I’m honored today to be guest posting over at Djibouti Jones. You know Rachel from the many references I’ve made to her as well as the numerous articles that I pass on from her. Rachel is the most talented writers I know and writes from a place of knowledge and compassion about parts of the world that are significantly misunderstood in the West. So to be featured again on her site is an honor. And I’m writing about something that I am passionate about – connecting with Muslim friends and neighbors.
I’ve included the first bit here and hope you will head over to Djibouti Jones to read the rest of Red Hot Rage.
Many of our close friends are Muslims. Several have been dear friends since college years. These friendships have continued through marriage, children, international and cross-country moves, and now middle age. One couple are especially dear to us. We have stayed in each others homes, had deep, late night talks, and discussed everything from raising children to faith. We are honored to be their friends, to share conversation and meals with them.
They are faithful Muslims, taking their faith seriously in a multicultural, pluralistic country. We are Christians also taking our faith seriously in the same setting. Though the faith differs, the struggles are similar allowing us to relate on many levels .
At one point while visiting we began talking about their neighbors. Did they know them? Were there neighborhood children that their kids could play with?
They paused and then relayed to us that they had attempted to befriend the family next door. The family had four children and were often seen playing outside. They said that there had been little progress in connecting their kids. Every time their little boy went outside to play with them, he ended up being excluded from play. His mom continued to encourage him, telling him to keep on trying, but this without success.
A few months later our friend ended up seeing the neighbor in the community. He mentioned the desire to have their son play with his children. At this the neighbor stopped him and said. “We are born again Christians – we don’t socialize or let our kids socialize with people who don’t have the same beliefs.” Read the rest here.