There's Something Familiar...

from Shane's Muslim Connect

Someone said something very smart to me yesterday. Julia was giving us a tour of a center in Palermo, Sicily that provides basic services to hundreds of migrants each day. She said, “We tend to think the migrants are very different. But we need to remember they are people like us. In important ways we are very much alike: They want to work, support themselves and their families, to have self-respect and respect from others.”

Her soft voice cut through my drowsiness straight to my heart. Yes, I need to remember these migrants, and Muslims in general, are real people. I need to fight my tendency to wrap them all up and dump them in a box labeled “Other.” 

Here’s a way I do this that hopefully you don’t. I assume people who aren’t really good with English must not be too bright. Yeah, they speak five other languages! But if their command of the single one I speak isn’t as good as me, well, “Probably a little dull, poor thing. Bless their heart.”

Yes, there are Muslims who want to kill people who think differently. There are some who want a global Islamic theocracy. Some basically thing about others as infidels. But the ones you pass in the grocery? The ones you go to school and work with? They wish they had more room on their dvr. They wonder if they can justify upgrading to an iPhone X! They’re thinking about how to raise their kids, pay the bills and maybe please God in the mix. 

Sound familiar? It is. 

In your mind, bring the Muslims you know, or know about, into view. Imagine this: The things you’re worrying about today, the issues you’re facing, they’re likely wresting with the same things. Now, in real life, invite them over for a Thanksgiving meal. It might be the first they’ve ever had!

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