a religion of hate and violence. Maybe they’re unAustralian. Maybe they’re just our to cause trouble, to threaten our way of life. Maybe they’re evil. Maybe there not like us. Maybe they’re less human. Maybe they’re terrorists. Maybe they’re all the same, Maybe they should be painted with the same brush. (2)
Or maybe It’s none of those things. Maybe Islam is just as nuanced and diverse as Christianity. Maybe people of a Muslim faith have dreams, hopes, families, and earnestly want to worship God too. Maybe the problem is not them (whoever they are). Maybe it’s with me/us.
Maybe the commands to love God and love our neighbour are intrinsic to each other and not doing one nullifies the other. Maybe loving your neighbour isn’t actually a passive thing but a purposeful action. Maybe the neighbour in the story is our Muslim neighbour, work colleague, child’s friend’s parent, that lady in the hijab, niqab, burqa that caught our suspicious, disdainful, glance as they passed by us in the street. Maybe we’re to better apply the Golden Rule. Maybe the Golden Rule means being better informed. Maybe it means making friends with people of a Muslim faith. Maybe it means listening to their stories. Hearing them talk about their faith and life. Sharing a meal. Maybe it means, just maybe, treating others how you would want to be treated; listened to, taken seriously, not being judged or stereotyped, known, loved.
But why you may ask…
Well… Maybe ALL are created in the image of God. Maybe we’re all humans; the same, equal. Maybe it’s because of Jesus; his message, his life, his death, his resurrection, his spirit, HIM. Maybe it’s because in him there is nothing or no one that we need fear. Maybe because we have been reconciled to God we’ve been given the task of reconciliation. Maybe it’s because God’s love is not dependant on gender, race, religion, status. Maybe I’m to love like God, to be his ambassador. Maybe I’m to life like heaven is breaking into earth’s reality. Maybe I’m to live like Jesus.
May(I)be more like Jesus.