Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Faith In community life

The place for faith in our communities

A few days on from the bomb attacks in London and people are now beginning to turn their attentions to some of the deeper issues facing us all in these times in which we live.

Why and how can some people choose to terrorise and murder innocent, everyday people in the name of any ideology?

The sad fact is, that EVEN IF the atrocities in London have NOTHING to do with anyone connected to the Muslim faith, some people will now be suspicious of any non-white Arab getting on a bus with a rucksack. What a travesty this is.

Its ridiculous to assume that all Arab Muslims pose a terrorist threat to anyone, but because of the actions of a few fanatics, 95% of the UK's population which is white, could easily be tempted to see anyone who's different as dangerous.

This is just one reason why all the faith groups have no choice anymore but to engage much more actively and positively in our communities. If evil can be done in the name of faith, isn't it time for all faith groups to make sure that their good works are seen and not just preached about? Even more so for our Muslim communities which continue to face an identity crisis on the back of international terrorism.

Just as the evil actions of one or two can devastate our communities, the positive actions of faith groups can also have a massive effect on our Towns and Cities.
Groups like the Message Trust have worked hard for many years in the most needy parts of Manchester and Salford, cleaning up the streets and meeting the practical needs of the needy, both young and old. This is all motivated by faith and is built upon a Command of Jesus Christ to look after the needy, He commanded us to 'love our neighbor as ourselves' and how much more so does this apply to our global neighborhood in the 21st Century.

Lets hope all people of faith can work much more actively for the good of our communities. Not just to counter the evil often perpetrated in the name of religion, but to actually obey their own central teachings.

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