In the Nov. 22 Point of View “On Islam and irrationality,” which was adapted from a speech given at the interfaith Divan Center, the author decried our (meaning the Christian West’s) lack of rationality in the way we form opinions about Muslims. This he blamed mostly on the media and our lack of personal familiarity with Muslims.
While there is some truth to this when viewed narrowly, I believe ultimately our lack of understanding of and empathy for one another derives mostly from our creeds and the mindset they promote.
Both Islam and Christianity are by their nature irrational. By this I mean both reject a view of the world based on observable truth and reason and instead require adherents to embrace a specific, mutually exclusive supernatural one for which no evidence is offered, save, in essence, the belief of other adherents. Because of this, neither religion can serve as a solid foundation for a truly rational approach to human relations.
As long as we view the world thusly, our common humanity is obscured, and there will be those who place ideology above humanity with tragic consequences.