Love thy Neighbor is a Christian Value, Hate and Stereotyping aren’t

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”

“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.  (Mark 12:28-34)

In presence of these clear teachings by Jesus Christ, no believing Christian can condone hate speech against his or her neighbors.  Even those who are agnostic and atheist, in the West, often consider Jesus to be a good teacher of moral values, so, in a way this biblical message,  in the Gospel of Mark, has a universal appeal.   Hillel, a Jewish scholar, was a teacher and a founder of a school (Beit Hillel) in the first century B.C.E.  Hillel was born in Babylonia. At age forty, he went to live in Jerusalem. There he became the spiritual leader (Nasi) of the Jews from about 30 B.C.E to 10 C.E.  When asked by a non-Jew to relate all the Torah had to say while standing on one foot, Hillel replied, “Do not unto your neighbor what you would not have him do until you; this is the whole Law; the rest is commentary.”   No one likes hate speech against him or her, especially if it begins to take hold and creates possibility of discrimination, hatred, mayhem and murder.  No wonder there are laws against hate speech, against antisemitism and even against holocaust denial.  Most Muslims, living in the West are peace loving and have moderate views towards their fellow citizens and are worried about the recent anti-Islam film and negative ads in New York subways and hate speech against them, which is finding some roots in the Western countries, in one form or the other.

How could the Christians hate the Muslims and be brotherly towards the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Jews and atheists, while the Muslims honor Jesus to be an honorable prophet, consider belief in him as part of their essential beliefs, take his mother the chaste Mary as a role model, as described in the Holy Quran and notice all the time that a chapter is named after Mother Mary in the Quran and realize that his name appears more often in the Holy Quran than the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself, and all the other religions regard Jesus as a liar, a non-entity or have no opinion about him?  Does it make sense?  It is self evident that those who hate monger against the Muslims are not well wishers of Islam or the 1.5 billion Muslims, but, are they well wishers of the Christians, leading them into a world of contradictions and chaos?

Your friend and family can contact you through email within a few seconds from the remotest corners of our global village.  If a disaster strikes any part of Africa, Australia or Galapagos, we hear about it instantaneously.  So, in the context of our global village each and every homo-sapiens is a neighbor!  I believe, that is exactly what Jesus would say if he were to come back!

1.5 billion Muslims are not identical twins

Hate and prejudice, like other negative emotions have no creative power and can only spoil and destroy.  So, say no to hate mongering.  Say no to stereotyping!  One and a half billion Muslims are not monolithic, just like the two billion Christians are not identical twins.  We live in a global age of information and individual responsibility and not tribal rivalries of stone age.  Let me introduce to you, a few Muslims, you may already know to some degree:

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942) is an American former heavy weight boxing champion

A former President of UN General Assembly

The Father of Algebra: Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī

A Nobel Laureate in economics

The foremost: Muhammad: the Light for the Dark Ages of Europe!

List of Muslim Nobel Laureates


The first picture is courtesy of, Chris Christensen: the host of popular travel podcasts, Amateur Traveler.

Thanks to Wikipedia for making my life so easy.

Categories: stereotyping, Uncategorized

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7 replies

  1. One should never mix aversion against islam with aversion against muslims as people. I’m against Islam but I am not against muslims. I dont care what religion anyone has as long he or she is a good person. That is also what counts if there is a God. He does not care what religion you have as long as you are kind and honest and do no harm to anyone. What muslims describe sometimes as beeing against them is aversion against parts of their religion. I for example could not marry a muslim girl. I would not care what religion she has but islam does. As soon as i would say three times the shahada everything would be fine and i could marry her. Because then i am according to islam a better person. Thats the difference. In islam you are a good person if you are muslim if you are not, you are not even allowed to marry a muslim girl because you are an infidel. Your character counts less than your religion. Thats sad and superficial. Why should i not be against such intolerance? I dont care what religion say, if it is bad then it is bad. Just as simple as that. My values are daily hurt by values some religions hold as truth just because they are in book that has been written be men to preserve their power. No one cares if my values are hurt although they are like a religion for me. God is against the fact that people split from each other because of their religion. But thats exactly what is happening with such marriage bans. And if i say something against Muhammad after reading the hadith or quuran that this has also nothing to do with my opinion towards an indivual muslim. You think beeing against islam = beeing against muslims. And that is wrong. I just use my moral compass to judge what is wrong and what is right. And many things in islam are against morality and, if there is a God, what he would like to have. I dont like the persecution of christians and other minorities in muslim countries. I dont like the thousands of terror groups in the name of islam. I dont like that people think they have the ultimate truth just because they have a religious book in their hand and then stop to think claiming that everything they need to know is in this book. These are not prejudices but facts. Those who are against the open speech of these facts prevent that something changes. Why sould i not say the truth? I have respect for everyone and i have respect for no one. It just depends on the case. Cat Stevens supported the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, so he is not a good representative for islam. Again something i wont be silent of.
    And even it does not seem like this for you. I like this site here and also like many of the values you advocate.

  2. The commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself ” predates
    Jesus by hundreds of years. It is a quote from the Hebrew Bible.

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