A Call For Reconciliation

by

Although we had been planning to meet the Imam for an extended period of time, it didn’t really hit me until we were leaving our hotel to go meet him. I thought about the questions I had for him as I sat squished in the taxi with the hot wind blowing against my skin. Before I knew it we were there, and I was climbing the stairs to the room where we would sit and talk with him. I removed my shoes by the entrance and walked into a stunning open room, with walls lined with cushion seats and lots of blue. Several men wearing djellabas entered the room and began to serve us dates, tea and something similar to coffee cake. Any nervous or unsettled emotions I was experiencing were swiftly extinguished and replaced with warmth and comfort. Even though these Islamic men didn’t say anything to me, I could feel their sincerity and acceptance despite the fact that we come from different religious backgrounds. These men demonstrated genuine love towards me through their desire to serve and honor myself and my friends. After listening to the Imam answer only a few brief questions, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. I couldn’t believe that after all of the judgements Americans and Christians have displayed towards Muslims that these people where so welcoming towards us. It became undeniably clear that these people weren’t violent, and they certainly didn’t hate us because of our religion or our nationality; in fact, I discovered quite the opposite. I thought to myself maybe we were the ones who were violent because we have forced our stereotypes upon these people for so long–an act of violence indeed. But in such a short period of time, despite the fact that I had many questions go unanswered, we were able to bridge the gap. I felt understood and accepted, and in return I had quickly fallen in love with these people through a simple and brief encounter. What if we all just took a small amount of time to try to understand the misunderstood? Instead of basing our reality on what we were told, what if we based it off of the real truth? A truth that can only be found by going through the source itself. After meeting the Imam I came to the realization that reconciliation is not unreachable, but it takes willing hearts with a desire to achieve it. 

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