(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)
I know I’m not the most politically correct person you’re ever likely to meet.
However, the intolerance of others makes me … er … intolerant.
For some reason, I’ve had three people forward me an e-mail newsletter for what is, it claims, some kind of Christian prayer group.
Sounds pretty inoffensive so far, right? You’d be wrong. It kicks off with a question: “Is Islam in NZ a cause for concern or a God-given opportunity?”
From there, it requests that you not share the newsletter with any of your Muslim friends then goes on to offer details on the number of Muslims in New Zealand, their ethnic origins, where the mosques are and throws in a few quite inflammatory quotes and statements, just for good measure, such as this bold little statement: “Some say there is a terrorist cell attached to every mosque. What is happening in NZ mosques?”
The crux of the whole thing seems to be a call to Christians to “befriend Muslims and lead them to Christ”.
It talks about the “Islamic Terrorist 7-Phase Plan” and also how it is important that members of the prayer group must “love Muslims sincerely, show kindness and respect …”
Surely showing respect would involve accepting the religious beliefs of others?
It also says some of their “braver” followers have been going into the mosque on open days and chatting.
Braver? I certainly hope that comment was simply a case of poor writing skills rather than a belief that all Muslims are to be feared.