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July 26, 2011

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Brad Jersak

Dear anonymous neighbor,

Thanks for leading me into this exercise in empathy. I've become so weary of the dehumanizing hate rhetoric towards Muslims that I receive regularly from Christian alarmists who think that fear and exclusion of profiled immigrants is somehow the solution to national security. Jesus' Golden Rule has a flip-side -- it implies a warning of the folly of such a lack of foresight, if not for me, certainly for my grandchildren.

You helped me to take a moment to view our culture through the eyes of those who want to honour God but (like me) yearn for him through smudged window. Dislocating my point of view helped me feel the weight of those chilling words, 'To honor God is to be nothing like you.' I 'got it' in a new way today.

Without such a reorientation to remind us that 'We are all God's offspring' (according to the Apostle Paul), tragedies such as Norway recently experienced should be deemed as nothing short of inevitable. We cannot sow hate and reap peace.

I hear that the Muslim population in Western Europe will be in the majority by mid-century at the latest, even through childbirth of the existing citizens. I'm apparently supposed to be terrorized by the thought. What is it that I'm expected to do? Shall I run for the hills? Or lobby the government to ... what? Sterilize Muslims? Ethnic cleansing? Cancel the democratic vote that will eventually bring a Muslim to power? What is really being suggested? Something 'awful but necessary,' to quote Anders Behring Breivik?

My proposal would be to make ourselves such a blessing that our place in the supposed forthcoming Islamic society would be indispensable to their wellbeing. But it feels like that opportunity is already slipping away.

Sobered,
bj

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