While I was lifting in the gym yesterday one of my classmates came up to me, and I asked what he was doing for Thanksgiving. He's inviting an exchange student from Morocco over; I told him that was great because so few of the international students ever get to visit an American family at home. He then said that since this student is Muslim he asked him to say the prayer for them.
I wiped my sweaty face with my towel to hide a scowl.
He then went on to tell me that his family and the people from his small town were not as educated and just didn't know how much Islam and Christianity have in common--that they have the same values.
More face wiping with the towel.
It's been a couple of years since I last had a conversation of this sort. That time I became enraged and spewed out my objections: they understand neither Christianity nor Islam; they are just a pawn of the MSM, etc. I sounded exasperated. I did a lot of arm-waving. That was not a successful tactic.
This time I did better. I asked him if he had read the Koran--No. I calmly pointed out that for Christians Jesus is much more than a prophet. I told him that salvation is by grace through faith alone, which Muslims find absurd. I told him that he needs to move beyond a superficial understanding of religion. He needs to re-think his views because beliefs have consequences. I ended by explaining that while I disagree with him, I don't dislike him.
Our conversation ended peacefully. He went for a run, I continued on the leg press. I'm curious to see where our relationship goes.