In reference to my previous message, "The Prince of Persia" that was published in the Ellis County Press and regarding the offense taken by the local Muslim community in Ellis and Johnson counties. I would like to submit the following update of a meeting that took place on October 7 with two gentlemen from the local area and the Chairman of the National Black United Front from Dallas concerning this issue.
Our meeting took place at the offices of Charles D. Hatfield, Publisher of the Ellis County Press that includes my messages in their inspirational section. The men arrived and at first seemed to be on the defensive as we listened to their concerns about my message offending the local Muslim community. I didn't attend the meeting to defend or to compromise my message, nor did I intend to argue religion with them, but as a born again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ I am under obligation to walk in peace with all men and to share His gospel with as many who will hear the message of life.
Before the meeting I asked people to be in prayer for a favorable outcome and a chance to hear what these men had to say and to be able to befriend them. The presence of God was definitely in the room as we got to know them and their plight. Most of what I know of Islam I have learned from the Internet and the buzz feed from the social media who rails against the Muslim because of the terrorist factions and the violence they have wrought around the world. The American public for the most part since 911 does not trust nor do they believe that Muslims living in the US are indeed a peaceful people that pledge their allegiance to this country.
FRIEND OR FOE?
Islam is the fourth largest religion in the US according to the 2010 census followed by 2.77 million Muslims, 9% of the population of America. Are they our friends or are they our foes, that is a question that the American people need to answer in order for us to live in peace with one another?
Muslims have been in this country as early as the fifteen hundreds, many were slaves sent from Africa, many have fought in all of America's wars and conflicts around the world and have lived a peaceful life for the most part long before 911. Doctors, lawyers, astronauts, politicians and many professional people are Muslims living and working in the US and making substantial contributions to this nation. Because of ignorance and intolerance many Muslims have suffered persecution from racial bigots and uninformed people causing a national Islamaphobia to rise among the American people!
In order for the American people to have their fears about Islam and the Muslim communities around the nation to subside I believe there needs to be a national voice from the American Muslin community of disapproval against terror and terrorist factions that are wreaking havoc across the Middle East and throughout the world. If Islam is a peaceful religion as they say it is then there should be an outcry against terror and a separation from those radicalized Muslims who commit acts of terror, such as ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and all the other terrorist organizations.
THE GOLDEN RULE
I can't speak for the American Muslim, but I can speak to the Judaeo-Christian community and remind them of all the atrocities committed in this land by the "White Man!" Ask the American Indian who lived here hundreds of years, maybe thousands before there was ever a Christopher Columbus or a George Washington. Ask the Mexican who was a resident long before we drove them out of their own country in the name of truth, justice and the American way!
Ask the African American enslaved and abused and made to work our fields, the Orientals made to build our railroads, the Japanese who were imprisoned during World War II suspected of being the enemy, and ask the 55 million unborn children who were murdered in this country under our watch! Now, ask yourself a question, who should we be worried about? America has many foes and much to be worried about in these trying times with all the uncertainties of a world out of control and hell bent on its own destruction.
To sum up our meeting with the two American Muslim businessmen and their mediator from Dallas, I saw two men concerned with making an honest living and raising their families in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. I felt a real connection to them as they were sharing their stories and their concerns and had to remind myself that we are to love our fellow man regardless of race, creed, religion or political preference. If the world would stop it's madness for a moment, and reflect on the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, "However you want to be treated, so treat others" the world would be a much better place.
We all left the meeting feeling like we had some common ground and we are planning to meet again in the next few weeks, so please let us know what you think and voice your opinions and send in your comments. I will update you on the next meeting and look forward to hear from you, the American people. May God bless!
Tim Laughlin, Director of Restoration Training Center
Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ