It’s a feel-good story that’s been doing the rounds, but it bears repeating. A potentially nasty situation defused by a simple act of friendliness.
A time to protest?
Feelings have been running high in the UK since the murder of a British soldier recently, with protests and anger directed against Muslims. One protest was planned for York, and the local mosque.
But, as The Guardian reports, the small number of protestors were invited by the mosque to share a cup of tea and a game of football. Everything ended in a friendly way.
Stigmatising who we disagree with
This small outbreak of peace is a reminder that not all Muslims think the same, any more than do all christians, or all the British. The mosque president said:
Under the banner of Islam there are very different politics: democratic politics, the far right, left, central, all over. You can’t target a whole community for what one or two people have done.
Learning christian behaviour
Jesus said we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:43), and St Paul said we shouldn’t repay evil with evil, but try to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:17-18). As the proverb says: “A soft answer turns away anger.” The York Muslims have given us an example of this, which we can learn from.
We can’t avoid the fact that there are violent people in the world, including within Islam, but it is our choice which way we respond to those who don’t espouse violence, and to those who do.