Why We’re Allies of the Muslim Community – Five Short Stories

Kate Chance

As a Christian American born and raised in the Bible Belt, I am often asked why I’m working for a Muslim organization. Here’s my best attempt at an elevator response: As a Christian I cannot think of anything more Christ-like than standing with those who are being maligned and persecuted, and as an American I cannot think of anything more crucial to our nation than religious freedom.

My working with a Muslim organization is the most Christian and the most American thing about me.

The heart of my faith is found in the Gospels and in the radically inclusive nature of Jesus, who accepted all people whatever their faith tradition, their ethnicity or even their sins. All too often this message of love and inclusion finds itself put on the backburner by those quoting the Bible to promote discrimination against those of a different race, religion, or sexual orientation.

I have been met with nothing but love, patience and hospitality by the American Muslim community and simply cannot comprehend the depth of ignorance and hate these loving individuals have been met with, especially by those who claim the same religious identity I do.

In the year 1620 my ancestors boarded the Mayflower and faced hell and high water to come to America in pursuit of religious freedom. Our nation was founded on the principle of religious liberty by those who risked their lives, abandoned their property and left their friends and family behind so that they and their children could practice the religion of their choosing.

I find it baffling that the actions of a small group of radicals are reason enough to jeopardize the basic principle that our nation was established on. There is nothing more American than our right to practice religion freely, and I’ll face hell and high water myself before I’ll see our nation’s notion of religious freedom compromised.

So, while my career choice may seem odd to some, I simply cannot see myself working for any other cause that is more in line with my values both as a Christian and as an American.

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