Sunday, February 26, 2006

Love Thy Enemy?

Growing up as a Coptic Christian in Egypt, I was always puzzled by Jesus’ appeal for us to love our enemies. I asked myself how I could possibly love people who constantly treated me as a second class citizen. I could not forgive them for the churches they burnt and for the children they orphaned during many racist attacks against my people. How can I forgive Arabs who came from far away and destroyed my Coptic culture? How can I forget what they did to my people from one generation to another? I asked myself: Is Jesus out of touch? How can He expect me to forgive these people? I hated Egypt so much and I decided to move to America. I first idealized the American people, but was gradually able to see how there is such an institutionalized racism in this country. After 9/11, I started to feel unwanted and many incidents of racism happened to me. One time a man looked at me during a traffic stop and said “you Arab why are here? Go back to the desert!” He could not even entertain the thought that I left my home country because of the very same people he feared and hated. I also received an anonymous email from a student poking fun of my brown skin and asking me to go back home to where I belong. When I ignored the poor prick, he emailed my boss and asked him to fire me for being anti-American. I think I pissed him/her off after speaking about my experience as a marginalized Egyptian in a country that is becoming so racist after Bush took over. I allowed him to get in touch with his privilege and caused him to feel guilty. Once again, I asked myself: How can I love these people? I honestly started to believe that Jesus is out of touch. How dare He ask me to forgive those idiots? I yielded to my anger and I started hating my enemies. I got in touch with feelings one day and looked at the mirror. I realized that they turned me into a hateful angry person. It even shows in my face. I hate to be like that and I won’t be like that. I guess Jesus is right. We should love our enemies because the alternative is to hate them. When we hate, we are dehumanized and we become obsessed with our fear and anger. If we do not love them, we are imprisoned by our hate and our hate permeates our lives to the extent that we may start hating ourselves. I am telling racist Muslims and racist whites, I will stop hating you. In my new posts, I will show this love. I will let you keep the hate and I won’t compete with you over it. You won it all!


Anonymous Nichole Louise said...

There is a very simple saying that explains Jesus' appeal: "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer."
I am an American woman (and liberated in my own mind) and, though I am in a good spot now, I grew up in a rather rough neighborhood. I've had to fight for my life on a few occasions. This saying, may have saved my life. It is much easier to prepare for (or prevent) an attack of any kind when you are close to the person/nation/organization/et cetera that poses the threat.

10:50 PM  
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2:21 PM  
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2:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Muslim my brother and I will continue to love all humanity. Please do not stereotype and generalise. Mainstream Muslims are not extremists that use the misinterpreted texts from the holy qu'ran as their political voice. If the Eyptians treat their coptic brother and sisters that way, then then are indeed accountable for their actions. God is the Just. He is Hakk.

The prophet Muhammad and Prophet Jesus (may Peace and Blessings be upon them) both taught us to Love humanity.Even though you have clouded your mind and heart with hate messages and dark emotions I still love all humanity and treat others like I would like to be treated. The prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) stated that we should love for our brother what we love for ourselves. Whatever we wish for ourselves we should wish for our brothers. I have plenty of Coptic friends at University in Sydney. I hope that you can see beyond the clouds and see the light.

Peace. A'isha ( a muslim sister from sydney)

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bos ya rayes,
ana esmi mina 3amatan law te7eb te3raf... law faker nafsak gada3 keda ya3ni 3alashan 3amal betshtem w bet3`lat fe nas mesh 3agbinak fa lazem te3raf 7aga:
1-lama tkoun medai2 men 7aga lazem ekoun mabte3melhash,w tekoun kodwa w da mesh bayen 7'als
2-enta la2i shewaiet nas hebl mesh 3arfa 7aga 3an el adab bet2olak (go on) lamemhom 7awalek,7awel te3raf el awel enta w homa dinak kwaies w ba3d keda 7akem el nas el tania 3ala dinhom
3-"an menkom bela 7'atia..." (a7'barak enta eh ba2a ya 3am el kedis)
4-enta bet2oul enak a3ed bara (whereever where)7awel tet3alem menhom e7teram el ra2i w el 3akida el tania badal manta a3ed fadi w 3amal betshtem fe el nas
5-law enta mo3tared 3ala (love your enemy)eli talabha menena yasou3 (ya 3am el masi7i) za3lan leh ba2a en homa beidai2ouk (zai manta bet2oul) manta bardou belnesba lihom enemy fa matetlobsh ba2a en homa ye7ebouk (da 3ala efterad en e7na enemy lihom)
6-lama enta bel shaga3a de w faker nafsak ragel awi lama te3mel keda ma2a3atesh fe masr leh eli hia beta3tak w 7a2ak w homa eli goulak w dafe3t 3anha 3alashan mabd2ak el gamda di badal mathrab l bara w kont tewageh el nas hena 3alashan 7a2ak (wala el gari nos el margala)

bos ya man law fedelt akteb keda 7a3od l bokra el sob7.. azon keda kefaia el mara di ok

w rabena yostor 3alena men amsalak yahbal

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya ostaz motakhalaf... I have just commented on your home page but I couldnt leave without spitting again 3alaik!! By the way I am a moslem woman- NOT VEILED- and my very best friend is Christian. I have never seen such narrow mind like yours... enta shayef only part of the picture... yabny enta belzabt 3amel zay el motakhalefeen- el ekhwan el moslemeen- exactly- why dont u leave religion as a very spiritual relation between u and God only... w malaksh da3wa bel nas... again gatak neela.., w esfokhs 3ala dee manazer begad

5:06 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Coptic You Say! I don’t believe it would matter what You wish to call It. I have to wonder How any God* Can have so many names and so many teachings that are diverse; intersecting and conflicting.

I believe any time a group; religion, organization or a person , would harm or persecute another for their color; beliefs, and choices calls that person and his color; beliefs and choices into question.

We all do have one single thing in common.

We have a limited time on this planet.

We all shall Die.

2:35 AM  

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