COMMUNITY – 06 – 2010
Christians and Muslims in Milan: what dialogue? Together with Christianity and Judaism it is possible to share precious resources to build the global culture of Peace and Fraternity.
Recent events have brought to light behaviours originating from Arab immigration, not referable to other immigrants, which have, to say the least, astonished the majority of Italians, incomprehensible behaviours but which have as their origin the social structure of the Arab countries. In fact, the Arab, accustomed to living in a mono-cultural environment, is confronted by global emigration with diversified environments, is frightened by the apparent absence of God, is pushed to shut himself away and the Muslims to turn to Islamic centres which are proliferated thanks to the financing of the Arab countries. Islam thus becomes for many young immigrants the only clear reference point both on a cultural and religious level.
The Muslim religion, because of the frustration caused by the impact with a new type of mentality, represents an easy opportunity for identification and strong cohesion. In spite of national borders, the concept of the intimate (Muslim community) predominates in Muslim philosophy: “a watchword launched by some authoritative voice at the right time can compact and lead back to tight unity” (Card. Martini). In Italy there is a lack of a policy of integration that accompanies the immigrant in his or her insertion into society that accepts new citizens by predisposing an adequate integration policy. To establish coexistence with a fruitful dialogue, it is necessary to know one another, and knowledge is bread and butter from truth and respect for others. The immigrant is above all a man with the dignity that comes with it: rights, duties… This is the starting point for a small contribution to understanding the Arab world, to its culture and to peace in the Middle East. I have chosen to start from the invisible knots to the major bread of Italians, impediments to coexistence, to arrive at the role of parishioners in the rapprochement of Muslim families with the aim of promoting the cultural development of women, human rights, and combat religious fanaticism. The relatively recent current of thought coming from the Wahahita Kingdom, financed by petrodollars, has imposed itself on the power of t
he States and claims to apply to the letter the dictates of the Koran without contextualizing its reading and reflection; it manages to coagulate large strata of the population that is unable to distinguish between Christian society and Western modernization. Islam is perceived as an opportunity for redemption and fundamentalism exploits the ignorance of these social strata for its objectives of conquest. All Arab states, with the exception of Lebanon, have sharia as the only source of their legal system. It is a religious law, which conditions the life of the country, families and people, which is applied for the part concerning family, woman, religious freedom and succession. Law that provokes legal and social prejudices and discrimination against native Christians and all non-Muslims, religious prejudices, of customs and habits, frustrations, economic backwardness, feelings of hostility towards the West, combined with the conviction of them as kings the people favoured by God, are inevitable components of a powder keg ready to explode kings if no action is taken in time. It is a situation that causes the emigration of Arab Christians to more hospitable countries. It is certain that Europe has an interest in a stable Middle East, but such an objective is possible by promoting technological development, guaranteeing the flow of oil, curbing emigration, creating a climate of trust among the people and realizing the security of Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and the agreed and recognized borders. The Middle East is in turmoil; solutions are in order: Peace, prosperity and Democracy. And what can we do? Act as a chain of transmission to influence the decision-making forces with witness, education, respect for the man who leads to p
eace. I propose as a model to encourage the role of Muslims in Europe to build bridges for mutual respect between Muslims, Christians and Jews, without forgetting to divulge to them the principles on which Christianity is based. Devotion to the Virgin Mary is widespread among Muslims: in the spirit of a spiritual dialogue between two great religions of the Arab world, the Lebanese Parliament has established 25 March as a national holiday, the day on which the Catholic Church commemorates the announcement of the angel Gabriel to Mary, the point of connection between the two peoples. It is a desirable commemoration between the Christian and Muslim communities. Unlike those who want to reduce Islam to a political system instead of considering reli
gion as the relationship of the person with God, I am convinced that Islam, understood according to its spiritual tradition, can offer precious resources to be spent and shared to build, together with Christianity and Judaism, the global culture of Peace and Fraternity. Finally, it is necessary to make the political powers aware of the deafening silence in which the surviving Eastern Churches in the Arab countries are headed for extinction.
Giuseppe Samir Eid
Free web translation from the original in Italian
The published articles intend to provide the tools for a social inclusion of the migratory flow, shed light on human rights and the condition of life of Christians in the Islamic world from which the author come from. Knowledge of the other, of cultural and religious differences are primary ingredients to create peace in the hearts of men everywhere, a prerequisite for a peaceful coexistence and convinced citizenship in the territory.