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

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD

Image (1) love-thy-neighbor-e1348660609308.jpg for post 68878

I start my thesis with a longish quote from the Gospel of Matthew, to explore, what would Jesus like us to do:

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

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

Credit

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.

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3 replies

  1. Thank you Zia H Shah sahib for reminding us about the true teaching of Jesus a.s. Excellent words in Mark 12;28-34 shown in the post in red.

    In the face of those good words about the Lord God being One, how can the church teach and preach Trinity? That teaching, that Lord God is One and there is none other god was confirmed (repeated) by the person who was asking Jesus a.s.

    Also, the teaching of love thy neighbor, how can the Christians, any real Christian hate the Muslims or burn the Quran. How can the general body of Christians keep queit on this subject?

    Such persons who do acts of violence are not followers of Jesus or Muhammad or Moses or Abraham a.s. They are careless about religious teachings.They do not belong (follow) to any religion.

    There is no teaching of violence or hatred in any religion. Something has occurred to me. The prophets did not come to establish any religious government. They came to teach human values of peace and love. None of them had the aim to establish a theocratic government. So how are many running around (specially Muslims) trying to establish a religious government?

    Of course, when any one has free hand and he does not oppress any one, he/she should tell (GUIDE)the people to follow the law given by the God Almighty. That is the only path to peace and prosperity.

  2. After 9/11, my husband and I realized how homogenous our circle of friends was. I realized that we did not have a single Muslim or Jewish friend. We were pretty horrified when we realized how ridiculously insulated our personal world had become. Since then, we have made it a point to reach out and meet and make friends with people in our community that we otherwise would not have known. We are so blessed and happy to have friends now who have very different perspectives that we perhaps would never have considered! Diversity is what makes us a great and strong country and our diversity is what makes us uniquely “American”. I never want to hear another American say they are Irish, French, Pakistani, German, Scottish, Russian etc. NO,we are all of us merely Americans and we must ALL love one another and stand joined with our hearts and minds for the good of our children. Indeed, the deserve nothing less.

  3. Reblogged this on No More Hurting People Peace and commented:
    This is by far the best article I’ve read in a very long time! I unfortunately see a lot of “Christians” preaching love and that stuff to your face but then turning around and basically being a bigot towards anyone who is not like them. A true follower of Christ, a real Christian, knows that such is not what Jesus taught. It doesn’t only go for them though, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others have strayed from their scripture too, but we should remember to not judge an entire group of people based on the bad actions of one. Thank you Mr. Zia H. Shah for reminding us of the true compassionate, loving, and tolerant message of Jesus. ❤

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