For the GEEK in you

Monday, July 31, 2006

Peace in our time

Late today, stuck in admin no-man's land. Back on track though.

Today's post is inspired by a good friend of mine, who before I left, professed:

"I don't like Jewish people."

Ok, why exactly? It's the usual litany of reasons...Jews control the world...Lebanon blah...dead people blah...

But does he actually know any Jewish people? Has he ever met any? Nope. Never interacted once with them, never shook their hands. But he's been trained to hate them, by his family, by the media, by the general consensus of his people.

What do you say to that? How can you change something that's been so ingrained into someone? A Jew is not a species. It is not a race. It is a religion. A choice made by a person. It is not like a colour, or personality, or a sexuality, it is something placed upon you at a young age, a hole drilled into your head and the cement of dogma poured to set.

It is something fluid, something that can be and should be open to discussion. People blather endlessly about their faith and defending it, but in truth one must understand every aspect of it to do so. And if you don't, then I don't see how you can stand behind it. If there's even one part where you go, "God..oh eck..erm..mysterious ways!", then the whole thing falls apart. That's because humanity has been given Reason. I don't believe in Divine Providence, don't believe that God works to help us in ways which we can't see.

I'm getting at something here, of course. Like my friend, I was a staunch Muslim. That's meaningless, though. I was staunch because I was supposed to be, because that's what you should answer when people ask. When I actually delved into it, I was confronted by inconsistencies and paradoxes, ideas which could not be resolved. Ironically, it wasn't the West, wasn't pop culture. It was having the courage to speak up to myself and question my beliefs, to accept that no cow is sacred unless we make it so.

And these problems aren't the sole purview of Islam, they're common to all the major religions. One has to ask why exactly someone who had a clue would put the holy places of the three major religions on planet earth in exactly the same place, if He/She/It didn't want their followers to tear each other to pieces. Oh, but that's easy, right? The 'Right' religion will win out in the end.

No, I don't think so. If Israel wanted to win, they could fire one of their nukes into every neighbouring country, or use their muscle to literally shove the Palestinians into the sea. They don't because even they have a line, something which their humanity clings to. Similarly, Hezbollah has failed to incite the Arabs of the region to open revolt because their people won't sacrifice their lives willingly. The only lives they're throwing away now are of the innocent.

This war will not bring peace. The only way, in my humble opinion, is for everyone, my friend included, to realise that Jews and Arabs are all people at the end of the day. Break down your walls, cast aside your hate. Meet and mingle and you'll probably find much in the common at the end of the day. Maybe there's a Jewish chick who likes 80s music and rocks out to Falco when no one's watching, peppy and goofy in all the wrong ways. Perhaps there's an Arab guy who's kinda shy, kinda dopey, casting sideways glances at you and thinks of rainy days by the window sill, holding your hand.

But you'll never know, because you hate Jewish people.


Blogger Mise said...

Excellent!...Couldn't have put it better myself, Marwan!

8:31 AM  
Blogger i, Bobo said...

Well said...

2:07 PM  

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