We rented My Name Is Khan earlier this week. It is a long movie, but keeps your interest, and it is a very moving story about an man with Asperger Syndrome who moves to America, and is muslim. It shows his life both before and after 9/11/2001.
My uncle, aunt and their daughter are muslim.
They are not terrorists.
In a related vein, my Aunt posted this website, encouraging people to pray for peace for 1 minute each day until either the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001 or the International Day of Peace (on 9/21/11). I think the sentiment behind the website is well-meaning but misguided. I would love to see a site promoting actions for peace. Although, I could buy the argument that prayer, like meditation, may help calm an individual's mind, and make that one person more likely to work towards peace in other events. But in the long run, it is the sum of small actions, patience and understanding that promote peace.
A few ideas for small actions to promote peace each day:
- read about customs from a culture foreign to you
- hold a door open, or an elevator
- smile, nod, wave when walking down the hall, or walking the dogs
- offer someone your seat
- let the person with 2 items in line behind you go first
The power to do good things doesn't come from any particular culture or any religion. The power to do good things is an independent choice. One thing we must remember is that although there are similarities, "good things" may vary dramatically from culture to culture. We can only hope to be the best people, for who and where we are right now. No one is perfect, nor can we expect perfection of ourselves, but we can expect the best of ourselves.
So, go promote peace, in your own way, the best way you can.