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Thank you for your moving reply Dianna. I was in New York City on September 11. I didn’t see any overt acts of racism against Muslims on that particular visit. I’ve been to NYC dozens of time. While I didn’t see any, I certainly heard more than a few racist comments. My contribution was to try and offer a kind word or a friendly greeting to anyone who appeared to be Muslim. Also, at the very least, if someone enters into a racist discussion, I simply walk away. At most, I confront the racist with my discomfort at their views. Alas, I have found that it does very little good to engage in confrontation. It’s as if their views are carved in stone. If possible, I engage the Muslims I meet in conversation. I do this as I would any other human. I don’t bring up the subject of racism with them if they don’t bring it up. I simply chat about things that I would chat about with any other new potential friend.
I agree with your statement “One of my friends said extremists never express the faith they only talk about hate and division. I have never been more reminded of that recently.” I’m amazed at Christians who profess to be <i>euangelion – </i>evangelists – carriers of the “Good News” of Jesus Christ – are not able to articulate that Good News; instead, many of them are able to site chapter and verse in the Bible where discrimination and hatred appear to be allowed. It is as if they have not read the NT at all. I’m always moved by the last chapter of John’s Gospel (21) and specifically this passage:<i>
<span class=”vv”>15 “</span>When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ <sup class=”ww”>16</sup>A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ <sup class=”ww”>17</sup>He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep”
We are called upon to feed and tend to one another and recall that Paul said, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
Thanks for your comments!