Today, for the first time, I experienced actual hatred for another religion. Not disapproval of one of its followers nor disbelief in its teachings, but total hatred of its entire system of belief and deep suspicion of any adherent. It was scary.
A spokesman for moderate Muslims has resigned from the Muslim Canadian Congress, citing death threats and safety concerns.
Tarek Fatah said his wife and daughters encouraged him to step down as communications director for the organization following an alarming number of threats and harassing phone calls.
“I’m just exhausted, it’s too much,” he told CBC.
“I’m physically drained and fatigued and disappointed by how much leverage these extremists have,” he said.
Fatah said he has been assaulted both verbally and physically, including an incident in which he was attacked at an Islamic conference in Toronto by dozens of young Muslim men.
He also said that an associate informed him of a discussion she overheard in which young men were discussing how Fatah should be killed.
Fatah said he’s reported the threats he’s received since 2003 to Toronto police, who are investigating the allegations.
When a man in a Western liberal democracy can’t speak his mind with regard to the teachings of a particular religion for fear of physical violence, that makes me angry. I’ve stuck up for Islam in a lot of discussions, but today I seriously considered the side of those who would limit immigration and aggressively deport undesirables.
How do I begin to consider this situation redemptively? The gospel doesn’t teach us to insulate ourselves from persecution; it tells us to love our enemies. But what does it mean to love those at odds with the most fundamental teachings of the gospel?