Being brought up in a conservative Catholic community and a country dominated by Christians, my ignorance about the Islam religion made me defensive especially after the 9/11 attack by the terrorist group named the Al-Qaeda in New York.
Working in Egypt had given me the chance to work and interact with Muslims. As I worked my way in the society and culture, my perception about Muslims has changed. I became open minded and felt guilty about my misconception about them. They have shown to be kind, loving and respectful people that made my stay memorable and rewarding. As an expat, I felt at home. One of them that I’ll never forget and has set a good example was Ms. Nihal, whom I call my angel, because I have never seen someone so beautiful inside and out. A person full of positivity in life, a kind, loving, caring, humble, and cheerful person. Her smile and optimism are contagious. She’s like an angel on earth. How good life could be if people are like her, an environment full of positive energy.
Just like Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism, Islam is a religion that teaches peace, love and humility. Religion guides people to be united and live peacefully. It is the ignorance, selfishness and greed that divide people which lead to conflict, terrorism and even war.
I am a Catholic but I have respect for our Muslim brothers and sisters. In the end, we are all equal and it’s no longer about religion, but how you treat the uniqueness and individuality of each person.
With the upcoming US election, a leading presidential candidate has chosen to involve the Muslims. Maybe his ignorance has resulted in his generalization of the Muslims as evident on his impulsive statements. To “ban all Muslims to travel the US” is disturbing. This kind of statement does not help in solving the threat of terror to humanity, but could embolden extremists and a reason to justify their actions. An educated, well informed individual, more so, a presidential candidate and a would be top diplomat should not stir an already volatile situation.
If you want peace in the country, then speak about peace and unity, as it will lead to peace and unity. Aggression is not a solution, it leads to destruction. America needs a diplomatic leader, not an impulsive, tactless and careless leader. His advisers should find out what values and norms do they share. The Muslim community deserves his apology. Regardless of your religion, we are all humans, and just like all of us, they deserve to be loved and respected, and deserve to live a peaceful and honorable life.