A little kindness goes a long way to help people move past their negative stereotypical images of Islam. Jason Leger had joined the Phoenix protests against Islam and the local Islamic center, even wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with profanity directed against the entire religion. But the mosque-goers invited him inside to observe their prayers and answer his questions about Islam. Jason had a sudden change of heart, vowing never to cause such offense again.
According to FOX 10 in Phoenix, Mr. Leger said:
Out of respect for the Islamic people, knowing what I know now, because I have talked to them and spoke to them, no I would not do that again, just because I don’t want to offend or hurt those people…
When I took a second to actually sit down and listen to them, and actually enter their mosque, and go in and watch some of their prayers, it is a beautiful thing, and they answered some of the questions that I had.
In fact, the Muslims in Phoenix had responded exactly as the Quran has taught them:
ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ
Repel evil by that which is better, and the one with hostility between himself and you will become like a devoted friend. (41:34)
Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we could all respond to offense with such graciousness?