Asalamalakum (السلام عليكم)
My name is Brady. I’m a pastor. I haven’t studied your faith and religion as much as you likely have studied mine. I have attended several of your prayer services, read portions of the Qu’ran, taken formal, graduate level classes on Islam, and discussed elements of your Hadith.
I know that, in all likelihood, we don’t think the other one is going to heaven. I also know that if we’re true to our faith, we both want the other to go to heaven. We just disagree on the method of getting there. You have taught me about my own faith, and so I want to say thank you for that.
I also want to say I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for the rhetoric you’ve endured for nearly 15 years now, since 9/11. I’m especially sorry for the increased tone in the past weeks, to the point where we’re talking about barring you from our country. I’m sorry for the harassment and vandalism you’ve endured, both verbally and physically, because you have the “audacity” to practice your faith in this country.
I’m sorry that people in a ‘Christian nation’ are radicalizing against you. I’m sorry that there is so much ignorance on our part about your faith. I’m sorry that our ignorance becomes an excuse for taking a sensationally radical segment of your faith and treat it as the norm for all Muslims.
I’m sorry that we, as a nation, are becoming so selfish in our own tragedy that we’re ignoring an Islamic civil war and refugee crisis. I’m sorry if you feel unwelcome here, but I wouldn’t blame you.
But I want you to know this. You will always be welcome in my home and my church. You won’t be required to remove head coverings, empty out bags, or go through pat downs.
Because you’ve always welcomed me.
Every prayer service I’ve attended, every mosque I’ve visited, and every Imam or Mullah I’ve spoken to has welcomed me as I was, without pretense or fear. You’ve never asked me to leave my Bible at home or remove my pendant of St Michael. Despite the fact that many ‘Christians’ are harassing and even assaulting you, you have always extended grace to me.
So the least I can do is treat you as graciously and hospitably as you’ve treated me.
I hope and pray that we as a nation can find true healing in God’s grace and mercy, even if you and I disagree on what to call God or how to connect with Him.
Peace to you.
In Christ’s Love,