R&R: Brotherhood in Marawi

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/catch-up-tv/rebellion-in-marawi?cid=FBins

When I first saw the link to this video and report, I opened it, intrigued. I didn’t get around to watching it for several days, and I am thankful I did watch it in the end. I have the deepest respect for the men who told their stories in it, and for their willingness to risk their lives to protect fellow men and women, hunted for their faith.

The main surprise, I believe, comes from stereotypes and assumptions about Muslims and their relationship with Christians, reinforced through media. I will be the first to hold up my hands and admit that I have long been sceptical and critical of the Muslims who abhor the violence perpetrated by other Muslims. I often thought to myself, “Well, if you want the world to believe that you are peaceful and do not want Islam to be only labelled as a religion of extremism, then stand up, speak up, and do your part to prove it.” Norodin Lucman, and the five Muslim police officers, have more than done that.

As I listened to the two tales of deliverance unfold, my mind was drawn to my experiences earlier in the summer, watching Schindler’s List, and visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Oskar Schindler was a German and a member of the Nazi party, and yet he paid with his own money and risked his own life to protect Jews from the atrocities and slaughter perpetrated by his own countrymen. His name popped up in the exhibits I saw in the Memorial Museum, alongside a list of “the Righteous among the Nations”, a tribute to brave rescuers, unrelated by blood to the Jews, and yet gave their efforts – and even lives – in working to save the Jews.

Norodin used his reputation and standing as a Muslim in the community to house and later lead Christian men, women, and children to safety, in spite of the risk of getting shot or bombed or worse. The Muslim police officers lied to their brothers in the faith, in order to spare the lives of the Christian construction workers. These Muslim men deserve great respect, for putting their lives on the line for the very people hunted by fellow Muslims.

As a Christian, I thank them from the bottom of my heart for caring for and helping to save the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray for their continued safety and that they will come to know the One who showed what sacrifice was, by laying His life down for the world.

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

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