Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“Just Kill them All!!”

We were in the kitchen at the church, setting out some refreshments, when I told my friend I was expecting houseguests from Saudi Arabia.

My friend, who is educated, and, most times, level headed, said with exasperation “I can’t believe you are doing that! They are destroying everything, beheading people, raping and selling off women! Just kill them all!”

I was dumbstruck.

Who are we? We are in a church, where our leader told us to love God, and to love one another. He told us to love our enemy. And, just as one crazed fanatic shooting up a bible study does not make all South Carolinians hateful racists, neither does ISIS and Al Shebab make all Muslims fanatic killers. She knows this.

“I’m so shocked that you would say that, I don’t even know where to start,” I said, numbly.

“Why is it we make so many allowances and excuses for their behavior and they get different rules, but they don’t make any allowances, just kill all those who do not agree with their beliefs!” she responded.

You can’t really have a discussion with someone when they are worked up, and I didn’t even try. It’s been weeks now, and every time I think of this discussion, I get a pit in my stomach. I am guessing that she, my good friend, is expressing her frustration with me for my positive views toward Muslims and Islam. I struggle with whether it is to speak or not to speak, knowing my views are very different from the majority around me.

One of the most influential books I have read was Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life, where he begins with the premise that God creates us each uniquely, individually, no two of us the same, and that we have a reason for our unique creation. From the life I’ve been given, I can only assume part of my purpose was to have all my assumptions challenged, to observe and to learn to think differently, and that, returning to my own culture, it is to gently share what I have learned, that we are more alike than unalike, and that we worship the same God.

I know I must continue to share what I know, and I pray for the courage to do so effectively, gently, not alienating people I care about.

June 25, 2015 Posted by | Cultural, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Quality of Life Issues, Social Issues | 4 Comments