BY NF STUDIO
Do you think you know everything about Muslims? Probably not. In fact, there are a lot of things about Muslims that Christians don't know—and that's okay! We're not supposed to know everything. But what we should do is learn more about our Muslim neighbors, especially if we want to love them well.
If you've learned about Muslims from American media you've probably learned some things that aren’t true. As followers of Jesus, it is important we learn the truth. Here we are going to dispel six common lies that Christians are commonly told about Muslims.
Lie #1: American Muslims Are Sympathetic to Terrorism
The media would have you believe that every Muslim is sympathetic to Islamic terrorism. But this could not be further from the truth. In fact, according to a 2017 Pew Research study, "Muslim-Americans overwhelmingly reject violence in the name of Islam."
Eighty-four percent of American Muslims say that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians are rarely or never justified.
Lie #2: American Muslims Are Anti-America
Again, the media would have you believe that all Muslims dislike America. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, according to the same 2017 Pew Research study 92% of Muslim Americans say that they are proud to be Americans.
So if you're ever feeling down about America, know that there are American Muslims out there who love their country just as much, if not more, than you do!
"THE MEDIA WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE THAT ALL MUSLIMS DISLIKE AMERICA. THIS COULD NOT BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH."
Lie #3: All Muslims are Arabs, all Arabs are Muslims.
This is more of a common misconception, but it is still worth addressing. Although many Muslims are Arabs, there are also many non-Arab Muslims. In fact, Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world. Arab-Muslims make up only about 20% of the total Muslim population.
Furthermore, not all Arabs are Muslims. In fact, there are between ten and fifteen million Arab Christians.
So the next time you meet a Muslim, don't assume they're Arab! And the next time you meet someone from the Middle East, do not assume they are Muslim.
Lie #4: Muslims Are All the Same
Muslims are often lumped together as one big group, but the truth is that there is incredible diversity within the Muslim community. Muslims come from different races, ethnicities, nationalities, and cultures. There are even different sects of Islam!
So the next time you meet a Muslim, ask them about their background and what being Muslim means to them. You might be surprised by how different their experiences are from your own.
"JUST AS CHRISTIANS COME IN MANY VARIETIES AND WORLDVIEWS...SO DO MUSLIMS"
Lie #5: Islam is a Violent Religion
One of the most common lies Christians are told about Muslims is that Islam is a violent religion. At Neighborly Faith, we believe that this is a poor understanding of what Muslims believe and an even poorer way to think about your Muslim neighbors.
While it is true that the Qur'an has many violent passages, there are also violent passages in the Bible—especially the Old Testament. Most Christians in our society know that these passages refer to a particular time and place and do not apply to us as modern day readers after the coming of Jesus. But, remember, if someone did want to use the Bible to justify violence they would have plenty of passages they could use (out of context!) to support their horrendous actions.
Similarly, most Muslims believe that the Qur'an should be read in its historical context. Many of the violent passages in the Qur'an were written during a time of war and are not interpreted to apply to Muslims today.
So when you hear someone say that Islam is a violent religion, know that they are only speaking about a small minority of Muslims who use the Qur'an to justify violence. The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people who want nothing more than to live in peace with their neighbors.
Lie 6: Muslims and Christians Cannot be Friends
This is probably the biggest lie of them all. Muslims and Christians can, and do, have healthy and fulfilling friendships all the time. In fact, most American Muslims have Christians friends. We at Neighborly Faith would love to see the reverse true, also: that most Christians have Muslim friends. If you're interested in helping us accomplish this, read on.
There you have it! Six common lies about Muslims, debunked. Now that you know the truth, go out make some Muslim friends!
Make New Muslim Friends With Neighborly Faith
Neighborly Faith is a student-led organization committed to bringing Christians and Muslims together and creating real friendships with neighbors of all faiths. We share the expertise of Evangelical scholars and practitioners to train a generation of leaders to love and lead like Jesus in a diverse world.
Our Boundless Program connects Christian students with influential Muslims in their field in online and in-person learning and networking opportunities. NF Media trains evangelicals to lead and love across faiths. What Went Wrong? tackles the big questions about polarization, and offers real solutions. Our Fellows Program is a competitive fellowship that will equip a cohort of Evangelical college students to lead initiatives that seek justice for and build friendships with people of other faiths in their communities.
If you’re interested in leading with a neighborly faith, contact us today!