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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The Diversity of Islam by Nicholas Kristof

Muslim-children-from-around-the-worldA few days ago, I was on a panel on Bill Maher’s television show on HBO that became a religious war.

Whether or not Islam itself inspires conflict, debates about it certainly do. Our conversation degenerated into something close to a shouting match and went viral on the web. Maher and a guest, Sam Harris, argued that Islam is dangerous yet gets a pass from politically correct liberals, while the actor Ben Affleck denounced their comments as “gross” and “racist.” I sided with Affleck.

After the show ended, we panelists continued to wrangle on the topic for another hour with the cameras off. Maher ignited a debate that is rippling onward, so let me offer three points of nuance.

Likewise, it is true that the Quran has passages hailing violence, but so does the Bible, which recounts God ordering genocides, such as the one against the Amalekites.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES