Thursday, February 09, 2006

My Stand On Religion

NOTE: This post was originally posted on my other blog on Nov. 29, 2003. That was before I started this blog. It's about time to move it here.


I received a sweet e-mail last week from a Jewish woman who lives in Israel and who is married to an Iraqi-Jew. I wanted to share part of her e-mail with my readers.

She wrote in part of her e-mail:

Never does that story my brother-in-law told me leave my head: in 1951 when there was some kind of uprising against the Jews in Baghdad - so many angry people were chasing him down the market. BUT : he came home, and who do you think helped the family hide from the angry mob? Their Muslim neighbours! I'm quite sure that people under each-other wouldn't have dragged on this bloody situation as long as it's dragging on now

I don't know if my Middle-Eastern readers have known any Jews during their lives. I did.

My mom's best friend in Basrah, Iraq was an Iraqi-Jew, who was married to an Iraqi-Muslim. My family had a close friendship with her and her family. Me and my siblings were brought up closely to the family. I was the youngest among the girls' and boys' big circle of friends from both families. So, I was the favorite cute-little-child to play with. She lost a son during the Iran-Iraq war. It was one of the saddest times for both families.

I believe she still lives in Iraq even though her husband died many years ago (if I'm not wrong). Everyone in town, who knew her, always respected and loved her. She had a very charming personality.

The same is true with many of the Jews whom I got to know through my work and social life in Australia and America.

For my Middle-Eastern readers who never got the chance to know a Jew personally, I say. "Hey, Jews are people and human just like us with our good and bad parts."

Now, I have to talk about my Muslim friends. Even though I'm a Catholic, most of my friends in Iraq, and whom I still consider as my best friends were Muslims. This is not because there weren't many Christians where I lived (I had Christian friends too), but because I choose my friends for their spirits and willingness to be good people as much as they could. I never paid attention to their religious beliefs. We always discussed our religious differences with respect and a few arguments from time to time, but that's how friends are.

I do believe we all can live together peacefully even if we have different beliefs. It all depends on us. We need to ask ourselves each time we meet someone who doesn't believe in what we believe, "Can I give this person my trust and understanding?" If we could understand, then we could trust. I hope we all would one day.
 

2 Comments:

Blogger Liam said...

Fayrouz,
I wonder how many of the people who are now saying that Islam is a religion of violence or that Jews are trying to take over the world have ever really known a Muslim or a Jew. I'm sure there are more than a few people that imagine that because I'm Catholic, I must be homophobic, sexist, and mindlessly obedient. We need to hear from more voices yours, voices that have crossed so many cultures.

 
2/09/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

Liam,

Sometimes, I think we're a minority who see the best in people of different religions. Other times, I believe the extremists from all sides are the most vocal and we're the silent majority.

 
2/10/2006 08:28:00 PM  

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