Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Don't judge all Muslims by actions of a twisted few|
|10/07/01 at 21:06:45|
this is an editorial from the buffalo news written by an old school friend of my sister... she wrote a nice artice about my sister and i just though i'd share it :)
Don't judge all Muslims by actions of a twisted few
By HEATHER BERMINGHAM
Unlike a lot of people, I had the privilege of growing up in one neighborhood. I played softball with the same girls from the time we were all big enough to lift a bat. Ministers and teachers at church were like members of the family. I had friendships that lasted through many phases of life. My longest lasting and most fondly remembered friendship was with a girl named Shabana.
Shabana and I met in fifth grade. Looking back, I can't pinpoint a magical moment when we became friends. We just always were. Like most friends, we shared a lot of interests - we were both bookworms and writers. We had the same taste in movies and music. Like most friends, we also had our differences. While my books were always battered and dog-eared, hers were always perfect with nary a crease or bend to be found.
The biggest difference, however, was our religious upbringing. I was raised as a devout Christian, Shabana was raised as a devoted Muslim. We didn't always understand each other's beliefs. She never really understood how I could believe in a God who would turn away good people just because they didn't believe Jesus was the son of God. I never understood why she felt it was necessary to cover her beautiful, thick, dark hair. But those differences never got in the way of our friendship.
Like too many friends who go their separate ways after graduation, Shabana and I lost touch. The last I heard she was getting married and leaving that town we both grew up in, just as I had done the previous year. But I know without a shadow of a doubt that wherever she was on Sept. 11, Shabana was watching or listening and I know her tender heart was breaking along with everyone else's. And while there are some differences between my God and her Allah, I know both of their hearts were breaking as well.
The people who flew those planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the name of Allah are no different than so-called Christians who blow up abortion clinics because they feel it's what God would want. They're not a reflection of the God they claim to follow and they're not a reflection of their fellow Muslims or Christians. They're a delusional, twisted version of those people.
Every time I hear about Muslim children being taunted at school or rocks being thrown at mosques, I can't help but think of Shabana. When I saw a truck parked on my street with the words Arabs Go Home! painted on it, visions of my childhood friend made me struggle with the urge to dig through the basement for a sledgehammer. I wonder if the people behind these acts of so-called patriotism realize they're twisting the values of America just as the pilots of those planes twisted the values of Islam.
America is supposed to be a place where people of all different races, ethnic backgrounds and religions are welcomed with open arms. America is supposed to be a place where groups of people are not judged by the actions of a few. America is supposed to be a place where love and support crosses the boundaries between communities of people.
Like most Americans, I've been doing more than my fair share of praying lately. Among my many requests, I pray that our rightful desire to see justice served doesn't lead us to vilify people who don't deserve it. And I pray that my friend is safe.
HEATHER BERMINGHAM lives in Blasdell.
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