Monday, July 25, 2011

Nicole's Passion - Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

"What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly - that is the first law of nature." ~Voltaire

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to write a blog post about Muslims. A really nice person from reached out to me, directed me to a PSA they had produced, and asked me to share my thoughts.

I waited... mostly because I was tired. I have been battling misconceptions about Muslims for so long. I felt like my voice was not strong enough. Plus, who am I to share my thoughts about Islam and those who worship accordingly? Aren't I the same woman who has told her husband multiple times why I would not convert? Isn't this the same blog that deals with the cultural nuances on a daily basis?
You see - I am married to a Muslim. He is from Egypt. He just moved to the states 2 years ago. The multi-cultural home is still in flux.

Luckily, he has been in my life for almost 5 years. I have a learned a lot in 5 years time. I have also had the privilege (prior to meeting the egyptian) to have lived with a young woman from Northern Iraq, who was also a Muslim, for over a year.

My beautiful Mother-in-law and my dear Egyptian.

My mother-in-law is a Muslim. My father-in-law is a Muslim. My brothers-in-law as well as sisters-in-law are all Muslim. Many, many of my friends are Muslim.

I am Christian. Roman Catholic. I live in the southeastern United States.
I am very opinionated and I tend to tell it like I see it. Here's the thing - I won't deny, some stereotypes are real.

Muslim men do expect to be the head of their homes. As do men who are Southern Baptist. 

Muslim women do dress modestly (as do some Pentecostal women,) some choose to cover their faces and hands. 

They do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, but they do believe he was born of a virgin and is a Messenger of God. They also believe he will be the one to return on judgment day (as do Christians.)

Muslim men expect their wives to submit to them. And typically, the women do. (The same thing that is written in every religion.)

Islam translates to  "Submission to God." God comes first in most Muslim's lives, and family follows second. (As do most other religious groups.)

Allah, Yahweh and God ARE THE SAME. One God - Three Faiths, each recognize Moses, & Jesus. However, Muslims believe that the Qu'ran is the third and final testament from God.

These are just a few basic facts.
If you have been following my blog - you know that some of these topics are issues my husband and I deal with. We are learning the cultural ins and outs and we are bridging the gaps... slowly... but surely.

I need you to watch this PSA, the organization asked me to take a look at. Trust me, it will be worth your time.

Here's the thing, after what recently happened in Norway - I started reading a ton of nonsense on FB. Quotes from friends and friends of friends. Bashing Muslims, making derogatory statements about an entire group of people.

The thing is - it's not right. No matter how you slice it, no matter what archaic ideas you hold, these people are not all terrorists. Sure, you may not agree with their faith, sure you may not agree with their lifestyle or dress code... at the end of the day - the venom coming out of people's mouths frighten me more than anything a Muslim could ever say or do to me. 

There are extremist in every religion, political affiliation, etc. Remember the Tea Party members wishing Obama dead? That's a little scary. I've been cornered by Fundamentalist - informing me that I will not go to heaven because I am a Catholic. There is hate in every group. I've even heard other Catholics bash Protestants. African Americans who look down on Hispanics. Welfare recipients looking down on illegal aliens. Hate is hate is hate.

People are people. Take a moment and try to get to know someone who is different than you. Don't judge an entire group based on a few loose cannons. For centuries, people have fought and killed based on religion. This is NOT something new.

Take a look at your own lives. How are you living? How would someone from the Middle East view your life, based on what they believe? Try to put yourself in someone else's place. Then educate yourself. Then speak with love. Pray and learn to forgive, and educate others.

It hurts to see people  I know, people I care about.. sneak a few comments and statements in a public forum. What's even worse, knowing they say even more behind closed doors.

I only wish I did not hold one prejudice. That is the prejudice against other people who hold prejudice.

"Our thoughts are unseen hands shaping the people we meet. Whatever we truly think them to be, that's what they'll become for us." ~Richard Cowper


Tamika D. said...

Too many people are afraid of Muslims because they are ignorant & don't want to educate themselves. To say that all Muslims are terrorist is simple and close-minded. Terrorist come in all religions, colors, etc. Remember Lee Malvo & John Allen Muhammad, or Timothy McVeigh. We all need to practice love instead of hate. We need to take a look in the mirror before calling someone else a terriorst.

Doris said...

Very beautiful, thought-provoking post'm speechless.

Leanne said...

Do you remember that post I wrote a while back, about the experience I had watching a man pray in the parking lot of our nearby grocery store? My life changed that night, and I have - ever since that day - looked at EVERYONE in this world through eyes of love and acceptance. And I can only pray others will do the same when they look at me.

Great post, my friend. Great post.


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