My Experience in Muslim Countries

muslimterrorTerrorism is scary, and it’s a real thing. There are people that want to kill me because I am a Christian, I occasionally show off my ankles, and I enjoy a good pork product. Those people really exist.

Zealots are not, however, exclusive to the Muslim faith. I cringe whenever I see the Westborough Baptist Church on the news picketing a soldiers funeral with their “God hates” signs. I believe that Jesus and I would agree that they are NOT an example of Christ like love.

I live in South Texas and get the same 240 channels of news that streams  24 hours a day into every American home. I hear all the scary stories, I see the bloodshed in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, and I worry about my teens when they go to crowded venue where a terrorist might strike. I’ve stood at the Boston Marathon finish line and wept for the loss of life, and visited my local park to be part of a ceremony that honored the victims in Orlando.

But I have also had the blessing and good fortune to travel to a number of Muslim countries and what I have found there certainly surprised me. Three years ago, my son and I went to Doha, Qatar. I didn’t know what to expect. Would I be attacked because I dared to be American? What I found was a bunch of very nice people. They smiled when I asked them directions. They proudly showed off their mosque (okay, I had to go in the back door and cover my head, but my son walzed right through the front door). They were just as curious about us as we were about them. Three months ago, my 15 year old daughter and I visited Muscat, Oman. What a beautiful country! We even got ourselves invited into our Omani Taxi Driver’s home for dinner! The wife spoke no english, but we knew by her actions (and her fawning over my daughter) she was so happy and honored to have us in her home. Their  19 year old daughter spoke perfect english and did a pretty smashing henna job on my daughter’s hand. Kindness, so much kindness, was bestowed on us by not just this family, but every person we encountered in our 3 days there.

I can’t draw any conclusions about the state of the world. The people I met, when asked about how they felt about the terrorists attacks on America, they were sad and embarrassed about them–kinda like me and Westborough. They shook their heads and acknowledged that it is sad, but it probably will not end. They feel as helpless as we do.

After every act of terrorism, we hear “not all Muslims are bad” and I can certainly tell you, that is very true. They love their children, are proud of their country, and work very hard to raise themselves out of the poverty that suffocates so many Muslim countries. Yes, there are bad people who want to do Americans harm. I’m so glad that I had a chance to meet some of the ones that are just like me

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