For some dumb reason I’ve been sitting on a bunch of half-formed thoughts on recent events. Waiting for them to grow up all by themselves maybe? Whatever. I’m done. No more sitting on the sidelines. People are getting hurt, people are dying! These are still merely half-formed, but as a follower of God in the way of Jesus I cannot and will not be silent. I can and will and must say to all those who insist on hating and persecuting and bullying others: enough!
The news cycle seems to have left this one behind, but I’m gonna weigh in on the whole Lower Manhattan Islamic Cultural Center debate anyway. You know, the so-called Ground Zero Mosque which, as has been widely repeated, is neither at Ground Zero nor a Mosque.
Of course they should be able to build it!
Heather Hahn of the United Methodist News Service wrote an excellent article about the reactions of some area United Methodists. Read the whole thing here: United Methodists address mosque conflicts – UMC.org.
The United Methodist Book of Resolutions calls for “better relationships between Christians and Muslims on the basis of informed understanding, critical appreciation and balanced perspective of one another’s basic beliefs.”
Another resolution calls for United Methodists to denounce discrimination against Muslims and “counter stereotypical and bigoted statements made against Muslims and Islam, Arabs and Arabic culture.”
Then there is this angle, which I for one, was not expecting:
Welcoming local mosques also may help national security. A two-year Duke University study on American Muslims and terrorism concluded that mosques might actually be a deterrent to the spread of militant Islam.
“Our findings are that healthy, robust Muslim communities can be a bulwark against radicalization,” said David Schanzer, an associate professor at Duke and one of the study’s authors. “We don’t know exactly why individuals radicalize. But most terrorism studies show that individuals who go down that path feel alienated. They don’t feel that they fit into (the) wider society in which they live.”
A strong Muslim community that is part of the mainstream can offer young Muslims the support they need without them turning to radical clerics online, he said.
I’ve been saying for a while now that being anti-gay is the last remaining socially acceptable prejudice. (About which, more soon.) But it sure seems as though being anti-Muslim is suddenly a close second! That’s gotta stop too. I’m proud to say that a Muslim group uses our church for prayer meetings and social gatherings. This group, called Irshad Learning Group, has been without a place of their own because the spineless county board voted to disallow them from building on property the group already owned!
And right across the street and just down the street two huge new Christian church buildings were allowed to build.
So to all the Muslim-haters in our country, I say: Stop, stop, stop hurting American and the world!!