One of my readers brought to my attention that I really need to clarify my position on Islam (the religion) and Muslims (the people). It’s probably pretty clear that I think radical Islam is the most dangerous phenomena since the times of Adolf Hitler so I won’t spend time on that today, but my position on Muslims as individuals is apparently being misunderstood.
Contrary to what some readers may believe, I do not think that all Muslims are terrorists. My position on this hasn’t changed a bit since last year (June 15, 2005) when I recommended the book, Waging Peace on Islam by Christine Mallouhi. Ms. Mallouhi was a Christian missionary to the Middle East for many years and writes that she found Muslim people to be the among the most compassionate and hospitable people she has ever known. Some Muslims even risked their own lives to protect her and her husband from their own Muslim governments.
And contrary to the impression some readers may have, I certainly don’t hate Muslims. Actually, my position on this hasn’t changed since last year either (August, 2005) when I wrote, “…while I am against Islam as a religion, I love Muslims as individuals. I have never treated a Muslim with anything but kindness and respect. If I had Muslim neighbors, I would go out of my way to respect their views, to be kind and compassionate, and to assist them in personal needs.” I often go out of my way to be friendly to Muslims. I dare say that I would risk my own neck to defend a Muslim whom I thought was being attacked.
After the terrorist attacks in London I was concerned that some might take their frustration out on individual Muslims so I wrote, “With this in mind, as you come to the front of the Walmart checkout line and find that the cashier waiting on you happens to be a Muslim, please remember one thing: she didn’t do it! The terrorists did not ask her opinion or advice about the bombings and if she is an American Muslim the chances are good that she is just a disgusted over the attacks as you are. Unfortunately, there are some Americans who will undoubtedly vent their anger and frustration out on innocent Muslims so please, in the coming days when you happen to meet a Muslim in the store or on the street, go out of your way to be a little more friendly and show a little extra kindness. Even if they personally agreed with the attacks (which is unlikely), the words of St. Paul would still apply, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
So while I will continue to rant and rave about the evils of Islam (the religion) in general, and against Islamic extremism in particular, on a personal level, I never intend to advocate anything but love and compassion for Muslims as individuals.