While I have never said that I agree with a lot of the beliefs of Muslims, I also have attempted to make it quite clear that I do not and refuse to hate any of its followers.
There is a growing sentiment of hate in our country toward Muslims, particularly, I have noticed, in the blogosphere.
It is one thing to tell someone or a certain religious group that you think their belief is wrong and that you do not believe in the things they teach. It is an entirely different thing to spew your hate on the followers of said religion, and in doing so, leaving no room for any sort of conversation between you and them.
The problem, I think, stems from those who can not differentiate between the normal, everyday, peaceful followers of Islam, and those who are the violent extremists.
What's that you say? What is an extremist? What is extremism? I am glad you asked. LoL!
Extremism is a behavior pattern ranging from obsessive behavior or unacceptable behavior from the standpoint of mainstream society or the majority of society.
Religious extremism is when certain religious groups rely on extremist methods to indoctrinate others into their faith. For example, fear-based tactics to encourage obedience to strict doctrine.
This is a term used mostly to describe militant Islamic groups, such as the Taliban or Al Qaeda and while I do NOT by any stretch of the imagination, condone the actions of these groups, this term could be used to describe other groups as well.
Here are a few examples of Christian extremist groups:
Army of God. This is an extremist anti-abortion organization the uses force to combat abortion in the United States. In 2001, 170 clinics and doctors offices received letter with white powder and the message 'you have been exposed to anthrax. We are going to kill all of you." Yeah, that is real Christ-like. That is going to convert some people.
Christian Patriots. This group preaches tax-resistance and religious and racial hatred. They use scripture to justify their violent activities. Interested note about this group is that Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols were said to have been involved in this groups activities.
Evangelical Alliance. Organization based in London that has recently stated that violent revolution is considered a viable response toward legislation they deem unworthy.
My whole point here being, there are extremist organizations in all religious groups, not just Islam. In fact, there are even extremists groups within the Hindu religion. Within the Buddhist religion. Heck, I think I was even reading something a few days ago about an extremist Shinto group.
Anyway, all this hate and animosity toward Muslims is counterproductive. For those who are trying to convert others to your way of thinking, hating someone is not the way to go about getting them. It is going to turn people away from your point of view.
It goes something like this, "believe in the love of Jesus or I'm going to kill you!"
Does that make any sense to you? If so, you need to seek help.
That is all for now. Thanks.