It would seem there are a few Muslim stereotypes that need deconstructing. Dinesh D’Souza of Christianity Today writes “Surveys of the world’s Muslims find that most Muslims support democracy and freedom. Indeed, many Muslims complain that they are ruled by Western-supported secular despots who deny people their right to self-government.” Ouch.
But there’s more. The data also suggests that, while most Muslims support classic liberalism, including the right to vote and freedom of assembly, etc, what they really object to is modern liberalism, “which is characterised by the right to blaspheme, pornography as a protected form of free expression, the exclusion of religious symbols from the public square, the right of teenagers to receive sex education and contraceptives, the right to abortion, prostitution as a worker’s right, and so on.” In other words, they object to much the same things as many Christians do.
So maybe, just maybe, there is some common ground here.
For me personally, the biggest barrier to cooperation with Muslims is what I see as Muslim resistance to religious freedom. In particular, the violent reaction of some Muslims to people who convert to another religion, other than Islam that is. Maybe that’s also a stereotype that needs deconstructing, but I know people personally effected by such violence. So Muslims, help me out here. I need to see some evidence before I can believe that.