A friend posted something political on her Facebook page and, as these posts tend to go, talk of Trump turned into talk of Muslims. One man insisted that Islam is a religion of violence, no matter what people say. “Kill the infidel” is right there in the Koran, he proclaimed. Just go read it, read the Koran, he asserted again. This was my response:
“As to the call for us to read the Koran so that we can see how Muslims are all called to kill the infidel… I’m assuming you are Christian. How much do you love it when some atheist starts proof-texting the Bible to find the most inflammatory bits and then refused to let you put them in context or explain how or why this passage doesn’t mean what they are accusing? I, personally, just love it when it is pointed out that we are supposed to execute homosexuals and shun people dressed in cotton blends. I so adore being told that my religion is of the sword because Jesus said it was (I do not bring peace, but the sword – by this metric we are also a religion of violence), or that all Christians condone slavery because of passages in the New Testament tolerate it. In no way does it infuriate me to talk to someone who is explaining to me, based on proof-texting and nothing else, why MY religion says what THAT person says it does and not what I as a Christian says it does.
Please, give Muslims the courtesy that you would like atheists to give you. When you have a problem with the Koran, ask a Muslim person about it. And then listen to their answers. Because, just as you have given your life to your beliefs and understand them better than someone who is just hunting through your scriptures for things to condemn you with, so they have spent their lives understanding a richness of faith that you can’t get from any one sentence in any scripture.
The man actually responded, “Those are some good points.” It was as if the skies opened up and heavenly light shone down on that moment. And then he continued on to argue that Muslims are all jihadists, ignoring that the word jihad is generally and deeply understood to be the holy struggle (or, holy war, if you must) that takes place within a man’s soul. Much like Jesus was telling us that He brings the sword is generally understood to mean a metaphorical sword (i.e. conflict) rather than a literal one. But, don’t take my word for it. Ask a Muslim!
Genevieve Raines is a Catholic mother of littles and an old friend from grad school. Her son keeps listing “instruct the Internet” in his song about the spiritual works of mercy, but usually she is too busy feeding the hungry of her household to instruct the internet.
image via pixabay