Since the bombings in London last month, there has been a significant increase in hate crimes against Muslims in London (see the link above). Scotland Yard reports that there have been around 269 incidents of verbal or physical attack or criminal damage to property based on religious status since the bombings. That is a 600% increase in religious hate crimes. This reminds me unfortunately of some happenings in the US following September 11.
As followers of Jesus our stance toward others, regardless of their religious status, should be different. The two ‘laws’ that Jesus held up as the guidelines for his followers were to love God with all that we are and then to love our neighbors as ourselves. While we acknowledge that with our minds, our lives are too often far from that.
We are prone to slam people over the head with Jesus’ truth in a manner that is miles apart from Jesus’ way of doing things.
When he encountered the irreligious Roman centurion, he commended his faith as exemplary. When he encountered the Samaritan woman, he did not condemn but challenged with love and truth to her deeper need. The only ones he ‘slammed’ were the self-righteous who did not understand the very truth of which they spoke.
To respond to Muslims following these devastating bombings requires us to walk in Jesus’ way. That way is to love them – for they are the neighbors that we encounter day by day. If Jesus were here, he would love them not inflict hate crimes upon them.
Oh, Jesus is here . . . he lives in you and me who call on his name.