Friday, 9 January 2009

one little step

in case you missed it, i posted again yesterday at the hand mirror.

tomorrow i have a pretty busy day. in the morning, i'll be making a visit that has an interesting history. as i mentioned a few days ago, i received a rather nasty viral email from 2 sources that ended up being a bunch of lies. once i found out the truth, i decided to send it out to every single address i could find in each of the two emails. which i did, painstakingly cutting and copying all the addresses, and expressing my extreme disappointment that this had been forwarded to so many people without anyone bothering to check the facts.

well, in a roundabout way, i ended up getting an email from the very fellow who had written something not so nice, which had upset me at the end of last year. quite a coincidence. and his email to me was full of lovely things like "One question that is often raised is 'Agreed that all muslims are not terrorists but then why all the terrorists are muslims?' That is a very valid question..."

i've decided that the best way to tackle it is to go and visit this man personally, and see if i can't build some bridges. it may be like pushing water uphill, but i'm going to at least try. a hindu friend of mine asked me tonight why i wasting my time on this. i don't see it as a waste of time, but rather as teaspoons. as taking one step at a time to try and reduce misconceptions, antagonism, hatred, whatever.

the danger is, of course, that i'll lose my temper or say the wrong thing and that i'll make the situation worse rather than better. a distinct possibility, but not enough to deter me from trying. the world is not going to become a better place unless each of us makes an individual effort to change it.

so, wish me luck.

another step that looks pretty promising is the new muslim-jewish journal. now this is the kind of collaboration that has the potential to lead to wonderful things.


Anonymous said...

Good luck. I mean that sincerely but not optimistically :) Hopefully you can persuade him.

perhaps if he defines state actors as war criminals instead of terrorists?


Deborah said...

Teaspoons indeed. All the best for the visit, Anjum.

Anonymous said...

i probably missed the visit, but a classic response to the "all terrorists are muslim" line is to point to 40 years of the IRA.

not a lot of muslims in belfast.

or maybe the tamil tigers.

i could go on.

Anonymous said...

Lots of luck in your efforts at dialogue - it can be very rough and frustrating at times but I think it's 100% worth it!

If you'd like to submit an article for the upcoming Spring issue of The Muslim-Jewish Journal about a passage or theme in the Tanakh which you find particularly meaningful, we'd love to print it!

With high hopes for many blessings of peace,