Two young Muslim men were stood outside the corner of Shepherds Bush tube station giving “dawah” (arabic for preaching), all the while sporting hoodies emblazoned with the “I ❤️ Jesus” slogan. Street corners are a common pulpit for preachers and young folks with fire in their belly, bursting to spread the word of God in concrete jungles where the lives of strangers bustling to and fro intersect momentarily.
I stopped to talk to one of them because the slogan on his hoody caught my eye. We got talking about how many Christians aren’t aware of just how much Muslims revere Jesus, and how the slogan on his hoody was a good conversational ice breaker, not least because of the love bursting out from its typography.
It was Daniel who approached us because his interest was piqued by the “engaging” discussion we were having. Both Peter and Daniel, who identified themselves as Born Again Christians, had just come out of Sunday service at their local church.
After they asked me whether I was Muslim or Christian (I think my Muslamic turban threw them off the scent), Daniel and I got talking about the role of Jesus within Islam and Christianity. We discussed how whilst there is beauty in similarity, there’s also beauty to be derived from difference as well, even if we don’t agree on everything.
We watched from the side as Peter and the two “dawah men” started quoting passages from the bible like a pair of MC’s, one trying to sway the other. It was like Fire in the Booth but the religious edition.
Before I left, Peter entreated me to “Come to Jesus Christ!” I only laughed and said that I had, like him, come to Jesus, but through a different path. We both love Jesus, but as Peter said, he loves him more than I do.
They were only too happy to oblige when I asked if I could take their photograph.