Sonny Bill Williams has been preaching a very different message this week compared to the divisiveness caused by the latest Israel Folau controversy in Australia.
The All Black midfielder, in an interview published by the Now To Love magazine, has opened up about his Islam faith and how it strives to inclusive rather than exclusive.
“The hardest thing for me is I live in a society where the majority are Christians or Catholics. Our Island brothers and sisters… we have a strong religious background.
“But the message I try and push is that I don’t hate you because the message that you guys promote is one of beauty as well.
“I feel like that’s where we need to come together in our community. That, OK, you’re a Catholic, you’re Christian, you might be an atheist, but if your message and your purpose is one of trying to be positive in the community, then I’m down with that,” explained Williams, who appealed to the non-Muslim community that there is nothing to fear.
“We love you. We just want to be accepted like you guys want to be accepted.
“If there’s something bubbling under the surface that you feel is hatred towards us, I’d suggest reaching out to someone in your community that is a Muslim because they’ll reach back tenfold and show you what is taught in our religion – and that is love.”
Williams added that his mother converted to Islam in the week after last month’s Christchurch mosque terror attack. “It was very very special,” he said.
“That’s the beauty of Muslims is that we see this dunya (world) as an attachment. We’re just passengers passing through and inshallah (God willing) we stand in Allah’s grace. And that’s been my mindset for years.
“I’ve not always been perfect and I’ve had always human frailties but I strive. I strive to better myself, and humbly I have a beautiful wife, I have beautiful children. Yes we make mistakes, but in tough times, in stormy weather we have our purpose. We have our shining beacon.
“I’m so blessed that my mum has seen that… she’s just seen how its transformed our lives.”
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