Creating outcasts

I was thinking this morning about a discussion that has been going on as part of an e-group that I belong to.  It has been interesting listening to the different viewpoints and approaches of different people.  One of the ladies was upset about an activity and its planned start time.  Her contention was that because this country is a Muslim country nothing should be allowed to start during Friday prayers.  She went on to accuse the organizers who, she says, are Christians of being insensitive.  The tone of the post made it seem that all Christians are less, in some way, than all Muslims.  Now, regardless of how valid or invalid I find her argument, what I actually find myself thinking about is what her kids are learning at home.

The Beans learn that there are Muslims and Christians in this country and in this world.  They learn that Muslims are people of faith.  They don’t learn that those darn Muslims are oppressing us.  They never hear anyone in my house say that the US should ban hijab or niqab because if they’re going to live in a Christian country (not that the US is, but it’s no more or less than Jordan is a Muslim one) they should have to live like we do.  We make sure that they understand our values, that all people are valuable and worthwhile.  That MommaBean has good friends who wear the hijab and good friends who are right-wing Christians.  Neither is a bad thing or something to be looked down upon.

I find myself wondering if these American ladies who speak in such a derogatory manner about Christians have thought through their own prejudices.  Have they thought about the fact that their kids will be unable to navigate life in America if they are raised with disdain and disrespect for people there?  After all, the majority of the US is Christian.  And even those who do not actively consider themselves Christian, most were raised Christian.  None of us take too kindly to having our faith and people like us denigrated.  So, what do you think, is there a line between raising our children to respect and love our faith and putting down someone else’s?

Happy Outcasts!

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9 thoughts on “Creating outcasts

  1. Pingback: Contempt vs. Respect in the Religious Realm | my treasure

  2. Guess we’re members of the same group – I was pretty sad when I read the women’s post about boycotting the event – I agree with you completely about worrying about what her kids are learning at home. I converted to Islam 10 years ago but still teach my kids about appreciating Christianity and all other religions esp considering the rest of my family is half Christian and half Jewish. I don’t understand the point of being so over defensive in religion and so quick to judge. It’s sad since it does fall on the mother in most cases to really develop the presence or not of prejudices in children. I do my best and hope everyone else does too – but apparently she doesnn’t???

    • Meg, looks like maybe so. I’m with you that I don’t really understand the attitude, but there are many things in life I don’t understand given that I have only my perspective to approach the ideas with ;). I imagine she does her best, it just doesn’t necessarily jibe with my (or your) approach to life and raising kids.

  3. Cant we all just get along?

    I often wonder what is it that drives people to an extreme position. I know it happens but why are people swayed? I have friends from many religions. But that is not the point. My friends are my friends because of their generosity of spirit. Because of their ability to let me be who I am, for their ability to inspire me to be a better person. This is what I try to pass on to my kids. I tell them” I dont want to hear he is my friend because he is a certain religion, I want you to tell me they are your friends because they are good people.”

    • Ah, now indeed we think alike. It is much more important to me that the Beans have nice friends who are good kids. Whether they are green or purple or a religion is immaterial. Good kids are good kids. But more importantly, people are people. There’s no need to be teaching our kids that all “X” people are “Y”. Because after all, until we’ve met all of any group how could we say that they are all like anything, no? As for inspiring you to be a better person, what a great criteria for friends… love it!

  4. You have sparked my interest, and I believe we are in the same e-group. I re-read the posts, I find them offensive (Not all are) and I’m a Muslim!

    But I do see both sides of the argument. I understand that opening during Friday prayer is an issue but if it’s ONLY open during Friday prayer, I think it would be a bigger issue. Some people aren’t Muslim or don’t practice or whatever…So, why should they get punished for it?

    As a Muslim, I think we should respect all people, regardless of their background. It’s not my place to judge, I don’t want to be judged because I am a Muslim. So, why would I do that to others?

    • Frankly, the argument isn’t offensive to me, actually. I’ve heard worse ;). And, like many Americans, I’m pretty thick-skinned. For me, I see where they are coming from, but find it a seemingly self-serving argument. Not only are there Christians and people who don’t practice any faith, they aren’t promoting a boycott of Safeway or Cozmo. As far as I know, both are open during Friday prayer (as I’ve been in both at that time). And, frankly, for an event that is open only for the weekend, when would you like them to start? But, the judging thing, and more importantly teaching your kids to judge is what I find a bit disturbing. Especially if you are foreign and expect your kids to live in your home country at some point, it seems a self-defeating thing to do. How will they manage in a place where they believe themselves to be superior to everyone? And how will they function in a society that, by rights of the “majority rules” point of view, would have no interest in or understanding for them? That golden rule still applies, no?

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