How should we to respond to all this? Some believers have taken a Crusade era mentality of we need to conquer the Muslim, we need to show them that they are wrong by insulting their beliefs, making fun of their prophet, burning the Koran. Well, I am sure that will have millions of Muslims converting to Christianity overnight, or actually I see that as ticking off many Muslims and creating a greater barrier with the people we are called to love and creating more radicals as what some have been told to believe of the Western world/Christianity seems to be true.
One needs to know why they are up in arms to fully understand the problem. Muslims do not like people depicting their prophet, especially non-Muslims and especially when they are insulting the prophet. “If someone insults your father, will you like it? If you love your father, you'll certainly not. Then know that our prophet is dearer to us than our Fathers.” (source)
A guy by the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula who is a Coptic Christian from Egypt living in the United States made a film about their prophet, Muhammad. The movie portrays Muhammad as a womaniser, homosexual, and pretty much an idiot who made no sense. The film is horrible, it jumps around from scene to scene and the actors voices are recorded over and acting is terrible. I think anyone with a camera could have done the same if not better. Do not waste your time watching it and for actual facts, most were distorted from the truth, half-truths are still lies.
I am not sure what the film makers and his supporters’ purpose were in making this film. Was it to try and turn people away from Islam, to show them that they are wrong or to make people aware of persecution, or to make fun of Muslims?
The way that I suggest we react to this film is in four ways:
First - Let’s react with complete love. Talk with your Muslim friends or your butcher or the lady down the street about the movie and tell them that you are appalled by the film and that it was done in bad taste. Show them that you have respect for their belief and their prophet. That doesn’t mean you need to worship Muhammad, but treat their beliefs with respect. Don’t laugh, or yell "you are wrong".
I remember I was doing outreach on the Gold Coast; it was called “Afwan”. Tens of thousands of Muslims holiday there during the cold winter months. As I was walking the street, I saw a couple of Aussie guys driving their Ute, open their window and start yelling and a couple of Muslim woman to get back to their country and some other profanity. My heart broke. Welcome to our country, what a nice greeting these women got.
Make friends with Muslim, live life with them. Share your testimony of what God has done in your life when appropriate. While the world wants us to hate them lets stretch out our arms in love and walk with them. Let’s move in the opposite spirit and love our neighbour as ourselves. Make friends with them. God loves the Muslims just as much as He loves us.
Secondly - Learn about Islam. So much fear is associated with the world of Islam. Not every Muslim is a terrorist. Ask questions about their religion and belief. Don’t be ignorant and believe everything that is in the news about them. Find out who Muhammad was, and what the Koran say.
Thirdly - Pray for Muslims in your neighbourhood. Pray that Jesus would reveal himself to them, pray that they would feel welcomed in our communities. Pray for the racism that is happening to them just because of their belief and who they are. According to some sources there has been retaliation towards Muslims for the protests. “Mr Dandan said the community had been receiving hundreds of threats against people and property from a small racist segment of the Australian population.” Pray for the Christians who are working amongst the Muslims in Islamic nations who are facing much persecution. Pray for a way to show Christ to the Muslims in your life.
Finally - Let’s learn from Muslims. Some Muslims are very devoted. They pray five times a day facing towards Mecca. They fast for 40 days during Ramada; they give a form of tithe. They take the deeds part very seriously. Yes, we are saved by grace and not deeds but the Bible does tell us to fast and pray. We can also learn about reverence. They show much respect for Muhammad, where as Christians we are pretty casual with Jesus, sometimes too casual.
The sad thing is that because of a film like this, people die. Just like when the Koran was burnt in the United States earlier this year, there was uproar in the Muslim world. Because of one’s person or a group or people’s stupidity dozens of people have been hurt and killed. I cringe every time I hear about things like this as I have friends doing amazing works in restricted countries. Films like this put countless foreign missionaries at risk, not to mention the local Christian population and anyone who looks like an American. There are people who are working with Muslims around the world, trying to tell them about the amazing love of Christ.
Jesus would never have walked around and made fun of Muhammad, he would have loved the people, and told the truth of who he was. Why are we so concerned with proving other people right? Shouldn’t we be showing God’s love by healing the sick, feeding the poor, loving the unlovable, telling about forgiveness of sins?
Genevieve Wilson is married with two children who served with YWAM for eight years in Brisbane and now serving in mission in Canada as a modern day abolitionist.
Genevieve Wilson's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/genevieve-wilson.html