Religion. Faith. Belief.
Suddenly these three words have come into limelight, not because of positive reasons, but thanks to the forty fifth president of the United States, who once again proved that his inability to govern a nation of diversified beliefs, stands true in a tough time like this. Today all over the world, Islam is misunderstood for more than one reasons. Before you think I am a pro-Islamic or a Muslim, let me clarify that I am a practicing Hindu, and very much believe in my religion, my culture and my faith. But on the same side, I also feel bad about what my Muslim friends go through, just for being believer of one faith! And before I proceed further, let me say that –
I live with a Muslim.
This statement in itself is very bold to make especially in 21st century when half the world has started associating Islam with terrorism, but we need to speak up. I live with a Muslim. She is my classmate and recently we moved out of the hostel, and rented out an apartment here in Kerala. I am currently doing my post graduation and that is also one of the reasons behind my absence from my blog. But, living with a Muslim certainly taught me a lot of things and one of them is that – they are not terrorists! My Muslim-roommate has stopped eating non-vegetarian food inside the house as I am a vegetarian. Whenever she has to eat chicken or fish, she prefers going out, something which she does out of respect and I appreciate and love her for the same. My Muslim-roommate has always contributed equally in household chores, and has rather cooked for me on more than one occasions. Whenever I am fasting, she’s the one who waits for me to complete my fast so that we can have dinner together. Whenever I am unwell, she takes care of me like my mother. I have met her a couple of months ago, and now we are like a family. A family which does not believe in any barriers.
I wish, the world was just like my home. A place where a Hindu and a Muslim live together happily, watch movies, share secrets, eat and cook good food, sing songs, dance and enjoy life. The only time we ever faced problem was when on Eid I asked her to make sevaiyan and on Diwali, she asked me to make halwa. I go to temples, she visits mosques. I do not cover my head, while she wears a scarf, we both look out for each other like sisters, and I can’t thank my Gods enough for bringing her in my life! With her, I always feel so happy and safe. Whenever she goes home, I miss her like crazy. Whenever she comes back I make sure I pick her up from railway station, and cook her favorite dishes to make her feel at home once again. Hostel times are tough, especially when you are so far away from your family. Here, only your friends are your family, and she’s the one for me.
I am proud to say that she’s the first Muslim-friend I ever made. In Punjab there is minority of Muslims, and call it my bad-luck that I never met or befriended any Muslim before her, but now that I’ve met and lived with her, I really experienced what I have been missing out in my life, and that was – knowing a whole new culture, a whole new religion, from perspective of someone who practices it. Otherwise, the world is always busy in stating faults and discrepancies in every culture. People have a problem with Gods of every religion, so they can’t be trusted when it comes to understanding a different religion from an outsider’s point of view. Our beliefs and our vision are highly dominated and influenced by the kind of culture/society we grow up in. For an extremist Muslim, a Hindu is a kaafir, and for an extremist Hindu, Muslims are terrorists, and that is the biggest problem of the world right now. Instead of giving the other person a chance, we just want to throw accusations at him, and expect him to take the blame.
Many Muslims have gone through worse conditions just for being Muslims, and the biggest example is the war going on in Syria. ISIS is an extremist Islamic group, but the ones they are targeting and attacking the most are also Muslims. If the terrorists are Muslims, then the victims are also Muslims. No Saudi country has opened its gates for refugees from war-stricken countries like Syria, and that shames me as a human-being. And now even USA has done the same, out-casting majority of innocent people who have no contribution in anything what-so-ever. This move, of banning Muslims, has come as a result of pre-historic and conservative mentality, that the current POTUS holds, and it saddens me as a human-being that thousands and millions of people and their families now have nowhere to go!
The only message I want to convey through this post is that ‘we’, as a world, as humans, hold a great responsibility towards our Muslim brothers and sisters, and we should all adopt an ‘accepting’ behavior, rather than a forbidding one. Let’s step up for them and build a world where no one has to die because he believes in a certain faith.
Let’s drop the ‘barriers’…