Response to Robertson

March 16, 2006

Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics offers an excellent response at Ethics Daily to Pat Robertson's recent remarks about Islam. Parham states:

"The Sermon on the Mount is crystal clear about peacemaking, loving enemies, doing good to others, striving after God's kingdom and practicing discernment. ... Regrettably, fundamentalist Christians ignore the Sermon on the Mount because it is not a manual for warmaking which is at the heart of Christian crusades."

The article also quotes Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on why Christians need to repudiate Robertson's remarks. He explains:

"The failure by mainstream religious and political leaders to challenge Mr. Robertson's Islamophobic remarks will send the false message to Muslims worldwide that the majority of Americans agree with his hate-filled views. ... The constant, and largely unchallenged, drumbeat of anti-Muslim rhetoric is poisoning the public's attitude toward ordinary American Muslims. ... Islamophobic rhetoric inevitably translates into acts of bias, discrimination and even violence against Muslims."

Awad is absolutely correct and it is good to see Christians like Parham who quickly speak out. Now is the time when American Muslims need to hear and feel love from the Christian community. If we do not renounce Robertson's hate then we will drive the Muslim community away and hurt our chances for dialogue and ministry. Robertson's comments do not help the Christian community and could actually damage the work of Christians who have been reaching out to the Muslim community.