I am writing in the wake of the latest atrocity of terrorism perpetrated by fanatical Muslims in Brussels.
I believe it must be admitted that the seeds of these violent, murderous acts are in Islam itself. Thankfully, many, many Muslims spurn behaviour that accords with those passages in the Koran and Hadith that inform them, and live amongst us fully embracing the values of democracy and respect for community diversity and cohesion that arise from our Christian values. Romans 14 enjoins tolerance of a multiplicity of views, and a tolerance of diversity.
However, until all Muslims themselves take ownership for the solution to this issue in their faith, and resolve to live amongst the rest of us as full participants in our societies, then I believe such attacks will, tragically, continue. Sadly, like Christianity, Islam is fractured by schisms, Shia and Sunnie as well as many others. History teaches over and over that schism breeds conflict when beliefs need to be defended with blood. Also, I have come to believe that some Muslims adopt a victim narrative, and an embattled, fundamentalist view that breeds such behaviour.
As for the rest of us who are not Muslims, we need to continue to embrace Muslims – to love them, if you will – as participants of equal standing in our community, and part of us, but, at the same time, to hold everyone to account for their behaviour, the beliefs that underlie it, and to continue to monitor for signs of this evil fomenting wherever in the world it becomes evident.