American Xenobia to Muslims is contrary to Jesus teachings

Estimated read time 4 min read

From my international medical experience working with Muslims, I learned we Christians share many beliefs and values with them in contrast to wrong assumptions of many Americans. Unfortunately many Americans possess a narrow ethnocentricity in culture and religion which stands in defiance of the message of Jesus Christ. Instead of fixing a broken world it takes us farther away from the principle of loving thy neighbor.

Xenophobia, fear and resentment against foreigners, has been inherent in the tribal culture of mankind since civilization began. It is an essential entry point to and inevitably leads to racism. American history is replete with examples of mistreatment and mistrust to immigrants including the Irish, Italians, Jews, Africans, Asians, Hispanics, and Muslims to name a few.

I never knew any Muslims until I became involved in international medical teaching. My first experience came when I visited Turkey in the1990s to teach cervical spine surgery using plating and cadaver bone. One of my best friends and a mentor is an Egyptian Muslim who went on to became a high level executive in the global medical industry helped me to prepare for this endeavor.

In the early 2000s I was the second neurosurgeon in the United Arab Emirates providing local care as well as helping the military there take care of the civilian victims of ISIS from the Iraq conflicts. I spent time studying Islam and the Holy Quran at their request as it had bearing on medical practice as well as culture. From this I learned that we as Christian’s share the essentially the same creation story and the Godly wisdom of old Testament prophets including Moses. They see Jesus, a Prophet, as being born of the virgin Mary and giving an important message of peace. They believe he will come again in the end times.

Finally I spent a decade doing research, teaching, and caring for patients in Ethiopia which is at least forty percent Muslim. The vast majority of Muslims I encountered were moral people trying to build moral society and raise their family. Of the ten neurosurgeons I trained, two were from Somaliland and one from Somalia. I think of them frankly as being basically like my own sons.

Professor Tony Magana seen with his neurosurgical residents at Mekelle University

We are quick to denounce Muslims as immoral because of the actions of radicals. Yet I am reminded of what Jesus said to the crowd about to stone the adulteress. He said “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone:. As Christians should we be held responsible for the slaughter by the Knights Templar in the Crusades, for the Spanish Inquisitions, for the persecution of Protestants under Bloody Mary, or for the early inaction against Hitler’s Jewish persecution.

While in Ethiopia I developed a wonderful relationship with some of the spine doctors at Jerusalem’s acclaimed Hadassah Medical Center. Our medical school at Mekelle University routinely exchanged medical students with them. I learned from them how they provide care and training for many Muslims in Israel. Hadassah sent a team of specialists to do surgeries for children and young adults at our Ayder Hospital for which we did not have resources which included Muslim patients.

The widely acclaimed Episcopal priest and writer, Barbara Taylor Brown, who taught a college course on the world’s religions relates in her book, Holy Envy, that we should not judge other religions by their worst examples.

I remember the actions and words of Mahatma Ghandi. Although a Hindu, he reminded Christians that “love is the center and soul of Christianity” and that commitment to Jesus’s way could be a great “working force” for good. To heal from terrible religious conflict that left many Hindu and Muslim orphans Ghandi called for Hindu families to adopt Muslim orphans to raise them as Muslims and for Muslims to adopt Hindu orphans to raise them as Hindu.

The shared creation story of Jews, Christians, and Muslims sees us as having a common origin and common responsibility. As the Apostle Paul said we must escape our beastly nature and truly internalize Christ message of peace and love for our neighbor to evolve spiritually to truly create a heaven on earth.

Professor Tony Magana

Dr. Tony Magana is Professor Emeritus in Neurosurgery who spent many years doing international teaching and research including 10 years in Ethiopia. Over the past 15 years he concomitantly intensified his Christian faith through study and worship through the Episcopal Church. He grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Attended Texas A&M University, Harvard Medical School, and trained at the University of Miami. Additionally he took the University of South Education for Ministry as well as attending the Southeast Florida Episcopal Diocesan School for Christian Studies.
Professor Tony Magana, a seasoned neurosurgeon, has not only dedicated his life to medical practice but also embarked on a profound spiritual journey. Over the past 15 years, he has deepened his Christian faith through study and worship within the Episcopal Church. His experiences span international teaching, research, and a decade of service in Ethiopia
Dr. Tony Magana’s writings blend faith, compassion, and wisdom, inviting readers to explore the intersection of spirituality and the human experience. His journey serves as an inspiration for those seeking deeper connections with faith and humanity.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours