February 08, 2006

Loving the Muslim, Hating Islam

I was always taught to hate the sin but love the sinner. It's often tough to do, but I definitely have always tried. In fact, even though I'm a regular church attendee, I prefer to hang out with sinners. Let's face it, they're just more fun.

So, just because I am extremely critical of Islam as a political ideology, I don't hate Muslims. Never have, never will. I don't care if you don't believe me. It's true.

Many Muslims act as if they get to choose which criticisms of their religion are valid and which criticisms are simply inspired by hate. As Jeff Goldstein argues here, such is the politics of identity and why many on the Left choose to side with Islamofascists over tolerant liberalism. Because a persons's identity is often intertwined with their religious ideology, the see an attack on their religion as an attack on themselves.

But just because people often really care about their religion and are offended when people criticize their religion, it does not give them the God-like ability to read the hearts of those that criticize and discern that what motivates the criticisms is inspired by bigotry and hate. Such is the childish behavior of those wishing to end all debate when their beliefs are challenged.

Growing up, my faith was often challenged by those I deemed bigots, so I have a bit of experience being the victim of what I thought of as persecution. But that is kind of the point: those were reactions I had when I was childish, but now that I'm grown up I have a different reaction to those that challenge a part of me that I see as essential to my identity.

Not that all of these challenges to my faith are always fair, they're not. Nor are all these challenges always that well informed, most of them aren't. But I no longer ascribe evil motives to those issuing the challenges. They may be made out of ignorance, but they are rarely made out of hatred.

A Toronto Star editorial makes the childish argument, that bloggers are simply haters of Muslims:

Follow their politics and you’ll understand why they’re on this particular blogwagon: they hate Muslims.
WunderKraut responds to the question of whether or not right-wing bloggers hate Muslims:
Short answer: No. Not in the least. If you think I do, I ask you to produce proof....

Long answer...

Frankly, I have grown tired of the militant Islamic movement screaming EVERY TIME they see or hear something they don’t want to see or hear. Especially since when they scream, violence usually follows. Did I say that because I hate Muslims? No. I said it because it is true. Don’t believe me? The Koran is rumored to have been desecrated, riots and deaths follow. A movie is made that challenges Islam’s treatment of women, a Dutch filmmaker is killed. The presence of Ariel Sharon at a Jewish shrine near the Temple Mount sets off the Second Intifada.

Read the rest.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:04 PM | Comments |