Respect and Religion

Respect and Religion

120915 muslim_soldier

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When I first read about the news that a UK soldier lost his leg during a bombing in Iraq, my reaction was, “Oh how poor him. This is definitely war.” The headline of the article said “the wounded soldier’s response to people who expect him to hate Muslims”. I was expecting to read an life-inspirational sharing on how the man has overcome his difficulties to make peace of with the Muslim community.

But then my feeling got a complete twisted change as I continued to read the lines which went,

“A Muslim man also lost his arm that day wearing a British uniform,” it continues. “A Muslim medic was in the helicopter that took me from the field. A Muslim surgeon performed the surgery that saved my life. A Muslim nurse was part of the team that helped me when I returned to the UK.”

I personally do not hold negativity towards the Muslim community, but neither did I ever think about the Muslim-White joint force on battling against the enemy. I never imagined the scenario which the soldiers from all races and religions worked together, trusted each other and even be willing to put each other’s lives in front of own ones.

It is not about one compacting against the religion. I cannot say I agree with the belief that people start war so as to stop the evil to get to themselves first – “Before you can kill me, I have to kill you first”. However, under the inevitable battling circumstance, I treasure more the sense of respect, loyalty and hope among the fighters. We do not hate the religion because the evil believe in it. It is the evil acts that we disagree with. I believe that respect transcends all human differences, because no matter who we are, we are always the same as human beings, and just based on this similarity we naturally respect the existence of one another.

The above lines from the soldier deeply moves me. I certainly have my own religion, yet it does not mean I stop respecting the others who are different from me. I think especially when our own benefits or rights are threatened and even sabotaged, like the young UK soldier who have got permanent physical injury, our irrational sides may push us towards hatred, extremism and discrimination. I believe it takes so much courage, love and support for one to make peace with self-injury and anger – “Why me?”, in order to make peace with the surrounding.

Never cease to stop learning and observing. You will always be amazed of what you have found.

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