Chicago SunTimes article

Sunday, September 23, 2018

By Letters to the Editor

The graffiti that was spray-painted last week on the sidewalk in front of the home of a Muslim family in Homer Glen (“Man charged with spray-painting anti-Muslim graffiti in Homer Glen,” Sept. 20) was a cowardly act that should be condemned by all faith communities in the Chicago area. It’s noteworthy that the graffiti included crosses and a denigration of the prophet of Islam, which is against Christianity’s message of love. Jesus Christ called “loving your neighbor as yourself” the greatest commandment, after loving God with all your heart.

That Islamophobic, cowardly act proves that many Americans are still struggling to accept Muslims as part of the American social fabric, 17 years after the attacks of 9/11. Some Christian churches are not doing enough to welcome Muslim immigrants and refugees into our midst, and others are actually subscribing to the fear-mongering agenda of the far Christian Right.

At Salam Christian Fellowship in Lombard, we strive to welcome the stranger among us, help refugees and new immigrants, and provide social services to help them integrate into the American community.

Islamic centers in the Chicago area should help Americans understand that most Muslims are moderates who came here for the American dream, and do not subscribe to an extremist, terrorist agenda. Islamic centers need to launch a dialogue in the West about the Islamist ideology espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood, which borrows from fascism. Muslims in many instances have proven that they do not want to live under Islamic Sharia law that the Brotherhood and other Islamists adopt.

All faith communities need to work together in order to overcome xenophobia and keep our society safe.

Hesham Ali Shehab, Lombard