Muslim justice: A Christian Imperative for the Trump Years

anti-muslim

Our Muslim siblings have been under attack this week. While Muslim discrimination is not new, it’s taking more emboldened forms than ever before in the Trump era.

Last Friday, it came in the form of a travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries. On Tuesday, we learned that “extreme vetting” for some travelers from Muslim-majority countries would include prying into their social media accounts and phone records. On Wednesday, Reuters revealedthat the Trump administration would change the previously named “Countering Violent Extremism” program to “Countering Islamic Extremism,” dropping any focus on other extremist groups like white supremacists.

This is a clarion call for Christian action. If we don’t act now in solidarity with our Muslim siblings, we’ve got no legitimate reason to claim we are followers of Jesus, a man executed by the state for his own supposed “religious extremism.”

We’ve seen the institutionalization of religious bigotry into public policy before. Baptists were even subject to this violence in the past: Thomas Helwys, the founder of the Baptist way of faith, died in the King’s Newgate Prison in 1616 for his perspectives on religious liberty. Roger Williams, the progenitor of Baptists in America, was banished to the wilderness in 1635 where he founded Providence — this for his “dangerous opinions” (e.g., abolitionism, fair treatment of Native people, religious liberty).

FULL ARTICLE FROM BAPTIST NEWS

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Interfaith events expand in wake of 2016 election

interfaith_banner-1200x500It’s getting real in a whole new way for Americans involved in local, regional and national interfaith movements.

Donald Trump’s election is seeing to that.

Religious folk who thought they had an uphill battle against sporadic prejudice, here and there, are wondering if anti-Muslim bigotry may soon be codified and methodically applied across the nation.

“What the president-elect has spoken about during this election cycle should have alarmed every American, and every Baptist, who cherishes religious liberty,” said Mitch Randall, an ardent proponent of ecumenical and interfaith efforts and pastor of NorthHaven Church in Norman, Okla.

“Every person has a right to worship, or not worship, their God as their conscience dictates.”

Randall said he spoke with the imam of an area mosque about this topic during a recent gathering of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.

“I let him know personally if he needs a Baptist minister to stand beside him, then I would be glad to do that,” Randall said.

And he isn’t alone in making such a pledge.

‘I support your right of religious freedom’

“It’s a message that’s being delivered in cities like Boston, where 2,600 people poured into a mosque Sunday night for an interfaith service, and Nashville, Tenn., where residents created a chalk mural of support outside a mosque,” the Christian Science Monitor reported this week.

The message was also communicated in Phoenix, Ariz., where the mayor and hundreds of others lined up to purchase food from a Lebanese baker whose store was vandalized.

InterfaithEvent: A number of interfaith events have been held around the nation since Donald Trump's election. Religious leaders pledge support of Muslims. (Photo/Creative Commons)

The support has also come from sources some would consider unexpected.

“I’m here today, to say as a Southern Baptist, I want you Muslims to know, I love you, I care about you, I support your right of religious freedom,” Bob Roberts said in remarks included in the article. Roberts, who is from Keller, Texas, made the comments in a mosque in Washington D.C. “I will stand with you, and there are many of us.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM BAPTIST NEWS