Out of Context (Part 4) – Love Thy Neighbor
In Part 4 of the with Dallas-based Pastor Mike Baughman, Imam Omar Suleiman answers a question in the mind of many people in the West who have become conflicted about their Muslim minorities: Can you be a Muslim and a patriot? Can the allegiances of a Muslim in a non-Muslim country sit side by side? Can you be a practicing Muslim and an American, British or French citizen? Suleiman explains that this notion that our religion teaches us that we cannot be good patriotic Muslims in a non-Muslim land is completely false. In fact we are urged to reside peacefully alongside non-Muslims. In many of Prophet Muhammad’s authentic narrations, he urges his followers not to fight, to look for peace. The concept of patriotism and being a good citizen was emphasized in the earliest phases of Islam when 100 Muslims sought asylum in Abyssinia, a majority Christian land, and functioned seamlessly within the society. It is fully in accordance with the Muslim faith that we should love our country and become people of great reformation and bring great good. Prophet Muhammad laid so much stress on loving and honoring our neighbors to the extent that it was thought that inheritance would be assigned to them. We are taught to be outstanding citizens, not because this is good PR, but because we are practicing Muslims, and hence good human beings.