In a normal day, I wait for a response from a dear friend of mine to my blogs like a child waiting for sweets. This time, when I saw his name in the inbox and as usual I was excitingly reading it, I stood back, and kept thinking whether he was joking or serious.
It was a response to my “blinded Extremism” article, and his response was as follows: “ PLEASE, I beg you. Do not give them my name or address!!! We reached an unbelievable level of degradation. “ It was the first time that I don’t rush back to respond, not even with my usual jokes and flirtations. Something scared me with his response, and forced me to see the situation with the threat it really brings upon people, who happened to be Christians in this case.
Something inside me is afraid to dismiss or approve the seriousness of this situation. No common sense can agree that such criminals can be real and here. In this part of the world, where occupation is what we busy ourselves with in the first place, and secondly and what counts as most important is the relationship between Muslims and Christians along our time. Well, this maybe a myth if I think of approving this fear that giggles inside me. What happened last year with the hijab at schools and the split that occurred showed that the relation between the two religions wasn’t as sound and loving as we always thought it was. Too much anguish from both side appeared that sounded irritatingly unneeded. One thing that was positive I would say, the counter Muslim Christian reaction to the racist approach; when Christians insisted on the right of a Muslim girl to her hijab, and when Muslims insisted that it was the school’s right as a Christian institution to determine its guidelines to the girls. Even though this approach was somehow problematic, because as usual people on both ends lost their common sense, but yet, it proved that there still exist and important strong bond among the society with its Christians and Muslims.
But I cannot deny, this whole anti “non Muslim” propaganda that has been nourishing in the last year after Da’esh among those who had extreme tendencies. I would always say, that the best thing missionary institutes did in this country was building schools, because it allowed natural integration among the society’s Muslims and Christians, that those who never attended such schools lack the tolerance towards the other. And luckily, these schools proved to be the best education providers, along the decades, in which those who never had the chance to be educated in such schools as a child, would do anything to have his children go to those schools. Something that remains positive about the Palestinian passion towards acquiring education in its best (highest) levels.
Somewhere, what worries me is more than the real threat of Da’esh. I am positive that the moment a Christian will be touched the whole society will stand defending Christianity. But what worries me, the fact that this could happen. The real roots of racism inside our upbringing as a nation between Muslims and Christians that has been hindered behind occupation, that maybe real in testing. Not about the final outcome, which I am sure will show us as a society that holds close to its people, but the fact that some, or any may show their true hateful feelings may effect the society at large. In a society so small, everything in it makes a difference.
I maybe as my usual naïve person. I still believe in the power of our societal fabric that I insist exists. A fabric that consists of true tolerance to the other who is Christian or Muslim. But at the same time, thinking of how this matters, how among all people the first thing we usually ask the person in front of us if her was a Christian or a Muslim. As if it is part of our basic Identity, which it is. We define ourselves usually with our religious believes, and maybe this is natural in the city that is considered holy to its inhabitants based on religion.
It is a test I am afraid to take as a society. I am afraid that a hideous racist side in us will be revealed … and I don’t want to be in this point where I would say: thanks God for the Occupation.
As much as I feel incoherent at this very moment, confused, of taking this seriously or just take a breath and believe in people that are really tolerant. The fear I feel is like that, which haunted me last year upon the burning of the youth Mohammad Abu Khdeir, a few blocks away from where I live. A feeling of fear that danger is closer than I thought. That I cannot protect my own children anymore.
I just pray, this is all nothing but …nothing. I don’t want to feel the fear of those who live under the threat of Da’esh.


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