The world is too emotionally terrifying today, too draining and too frightening. Politicians, militants and social commentators alike want to divide us into groups, into us and them, to turn us on each other, to score points, to take sides, to have compassion for some and hatred for others.

Today the news is of the demise of Christianity in Iraq, as if the heritage and lives of Muslims wiped out at the same time and by the same aggressors do not count. To the author, it is us and them. While in Gaza, as vast weaponries rain down on civilians, the same commentators speak of Muslim populations, apparently set on the destruction of Israel. Never are the Christians of Gaza mentioned. Never, when Hanan Ashrawi so eloquently speaks for the suffering of her people, are we reminded of her faith.

For on the ground it is not us and them, but everyone all in it together. The powerful and well-armed clash, and all around ordinary people who have always lived side by side, scatter and scarper in an unholy terror. When will this madness end? Only when those of us, different though our faith may be, rally to each other’s aid and stand out for truth and justice, whether for friend or foe.

As the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “On the Day of Judgment I will be the advocate for the Jew or Christian whose right was violated.” As the Proverb goes: “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.”

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