Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque—Not.

As I spoke to in an earlier post I've been educating myself so I can engage in interfaith work as part of my position as Associate Minister for Youth. I've specifically been learning more about Islam because I haven't had the opportunity to interact with many Muslims, because one of the leading national voices in the Interfaith Youth Movement is a Muslim named Eboo Patel—but also because, quite frankly, Muslims may be the most unfairly hated folk in the United States today.

Judging all of Islam on the basis of the September 11th 2001 Al Quaeda attacks is like judging all of Christianity on the basis of the April 24th-30th 1916 armed insurrection in Ireland known as the Easter Rising. Both events, while differing in scale, have both political and religious components. Neither event is indicative of their parent religion as a whole. And both occurred on dates where a major religious holiday will occasionally fall. Easter will fall on April 24th (not to mention the 25th, 26th, etc.) every so often, depending on the given year's lunar cycle. And the Islamic feast of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan will fall on or near September 11th every so often, depending on the given year's lunar cycle.

It's coincidence. And when you hear fearful people hate-mongering about it this year, I hope you remember that it is only coincidence.

I was also going to say something about the "Ground Zero Mosque" that folk are so riled up about. But then someone I have the utmost respect for posted the below video on Facebook today, and it says it much better than I ever could—even if the arguments are based in patriotism and not the hospitality that lays at the heart of my religion.

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Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh


Mama B said...

I haven't been on in a bit, but I just saw this. I had posted this same video on FB a while back. I think Mr. Olbermann says it far better than I ever could have. I worked at Foxwoods just after 9/11 and had many Muslim friends and coworkers. I was shocked and outraged at the treatment they endured even by people who had been working with them forever. Being a Muslim doesn't make you a terrorist. I don't understand how the same people who seem to be zero tolerance of Muslims claim to be Christians. I thought God teaches us to love one another....

Rev. Josh said...

Try this one out. Go to Luke 10:25-37 and replace the word with "Samaritan" with "Muslim" and see what happens...