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The Twilight Zone
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The Twilight Zone

By Sarah Elshazly (Sarahelshazly@cs.com)

My favorite part of the New Year's TV shows is the "twilight Zone" marathon. So in keeping up with traditions, I stole a couple of hours to watch while my children were busy on the phone. One episode stood out. It was about an average looking young lady living in a place where at one point of her life she had to be transformed. She would choose a body, one of two, which included the face of course, and she would look like that for ever. Young men had to go through the same thing and ultimately everyone looks the same.

This young lady was very much opposed to the process. She felt that if there is no ugliness, there is no beauty. Her opposition completely baffled everyone around her. My daughter uses the perfect word for that "Confuzzeled," confused and puzzled.

At one point she wonders into the room where her transformation would take place and she gets transformed. When she came out and saw herself and was so pleased. Rob Sterling, the commentator said that "it was a case of a girl in love with herself"

Now why am I telling you this? It reminded me of growing up Arab. We have norms and we must follow them. It is confusing and puzzling (confuzzeling) to everyone to even consider a different way of thinking. Of course one can argue that this is not exclusively Arab and it isn't but in our case, people are dying nations are being ruined. Societies are taken over by hate mongers who have nothing better to do that indoctrinate kids and perfectly nice people into a way of thinking that is actually shameful in Islamic standards. The funny thing is, it is done in the name of Islam.

A young girl from the US went to visit her family's country in the Mid east. Out of the blue, a friend of the family took her, sat her on the floor Indian style, sat in front of her and told her this:
You must be responsible as a young Muslim lady in the land of the infidels. You must first know that you may never befriend a Jew. If you don't want to loose your religion you must hate them.

That was all that young girl needed to hear. She got up and yelled at the woman. Her best friend is a Jew! What the mother of the little girl told me was amazing. She said when I didn't know any Jews I also hated them. It was hard enough, according to her, to come to terms that she will live with Americans but Jews, there was no options there. She "knew" that it won't happen. Why? because they wouldn't want to be her friend either.

One day, her daughter came home with a really nice girl and eventually they became friends with the family as well. During Ramadan, the young girl came to visit and fasted with them. She avoided eating in front of the family.

A short while after that, the girl's family invited them to a Passover Seder. What's that? They though it was like Thanksgiving. To reciprocate the girl's participation in Ramadan, they felt compelled to share. Also, as Muslims, they felt that it is important to share joyous occasions with non Muslims. Upon entering the home, they noticed a familiar icon. The Star of David!

Still, it won't even occur to them that Jews were friendly to them. They assumed that Christians must share this icon. When the story of Exodus was being told, it sounded familiar. After all, the Quran tells the same story. The word Israel didn't phase them either. The Quran refers to the Jews as Bani Israel. The sons of Israel. Later as they're talking they found out that they were Jews.

My friend tells me that she was floored. She didn't know what to expect of Jews. She had learned that they were hateful and that you can't trust them. Above all, she learned that they hate Muslims and are out to destroy Islam. I looked at her and asked her:

"How do you expect that 12 Million people can destroy 1.2 Billion, and further more, why do you think that they would focus on that?"

"Because they rule the world and everyone supports them. They are our enemies and they must destroy us."

"So you think that all the previous Muslim leaders at the height of Muslim civilization who actually worked side by side with Jews such as Ibn Maimoon, Maimonides, were uniformed Muslims?"

"No, but look how successful they are in science and other fields. It's because they want to gain enough power to destroy us"


"Where do you think they get the time or energy to study, advance and fight anti Jewish sentiments and still able to meet to discuss the destruction of Islam?"

She said that she could have answered me before meeting the family of that girl. She also came to find out that some of her "nice" neighbors were Jews.

Based on that, she supported her daughter when she yelled at the woman who was telling her that she is compelled by Islam to hate. She found herself quoting this from the Quran:

"Lo ! Those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Sabaeans, and Christians - Whosoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right --there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve." 2.62

"O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware." 49.13

My friend, who I am proud to call her that, and her daughter are, like me, traditional Muslims with head scarf. She refused to let her daughter be transformed. She allowed her to have an opinion. But it wasn't just an opinion, it was an educated statement. The mother has been transformed at one point in her life. But being a good Muslim who would respect other faiths is what led her to visit the friend's home. It is ironic that it was my friend's practice of Islam that led her to learn that what others had told her Islam required was simply untrue. Those who believe that Islam requires one to hate, have clearly not read the Quran. Hatred of other people is unIslamic.

Rather than being a girl in love of herself because she sees herself as an identical replica of everyone else, they are a family that loves who they are for who they are.

"Funny" She says, "I knew all the arguments against Jews and everyone else BEFORE I met them. Now that I met people, I have no idea why I felt the way I did. It just doesn't make sense to me."

Ignorance is not a bliss!

This article originally appeared at http://www.arabsforisrael.com/pages/11/index.htm and is reposted by permission.


Growing up Palestinian in the Israeli "Occupation"

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