Another terrorist outrage has rocked the United States, this time New York City. American Muslims denounced the attack. The international press registered their distress.
And headlines, like this one in England’s Independent, state the obvious: “New York Suspect’s Muslim Neighbors Express Their Disgust: ‘We Have Nothing To Do With This Guy.'”
Of course they don’t. Nor has genuine Islam anything to do with Sayfullo Saipov’s terrorist ideology. God proclaims to Muslims, “I have made you a moderate people (ummatan wasatan)” (Quran 2:143). The Prophet himself warns against extremist religiosity. But is anyone who needs to hear this listening?
All Muslims need to know, but especially those tempted by terrorism, that America is already a deeply religious country in ways that Islam unequivocally affirms.
America has its own Muslim-friendly answer to terrorist violence. It’s to see the world from God’s perspective. That’s a move that beats terrorist ideology at its own game. It outdoes all false religiosity. But to convince the potential terrorist of that, all Americans need to remember God’s perspective.
Whether we’re religious or not, God’s lookout places us high above the fray. We’d be like the astronauts who take the earth in whole from their orbit above. Viewed from space, the Earth is one. So are its inhabitants.