After reading about the riots in Libya and the subsequent outcry against the horrendous film “Innocence of Muslims” (in case you’re wondering – the film is on YouTube and it’s absolute garbage. Not only is the content contrived, the quality isn’t even remotely close to a “movie”), I decided I needed to say something about this.
For those of you who follow memes (a text-image quip, usually pertaining to social commentary on a broad swath of topics), you’ll recognize this as the “Good Guy Greg” template. But, instead of Greg, we have Jesus – hence “Good Guy Jesus.”
Now, I don’t disagree with the meme. Jesus taught to love your neighbor and to pray for those who persecute you.
Let me make one thing clear before going any further: I’m not trying to turn this into a classic “Us vs. Them” post.
I’m not advocating some kind of universalist-we’re-all-spiritual-family approach.
I’m not going to talk about what the Qur’an says.
What I do want to do is pose a question: Flip the tables, Christians. Someone makes an incredibly ugly and untrue depiction of Christ. Would you be ok with it?
I’m not asking, “Would you riot over it?” I’m asking, “Would you be angry?”
For most people, I’d guess that the answer would be, “Yes. It’d make me a little/somewhat/really angry.”
Why, then, is it so hard for some Christians to extend sympathy and solidarity to our Muslim friends? Why do some scoff and say, “You shouldn’t get so worked up”?
Yet I see comments mocking how “crazy” Muslims get. Or how “extreme” some Muslims are.
If the stupid meme above is true, why aren’t we demonstrating – as Christians – the same kind of absorbing love and extending it to people who are deeply hurt by the depiction of someone sacred to them?
The Church in the United States has much to learn.
In Egypt, the Coptic Christians and the Muslims co-exist together peacefully. In fact, when Cairo was a hotbed last year, they even formed a circle around them in order to protect them as they prayed. Yet we sit here and fear what we do not even begin to know about our neighbors – here and abroad. Several articles have flown past my eyes in the last few weeks concerning the fear that Muslims have in this country.
Fear that they’ll be wrongfully accused of something simply because someone identified them as a practicing Muslim.
They’re afraid because a very small and radical sect of Islam has been responsible for what some have called “Islamic Terrorism,” effectively rendering any “Muslim” a terrorist.
I’d be afraid, too.
That’s why I’m calling for a stand of support for the Muslims of the world as they process and work through the debacle of this film.
Stand and support those who mourn over the desecrated image of Muhammad.
Don’t support the violence.
Support and stand with the family of four who you see heading to the mosque down the street.
They’re upset and angry about this film. Christians, of all the people in this world, should be the ones to help shoulder their emotions and frustrations.
We are not in any better of a position to lean back and say, “Well, we totally wouldn’t act that crazy if someone made a film insulting Christ.”
We totally would.