Xenophobia : noun 1. an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange.
There were several weeks early on in The Donald’s campaign when I thought him to be entertaining and actually revelatory for what the GOP has become. He is no longer entertaining but he continues to unveil the xenophobic underbelly of the GOP.
Last month I had the pleasure of attending a lecture at the American Turkish Friendship Association along with the Rumi Forum as they presented their “Abrahamic Discussion Series” that included remarks by a Rabbi and an Imam. It was mostly attended by women. There was a keen interest along with wonderful snacks. The following week, I had the opportunity of sitting in on a class of a colleague who teaches Islamic Studies at Howard University School of Divinity where I am Recurring Adjunct Professor for Church History. Dr. Alwani’s guest was Dr. Faris Kaya, Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture, Istanbul, Turkey and his subject was “Islam and Religious Diversity: Said Nursi’s Perspective.” Intelligent, devoted, charming, humane and affable are just some of the adjectives I would use to describe these friends. Donald Trump’s xenophobic demagoguery should be rejected and countered. And I would say to our fellow Muslim citizens, there are many –in fact, I believe a majority–of Americans who welcome you and will stand with you in these tense days.
This happens to be the context for our Advent journey this year. Ah, well, ’tis the way it has been since that holy child was born in Bethlehem. He entered a world led by tyrants and puppet kings who were often madmen and paranoid to a fault. Let us journey to Bethlehem and behold the Prince of Peace. How very much we need his message today! ~See you Sunday