LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Standing together with the Muslim community

In light of recent backlash against our Muslim-American friends and neighbors, both in Delaware and around the country, it is clear that many are still uninformed — or simply misinformed — about the Islamic faith.

Within both the Islamic and Christian traditions, there is a range of understandings and beliefs, from radical and fundamental to more moderate and tolerant. Students of the Bible and the Quran should understand that readings from both holy books require context, and that pulling out specific texts can do damage to the meaning and application.

The belief that the Quran calls for the death of Americans is no more accurate than believing that the Bible calls for violence against those that are “other.” There are many texts that may seem inflammatory in the Christian Bible when taken out of context. Just as moderate Christians do not want to be judged by groups like the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church, moderate Muslims do not want to be judged by groups like ISIS and the Taliban.

It is our understanding that each session of the Delaware Senate is preceded by prayer and that those prayers are, by in large, Christian prayers. This practice does not represent a great many of the constituents of the state of Delaware. If prayer is to continue in legislative session, those prayers should be open to a variety of religions and traditions.

Respecting another’s beliefs does not dilute the passion with which we hold our own beliefs. Prejudice and misinformation are only dispelled by getting to know one another.

We will stand with our friends in the Muslim-American community Wednesday (at 12:30 p.m.) at the Unity Rally on the steps of Legislative Hall in Dover. We would like to encourage all members of our government to not only attend, but to continually reach out to their constituents and learn about our rich and diverse Delaware culture. It is only through understanding that you will be able to successfully represent all Delaware citizens.

The Rev. Sally Stewart
Peninsula-Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church

Mr. Usman Sandhu
Islamic Society of Central Delaware

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