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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Sad Reality

"My name is Shoshana, I am a Muslim" The above is a search term that led someone to my blog recently. I got a bit of a kick out of it, considering that anyone who reads my blog on any kind of basis would know that I am Jewish, and that Judaism is a huge part of my life. I think the person got to my blog using this search term because I have written in the past about my friend from school who is a religious Muslim. This semester, we have gotten to know each other even better and have been having a lot of fun comparing and contrasting the different rules and regulations of our respective religions. What has been even greater is that our classmates around us have gotten very comfortable asking us questions, and also find it highly interesting to hear the similarities and differences between Judaism and Islam. My Muslim friend and I happen to be graduating together in May. Both of us know only a few other people who happen to be graduating when we are, and so we talked about sitting together during the ceremony (a plan that was dashed when someone told us that we have to sit in alphabetical order). Yesterday, we were discussing with a few other people what we are going to do to celebrate our graduation. I mentioned that I kind of want to have some kind of party, but I don't want to have to plan it. She said she would want a party also, but doesn't know what exactly. I jokingly said, "We should have a party together." Everyone around laughed, and then we spent a few minutes tossing around the idea of a room full of Muslims and Jews, and the awkwardness that would ensue. My friend and I said that we could be a great example for the others in the room - we get along, why can't they? What was sad was that, at the end of the conversation, though the idea was highly entertaining, we both knew it could never happen. That the majority of the people involved would not be able to look beyond their differences and just enjoy and celebrate the graduation of me and my friend. They wouldn't be able to stand in a room together and just enjoy the accomplishment of their daughter, sibling, or friend, and her classmate, just because of religion. Religion, which I believe should teach love for our fellow human beings, keeps us apart.


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