LETTER TO A MUSLIM FRIEND IN THE SPIRIT OF THE RAMADHAN | August 8, 2012

We decided to send a letter of a Christian to a Muslim friend written during the formation program of Silsilah Dialogue Movement held last June 25-28, 2012. This program is part of the effort of Silsilah that started this year 2012 that conducts formation for Muslim and Christian leaders and professionals in Zamboanga City and other areas.  We decided to send a letter of a Christian to a Muslim friend written during the formation program of Silsilah Dialogue Movement held last June 25-28, 2012. This program is part of the effort of Silsilah that started this year 2012 that conducts formation for Muslim and Christian leaders and professionals in Zamboanga City and other areas.

The program tries to touch the heart of the participants in different sessions with the topics like, “Our understanding of Christian religion up to now, especially in relation to the Muslims, and the importance of inter faith dialogue”. This session is only conducted among Christian participants meanwhile the Muslim participants will meet in a different place reflecting on the sessions like, “Our understanding of Islamic religion up to now, especially in relation to the Christians, and the importance of inter faith dialogue”.

These and many other topics are given to the Muslim and Christian participants in separate areas. The first part of the program culminated with an activity called “Ceremony of Symbolic Reconciliation among the Muslim and Christian Participants”. We have been touched by the reflection-letters presented during the symbolic reconciliation ceremony. Among the many, we chose this letter of Mr. Dominic V. Bais, the Principal of Recodo National High School. It shows the pain of the struggle that affect Muslim-Christian relation and the desire to overcome the pains of the past in the spirit of love and reconciliation. It is a letter that has inspire all of us Muslim and Christian participants and we hope will inspire also our readers as we build together the future peace in our area.

(LETTER TO A MUSLIM FRIEND)(LETTER TO A MUSLIM FRIEND)

Dear Friends,

Greetings of Peace!

I am writing this letter to let you know how much I value our friendship. We have suffered a lot. Since the day of our birth, we have witness how it is to live in fear, distrust and hatred. Our prejudices and biases got in a way of living in harmony with one another. Even our friendship is being questioned, under much security. Are you really my friend? Am I a friend to you?We have suffered a lot. As we go through our lives, we have become a witness of how our differences have brought us much pain and sorrow. We have seen how misunderstanding took the lives of the very persons we dearly love – our fathers, our brothers, our uncles, our relatives, our friends – we lost them along the way of our struggles. We have suffered a lot.

From the very person who we feel that must protect our well-being comes great loses of lives, limbs and liberties. Our families have shed enough blood – more than enough to feel the gulf of hatred, ill will and animosity. Shall we just let these things pass us by and pretend that we are just fine and that we are okay?My dearest friend, you know it is not. You are troubled. You are as confuse as I am. You are as fearful as I am. What will tomorrow bring us? Our tomorrow is bleak, cloudy and gloomy if we will not do something to change the situation. We have seen so much suffering. Are we going to allow to our children and the children of our children to also suffer? Please let us spare them! Let us let them live more abundantly – abounding in love, respect and care – in harmony with one another. My friend, there is a way to live in harmony. There are ways by which our children could have a happy life. Peace may be very elusive at the moment, but I am hopeful that when the time will come all of us will live peacefully and harmoniously with one another. Let us rediscover the Culture of Dialogue, the Path to Peace. I know it is difficult. But if we are to lay down the foundation of peace from a deeper and better understanding of our aspirations of life guided by the central teachings of our faith, that is, the love of God and the love of neighbor, peace, prosperity and love for all humankind anything is possible. You and I believe that each person has an innate nature of goodness. Let us harness this power towards the Culture of Dialogue, Path to Peace.For our own sake and for the sake of the generations to come, let us make a difference – breaking the cycle of violence, hatred and fear by living in harmony, love, peace and joy. The ball is in our hand now. We are to make it happen. If not today, when? Are you with me?

Sincerely I remain your friend,

DOMINIC

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