(in response to Islamic extremist violence which is in response to offensive cartoons and movies)
Lots of people around the world are expressing their anger, so I’m taking my turn.
I’m angry because a radical minority is dictating the conversation for the moderate majority. I’m angry because a fringe man made a film and added to the mounds of hate speech already far too common. I’m angry about Islamaphobic emails that are sent around the web with CAPITAL LETTERS and lots of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!! declaring an imminent take over of the world when the Muslims I know are more concerned with things like household management, children’s education, food preparation, and personal health than world domination. Ditto for the non-Muslims I know.
I’m angry because people I care about receive death threats. I’m angry that my non-Muslim friend is told, “If there is fighting here, you are the first one to die,” by neighbors she feeds and serves and loves. I’m angry that while waiting for a dress to be sewn by a tailor in the market, a girl and I chat and in the middle of our conversation, she suddenly runs her finger across her throat and says, “I could kill you now if I wanted to,” and then smiles at me. I’m angry that because of the color of my skin some people assume they knew what I believe and hold most dear and that they have no qualms about insulting me.
I’m angry with my own heart that is quick to judge and slow to show compassion. I’m angry that my first response isn’t to love but to defend. I’m angry that I sometimes succumb to fear instead of faith.
I’m not going to make a movie. I’m not going to kill anyone.
I’m going to ask my Muslim friends how they feel about the film and current events. I’m going to apologize on behalf of a man with whom I share nationality, if nothing else. This might sound foolish but yesterday one of my husband’s friends apologized for the murder of Ambassador Stevens in Libya. Another American living in the Middle East was at a store when the shopkeeper apologized for the burning of the US embassy in Egypt. It isn’t foolish. It is humble and that’s a good thing, its humbling and that’s also a good thing.
I’m going to pray and I’m going to hope and I’m going to trust and I’m going to pursue the path of peace.
I borrowed the idea for this post from the blog His PeaceUpon Us, here is a beautiful quote:
I am angry because all people are made in God’s image and we are not treating each other with the respect that this simple truth demands. God made us. And therefore he loves us. How is it that this truth doesn’t change everything about how we live with people different than us?!
So I will pray. I will pray to the God of peace. I will pray for those who have sinned in making the movie and those who have sinned in their response to the movie. I will continue to show the way of love that Jesus teaches us.
I will pray and I will seek to daily die to myself and my selfish desires so that I can love others, even others who don’t love me.
Are you angry? What are you going to do about it?