Prayers for Paris & A Muslim on a Segway #MuslimsAreNotTerrorists


Last month Luke and I had a special date night in our closest major city, Pittsburgh. I grew up 30 minutes south of Pittsburgh, so I am pretty familiar with the location.

We have always had lots of white and black faces in our city, but not many brown. Yet, about a month ago, I noticed a shift in the atmosphere.

After Luke and I had dinner, we laughingly and casually walked down the street and ran into a young middle eastern man who was taking a spin on his “hands free segway.”


I immediately felt a quickening in my heart to speak to the 22-year-oldish guy.

I was pretty sure the young guy was a Muslim and I wondered if he felt lonely in a sea of white and black faces, in a country that often views Muslims as a great threat.

I felt God telling me to show him a bit of love, but he ended up showing Luke and I more love and friendliness than I expected.

I said, “Hey there. What is that you are riding?” In his broken English, he said, “Oh, this is a segway.” I said, “Oh wow, can I try?” He said, “Sure.”

He reached out his large brown hand and I placed my small white hand in his.

He held my hand as I struggled to maintain balance. Of course, Luke was cracking up at me, as I rode down the sidewalk, hand-in-hand with a stranger, trying not to fall and crack my head open (it is harder than it looks).

Luke laughed too soon, because the moment I stepped off the segway, our new middle eastern friend looked at Luke and said, “Your turn.”

In the same way he reached out for my hand, he reached out for Luke’s hand. Luke placed his large white hand in his large brown hand and they took a spin. By this point, the three of us could not stop laughing. We all looked ridiculous, but for me, it was a divine appointment.

I walked away knowing that God was teaching me a lesson. God was showing me that Muslims are simply people, like you and I.

It is not only small-minded to determine that all Muslims are terrorists or a threat; it is also racist and ungodly.

Sadly, I hear Christians say things like, “If we let those Muslims in, they will hurt our children?” As Christians, we are called to love and welcome those who may look different than us or even practice a different religion than us.

My heart is broken for Paris, the City Of Love, but I don’t blame Muslims. I blame terrorists.

I understand that these terrorists are murdering in the name of their religion, but that does not mean that all Muslims support such evil in the name of Allah.

The truth is that every religion has extremists who use their “bible” to justify and support evil. The enemy is not Muslims; the enemy is ISIS and other terrorist who are torturing white, black and brown people of all religions.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the worst violence witnessed in France since World War II, a volley of nearly simultaneous terror attacks that the French President called “an act of war.” The assailants targeted six sites Friday night in Paris, the deadliest being a massacre at a concert hall where at least 80 people were killed. In all, French authorities put the number of dead at 128, though the death toll is expected to fluctuate as the situation becomes clearer. The threat of ISIS is well-known, with the jihadist group’s atrocities in Syria and Iraq being met with condemnation and airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition that includes France (Source Here).

 Tweets like this are not helpful. They breed fear in our hearts, which leads to racism and hate.

As children of God, fear has no place in our hearts.

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

As Christians, we believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as the embodiment of perfect love, and “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…(1 John 4:18). ”

We have no reason to be afraid. Our lives in Christ are eternal. If we die tomorrow we will spend our lives basking in the safety of God, our Father.

Let us stand with Paris today as they have suffered great loss, but let us also stand with Muslims, showing them that we love them and we are not afraid of them. Let us loosen our grip on fear and lay down our temptation to judge people based off their skin color and religion.

You are the light of the world. A city lying on a hill is unable to be hidden. -Matthew 5:14 

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  • Great post. Some of my followers on Twitter are Muslims. Last night my feed included Muslim condemnation of the acts and support for the French people.

  • I’m sharing this on FB. Needs to be heard all over the world and I’must going to do my part. Love it is that simple. I absolutely adore you my friend!

  • This is exactly the issue. Muslims are not terrorists. And there are terrorists in every part of the globe, justifying their hate and cruelty on the basis of their religion.

    The Crusades were bloody rampages by ‘Christian’ knights/soldiers across the whole of the Middle East whose cause was ostensibly to find the Holy Grail, where in reality, it was to kill the infidels/muslims. Every nation has shown its worst side in the name of its god at one time or another, and Christians are no different – NB Nazi Germany and the Atlantic slave trade… by so called Christian nations.

  • There are bombings everywhere in the middle east, killings…rape and kidnappings in Africa, human trafficking everywhere… In the name of evil. Killing and terrorized peoples from all nations, all corners of the globe… Someone, somewhere.. Everyday uses religious belief for their own evil pleasures. What happened in Paris is a reflection of what the terrorists have been ddoing for a long while to our brothers and sisters other countries and here! Right here in our own back yards…there are oppressed people… All according to God’s plan will be fulfilled, and we can be there….being the salt of the earth ….trying to preserve the flavor of God.

  • “let us also stand with Muslims, showing them that we love them and we are not afraid of them. Let us loosen our grip on fear and lay down our temptation to judge people based off their skin color and religion.”

    I agree, and I offer two reminders/qualifications when responding to anger: Islam is a religion, a set of beliefs one (in theory, though not always in fact) chooses to adhere to–beliefs about God, humanity, and yes, that elephant in the room, gender. It is not a skin color; there are Muslims of a variety of races and ethnicities. Just like we engage and critique complementarianism and “modesty culture” (which is, to use a sensitive term, rape culture–tying a woman’s sense of “purity”/”respect”/”honor”/”esteem”/etc. to what she wears…even though the Bible does not forbid nudity or establish dress codes…it is only concerned with excessive displays of wealth through dress) in our own communities, there must be a space where we can discuss how these mindsets hurt people in all communities…it is not hateful to critique religious doctrines of all stripes…it is realistic.

    2: Over the years I have watched friends deal with a variety of abuses at the hands of the church. I have some friends who want nothing to do with the church or religion at all because of how they’ve seen abuse cases handled by religious authorities: these friends have made their opinions known angrily and publicly, rivaling some of the tweets I have seen here. I have found that the best way to dialog with these friends is not to say things like “Not all Christians are like that…” or worse yet, “You are just attacking the church, and you HATE religion,” when the best thing to say is simply this, “What happened is wrong. Period.” Similarly, I think there needs to be a space for outrage at the violence and abuses we are seeing around the globe…just as I do not blame my friends who are angry at Christianity, I do not blame people who are angry at Islam. People who have suffered or witnessed abuse need time and space…I think this wisdom could also be applied now…

    • Another qualifier I forgot: people tend to assume that all “middle eastern” or arab-speaking people are Muslim…that a critique of Islamic doctrine is a critique of Arab culture. It is not, for there are Arab atheists and Arab-speakers of a variety of minority religions in the Middle East, some traditions that have existed long before Islam. Unfortunately, the middle east is not at religiously diverse as it once was…but the fact remains, Islam does not and should not have the monopoly on middle eastern culture.

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