By Imam Abdullah El-Amin
If you have been eating and breathing for the last few years, you are undoubtedly aware of the tension between the worldâ€™s religionsâ€“particularly Muslims and Jews. You also must be aware of the tremendous amounts of misrepresentation of facts that emanate from both camps. There are factions of Muslims and Jews that, for whatever reason, seem to intentionally put out erroneous information about the other.
For instance, there are Muslims, both locally, and throughout the world, who swears the Jewish holocaust never happened. They say this in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary and a lack of proof for the point of view they are espousing. This only serves to put wedges in the relationship with Jews who feel very strongly about it and may have lost relatives to it or may have living relatives who went through it.
Vicious propaganda and misrepresentation is also put out by some people of the Christian faith. In this Detroit area there is an African-American Christian minister who is a frequent guest at area synagogues. This ministerâ€™s sole purpose is to denigrate the religion of Islam with lies. This fellow is also part of a ministry that very deceptively have changed their names to Islamic names and have gone into Africa to fool the natives and make them relax so they can teach them about Christianity.
Then, there is a Jewish Rabbi in this area that went very public about his intention to never have dialogue with any group that includes Muslims. This well-known rabbi even apologized to his congregation and he even apologized to G-d for being nice to Muslims in the past. How incredible. Here you have a man of the cloth, apologizing to God for acting human towards another human being. This rabbi was the subject of an interview and his statements made front page news in the daily newspapers.
In all three of these cases, there has been no large outcry from the majority of the human race who are not comfortable with this type of devilment. The common morality of our hearts knows by instinct that this type of action is not in synch with reality.
What needs to happen is those of us who have a profound belief in, trust in, and submission to the Creator, stand up and be visibly in support of each other.
I have just returned from a conference put on by the National Humanities Council in Louisville, Kentucky. Interestingly, I went there with my Jewish partner, Brenda Rosenberg. Ms. Rosenberg and I were the developers of a play called the â€œChildren of Abraham. In this play Abrahamâ€™s two sons, Ishmael and Isaac come together at Abrahamâ€™s grave to bury himâ€“as brothersâ€“showing that peace is possible.
While we were at this conference, I marveled at the intelligence and humility of the members of the council. They seemed to be a great group of human beings. So after our presentation, I reminded them of their obligation to be vocal and visible with other people of peace. I reminded them that this is the only way society will see the true picture of human interaction.
I also remind us to do the same. We must get our courage from our faith in ALLAH to speak out against the types of examples I named above. If the learned, educated, pope can feel comfortable quoting untruths, how much more so for those who are not well-read? The negative rabbi, minister, and Muslim must not be able to feel comfortable spewing their garbage.
Many people do not have knowledge of what is fact or fiction about the different religions. But it is all there in the scriptures so let us that do have a little knowledge, be courageous enough to use it for the sake of ALLAH and the benefit of society.
As Salaam Alaikum
(Al Hajj) Abdullah Bey El-Amin