I am serious, I really do love Muslims. Do I love them more than say Atheists, Buddhist, Satanists, Christians or Secular Humanists. No, not really but lately there has been a lot of talk about Muslims in my neck of the woods.
It has been a while since there was a major terrorist attack and we have had plenty of time to connect with our fellow humans and get to know those affiliating with the Muslim faith. Still people are unduly afraid of Muslims. Why is that? I have known plenty of Muslims in my life and really cannot say that any of them were anything other than harmless regular people, some I would even categorize as really great loveable people. You know, same as with any random sampling of humanity.
I see Muslims everyday on the bus. Well, I see Muslim women. I am sure I see men too but they are not as noticeable because they dress just like everyone else. I feel no fear, or nervousness with these women. I have classes with them. They are quiet, some not so quiet, but they seem like regular people. They stick to their own kind, just like the representatives of most minority groups because they are probably a little scared.
I remember 9/11. I was in the University of Oklahoma at the time. People started saying crazy things like, don't go in the Towers (12 story residential buildings) someone will fly a plane in them. I remember laughing and thinking they were crazy, I lived on the 12th floor of one. What was going to happen? Someone was going to fly a crop duster in one? I also remember being scared for my brown friends. Not only my Muslim friends but all my brown friends. Any one perpetrating a racially motivated attack is not going to wait to find out that they guy is actually Sikh, or Mexican.
I take all the words of Jesus literally. I may leave some room for interpretation in some parts of the Bible, but I must say that the words of Jesus I listen to with out interpretation. I have never felt the need to expand up on them. I try to expand the sphere of my love as far as it will humanly go. I try to love people no matter how exotic their culture is or how strange their ideas are because they are people just like me. I also believe in loving my enemy and as a result I am supposed to have no enemies. I can honestly say I love all Muslims from the nice Afgani family that runs the pizzeria down the block to even the villainous late Osama bin Laden. My literal neighbours in this case may deserve my love and it is easy to love them, the latter is universally hated for the things he has done and deserves no love but he is still a human being and the words of Jesus apply to him too. So, if you start from the stand point that we must love our enemies, if we are to be good Christians, and the late Mr. Laden is our enemy, how much easier is it to love that person down the street who is merely different.