Some bloggers here have expressed their anger and disgust after finding Christmas decorations stuff in some supermarkets in Riyadh. Their reasoning: “we are not responsible for bringing joy to Christians who live among us because Christians in other countries are killing our Muslim brothers.” I have to say that I was totally disturbed by this senseless statement.
This way of thinking seems very similar to some reactions in the U.S. after 9/11: “hey, let’s kick Muslims out of this country altogether.” This is no good, and this is what gives extremists on both sides the chance to shamelessly voice their narrow-minded opinions. This is what makes people like Debbie Schlussel objects to Barack Obama’s nomination for presidency because his father was a Muslim “when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam” she says in a recent, as well as senseless, post. I think people everywhere should realize that we, the whole world, are fighting a war against extremism of every kind, and not this faith or the other.
I can understand how some people feel threatened and want to protect their faith and beliefs, but I think it can be way too extreme sometimes. It is not as if these guys were putting a big Christmas tree in the middle of King Abdullah Rd., or as if they were forcing everyone to join the party. These Christmas decorations were even purposely distributed in the supermarket in such a way that it doesn’t feel they were there to celebrate the season.
Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t give you the right to deny others from believing in it, especially when it has nothing to do with you whatsoever. We need to learn how to be more tolerant and accept differences, and that “different” does not necessarily and always equals “bad”.