Why This Christian Minister Stands With The Muslim Community

Posted by Brent.Barry on May 4, 2015

Coexist

I checked Twitter last night shortly after the shootings at the anti-Islamic event that took place in Garland, Texas, about 20 minutes from where I live. I absolutely condemn violence directed at anyone for a free-speech act, and I expected the reactions to be varied. But what I found was tweet after tweet addressed only to Muslims going in one of two directions. It was either "that’s what you get for messin’ with Texas" or "to hell with the Muslims."

Once again the .8% of Muslims who live in this country woke up this morning having to condemn the terrorists who shot at a peace officer and explain that this was a terrorist action, not a Muslim action. I don’t know if you caught the statistic I just shared, but I said .8% ‒ not 18% or even 8%.

Of the entire U.S. population Muslims make up somewhere between .6 to .8% of it. The idea that .8% of these Muslims are going to take over the nation is just as absurd as the idea that the 1.6% of LGBT citizens are going to take it over first.

Within that .8%, I personally know Muslims who step out and apologize every time something like this happens. Even though it rarely gets media coverage, they speak out against small groups of terrorists who use the Muslims religion as a front for their terrorism.

Based on the reckless accusations I have heard made toward Muslims in the last 17 hours, if anyone is a victim in this situation, it can be argued it is the Muslim community.

As a Christian minister, I try and follow Jesus Christ. When Jesus Christ helped someone he never cared where they were from or what religion they were (see his final points in his first sermon, Luke 4:21-27). He only cared if they were being made a scapegoat, kept poor, or oppressed in any way (back up and read the first part of his sermon Luke 4:16-20). His criticisms were mostly for his followers whose words did not meet their actions (see the whole book of Matthew).

So today, I reach out to my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters to say, "Jesus loves you, and I stand with you."

Comments

Posted by Cheryl Mackey on
Thank you Paster Brent, I totally agree that Jesus would be standing in support and love for our Muslim friends while saddened by the way his followers failed to do so.
Posted by Glenda Harbert on
Amen, brother pastor ! Thank you for posting this important message.
Posted by Elise Page on
I couldn't agree more. We look for someone to blame, to take the fall, to pay when terrible, inexcusable things happen and people are hurt or killed. But we don't have the wisdom or maturity to deal with the true reality of the situation and realize or understand that these are ZEALOTS. i appreciate your thoughts on this, Brent.
Posted by Judy on
And you sympathize with the crazy Muslims who follow Islam and chop off Christians heads?? Wake up and smell the blood! They want us all dead and that means YOU too. Take up for our Christian people. This is a Holy War so pick a side...Good or Evil?
Posted by Lowry Manders on
As the Children's Minister here, I follow Jesus AND Mr. Rogers who said, "As different as we are from one another, as unique as each one of us is, we are much more the same than we are different. That may be the most important message of all, as we help our children grow toward being caring, compassionate, and charitable adults." Won't you be my neighbor?
Posted by Liz on
So glad you said this, out loud. All communities of peace have to support each other when fear makes people look for easy targets. Calling this a "holy war" is exactly what the murderers want. Suddenly they are no longer simply violent, deranged criminals; they are elevated to religious martyrs. Every time Bill O'Reilly calls this a holy war, he aids ISIS recruiters. They are not the representatives of Islam until we say they are and make their wildest dreams come true.
Posted by Moneta S. Prince on
Blessings on you, Brent. Beautifully stated. We lived 10 years among a population that was 92% Muslim and they guided me to a more mature view of my own Christian faith, putting emphasis always on God's (Allah's) sovereignty, mercy and goodness. Too bad those who wanted to rant against Islam had never had a similar experience.
Posted by Robert Todd on
Well done, Brent. I agree with all the positive feedback you've received. God be with you and us all.
Posted by Sammy on
Even though I agree that we should always stand with the oppressed of any religions, I disagree with your spin of the reality (and interpreting the scripture out of context, but that's another debate). Maybe we are on different "Internets". Most of the posts I read blame those artists for "inciting violence," as if the raped women is to be blamed for wearing a makeup that incites rape.

You said you personally know Muslims that are apologetic and they don't get media coverage. I personally know, and grew up with, many and they never apologize (not they way we normally do). What's heart breaking is my best friend, a Muslim, made excuses for terrorism. This is his apology the day after 9/11, "I am glad that you are safe. You know what? They have their reason for doing what they did." We grew up together, ate together, slept together, studied together, almost like a gay couple. But, he would refuse to speak against his religious brothers, as if he was brainwashed. Some might say as much as "I am sorry that scared you" but they would never say, "F... those terrorists." That's not apology. They feel sorry for hurting their friends, as human beings do, but they would still hold fast to their believe in the necessary violence of jihad. My experience is not unique. You might need to make more Muslim friends or ask those who have Muslim friends about this nature.

The media is looking for those who are willing to speak up. So I disagree with your opinion that they don't get media coverage. If you say they don't want to get media coverage out of fear, than we might agree to some extend.

Still, with you, I will defend them when there is injustice put upon them, and love them as Jesus does. However, you excuses are not valid.
Posted by Scott D. Hill on
I speak as someone who lived 2 years in Egypt and a year in Morocco, and have had relationships with Muslims in 5 US cities over a 25 year span. I have known quite a few Muslim jerks and some who empathized with zealots and brutes. The vast majority, though, are horrified by the ways their faith has been distorted to justify violence. I have seen and heard many public denunciations of terrorism by Muslims, most ignored by media. I recently heard a sermon in a mosque on why ISIS goes against the Quran and Islamic belief. I, too, am a Christian minister who stands with the vast majority of Muslims against members of their faith and mine who dehumanize people of other faiths. God calls us to be better!
Posted by DAvid Haymes on
Thank you Brent for taking a position of support in love. I am proud of our church and your teaching us to walk the walk of Christ. As I understand from the media, the Muslim community of Richardson had decided to ignore the Garland art show. To paint them with the same brush as the two malcontents who were killed is a disservice to us all.
Posted by Uncle Bernie on
Most Christians are spineless do gooders who will forgive their enemy while They behead them. Wake up, sheep.
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