Dear Muslim Friends,
We are often asked, “Do all Muslims believe ________________?” or “Do all Muslims do ________________?” as if every one of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world has exactly the same beliefs or behaviors.
We tell them, “They don’t!”
We tell them, like adherents to the Christian faith, Muslims are not a monolithic people. Besides some of the core teachings like the 5 Pillars of Islam, all Muslims do not believe precisely the same. And they certainly do not all act the same.
We have met self-proclaimed Muslims who are very devout in their religion and others who hardly practice it at all.
We have met self-identified Muslims like these:
– a rapper from Somalia with some not so clean lyrics
– a body builder from Bangladesh who also works in a casino
– a disc jockey and guitarist/singer from Syria
– an older woman from India who does not wear a hijab
– her son who is a dedicated pro football fan but believes my wife and I are going to Heaven because we are “good people,” even though we are not Muslims
– a man from North Africa who refuses to marry another wife in the US to gain citizenship
– Muslims from Yemen who told the man from North Africa to take that wife as an easy path to citizenship
– an international student from Saudi Arabia who met me at the door of his apartment wearing a shirt from a stripper club
– another international student from Saudi Arabia who would not set foot in a stripper club
– Muslims from Shia or Sunni background who hate the other group and say the other group are all going to hell
– Muslims from very small sects of Islam
– Muslims from The Nation of Islam
– Muslims who give you the most amazing hospitality you have ever experienced
– Muslims who don’t want to dialogue with you but only want to cram Islam down your throat
– Muslims who are some of the kindest, humblest, gentlest people we have ever met.
All of these would say,
“I was born a Muslim, and I’ll die a Muslim.”
But. . .they are different.
Dear Muslim friends, we are trying to keep Christian people from harmful or just plain ignorant stereotypes of you.
One size definitely doesn’t fit all Muslim people!
If Christians are reading this, we say, “Get to know your Muslim friend for who they uniquely are and what they uniquely believe.”
That is a way to “love your neighbor” (as Jesus said) – your Muslim neighbor!
#dontstereotypemuslims #loveyourmuslimneighbor #notallmuslimsarealike #onesizedoesntfitall
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