Be aware of the ‘Us and Them’ attitude.

Many people will have come across an attitude among some Muslims that, when they meet a nice person they wish that person was a Muslim, pray for them to convert to Islam, and feel sad if this doesn’t happen. Some of these people seem unable to accept a kind person for who they are, if they happen to be a Christian, Jew, or an Atheist.

Today, I regard this attitude as extremism. I don’t mean the normal friendly intention to share ones faith, and desire that other people see the beauty and wisdom an individual sees in their own faith. But this idea that a person must belong to a certain faith to be a good person, or to be a friend, that is extremism and it must be challenged.

The end result of such an attitude, should it become pervasive and common enough is what happened in Bosnia, or more recently in Iraq and Syria. It is a very dangerous path, because it means one group of people aren’t regarding other people as equals, there is an ‘us and them’ situation, and that, left unchecked can have terrifying consequences.

The attitude is not unique to some Muslims either, there are extremists among the Christians, Hindus, and I dare say others who have the same mindset. We need to be aware of the danger this attitude poses, it’s not simply annoying. Though it is true, many of the people who hold this attitude don’t realise the seriousness of what they’re doing, or intend any harm by it. Which is all the more reason it needs to be challenged, so people think these things through for themselves.

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