this morning i woke up in so much turmoil over the broken heart of our planet. i found an email from one of my colleagues in my inbox asking me to explain what is happening. i became a muslim almost 25 years ago and spent many years delving deep into my religion to understand it and also break apart the illogical things i was seeing and hearing amongst some of my community. i wrote the following response and i want to share it with more than one woman. i need to do something positive every day right now alongside my prayers for humanitys healing. i believe the birthkeeper has always been and will always be also the earthkeeper – we have to be involved in peace keeping.
“…..my heart is also bleeding – i came out of my bed this morning and dressed to go and walk in the woods for healing – i cried last night – there is so much pain in this world and the media are highlighting it right now – the injustice of who we choose to mourn for is particularly pulling on my heart strings – a life is a life – i think of the mothers and the pain they hold….the mothers of the victims…. the mothers of the bombers…. the mothers of the politicians….
you know muslims are just human beings like all other human beings – those who describe themselves as religious and those who do not…those who call themselves muslims or christians or buddhist or hindu or jewish or atheist….this we must always remember and those who commit abhorrent acts will often find some justification somewhere …when i was continually harassed and attacked in my headscarf when i moved to scotland (i was pregnant with two babies) i didn’t once think this is a christian problem …. we mustn’t forget the transatlantic slave trade was built on the bible – the africans (and many europeans including many of my irish ancestors) were seen as animals of burden – how does this sit in the human mind? i do not understand it – captured, shipped, beaten, raped and worked to death under the guise of the teachings of jesus – the awful apartheid situation in palestine is built on the torah – the terrible atrocities in myanmar are built on the teachings of buddha …these are all peaceful texts with love at their centre. men will twist and alter even the purest word and intention to suit their own ends….there will be men amongst them that go against the peaceful words of these holy people and use them to cut others out of their gang – out of heaven – out of humanity because they don’t abide by the same code as they do even though all these codes tell you to be kind to others outside of your understanding of faith and be good to them….my benchmark for muslims is what God tells me should be my benchmark – only judge a man or woman by their taqwa – by their piety ….when i meet a muslim i want to see them acting in the muhammadi way (the bad behaviour you have experienced is not the muhammadi way) when i meet a christian i want to see the way of jesus – i want to see the light of mary – i loved the “what would jesus do” bracelets – i think like that all the time – is the light of God present?….noone can tell you you are not a human being because you are not a muslim, because you are african, because you are european, because you are a woman, because you have a disability, even controversially because you are a terrorist – we are all creation – we all come from Her…what you must remember is that people misinterpret verses of the holy texts as well to support their own ends…when we look at the word jihad for example jihad means struggle for God – we find that we are taught that the greatest jihad is the jihad of the ego – we also have the very robust teaching that we can only wage defensive war and not offensive – we have verses of the quran telling us that to take one human life is like killing all of humanity – it is very clear but in order to move towards gaining their own ends half the verse will be left out – the context will be left out ….do we think ANY of the holy texts condone violence against women? no of course God would not condone this but they have ALL been used to justify it
i really hope this has been of some use – lets keep doing the work we do to spread love and increase the capacity to love in this world ……”
we must not despair. we must not give up. we must not join in the hate and match it. we must match it with love. love is the only way.