In this video, Dr. Cynthia interviews Christina, an Arab woman from the Middle East who now lives in the West. As a Christian who was once a Muslim, Christian is in a good position to understand the differences in Western and Muslim cultures and advise Christians on what to expect when they reach out to connect with Muslims.
Christina makes 5 important points for us to keep in mind:
- Immoral: People who come to the West from Muslim countries think that we are immoral. They get this idea from Hollywood and politics. In their culture there are three tabus, three subjects that they must not talk about: religion, sex, and politics. She says there is a “red line” that they do not want to cross. The West freely discusses all three of these. That makes it seem to them that we have no boundaries, that anything goes. And so we are immoral.
- Brainwashed: Since childhood Muslims have been told over and over that Islam is true and the only way. They are right. The West is wrong. She says that to them it is as solid a fact as science and mathematics. It was drilled into them every day of school for 12 or more years. It is very difficult for Muslims to think outside of this worldview.
- Distrust: Muslims don’t trust us – or anyone – or even God. Christina says that even their Prophet Mohammed did not trust God to take him to heaven. She says that they invented the word “Islamophobia” as a reflection of their own distrust: they don’t trust us, so they think we don’t trust them either. If they get to know that you are reliable, this may change.
- Afraid of Surprises: Muslims don’t want surprises, not even good ones. They prefer to stay in the comfortable darkness than to come out and be hurt again.
- No hope: Muslims have learned to live with no hope. They have been hurt and disappointed many times. If you say, “God loves you,” they won’t believe it. Their culture exaggerates expressions of love to the point that they are meaningless. For example, if you meet a casual acquaintance you might say, “I miss you so much ‘you bury me,’” meaning I would die for you.