Jesus Says #illridewithyou



My wife told me about the Sydney cafe siege yesterday morning, and like most Australians I found myself glued to the news for the remainder of the day. Candice and I prayed for the outcome hoping that everything would work out fine. Sadly, 2 innocent hostages were killed along with the troubled Islamic extremist who held them captive for over 15 hours. 

I was at work when the news broke out that the siege was over. The doctor I was working with, a Muslim man from Pakistan, was receiving calls and texts from his family who were worried about his safety. They had heard about the hate crimes that often follow terrorist acts and were hoping that he would be safe from any anti-Islamic retaliations. Their concerns were not unfounded. The terrorist act perpetrated by this man was sure to spark anger and hatred among certain segments of the population who would attempt to lash out against all Muslims as a way of "getting back".

And it happened. A Muslim woman riding the train this morning was harrased by a male passenger. Another Muslim woman riding the train was reported to have removed her hijab fearing her safety. "Within hours of the attack... a Muslim group reported that women wearing the hijab had been spat on and the right-wing Australian Defence League [ADL] called on followers to protest at two major mosques."[1] 

However, something remarkable happened. The woman harrassed on the train was defended by the rest of the passengers resulting in the mans arrest. The woman who removed her hijab was approached by a local named Rachel who told her "put it back on, I'll walk with you." Rachel said "She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute - then walked off alone."[2] And the protests called by the ADL never materialized. But that wasn't all. Twitter soon became inundated with the hashtag #illridewithyou. "The Twitter hash tag... express[es] support for Muslims who felt vulnerable on public transport in the wake of the siege."[2] Yahoo News reports, "within hours it had been used in almost 120,000 tweets."[3]

And the trend continues to grow as Australians rise to the occasion, responding to the Muslim community with love instead of hatred. Of course, not everyone is supportive but I have to say, I am totally blown away by how beautiful this response has been. During the last 3 months I have had the opportunity to work with a handful of Muslims from Pakistan, Malaysia and even Iran. It has been amazing to hear them tell their side of the story - how they hated Sadam Hussein, Osama Binladen, and the insanity of Islamic State. They have spoken to me of love, tolerance, respect for fellow human beings, and a desire to live at peace. These wonderful Muslims are haunted by the actions of fanatics whose inhumanity leaves them shaking their heads and at times, fearing for their safety.

Jesus calls us to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us, and to treat each other as we would like to be treated. He calls us to embrace the foreigner and to treat every man as our neighbor. He calls us to reflect his character to this world by living, not for our own self-interests, but for the well being of others.[5] In effect, Jesus says #illridewithyou and I want his words to be exemplified in my life.

Now I don't use public transport. This limits my ability to truly "ride" with a fellow Muslim. But what I can do is support the cause by refusing to embrace intolerance, hatred, anger, and enmity against Muslims, by standing up for them when they are mistreated, and by spreading the message of acceptance and kindness that is desperately needed in this hate-filled world.

In short: Jesus says #illridewithyou and so do I.


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[1] http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/12/15/illridewithyou-emerges-as-muslims-fear-sydney-siege-backlash
[2] http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/dec/15/illridewithyou-hashtag-offers-solidarity-to-sydneys-muslims-after-cafe-siege
[3] http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/12/15/illridewithyou-emerges-as-muslims-fear-sydney-siege-backlash
[4] https://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/25780011/illridewithyou-support-for-muslim-australians-takes-off-following-sydney-siege/
[5]  Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 10:25-37, Luke 9:54-56, Galatians 3:28

photo credit: thedescrier via photopin cc

Comments

  1. All Islam is the enemy of the cross and of Jesus Christ the only true God (1 John 5:20).
    Islam can only carry out the works of their god who was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).

    Look at Cain, from the beginning he murdered his brother Abel, that is because he was born of the evil one (1 John 3:12), so what then can we expect from his children?

    Only because of the wickedness of those who are called by the Name of the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ has raised up a people who are more zealous for their god and He has put the sword in their hand and bring them against all who claim to believe in the Lord and do not, till they turn from their apostate ways back to the Lord their only God and He will wash them as white as snow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paul I havent heard from you in forever! How are you dude? I hope all is well.

      Im having a hard time with your comment because I cant tell where to put it. This article has nothing to do with whether Islam is a good religion or an evil religion. What I am advocating for is what Jesus advocated for - that is "love your enemies". Now, I dont believe that a Muslim is inherently my enemy but even if they were I am still called to love them. When the disciples wanted Jesus to call fire down on the Samaritans he told them "You know not what spirit you are of". As Christians we should be foremost in showing love and kindness toward the Muslim community. Not all of them are terrorists. Many of them are wonderful people who want to live in peace. We as Christians should treat them kindly and with love despite what we think their religion teaches (which is debatable). Thats all this article is about. Whether or not Islam is of the devil is another discussion for another time, lol.
      Blessings!

      Delete
    2. I am with you, Marcos!

      When I first heard about the #illridewithyou response to the Sydney siege, I immediately felt that this is exactly what Jesus would do.

      Great post.

      Delete
  2. I know my brother :-(
    I fully understand your post, but here in Australia we have a form of godliness, but with our hearts we are faaaar from the Lord Jesus Christ.

    We Australians are willing to walk down any road with any Muslim or any other religious person without ever mention the Name of the true God 'JESUS' Christ.

    Yes, we are experts of showing love (whatever that means) and to love our neighbours. We even do better, we open the doors to all those who hate us and call us infidels and delight to cut off our heads in the name of their god.
    We even lie and deceive ourselves; when they hold up the flag of their god and murder our brothers and children in front of our eyes (Sydney Australia); and then we say, that has nothing to do with Islam.
    Islam of course is a religion of peace, and Muslims are peace-loving.

    Can you see, how we welcome those peace-loving people who raise up their children to commit acts of peace. That is because we really love those Muslims, after all they have the right to practice and carry out their religion here in Australia.
    If that is not love, what then is love?

    Please ask yourself, does the Lord Jesus love them?
    Would the Lord Jesus walk down the road with them?
    I wish that all Muslims would repent and turn from their wicked ways to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

    ReplyDelete

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