A DesertPeace Editorial

I was recently informed that a certain tour company (U.S. based btw) which operates throughout the Middle East has informed the Muslim guides working for them in Israel to tell their clients that they are Christians if anyone asks. What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Would an American Jewish or Christian tourist feel uncomfortable knowing they are in the presence of a Muslim? Is that Muslim really expected to deny who he is for the comfort of some ignorant or perhaps even racist person, or should they proudly declare what they are and see where the ‘cards fall’. Are we expected to put our native Muslims ‘behind the wall’ to satisfy these people? Are we to go into denial, saying that no Muslims live in the Middle East?

I remember the days when Afro-Americans in the States were also in a state of denial. They used bleach substances on their skin to lighten it, irons to straighten their hair, anything to make themselves look ‘white’….
Did that too bring comfort to the racist thinking that everyone around them was white? What kind of a crazy world do we live in??
I am on the house committee in the building I live in. I was approached about a month ago by a local real estate agent (also representing a U.S. based company btw). She complained to me that she was having a difficult time selling an apartment in the building because there was an ‘Arab name’ on one of the post boxes. The buyers did not want to purchase an apartment in a building where Arabs lived. Fine, that’s their right…. but it’s also the right of the Arab family to have a home anywhere they want to in their own country. My response to the agent was that I personally did not really want racists like her clients living in my building and to make sure they won’t, I would get the five other Palestinian families in the building to put their names on the post boxes IN BOLD PRINT.

Are the above examples the way we want to live? Are we to lie our way through life to please the ignorant or would we be better off to educate them? I opt for the latter. Tolerance will lead to peace, but tolerance has to be based on honesty…. not illusions.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous said,

    November 27, 2007 at 20:56

    You are spot-on. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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