Interfaith discord or media hype?

How much acrimony is there really between Muslims and non-Muslims in Muslim dominant parts of the world? Is it a matter of the media hyping it up, and making it seem like we just never see eye to eye with others? I ask myself these questions everytime I see my doctor, who happens to be a Coptic Egyptian.

He is always unfailing embracing of Muslim cultural traditions. He tells us stories of how in Egypt, Ramadaan was his favorite month; when he describes Eid in Egypt, he says his parents would get them all new clothes and gifts, and how exciting it would be. How his best friends names where Muhammad, Abdullah, and Hussein, and they were all Muslims (not surprising, with Copts being a minority), and how he still misses them.

Then there is his humble acknowledgment that Allah (he doesn’t say God too often, mostly says Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is responsible for every good result in his treatment of his patients is so similar to our core belief too. The belief being that everything good, anywhere, in any shape, is certainly from Allah. And everything that has bad results is from our own shortcomings.

So to what degree are the stories of inter-religious friction true? Is it a matter of exaggeration on the part of the media? Or on the part of the people with motives and interests at stake? What gives…because I have noticed this with Armenian Christians as well. In the media, all I hear is how much they dislike Muslims for the oppression they were put through. Yet, when I meet one for real, the little old Armenian lady hugs me and asks if I am Armenian. Same story when I meet Shi’ite Iranians, too, by the way. So how much is hype? How much is genuine discord?

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3 Responses to Interfaith discord or media hype?

  1. Em says:

    Salaams

    I reckon that its mostly a media hype but in certain parts of the world like in Asia.Culture and Religion are mixed to a great extent.I try as much as possible to practice Islam according to the Sunnah and not to mix Culture.Personally I think that its up to the individual.

  2. queenie says:

    The “sectarian conflict” and “religious conflicts” many a times are just the imperialist powers’ spin on things. It’s the typical divide and conquer method, and it’s worked wonders for them in the past (India/Pakistan/Kashmir; Iraq etc). I can’t really speak for other Muslim-dominated countries, but in Palestine, “Muslim vs. Christian” is unheard of. Maybe it’s got to do with the culture of occupation and oppression and people feel the need to unite, I don’t know. However, Israel and the US tried to stir up trouble in Palestine between the two religions and it didn’t work…
    There may be some truth to it, but the majority I think is media hype…

  3. Em, very much in agreement with you. There is so much cultural garbage that we really can dispense with!

    queenie, I know that my parents very often say the same thing with regards to India. Whenever my dad used to visit there, he would say how much respect and friendship the Hindus (especially in the villages) show towards Muslims, particularly toward Muslim clerics. They go so far as to come outside the mosques on Fridays, and after the Jummah salaah, they want for the Muslim worshipers to bless them. That is such a contrast to what we see in the news re: bombings of mosques and train stations and what-not in India. As far as the divide and conquer method, here is a very sad story indicating its apparent success…so far 😦

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