To begin with I think individuals are more likely to comment in manners upon blogs that they would not do so in a face-to-face situation. Secondly, I believe that Islamaphobia and Westernophobia are both on the rise. Instead of more bridges being built towards fostering understanding, walls are going up quickly.
Why are Eastern Muslims and Western non-Muslims so critical of one another? Why do they so incessantly want to prove that only one is right and other is wrong if sharing incompatible views?
Is there an innate fear that an Eastern Muslim feels of Western non-Muslims and vice-versa? Are each afraid the other would destroy or defile their world?
During the time I spent in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the East I did not feel any kind of imbalance. I was half of a bi-cultural marriage to a lovely Saudi man. We experienced the odd situation where either an Eastern Muslim or non-Muslim Westerner did not know how to accept but over time those lines of acceptance or non-acceptance seemed to blur. Speaking frankly there was a faster and greater acceptance of me by Eastern Muslims than necessarily by Western non-Muslims to my (late) Saudi husband.
However, now, at least on blogs, there appears to be less tolerance by both groups. What exactly does each group fear of another? If the answer to that question can be answered and reconciled then a large milestone would be achieved.
Putting faith aside, people are people with the same genuine concerns and fears. Each of us is either a son or a daughter. Some may also have the title of husband or wife. We all have concerns for our families and want the best for our families. We may have been raised under different customs, cultures, traditions and faith but there are commonalities. Perhaps if we were to begin focusing on commonalities and then work our way to somewhat sensitive subjects we can set a foundation that will allow for open communications and bridge building.
Eastern Muslims and Western non-Muslims are here to stay. Unless one wants to truly isolate themselves, we need to foster understanding to co-exist. I’d like to believe that at American Bedu we do have a capability to hold a non-heated and meaningful dialogue on this subject.