Yes. I work at a school with a high population of Muslims and I have very normal friends in many of them. Stupid question really. Sorry to be so blunt but it is pretty dumb
People are people, there are good and bad people in every and all walks of life. It's a bit like asking if you can have a normal friendship with a Priest considering the abuses of power that many have been accused of, mostly to do with children . You might as well be asking if a white person can have a normal relationship with a black person or a chinese person or a jew or some other race. Rise above your label dude.
I think kirstenblog meant friendly, cool and non-violent by normal. I go to my corner shop or the petrol station every second day and I buy things like bread and milk. Sometimes I swap a joke with whoever is behind the counter. Sometimes that person is a Christian, sometimes an Agnostic and sometimes a Muslim. That to me is pretty ordinary, regular stuff. I don't claim everyone I meet or do business with to be my best pal but I like to keep things friendly wherever I can. This is my definition of an ordinary, normal relationship.
That is a pretty fair assessment I think. It is not only possible but easy to talk about that popular TV show or why you wish it was friday or the weather or the rising prices of food or whatever with a muslim. They really are pretty normal in those sorts of conversations actually!
Thanks kirstenblog. As you have said yourself they are just people.
What perplexes me is how much dificulty there seems to be in realizing that people are people regardless of where they are born or religion. It's not like in believing in Allah you suddenly stop wanting the basics of life, family, good jobs, nice homes and healthy food to put on the table to feed your kids. We are that which unifies us first, what separates us second IMHO.
We get blinded by the fanatics. We hear about bombers who strap bombs to themselves and blow up a bus full of school children in the name of Allah and we see red. This is a very natural and human reaction. Some moderate Muslin learns about the tortures at Guantanamo Bay and sees red thinking all Americans must be savage barbarians without a conscience. Whether a nut-job is Christian or Muslim they remain a nut-job and should be seen that way. They must be stopped, sure, but we cannot allow our fear and hatred for them to take away our powers of reason.
It is up to good Christians and good Muslims and good Jews to try to make some peace and forge some good will in this world. And you can start really, really small. A joke or a discussion about a television show or maybe just a smile is a start. This is the season for good will in a number of religions. We could make the most of it. No big gestures. Just the small stuff. we can all believe in the small stuff and you never know where such stuff might lead. My thoughts at any rate.
Now this is a good question! Also much harder to answer My problem with crafting a good answer is that I still don't know what normal is really I guess I can only use my personal relationships with friends/family/acquaintances as a basis to judge what is normal. For me it's down to respect, a lot of time before broaching topics like religion and politics since these often lead to anger and hurt, in general a desire to not be the source of hurt or upset for the other person.
The only thing to be said for your opinion kirstenblog is that you are absolutely spot on right.
Excellent answer kirsten - Agree 100%. It is all about the person not their race, religion, creed, gender etc. I hapen to be a 'white Christian' and I know loads of great muslims. Whats the problem?
I do find this a weird question. I guess it's understandable considering how limited life can be for some. When I first moved to London and got a job at the school I work at I did wonder how I would be welcomed. As an white american I was not sure if I would be discriminated against in any way, the relationship between american and other countries is not always a good one if you know what I mean
Within a day or 2 I realized how silly I was being for worrying. I was treated like anyone else at the school and have made friends with many of the families at the school. I get christmas presents from many of the muslim families even! The share their holidays with me and are happy to share my holidays too. I love when their fasting periods are over cause they feast at that point! It's a bit like a party where everyone is invited. Some of the dishes they bring in to share are amazing and delicious, I feel totally spoiled . The sad thing is that some of these mothers who are so friendly with me were a few years before I started at the school spat on and called terrorist. I sometimes hear the story about this or that family that was abused after 9/11 for being muslim and I am impressed with how they have put that behind them and are happy to just be another loving family at the school. My religion growing up was christian and while I do not hold with any religion anymore I do hold some of the values I grew up with and I hope that the 'lead through example' value really helps heal some of the hurt in the world. I try to be an example of tolerance acceptance and kindness and so far it is what I have been given too.
I have no problem having 'normal' relationships with anybody who does not seek to control or kill me, it's not a matter of race, religion or colour, it's a matter of mutual respect for our differences, which 'normal' people can adhere to.
My late father, bless his cotton socks, declared that he was not a racist because he disliked EVERYONE who was not English... his tolerance did not even extend to the rest of Britain!
But time has changed the British landscape for better or worse and it likely cannot return to a time of cream teas with the vicar and cricket on the village green....
The 'normal' Muslims we encounter are no problem, but there are a significant number of abnormal Muslims with murderous intent, and it's those idiots who cause the problem for 'normal' Muslims, who like 'normal' Christians were born into a faith they hold little interest in and have been 'converted' by a secular society into 'normal' people.
All the muslims I have met have been respectable, hard working family oriented people.
I figure I can say this here instead of starting a whole new thread. At the school where I work I had a 6-7 year old girl tell me, 'all americans want to kill me and all my family because we are from Iraq'. Wow! Being an american living in the UK I just had to inform her that I did NOT want to kill her, her family or anyone else and tried to tell her that most people are just people who want to live a good and peaceful life but Crikey it did completely shock me and it made me so sad
What is a normal relationship?
As a general rule for me the answer is definitely no, unless they're not practising their religion.
On a personal level - I can not immagine myself even going on a date with a muslim.
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