Given all the heat generated on all sides lately, it is nice to read a good story on The Kashmiri Nomad, himself at times a hard-hitting defender of his faith. Entitled “The Criminal Offence Of ‘Traveling While Being Muslim'”, the entry recounts the Nomad’s recent plane travels, with a nice anecdote about a little old lady’s concern about a fellow-passenger wearing a burqa. The Nomad concludes:
Before I went on this trip I did not know how I would be treated as a Muslim trying to board a plane. I did not know how the people in the airport would react to me. Would there be any special type of procedure that I as a Muslim would have to go through? Would I be singled out for special treatment / consideration? Questions such as these were running through my mind before the car journey to the airport.
The security was tighter at the airport than at any other time that I can remember. Even having said that the staff and personal all treated me with the most respect and attentiveness.
Many say that there is a new criminal offence of “traveling while being a Muslim” having just recently come back from a trip abroad I can say that I in no way felt that. I am sure that there are some who feel that I should not have so easily been allowed to board a plane.
Glad to read of the proper treatment the Nomad encountered. Not everyone, it seems, has descended into total paranoia.
This leads me to a subversive thought. I am sure you have all read (or heard of) this:
…But the expert wanting to make himself look good asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered with a story: A man was going down the mountain road from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by a gang of robbers who stripped him of everything, beat him up, and ran off, leaving him half-dead. By chance a priest was going down that road. But when he saw the man, he went by on the other side. In the same way a temple official came along. When he saw the man , he also went by on the other side. Then a foreigner from Samaria traveling along that road happened upon the man, and when he saw him, he was filled with compassion and went to help. He treated his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. He put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.
That translation glosses “Samaritan” as “foreigner from Samaria”, and that does bring out one aspect of the story — an outsider showed more true charity than the patriot, or the representative of orthodoxy. But who were/are (they still exist) the Samaritans?
In discussions in Israel about the Samaritans, one question that often arises is whether they constitute an ethnic community within Judaism or a separate religion. The Samaritans are one of the most ancient and authentic ethnic groups that exist in Israel in our days. Today their number is 650. The community is small and is struggling to survive as a homogenous ethnic group. Although living under the same sovereignty, the Samaritans live in two separate communities, one in the city of Holon and the other in Kiryat Luza, a village in mount Gerizim by Nablus…
So this little group predates modern Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the state of Israel. Now what if Jesus were in the Galilee of today and told the story thus:
…”And who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered with a story: A man was going down the mountain road from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by a gang of robbers who stripped him of everything, beat him up, and ran off, leaving him half-dead. By chance a Catholic priest was going down that road. But when he saw the man, he went by on the other side. In the same way a Rabbi came along. When he saw the man , he also went by on the other side. Then a Muslim traveling along that road happened upon the man…