Friday, July 08, 2005

Trying To Imagine

I'll admit, I know very little about Islam, or what it is to be a Muslim.

That said, I've been trying to imagine how it would feel to be a Muslim (or even a "Cafeteria Muslim") today.

If some radical faction of Catholics engaged in terrorist acts in the name of God and my religion, how would I feel? What would I do?

I would be angry, no doubt. I'd be embarrassed, too. I'd be frightened that others would think that I am "one of them", or that others in my religious community are terrorists, too. Mostly, though, I think I'd be really, really pissed.

What would I do? My natural inclination would be to turn to my church.
I'd look to my community: fellow parishoners, my priest, my bishop. There I'd ask what I/we could/would do. And, I would want so much to do something. I would look to the Pope, as the leader of the Catholic Church, to speak to the world to condemn these acts and to defend the beliefs of the followers of Catholicism.

If my community and church leaders did not respond, I would feel so helpless. I simply couldn't stick around long. I'd be asking myself what my religion is really about. I'd wonder if the actions of the terrorists were being accepted by my church. I'd look deep in my heart and ask if I wanted to be a part of such a faith any longer. The answer would be No. As hard as it would be, I would leave the church I have loved and been a part of all my life.

That's the way my imagination sees it. If it is anything like that for any of the 1 billion Muslims in the world today, my heart breaks for them.

Wondering who is Islam's equivalent to the Pope, I asked that very question to a friend of mine who is a Muslim. His answer was that there isn't really one leader. That's too bad. In times like this, every group needs a leader.

As much as I may agree and disagree with the Pope, I am so grateful that in moments of crisis everyone in the world can point their attention to Vatican City. There the world will hear the official word from my church. I can count on that.

My friend said he is frustrated, embarrassed and angry about what these criminals are doing in the name of his faith. He feels helpless, too. My heart breaks for him.

I really can't imagine.


At 4:36 AM, July 09, 2005, Blogger Steve Bogner said...

Imagine having those feelings but living in a country that has a Muslim government, a system of law based on the Koran, and every one of your neighbors is Muslim. Maybe that's why so few in predominantly-Muslim countries speak-out about this terrorism?

At 10:52 AM, July 09, 2005, Blogger CafeCath said...

Good point!


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