In the picture above: Muslim prayer in the desert (Wadi el Gamal)
I’ve been living in the Middle East area enough to get very annoyed when I see the suspicious looks poor Arabs get in the airports. Well, they get suspicious looks everywhere but I thought about writing this post after my last flight. So I’m talking about airports.
But I’ve been living in Europe enough too, to know that prejudices are still there, and very strong too. And I hate it.
First of all, as you might know, not all Muslims are terrorists (yes I am sarcastic). Actually, I met some Muslim people that don’t believe the late Bin Laden and his buddies are Muslim at all. But still.
And not all Arabs are Muslims. So if you really want to discriminate, at least make sure you know what you’re talking about.
There is another kind of terrorism, which is the psychological one: after the 9/11 events, medias are trying to present Arab people and Muslims in particular as evil. But don’t mix the good with the bad. Wtf.
That said, if you’re scared of Muslims you’ve probably never been to a Muslim Country. If you’ve been to a Muslim Country and you’re still scared, I’m scared of you.
Now (I’m talking to the scared passengers in the airports), next time you fly and you start having your paranoias about that “weird” Arab guy next to you, you might want to keep in mind that:
IN THE AIRPORT
1) If he’s carrying a trolley, just because he’s an Arab he’s not carrying a bomb. He’s probably just carrying a trolley …like you.
2) If he forgets something somewhere, just because he’s an Arab he’s not placing a bomb in the airport. He’s probably just forgetting his something somewhere and it would be nice of you to let him notice.
3) If he starts praying, just because he’s an Arab he’s not uttering his last sentences of repentance and condemnation to infidels before blowing up. He’s probably just praying his God, the way Muslims do. Which is fascinating.
ON THE PLANE
1) If he goes to the toilet, just because he’s an Arab he’s not placing a bomb. He’s probably just going to the toilet. Do you ever go to the toilet? Oh so Christians do that too, what a coincidence.
2) If he goes to the toilet AGAIN, just because he’s an Arab he’s not checking why the bomb he previously placed didn’t work. He’s probably just going to the toilet again… He might be sick. Maybe he just wants to pick his nose and needs some privacy …Oh well this is not your business anyway.
3) If he’s texting, just because he’s an Arab he’s not triggering an explosion. He’s probably just texting his friend/mother/lover that he’s on the way home. I’m sure the text includes some “habiby” here and there.
4) If he’ talking on the phone and -omg- he’s speaking Arabic, just because he’s an Arab he’s not talking to his terrorist gang. He’s probably just chatting with his friend/mother/lover, as above. And he’s just speaking his (beautiful) language.
5) If he looks over excited, just because he’s an Arab he’s not under drugs to be prepared to the attack. He’s probably over excited because he’s going on holiday, or back home after a long time.
6) If he looks depressed, just because he’s an Arab he’s not sad about his imminent death. He’s probably sad about leaving that nice resort, or his family. Just like you. Maybe he needs to talk to someone. Or maybe he just noticed the suspicious looks he’s getting from you, and feels sorry.
7) If he looks very nervous, just because he’s an Arab he’s not thinking about the upcoming disaster. He’s probably very scared of flying. Maybe it’s his first time… How cute!
Despite the latest events, in Egypt I witnessed the greatest religious unity I ever saw.
Despite what the news show (which are always and only the bad news), everyday life is completely different and concerning religion there is no problem at all.
I once saw a big mosque in Cairo… I was very impressed with it. I went around it to discover there is a big church just behind him. The friend who was with me told me that people from the mosque and the church use to celebrate festivities together and share their spaces.
During the Revolution, while Muslims were praying in Tahrir Square, Christian used to surround them holding hands to protect them from the police.
Did you ever see this in your hometown, in the “modern and civilized west”? Looks like we have something to learn. :)