Six Things Christians Tend to Get Wrong about Muslims


I recently endured a gruesome situation at my ministry job. 

My supervisor was appropriately leaning hard on me to repent for a mess in which I was complicit. I felt, before God, that I had repented but could not figure out how to convince my supervisor of this. I didn’t get where he was coming from nor what he was looking for. 

It ended with me being forced to resign. 

All along, I was in pain, thinking, I don’t understand, and I’m sure not being understood. 

Ever felt that lack of understanding? 

Hurts, doesn’t it? 

Much of my career has been given to helping Christians learn about, love, and connect to Muslims in the US and abroad. I’ve led trips, taught classes, and facilitated experiences. I’ve talked to hundreds of Muslims and tons of Christians. I’ve asked a bunch of questions and answered a few. 

One of the things I’m left wondering is whether Muslims in the US largely feel misunderstood. I think maybe so. With many of us having no Muslim friends, but at the same time being bombarded with negative information about them, it’s no surprise. 

If some of the following things reflect your thinking, you’re not alone. But we don’t have to stay where we are. There’s better information out there, and there are Muslims all over the place to befriend. 

Here are six important things Christians get wrong about Muslims. 

1. We assume Muslims are all the same. 

Now, to be honest, Muslims do have a global unity narrative they try to uphold. 

In my early days as an ethnographer trying to understand differences among subcultures, I must have been told a thousand times, “There are no differences in Islam. We are all the same.” You don’t have to be super discerning (lucky for me!) to see that’s simply not the case. 

Muslims differ from one another in many and dramatic ways: Ethnicity, language, culture, interpretation of Islam, understanding of the Quran, modernization, and…

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