It is said that once an African American went to a church in the US to pay homage to Jesus Christ (Peace be on him) and to worship his Lord.
On entering the Church he was immediately met with hostility and abuse due to the colour of his skin.
He was forced out of the church, beaten and left on the side of the street. The man lay there rolling his legs up against his chest holding himself tightly in the cold winter weather and began weeping and crying before his Lord. It is at this point that he saw a vision.
He saw Jesus Christ (Peace be on him) appear unto him and comfort him with love and affection.
Jesus told the man not to worry and told him that ‘these people are not from me, even i am not welcome in this church.
The truth is that the members of that church who had forced him out had forgotten the true peaceful teachings of love that Jesus (Peace be on him) had imparted. They had forgotten the teachings of acceptance and integration and had distanced themselves from the true teachings of Jesus (Peace be on him).
Similar is the case of the estimated 0.000066% of extremist ‘so-called’ Muslims. It is a shame that this minority has become the face of the religion which says the killing of one soul is akin to killing the whole of mankind and creating disorder in the earth is even worse than murder.
Clearly these so-called Muslims are not acting on the teachings of Islam. If the prophet Muhammad (Peace be on him) were to see this he would surely say the same ‘that these people are not from me’.
In fact, he even prophesied this time; that a group of Muslims would lose touch with the true teachings of Islam and would not be following the Quran and faith would be lost.
The thing that is really worrying is that some people are painting all Muslims with one brush due to the actions of a small minority. 99% of Muslims condemn the actions of these violent and dangerous extremists.
Muslims themselves are the target of these extremists and are fleeing their own home lands to find refuge elsewhere. Yet the church leaders, the ones who believe in Jesus (Peace be on him) and his teachings of love and compassion for humanity, are willing to close their doors on such innocent human beings who fear the same ideology which they fear.
Our battle shouldn’t be against a religion.
We should unite to stand up against all forms of extremism and violence, whether that be from so-called Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists or anyone else.
Violence and terror is wrong according to every religion, faith and secular law. We are all the creation of God and should live like brothers and sisters and unite against evil. Bigotry just creates more distance and is never the solution.
You can see the result of the bigotry of the extremists. Let’s not allow bigotry to raise its head in any form in Samoa.
I commend the Prime Minister for taking the stand of not coming under the influence of such views. I commend all those standing up against bigotry and hatred of any kind and I commend those truly spreading the message of love for all, hatred for none.
No solution in bigotry.