It strikes me that most of the terrorists I’ve ever heard of are Muslims. When I was young the IRA pulled off some terroristtype moves, and I have been told that the Israeli’s did some before they were given the state of Israel. That being said, my first exposure to Islam was the embassy takeover in Iran (in 1979/80). I still remember Walter Cronkite signing off each night with “the ???th day of the hostage situation in Iran.” Since then, I’ve heard of Islamic priests calling for bombings, and of faithful Muslims strapping explosives to themselves so that they can go into a market place and kill women and children to glorify Allah.

And then I have a talk with a local doctor who is a Muslim. She (yes, SHE) tells me about Allah loving us and commanding us to love each other. Quoting Muhammed, she relates to me words I’ve read in the Bible (words of Jesus) about how we should help each other and not seek glory for the help (“when you give with your right hand, don’t let your left hand know.”). She shares with me a religious tradition not so different than my own, which emphasizes the Two Great Commandments.

So, will the real Islam please stand up. But that’s not really fair, is it? While I know that Christ said to love others, to be a neighbor to those who need neighbors, to feed the hungry, visit the imprisoned, tend to the sick, etc., I also know that in His name some of the greatest evils have been done (ask any Wiccan about “the Burning Times”). When I look at Islam, I see reflected back the ugly AND the beautiful things about Christian thought. I realize that I CANNOT judge the suicide bomber, for he is no different than the Crusader.

I’m facing a dilema here. I must love someone who hates me. It could cost me my life. But maybe, just maybe, I should trust Him Who gave His life. Maybe Jesus knew what He was talking about. Maybe loving Muslims is the best that I can do. It sure is the toughest thing to do.

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