Against the Islamaphobia of Charisma News
Posted on September 7, 2014
Twitter is abuzz with outcry over Charisma News‘s despicable, hate-filled opinion piece about how all Muslims should be converted, deported, or killed, and it’s hard to even know what to say in response because it’s shocking to think that anyone could have looked at that piece and not seen it a racist, ignorant screed. Sadly “racist, ignorant screed” has become a genre of writing that too many American Christians are happy to be associated with.
My response to the piece is short, because there is no need for it to be lengthy. Some people will write thorough analyses of the piece and all the ways it is wrong. Others will write passionate defenses of the peaceful nature of Islam. Many will talk about why it matters that Charisma News published such a terrible piece to begin with. I look forward to reading those pieces and sharing them.
But as for my writing? I’m just going to write this:
The violence being committed against Christians and Muslims alike by ISIS is devastating. From what I know about God (and about Allah), this violence is painful to God. If God is our parent, then surely God does not want us to be slaughtering one another. There is little I know with certainty about God, but I do believe–wholeheartedly–that God is a God of love.
Even if you believe that Islam on the whole is violent the way that ISIS and other radical Muslim groups are, and even if you believe that I’m a deluded, politically correct liberal, and even if you believe that Allah is Satan and Muslims are trying to subjugate all non-Muslims to their will, then you must also believe that Jesus was not kidding when he told us what to do about those who persecute us.
Jesus said in Matthew 5, 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Of all the things you consider to be literal in the Bible, isn’t that one of them?
Since when does loving someone involve saying the things that Charisma News‘s columnist Gary Cass said about Muslims?
If Muslims are your enemy, Gary Cass, then you should be loving them. Not threatening to kill them. Not using language that mirrors the ugliest, most violent scenes in Christianity’s long history. Not promoting hatred and fear of people’s neighbors. I pray that your eyes are opened to the violence of your words and your message. I pray you find compassion and empathy for those who are different from you. I pray you learn to believe the words of the one you call God.
Update: In the last hour or so, Charisma News seems to have taken down the post. While we wait for an apology or an official reaction, you can read the cached version of the article here.