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Friday, November 13, 2009

Borne Out Of Hatred?


"Our world has become so complicated that people are busy building walls instead of bridges..."

While so engrossed with my daily task of casting votes for my favorite CNN Hero, I navigated through the CNN homepage and came across with hot issues of today. One particular story that caught my attention, was the heroism by Pvt. Joseph Foster, one of the survivors of that gruesome massacre at Fort Hood in Texas a week ago. He helped would have been victims ran for cover, and in the process spared many lives. He did according to him what he has been trained for.

The massacre at Fort Hood was considered by many to be incomprehensible, given its stature as the biggest military facility in the world, hence security is at its utmost. It is also home to thousands of American military personnel and sophisticated military arsenal. The facility serves as a springboard for those who are bound for the war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan. And the culprit of this despicable act is Major Nidal Malik Hassan, an American-born Muslim of Palestinian descent. He is a psychiatrist by training and had been working in the facility for many years.

As media feast on this inconceivable event, lots of suspicions and foregone conclusion, have been promoted from the fact that he is a Muslim. The subsequent buzz in media would be that of his links with his Islamic faith. That would then be an understatement if it sounded less familiar. It was later known however, that the assassin had communicated with a radical Muslim cleric in Yemen who has links with Al Qaeda. This findings further reinforced the notion that the suspect had infiltrated the US military and waited to carry out his self-styled revenge. At this juncture, should the US government fail to rein in this notion, the likelihood of a backlash against Muslims in the US military would be a dreadful scenario.

But how can they keep the world from concluding that it is his religion that has caused unheard of pain to the victims and their loved ones? The devastated family members of the dead who had not doubted the security and safety inside the facility. And the thought that a colleague and friend to some, did this unthinkable act, even made it more devastating to them. That a person who should have been helping his colleagues live better lives was the one who ended those very lives in haste. This is a painful reality so difficult to get over with. The trust accorded him and his fellow Muslims just quickly evaporated. The aspirations by all that religion will not play a role in a united community has just been crushed.

As an ordinary human being with a an own view to express, I can't help but ask, why is there so much hatred in the world? Why can't people live in harmony without prejudice? Why have we lost the very basic human faculty of compassion? Why have we lost our sound reasoning that killing people, let alone innocent people has never been a solution to any problem? Why blame all for the transgression of one? Why take delight from the fact that we have caused untold sufferings to our fellow human beings? Why treat other people as enemy just because of the color of his skin, his appearance and his religion?

In any religion, I believe there is a basic teachings of love, hope and faithfulness. Even in the Bible, Jesus teaches us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). And I believe, any religion would be very proud of their own teachings about love and forgiveness. But why are there people from among us who believe that killing an enemy, or an innocent pleases our Creator and warrants reward in heaven? Where is the testimony of what we preach in the pulpit that ours is a religion of peace? It is a shame that people who claim to be men of God, are too slow to condemn violence and are reluctant to rebuke this kind of heinous crimes.

As a non-Muslim working in a Muslim society, I have been guided by the principle of treating people with respect and dignity, regardless of one's religion or appearance. However, an air of animosity between religions is an unfortunate thing no one would have wanted to experience. There is that genuine show of concern for your grim destiny if you don't get converted. They were made to believe that non-Muslims have only hell to be their final destination. Personally, I was once prodded by a Muslim colleague to convert to his religion, because according to him, my affiliation to Christianity alone is already a ticket to hell. And I got sympathy for that. While I appreciated his concern, it prompted me to pause and started to appreciate the fact, that I was taught of the forgiveness my God has guaranteed me if I were repentant, and that He looks at one's heart and not on one's religion.

Our world has become so complicated that people are busy building walls instead of bridges, as I would quote from a friend. Hatred is everywhere. It is even taught systematically in school in a certain community. It is a pity that no good will ever be borne from the wrath that we keep in our hearts. I just wish all religions in the world will someday come together in harmony. That no enemy will be labeled on anyone outside of our fold. After all, we are all God's masterpiece, made in His own image, equal in stature and purpose, made to glorify Him and also made accountable to Him, not for what we have achieved, but for what we have done to the rest of our brothers.


RELATED LINK: Where Is The Honor? by Susie Khalil




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1 comments:

Pinaywriter said...

I had a Muslim roommate in college and I watch her pray at the end of the day (she can't for the most part of the day since she is in class)

She is the daughter of a preacher (I don't know what they call those in Islam or she might have told me but I can't spell it right now)

If I was doing anything or listening to music during that time, I would stop, watch her and wonder what she prays about.

World peace, I had always hoped. And to pass her exams, most likely. ^_^;

I have a couple of other Muslim friends and learn a little bit of what not to say or to do when they are around. It all boils down to respect. They respect that I don't share all their beliefs and I am fascinated with the better practices of theirs.

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