As I write this President Bush is on TV telling the world to fear Iran. I fear Bush more than I do Iran.
In the past week there was a certain event that proves we need to have a better understanding of the Muslim world.
I'm referring to the case where followers of the Islamic faith were calling for the DEATH of a British teacher because she allowed her students to name a teddy bear "Muhammad." In America teachers have sex with students and end up the movie of the week. There are some huge cultural gaps here that make the Grand Canyon look like a crack in the sidewalk.
Yet, we think we can help create peace in this region.
I don't know where we can begin. Some say blow them all up and let God sort it out later. The opposite of that would be better diplomatic discussions. But, we have to be careful either way because we make the assumption that all we see and hear on the news is truly the way it is.
I used to work with a great guy who was from Pakistan. He was Muslim and I am Catholic. We would have such great discussions about our cultures. One thing he told me, though, was what we see on TV is quite distorted from the reality of the country. He said, and granted this was over ten years ago, that there are many regular folks in the Middle East just living life. They are not out protesting against the USA, but just raising families. We very seldom see this side of the Muslim world. It's hard to hate people when they're just normal folks.
Now, please please please, do not think for one minute I endorse the actions of those who called for her death. I would, however, think twice before opening a Build-A-Bear franchise in the Sudan.