In the article, Islamic militants vow war after pope comments , there is a distressing but not unexpected header, Malaysia says apology not enough. How sad that Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar is unable to refrain from pouring oil on the fire. Here was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the peacefulness of Islam and the willingness to forgive but unfortunately Malaysian Muslims lost through one man’s words the opportunity to bring peace and reconciliation. Contrast this with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt who are attempting to be peacemakers in the truest sense.
On a personal note – After I converted from Hinduism to Christianity, I was asked by others why I did not convert to Islam, the Malaysian national religion, and receive in my homeland those material benefits and privileges reserved for Muslims. The reasons are self evident. As a mere woman, I came to a point in my life when I began to need a living God who will defend me and does not require my defense of Him, physical or otherwise. God speaks to our souls.
For this balm of Gilead, on my wounded heart, I began to look to another man, Jesus Christ, who says: “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect. Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:44-6:1.
I grew up with anti west rhetoric in Malaysia and yet when the Tsunami hit Indonesia, it is the western nations that rushed to the aid of Muslims. Even if the permissiveness of western culture offends Muslim sensibilities, would it not be better then to pray for them rather than revile, denounce and war against them?