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


  1. I’m sitting in a church right now, and I was trying to figure out how to politely leave. I was asked to do face painting and so I’m here. All around me is hate in the guise of love for Christ.
    Posters on walls, pictures, prayer walls.

    Christians have killed more people in the name of Christ, than all other religions have killed Christians, yet Christians get so up in arms if any body else does the same thing to them.

    If you believe that someone will go to hell for their beliefs or life style, then do what you were told, love your neighbor, love your enemy, and let God sort it out at the end.

    I’ve decided to stay and finish painting faces, because I want to show that I can be caring in the face of hatred.

    I’ve traveled throughout the world and looked into most religions. It is true that they are ALL more similar than different. They all profess love and understanding.

    Let’s all love. We’ve forgotten how to love each other. Let’s try to remember.

    Comment by Ms McKahsum | June 25, 2015 | Reply

    • Thank you, Ms. McKahsum for your insight and your comment. It is part of the irony, isn’t it, that our basic instructions are so simple – love God. Love one another. So simple, and yet, it seems, so very difficult to follow. I know I fail, dismally. I think my friend was having a bad day. I think she was very tired. I’m not at my best when I am tired, either. It’s enough to make you believe in Satan 🙂

      Comment by intlxpatr | June 28, 2015 | Reply

  2. Thank you for giving Life to this wonderful wonderful entry! Gave me goose bumps reading it.

    In days past I sometimes would react in a manner similar to your friend. Now I realize what a sorry figure I was cutting out with my knee jerk reaction painting entire geographies and people with the same brush.

    Part of my failing back then was I could not make the distinction between reacting and responding. Also I now realize that part of the problem is we may think we are educated but actually we are not; many of us are simply well qualified.


    Comment by Drop Books NOT Bombs | July 4, 2015 | Reply

    • I knew I recognized that voice! I hope you are well, old friend. Wish you could have been here last Sunday to join in the celebration 🙂

      Comment by intlxpatr | July 5, 2015 | Reply

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