We all submit to social norms, some are helpful and some are unhelpful and even hateful. Often, the social norms we adhere to are rooted in ideologies that have developed over time and are connected to an affinity group that we may be part of. In other words, we are following them, because people like us follow them.Read More
Recently, over 500 Evangelical Christian Leaders signed a letter that was sent to the current President and Vice President expressing their grief over the recent EO, Muslim Ban, with a request for reversal. This is great, it really is. Seeing Evangelical Leaders rise up and speak out is awesome, necessary, and helpful. Thanks to all who participated in this initiative! However...Read More
A number of years ago, I met a young Christian couple who was passionate about Loving others and had some questions about our Muslim neighbors. As we chatted, the husband shared that a few weeks before, he had purchased a Quran and had been reading it in hopes of better understanding those who follow Islam.
When his wife heard this, she was shocked, her face was suddenly covered with fear. She asked when he brought it into their home and upon hearing the date, she said she had felt something was wrong in their house (spiritually) and was now convinced of the reason why – there was a Quran in their house.Read More
Much of the world has been flooded with the idea that allowing refugees into our respective countries should be feared. Some even suggest, Loving these neighbors boldly is just plain foolish. I recently spent time in the Middle East with Syrian refugees and here are some things I learned, first-hand.Read More
I recently got married. Our wedding day was a very special day for many reasons; including how fortunate I am to now be married to such a remarkable woman. Our wedding was an intimate gathering in a small city in the Midwest, surrounded only by our closest loved ones; it was a day I will never forget.
As I look back on that day, I consider the current cultural shifts in America and I wonder how many people would actually consider our wedding to be very un-American?Read More
The wind howled outside and sand pelted the side of the makeshift tent we were huddled in. I sat across from my new friend Hasan, a Muslim refugee who had recently fled unimaginable violence in search of a safe place to call home. But for now he wondered if he would ever leave this desert camp, or if it would someday become his grave.Read More
The following was written by an Iraqi Muslim friend who arrived in the US as a refugee. Her name has been changed for privacy and security.
I always take a deep breath and listen to my heart. It says, who am I? Where am I? Where is my family? How can I live again when I long for everything I have lost? All of these questions are in my head every day. I answer myself with yes, it is difficult, but you will live. It is difficult, but you will succeed. It is difficult, but it is worth it to give my family a better future.Read More
When children get in trouble for fighting with each other, we often hear them explain their actions with something like, 'But Johnny took my toy’ or ‘Johnny pushed me first.’ Children are great at pointing the blame at others to try to justify their own actions, especially if their response was equally foolish or harmful. But as adults we are supposed to know better, right?Read More
Since 9/11 the world has changed and many of us along with it. Like most Americans I remember where I was, who I was with, and the raw emotions that seemed to pour from my soul as the towers fell. I also remember how those events gave birth to what may be the biggest and most dangerous lie of this generation and one that I once believed. The lie that says Muslims are our enemy.Read More
Jesus was not American. He wasn’t white and he didn’t speak English. He didn’t praise American democracy, our political system or our Flag. He never sang the Star - Spangled Banner and he never recited the Pledge of Allegiance.Read More
Considering the nature of the attack in Chattanooga, many people are feeling vulnerable and afraid. When I saw the signs above the recruitment office where the shootings occurred, I immediately thought about those same signs above the military recruitment offices near my home.Read More
I remember the first time I heard one of my Muslim friends say he loved Jesus. Honestly, I was so surprised I almost fell out of my chair. Because of my ignorance, I thought a phrase like this was reserved for people who call themselves Christians.Read More
Recently I was reading an opinion piece on the increasing conflict zones in the Middle East.. One quote from the author that really caught my attention was when he said, “there will come a moment in history where Arabs, Iranians, Turks, Israelis, Kurds an others, Sunnis and Shiites, Christians and Jews and atheists will be utterly exhausted before they realize that in a ‘war against all’ everyone loses. I shudder when I think that I will not see that moment of bliss in my lifetime.”Read More
A few weeks ago, a visiting foreign Prime Minister addressed the US congress and ‘stirred the pot’ regarding America’s fears about Iran. The biggest concern is that Iran will build a nuclear weapon and use it against the US, Israel or another foreign ally. Since those congressional meetings, we have seen a flurry of influential people calling for action and in some cases war. One article I read (presented by a Johns Hopkins Fellow) said war with Iran ‘is probably our best option’. Really?Read More
He has olive skin, jet black hair and speaks the same language as the people who carried out the 9/11 attacks. He is Muslim and his wife wears a scarf that covers all but her face. He is from a country that most Americans view as an enemy and he now lives in the US.Read More
Very recently our media thrust the phrase No-Go Zones (NGZ’s) into the forefront of our minds and onto our Facebook pages. It has been suggested that these are places inside western countries, including the US, where Sharia Law reigns and Muslim extremism can thrive. One FB post I recently saw showed a picture of ISIS with a title that read “coming to a neighborhood near you”.Read More
There are about 1.8 billion Muslims in the world and about 2.2 billion Christians. That means half of the world is either Muslim or Christian. So one in two people you encounter on Earth will identify with one of these two religions. Let that sink in a minute.Read More
Often Loving our neighbors begins when we find common ground, shared interests or even shared beliefs. It’s not complicated, really, we share humanity and because of that alone we have a wealth of similarities to draw from. If we are willing to consider them.Read More