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Can we celebrate one another’s faith?

 

By Mira Khatib

 

Imagine a time where Christmas lights dazzle through window panes, and moon crescents dangle from balconies. A time where neighbors visit each other to share cheer, a time where people from different faiths live side by side, rejoicing in one another’s joy wishing all a happy New Year.

Wait a minute you don’t really need to imagine this, that was the case not so long ago, where neighbors and friends from different faiths had the love, tolerance and respect for one another, no differences stood in the way of staying united as humans; those where good times of peace and harmony, where compassion and calm prevailed.

Then came a time of wagging fingers accusing such acts of kindness as wrong doing, warning that such things are sinful and prohibiting even a simple statement as happy New Year to be uttered to someone from another faith. Slowly consciously or not these repetitive warnings started to resonate and people started to close off from one another, and the gap widened enough to make a trench. A trench filled with distrust, casting and disparities all leading to disputes and an unrestful world.

I know many of you won’t agree, and I might be a target of some disapproving comments, but certainly such polarization has done immense damage in the world we live in today and we can see its outcome reflected in many tragedies. So isn’t it time to bring back the good old days?

I stood there with a Santa hat on my head singing along to Christmas carols, it seemed the right thing to do to teach my daughter that even if her mommy is wearing a veil and comes from a different faith it is still possible to share others their joy especially when it is extended in return.

I have confidence in my faith and the way I am raising my daughter to know that my behavior will only make her admire her religion more and I don’t have fears like some might suggest that with such actions I’m planting seeds of religious rebellion in my daughter’s future.  I am teaching my daughter respect, strength, and most of all humanity. Sharing greetings with others doesn’t mean I agree or follow their teachings and it certainly doesn’t lessen my morals or beliefs. Instead I’m focusing on teaching my daughter tolerance, inclusion and to love those that are different from us. Now that is something surely worth celebrating, don’t you agree?

Wishing all readers a Merry Christmas & a happy New Year.

 

Photo credit: robertinbeirut via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

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