What’s Wrong with the Muslims?

OK, first off, I apologize for the misleading headline. I’m not going to list what’s wrong with Muslims. You can find a bucketload of sites that will do that! Rather, I want to suggest it just doesn’t suit to say, “the Muslims.” I’m guilty, but this over-generalization hobbles our effort to understand, engage and love Muslims. 

Check me if I’m wrong on this, but there’s not a single thing we can truthfully say about Muslims that is not also untrue about some of them. Muslims tend to place a high value on global community and unity, but they are no monolith. We find almost as much diversity within the 1.5 billon people called “Muslim” as we would within a random collection of that many people. 

For instance: 

  • Muslims come in all colors, cultures and ethnicities. 
  • Most Muslims don’t speak Arabic.
  • India and Indonesia are the two most populous Muslim nations. 
  • Most Muslims know other Muslims who don’t do it right in their eyes. 

Muslims are every bit as diverse as are Christians, more so since culture and ethnicity play a greater role for many Muslims than they do for most Christians. We have progressives and fundamentals, liberals and conservatives, orthodox and heretics. . . and denominations out the wazoo! Muslims do too! You know Christians you wish would never come out in public. So do Muslims. 

Will you join me in thinking about Muslims in a more sophisticated way? I’m not saying get a PhD in Islamics or punch anyone who overgeneralizes. But as thoughtful followers of Jesus, let’s be mindful of at least some of the beautiful (and not so beautiful) diversity within “the Muslims!”

If this caused you to smile or say, “hmmmm,” please forward it to a friend, pastor or your Facebook buds. Thanks. 

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