It had been a long weekend of speaking and I was wiped. So when the guy caught me in the aisle on Sunday evening to say, “I’m praying for you guys,” I was genuinely grateful. But he went on to say, “I’m praying for you because what you’re doing is really dangerous, you know, because the Muslims want to take over the world, destroy America and kill all the Christians. And even when they’re nice, it’s because they’re allowed to deceive infidels, so that’s what they’re doing. . .”
He talked so long my half-righteous anger swelled and then had time to subside. When he drew a breath, I was ready, “This stuff you’ve been telling me, do you find it to be true of your Muslim friends?”
“I, uh, don’t have any Muslim friends.” I would have bet the rent.
A single friend neither proves nor disproves a statistic, a trend, or a political narrative. But it does provide a living, breathing data point. It puts a face on facts, both real and presumed.
If you don’t have a Muslim friend, now’s the time to get one. Jon Huckins, in Relevant Magazine says making Muslim friends will, among other things, help cure our fear, expand our worldview, and build relational understanding. I might add, there may also be baklava!
Next week I’ll give you five sure fire ways to start a conversation with a Muslim. Want to jump in right away? Here’s the one I used this morning, “How old’s your baby?” Killer, eh? You never would have thought of that, would you? Of course you would! You ask it all the time, just maybe not of Muslims. It works. She’s 18 months old. They’re from the Congo. Possibly the first people I’ve ever spoken to from the Congo.