Interfaith

The Irony of Spray Painting “Jesus” on Mosques

Racist Islamophobes (yes, Islamophobia is racism) are active in California. Here’s the latest incident according to CNN:

One mosque had “Jesus is the Way” spray-painted across the front. Another mosque was defaced and left with a fake grenade in the driveway.

Both acts of vandalism took place in the same California city, about an hour west of where the San Bernardino terror attack took place this month.

And Hawthorne police said both incidents are now classified as hate crimes.

This kind of incident is quite ironic. Clearly, the Islamophobes think “Jesus,” “Christianity” and “Islam” are mutually exclusive. They’re wrong.

For starters, Jesus is revered in Islam. The Qur’an considers him to be one of God’s greatest messengers to mankind. He’s mentioned more times in the Qur’an than Prophet Muhammad. The Qur’an calls Jesus an exalted Prophet (2:253) and perfect model for mankind (23:50). I wonder, are the attackers even aware of these passages? On the other hand, Mary – Jesus’ mother – has a whole chapter dedicated to her in the Qur’an. I commend the Islamic holy text for singling her out as a noble figure. In fact, the Qur’an states that God has chosen Mary above the women of all people and nations. She is mentioned more times in this book than in the New Testament itself. Think about that. Even more amazing is that Mary is the only woman mentioned in the Qur’an. Muslims revere her as a woman of purity and righteousness. Those who do not know anything about Islam may be surprised to learn that Prophet Muhammad defended Mary and recognized her as God’s chosen woman. Truly, Mary is the bridge between Christianity and Islam. (Continue reading below)

Those who attacked the mosque in California should read about the links between Islam and Christianity. The Qur’an tells us: “… And you will surely find that of all people, they who say: ‘We are Christians’ are closest to feeling affection for those who believe” (5:82). The Qur’an doesn’t stop there: “Those with faith, who are Jews, Christians, and Sabaeans, all who believe in God and the Last Day and act rightly will have their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow” (2:62). Instead of spraying graffiti on the mosque, the perpetrators would’ve been better off reading the Qur’an with Muslims to better understand Islamic scripture.

It’s worth questioning whether the perpetrators have the heart of a true Christian. If you claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, you must not only respect Muslims but love them. You must treat them with grace, compassion, and humility. It’s that simple. Jesus isn’t a complicated topic. I know I wouldn’t be true to my faith if I didn’t reach out peacefully to my Muslim neighbors. Jesus taught “love your neighbor.” Attacking mosques, posting anti-Muslims messages on social media, and fueling hatred of Islam isn’t what Jesus’ followers should be doing.

An incident like this one in California shows the true face of Islamophobia. It’s steeped in ignorance, misinformation, and lack of interaction with people outside immediate circles. I’d like to see those who committed this crime engage in a bit of their own jihad. They need to look inside and struggle with their hatred. They need to overcome their nastiness and find compassion. “Treat others as you want to be treated.” This is the “Golden Rule” which we all should live by.

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18 thoughts on “The Irony of Spray Painting “Jesus” on Mosques

  1. Mother Mary in Quran to be mentioned, It is good to know the way you and other liberal muslims talk about Islam to be so peaceful with their own interpretation of the Holy Quran. But what do the Majority of Muslims feel about it. Our problem is not with the Holy book or its teachings.. but the majority of people who call themselves muslims and disconnect themselves from people of other religions. They think , their religion is the only way to heaven
    and all others are going straight to hell …. if the talk about Jesus and Virgin Mary….
    Why not celebrate CHRISTMAS with us just to show respect to their prophet JESUS… but no
    if they did that , majority of their followers are going to blur the line between Islam and Christianity and even Judaism.
    So their explanation is simple… ” Oh! there is a confusion ove the date of birth of Jesus so we do not celebrate the birthday… but they very welll celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammed.
    If they truly are so loving and sharing with their CHRISTIAN NEIGHBOURS… Then why not come out in big numbers celebrate the birth of JESUS in theri own way to show us that they are not some community who has nothing to do with the majority of followers of other faith.

    PLZ DO NOT TELL US WHAT THE HOLY BOOK SAYS… TELL THE MUSLIMS WHAT THE BOOK SAYS AND OPEN THEIR CLOSED MINDS… TO BETTER INTEGRATE WITH PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY THAT GIVES YOU SHELTER AND PROTECTION . THEY SHOULD AND MUST DO SO…. IF THEY HAVE AN OUNCE OF PATRIOTISM AND LOYALTY TO THEIR COUNTRY THEY LIVE IN…. AND NOT JUST TO THEIR RELIGION

    INSTEAD OF THINKING… THAT RELIGION IS A PATH GOING TO HEAVEN … AND ONE RELIGION HAS TO BE BETTER THAN THE OTHER…. WHY NOT THINK THAT WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME PATH… IT’S JUST THAT WE ARE ALL IN DIFFERENT VEHICLES AND MEANS OF TRANSPORT…BUT THE PATH IS SAME AND SOONER OR LATER WE WILL ALL REACH THE SAME DESTINATION…

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    1. Prince Joseph, I don’t think you personally know any Muslims to say something like that. In Guyana, for example, the Muslims openly celebrate Christmas / Eid / Diwali because it is ingrained in the culture of the Guyanese population – and no one bats an eye at this.

      Also, you said “they think their religion is the only way to heaven and all others are going straight to hell” – honestly, that sounds more like Christian rhetoric. I should know – I grew up in a Catholic household. It would be very presumptuous for a Muslim to say “so-and-so is going to Hell” for such matters are only known by God Almighty. May God have mercy on us all.

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      1. Thanks for your reply George… I like the fact you mentioned that … it is ingrained in the culture of the Guyanese population.
        Now that’s what I am talking about.. It just goes to show how loyal and proudly guyanese you are.
        But the experience of Muslims I have had in Middle East, Asian Sub-continent and Few African Countries including South Africa that I have lived is not the same. Even the people (I mean Muslims that I know from Canada, Europe and USA) only if they were as loyal to their country as YOU ARE TO YOUR COUNTRY…
        Things would be different..
        But the comments I have heard… and the things I have come to know … is starkly different.
        The immigrants especially Muslims in North America and Europe.. Tell me how many of them believe that they are .. for example.. AMERICANS first and MUSLIMS second.
        And when I say celebrating christmas … I mean using it as a day of celebration of birth of ISAAH (A.S) and not just being friendly and sociable to your good neighbour..
        show it to the world that they appreciate other religions equally good.
        But I do not hear that even in sermons on FRIDAY prayers.. They are always bad -mouthing the WESTERN WORLD and comparing with the MUSLIM WORLD and telling the youngsters that the ways of the WESTERN WORLD is wrong and Youngsters must not adapt to the ways of the WEST. but then again they go to the west in large numbers… if the west is so bad.. and they wanna protect their muslim identity and culture and want shariah law .. why not stay in the place where they were or go to a muslim country like saudi arabia, UAE or any other country even maldives and live there or Malaysia or even Indonesia…
        My only concern is … And let me correct that , I do not say that there are no libertarian Muslims around… there are … but a large number of them are not and as soon as some thing wrong is published , they come out in thousands to protest as blasphemous… but for showing such solidarity and showing their support to the christians and the jews … why do not they come forward ? what is the hidden agenda there….

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    2. I would like to ask how you came to assume and conclude on two things: firstly, on whatever it was you think the “majority” of Muslims think, feel or do and secondly, who and how many Muslims do you know that you may make assumptions about the “majority” of Muslims. While the article serves to bring people of similar faiths together, your comment unfortunately may drive people further apart. In these current turmoil that we citizens of the world are facing together, it is important that we each play our small parts in bringing humanity to the forefront if we even care for peace, not just in our small little corner of the world but in every part of the world. I hope you will forgive me if there is anythg I say here that might hurt you but more than this, I hope you will not give up on peace… That you will understand that we share the same frustrations and anger and the one way to go from here is to start saying the right things to bring hearts, minds and people together again.

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      1. Thanks for your reply… I really appreciate your concern… about bringing hearts and minds of people together…. I want to do the same.. But here the point is not to bring christians and muslims together..but my point is that a majority of muslims who say they hate terrorism must come out in large numbers and make it their life’s mission to fight against terrorism and bad mouth all the bad things that the islamic terrorists are doing….

        but only a few people come out in the open … like you …to say whats right and whats wrong …others do not . Why?
        But as soon as something wrong is printed like in France… large number of people come out to protest blasphemy… how do we justify that ? Does this mean that only few people want world peace and a large number of muslims want only Islam as the world’s only major religion and all other religions can exist but as minority and We good muslims are going to show them mercy and goodness that Islam prescribes us to do…

        As to answer your question … how do I know about Muslims and how many Muslims I know.

        I am a Muslim Myself… and have lived mostly in muslim grew up in muslim world and have travelled extensively and have met different definitely not all kinds but most kinds of Muslims along the way…
        I have lived in for e.g, DUBAI, SOUTH AFRICA, ASIAN SUB_CONTINENT and have friends muslim friends moderate and otherwise from all parts of the world.

        Have also been to IJTEMA and have seen Muslim Missionaries.. I am not saying all are bad… but tell me honestly …. if right now the world order were to change and a major part of the world would turn to ISLAMIC TERRITORY AND THINGS START CHANGING TO ISLAM BY FORCE OR COERCION… and the western world is asked to become ISLAMIC .. plz tell me how many MUSLIMS would find that offensive…. or would they be happy that the power of kuffaars and kafirs have ended and now that world peace and ISLAM prevails or do you think they would stand up in arms and fight the so called Muslim terrorist and stop them from doing so….

        but the things I have heard is not nice…
        I know you would say… just because some muslims are bad and their behaviour and thinking is bad please do not generalise…. but I SAY if good muslims with libertarian and Moderate thinking are available in large numbers then come out in the open … what is the delay…

        I like the western world and the success they make of their lives… if their ways are so bad… then why do such religious people who are fanatics and not moderates go to these countries… to jump on their back as parasites and suck their blood….
        why not just live in the muslim world and make it a success of thier life…. I AM GLAD THAT MODERATE PEOPLE LIKE YOU EXIST…. you must make it a Life’s mission to educate other muslims to cleanse their mind of the poison against the western world and come out in the open in large numbers……THANKS SUHAILA

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    3. Prince…I am a Muslim, from a very Muslim family, from Africa. Yet when time came for me to pick a high school to attend, my parents (on my grand parents recommendation), picked a Catholic high school for me to attend. Not once did my parents or any member of my family frown, when I was appointed the prefect to lead the entire school in prayer every morning. Mind you, these were Catholic prayers…my entire family knew I was standing in front of my entire school body to say my hail Mary. Not once was it frowned opon….and am forever grateful for having the chance to learn about my Catholic brothers and sisters. They are all still my brothers and sisters, to this day.
      Nobody in my society frowned when I partied and celebrated Christmas with my Christian brothers and sisters. Their families never frowned, when my friends also celebrated Muslim holidays with me…as a matter of fact, we all looked forward to each others holidays.
      So I ask you kind sir…who are these majority of Muslims that you have come across? It’s really a horrible thing to generalize. Anyway, I hope you would step away from all the hate and fear mongering and realize that there are humans out there that do not deserve such hate.
      Have a pleasant day sir, from an African Muslim.

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      1. Thanks for your reply. I am not here to generalise, but merely state my experience.

        I feel there are only two kinds of MUSLIMS – PRACTISING AND NON-PRACTISING MUSLIMS

        To elaborate , PRACTISING MUSLIMS are the ones who go to Mosque, pray five time a day and go to attend Jummah (Friday )salah besides observing other pillars of ISLAM and Who do not eat pork or indulge in alcohol. and NON – PRACTISING are the ones who follow the five pillars of Islam as per their convenience. They believe in the spirit of Islam more than the rituals.

        Now , the practising Muslims that I have come across… make sure that their kids go to strictly Islamic school to have a religious upbringing.. even they ask their kids to SHOW respect to people of all religions and not to look down upon others, but make it a point that the child knows that their religion Islam is the best and that the line is not blurred between religions.

        When I say Majority… I mean practising Muslims.

        Now as you say that nobody frowned upon you and it was a good thing to go to catholic school and par-take their meals.

        Did anyone ever say to you that you are eating HARAM food? or did you indulge in alcohol consumption? and if you did, When you shared this with your IMAAM and MAULANA on FRIDAY .. was he OKAY with the whole thing even after knowing that the flapjack you shared with your Christian friend was made with the same oil in which pork sausage was cooked. or the potjie kos they made had wine in it for flavour.

        Even in case of HINDUS, when they share their food with Muslims some Muslims avoid saying they put URINE of HOLY COW in their food.

        Besides these same practising Muslims who are taught to SHOW respect to other religions.. oddly enough when they employ people they ask them to convert to ISLAM.. I have seen it happening many times.

        I have also seen it in IJTEMA in Durban, where one 11 year old African boy was given a job by a Muslim boss and he made the boy accept Islam and the Imaam who made him embrace Islam was an African elderly Imaam.
        I was witness to the ceremony and after it ended the first thing I heard from the BLACK AFRICAN IMAAM’s mouth was that now you are A MUSLIM so you must stay away from the family’s way of life and even when you visit them do not eat their food.

        I could only see fear in the child’s eyes and helplessness.. I felt the only reason the boy was sitting there was to uplift his family’s economic situation and now to be forbidden from his family’s way of life and food, was too harsh.

        I am talking about such double standards my friend.. I want a Muslim world especially those who look down upon WESTERN WORLD… that they should not have any problem with anything of any other religion.

        The line should be blurred and intermixed in such a way that even if a child wants to convert to other religion he should be allowed to and not banned from the family.

        If they cannot have this kind of broad-mindedness then they should stay where they live and do not jump into borders of WESTERN WORLD to enjoy their economic success.

        You seem to be a good example of a broad-minded Muslims… I want more people like you to come forward and share their outrage against terrorism by Islamic terrorist.

        I want us all …no matter what religion we follow… that we should be HUMANS first.

        I feel BEING HUMAN is more important for any human being. We must believe in HUMANITY first and then our individual religions.

        I call myself HUMAN first and MUSLIM second.. .. I feel YOU TOO ARE HUMAN FIRST AND MUSLIM SECOND.

        THANKS.

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  2. Thank you for a great article. Point of fact though: Mary is not the only woman mentioned in the Qur’an. Many, many women are mentioned – both secular (eg: Bilqis) and religious figures (Mary, mother of Moses, the wives of the prophet etc).

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  3. Tahir, Farah, I could be wrong but I think Mary is the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran. While other woman are not referred to by name eg the wife of pharoah etc

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  4. Wow , am amazed by this article , u need a applause , u may not hear it from Egypt , but you will feel it , thanks bro

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  5. Prince Joseph
    I am a Muslim convert and I feel I know more about Islam (not the variety of Muslims in general which is less important because what you will usually find is cultural Muslims and they should not be taken as an example to generalise ) than you. I am sorry to say but spiritually you seem to be a confused person and truly not understanding your religion. You are stirring up religion ,culture and nationality in one pot which is very wrong and anyone would agree. We are God’s creations first as humans for a reason -to worship Him. Just as some animals were created to live in the wild , some animals are serving the humans and could not survive in wild etc just as angels and jinns, all different creations have a different purpose.The monotheistic religious scripts all clearly state that remembering God is our priority in life. Even the politheism is about worshiping. So we need to exclude the idea that worshiping ie practicing is optional. The fact that you don’t want to worship and be seen as a practicing Muslim is just your own choice. It is the ego who has to win in all this. It’s all about you and what other people think about you. The outward aspect of this life. Feeding the ego only will always keep you hungry for more and always looking for something new and never be content with what you have.
    Whereas religion is a fine balance between inward and outward -devotion and detaching from your ego, and exploring the beauty of the immense wisdom ; which helps you embrace true humanity,acceptance of other faiths, races, cultures,nationalities etc It only makes you better. This is what a person practicing his/her religion should be like and there are plenty out there elhamdullah. Try to reach for them as your best companions in life. I am a Muslim first and all humans are born Muslim. Then I am a daughter,mother ,wife and after this I am a member of a community and citizen …nationality is quite irrelevant as I have 3 nationalities and none of them can represent me for who I am as a person. The world is round and is made by God to be explored and shared . Just as Christians settling In Muslim countries other Muslims should have the right to experience the west and God willing make the most of it learning the best of what the Western culture has to offer and integrate well in the society without bothering others and have the freedom to practice their religion peacefully as it should be for all the faiths . Showing respect and genuine care and loving your neighbour is one of the first things that attracted me to Islam as well as the similarities with the Christian teachings .

    Is is difficult to explain how it feels praying and talking to God as it’s very personal. I have In my prayers the people of all faiths and backgrounds. Prayers for peace and harmony . Prayers for my neighbours and the people I never met in my life. Prayers for my parents and the future generations. Prayers for Paris and Syria. Why do you find it so odd and uncomfortable when it’s such a beautiful and soothing thing for the spirit? What’s so wrong about being a practicing person who prays because they enjoy doing so ?

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  6. Thanks your reply Sabreen.
    I am glad you know more about Islam than I do. I never said I am the expert on Islam.
    I am merely stating my experiences with the people I have come in contact with and my observations.
    If you say I generalise the bad behaviour of few to many. Then I believe generalising is also when we associate good behaviour of few to many.
    I am not saying about practising or not practising.
    I am not even saying that God did not create humans. He surely did and he created humans muslims … I like that because the term arabic – muslim here represent seeker and believer of PEACE… I understand that.

    But when you say nationality and loyalty to your country comes last. And that you possess three nationalities. So that means if one country if it is christian and is forced by our Islamic terrorist brothers to embrace Islam and if you happen to live in it. Would you be happy that people are being shown the right way and that the true religion shall prevail or would you be angry at the ongoings ? Please comment.

    When you say chrisitians settling in Muslim countries. Have you experienced the restrictions that are imposed by these Muslim countries on people of other faiths, unlike the WEST. Where a couple is not even allowed to walk hand in hand or where even wearing a two-piece at the beach is looked down upon and even at times consider criminal, at some place females are not allowed to drive. Where non -muslim at some places even forced to wear hijab. Where people who want to practice their trade as astrologer are restricted and considered as evil and satanic and banned from practising. WHERE IF YOU HAVE A STAMP OF VISIT TO ISRAEL YOU ARE BANNED FROM ENTRY.

    Where citizenship is not granted to all and sundry like the western world ? Where Refugees are not entertained like west ? Why ? if caring and loving and caring for neighbour is so dear…. why not care for the muslims who are stranded …. why the urge to go to the western world … or CHRISTIAN WORLD TO SEEK REFUGE AND PEACE… WHY NOT IN A MUSLIM COUNTRY WHERE YOU ARE RESPECTED TO BE A MUSLIM FIRST AND HUMAN SECOND.

    I have not come across any religion yet that speaks of not being kind to others, who does not preach or teach kindness, sincerity, respect to elders, parents, kids and most importantly to neighbours. They all do. People embrace religion as a way of life because it makes them at peace with themselves. It does not matter which religion, when it makes you peaceful you get drawn towards it, Just because one religion makes you peaceful with yourself does not mean all others are bad and not so peaceful.

    I am not an Expert at any religion. but when the people of any faith talk bad about people of other faith, and when they talk about banning Mcdonalds, Coca Cola, and not supporting the western world economy and expect America’s downfall… My question is if America or Europe is their enemy why live there… Are they living there because God created the world and they are exploring it or because they want to weaken it from within and as soon as these countries weaken then they will go to any other country… as they may have three or more nationalities to take advantage of in such a situation.
    Being Human and Loyal to the country you live in is more important in a PEACEFUL WORLD FOR ALL TO CO-EXIST, I BELIEVE.
    Thank you Sabreen. I like the exchange of our views and ideas.

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  7. Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2016, We shall continue our healthy exchange of views and ideas into 2016 , maybe in some other blog or post.
    See you guys… It was informative. A healthy debate makes a right change in attitude or soldifies the belief that one has. thanking you all. God Bless, Allah Hafiz, Salaam, Shalom, Om shanti Om, Hamba Kahle and Dankie Julle….

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