Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Cooking Together For Flood Victims - how about it?

I tweeted this:

As of writing, one day later, it has well over 1,000 retweets and nearly as many 'favourites'. Rapidly turning into one of my most popular tweets ever. How wonderful, that people of all faiths really, really want to see this kind of news! And just have a look at some of the beatufiul comments:

But now here is the truth: Sorry, I made a mistake. Apparently they are all Sikh in these particular photos. I misread some the captions on the original photo essay, which you can see at the bottom of this article here (one of them stated it was in a mosque and there were other captions regarding all faiths coming together, so I hope you will forgive me, it really wasn't my intention to put out false information). And yes there were a few other comments too that I didn't include here, of course some corrections, but also a few nasty tweets where people took offense to a story of unity - but those tweets were in the minority. There is a saying 'empty vessels make the most sound' - those voices of hate, there aren't that many as it may first appear, out of over 1,000 retweets there were just a couple of cold replies, and even less hate replies (actually just one or two, of which one was anonymous).

And here is another truth: lots of people really, really want peace and unity and care more for humanity than they do our differences. And it's not just hate that sells - look at this tweet - people loved it! Media should take note of that. Now usually I would delete a tweet where I had made such a mistake - mistakes happen and I've made a few over the years, and I've always deleted previous mistakes, but this one I chose to leave - at risk of damaging my credibility (of which I am always quick to point out I had none to lose in the first place). I'm leaving it because I just love the message of hope that this brings. I'd be really grateful if you could also share this, my apology, so people don't feel misled, and also to give the Sikh community credit where it is due.

Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs ARE working together: Over the past few weeks I have seen wonderful things happen on social media where Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and people of no faith have indeed come together and worked together to co-ordinate relief efforts - and its even happened that activists who really disliked the army have been working with the army to do the best for the people at this time in need. These things ARE happening. I've seen ALL communities working together and alongside each other - ok so maybe they are not actually sitting down in the same kitchen cooking the same food - maybe I saw what I wanted to see - but wouldn't that be wonderful too?

Finally, a challenge: Can you make it happen? Can you bring people from different faiths together, to work together on a project for humanity? If you can, please email or tweet me your photos and I will tweet and blog them - this is what many people of the world really want to see happen, so how about it? You can email your photos here: jamilahanan1@gmail.com or tweet me on @jamilahanan

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