Once there was a time when I found it relatively easy to spend time praying for Muslims, even radical Muslims. Over the past few years I've noticed that my heart has hardened. The continual barrage of news articles; reports of pastors being tortured, countless incidents of suicide bombers, children being murdered for trying to be educated, civil wars and strife throughout the Middle East, and recent terrorist events on American soil have all left their mark.
Being a historian, I can understand the Roman mindset which turned to persecuting Christians. Generally speaking, Rome was tolerant of any religion which didn't threaten the Empire, and Christianity was perceived as such a threat. But traditional Islam has no toleration.
I was raised in a Christian environment, but within a culture that questioned what I was taught. I seriously wonder if many Muslims ever question their religious affiliation, or if they are simply too afraid to. One might argue, as some do, that 'christianity' in the Medieval Period was similar to Islam today, however, in using the sword, banning Scripture, instituting the Inquisition and witch hunts, the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) was fundamentally denying the basic principles of Christ and His teaching to love.
I don't see thousands of Muslims standing up and objecting to the stream of violence which proceeds as a natural consequence of Islamic teachings. Those under the RCC's rule in the Medieval Period were kept in ignorance, but can ignorance be an excuse for Muslims today. Where is the shame, the horror and rebellion against the religion itself? We see rebellion against dictators, rebellion against poverty, but I cannot recall ever seeing a protest from moderate Muslims about the actions of radicals. From my cultural perspective, silence is adherence to the point of being an accomplice.
How does one stop the heart from hardening towards such people?