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.