The tension that exists between religions arise from one group thinking that they are “right” and the superior people. In my twelve years of Catholic education, the only time this was addressed was a teacher telling me about how religion is like looking up at a pyramid to God. Depending on what side of the bottom of the pyramid you are looking up from, God and religion appear different when compared to other sides (Meaning the different monotheistic religions- Christianity, Islam, and Judaism). But when you get to the top you realize it’s all the same God and belief. This was the only time that it was conveyed to me that maybe all the religions are equal and that one isn’t “right” or “wrong”. I think this representation of religion is helpful in that it promotes tolerance and equality. Since religious beliefs cannot be proven right or wrong, it is unnecessary to fight about them.
Islam is probably my favorite religion to study. I am fascinated with life in the Middle East and that I’m finally being exposed to the history of this society. I’ve come to realize that all the current problems concerning the Middle East has primarily stemmed from Western involvement. It is difficult to understand their society since they have a different set of values. Likewise, I’m sure the Middle East has difficulty understanding our culture since they differ. I hesitate to form an opinion of what role the West should have in Arab society—I almost feel that it should be equal to the role Islamic society has to the West, practically none. Unless we can truly act understand the people of the Middle East, I feel that our actions are self-serving and blind to the needs of the masses. I’m torn between wanting what I feel is best for the Middle East, based on my Western understanding and question interfering with another society. If Iraq invaded the US because it felt like the American people were oppressed under the government, we would quickly dismiss their claims and question their right to any aspect of our government.