Unless you’re just determined to ignore facts, this story makes it hard to keep believing that all Muslims are terrorists who are out to kill everyone who doesn’t share their faith. I suspect it will be ignored or discredited by those for whom it causes serious cognitive dissonance.
Late last week, the picture above was posted on the Facebook page of the Sohag governorate in Egypt. According to the caption, it’s local Muslims protecting a Christian church as marchers of the Muslim Brotherhood went through the city. In the political violence in the country, Christians have sometimes been targets of the pro-Morsi faction, so local people seemed determined not to let it happen in their city.
I’ve written before that it’s misguided and evil to hate everybody of any particular religion, whatever it is. I see a lot of people online who seem determined to believe that all Muslims are evil terrorists out to destroy this country. It’s certainly true that there’s a serious strain of hate and violence among certain radicalized Muslims, but it’s factually wrong to believe that reflects on every Muslim.
As I’ve said over and over again, human beings are very much alike in some ways. Despite huge cultural differences that influence what we see and what they do, people around the world are more like us in some keys ways than some people realize. Some are good people. Some are evil people. Some are smart. Some are stupid and gullible. Most are some combination of these good and bad attributes.
And if you’re paying attention, you’ll realize that’s exactly the same as is true of us.
However you define yourself — American, Christian, atheist, skeptic, whatever — those others like you are a mixed bag. Some are good and some are bad. Most of us (probably all of us) are some mixture of good and bad, smart and stupid, brave and cowardly, loving and hateful.
Radical Muslim terrorists are a problem for the world today. But the more you believe that every Muslim is evil, the more likely you are to favor policies that are just going to make things worse.
There are good people everywhere. Last week, some of those good people protected a church that was important to some of their neighbors. We need to celebrate them just as much as we criticize the radicals who do harm. I appreciate their efforts to do the right thing.