Ramadan, is a month long festival on the Muslim calendar which celebrates when the first verses of the Quran were believed to be revealed to Muhammed in the year 610. Each day of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. At the conclusion of Ramadan, Muslims participate in a festival known as Eid al Fatir.
Recently, a roving reporter accompanied by a videographer approached Israelis from various walks of life on the sidewalks of Jerusalem, asking them if they would like to extend Ramadan greetings. With a week left to this month long Muslim festival, it would well be worth our time to look at some of these greetings. The results are astounding!
“Ramadan Kareem! Peace be upon you and G-d’s love and blessings” said a seventy something year old kippah wearing Israeli in fluent Arabic.
“I want peace in Israel with the Arabs, with the Christians with the Jews…everyone together are (sic) brothers. Inshalla! Amen! Ken yehi ratzon!” intoned an elderly Israeli woman, also in fluent Arabic.
“I wish everyone a happy Ramadan. Joy! Success! Love! Mazel Tov” exulted a twenty something year old Russian immigrant.
“Happy Ramadan to our Muslim brethren, our cousins here in Israel as well as in the territories and the surrounding countries. G-d willing there will be peace. Enjoy the holiday”, exclaimed twenty something year old Israeli male.
Perhaps these responses were “filtered” by the interviewers and we did not get to see any Israeli responding to the roving reporter by heaping curses on Muslims or wishing that they choke to death on their evening meal. Perhaps the Israelis being interviewed were playing to the camera and saying all the right things. Or perhaps, everything that was shown on the video was in fact genuine.
The common thread in all these videos is that there were no recriminations. All Israelis were in good cheer wishing Muslims the very best. Can you imagine if a Palestinian walked the streets of Ramallah or a refugee camp, stopping Muslims toward the end of Elul or the beginning of Tishrei asking them to share High Holyday greetings with Israelis or Jews in general? Would Muslims be as effusive in their good wishes toward us, as we appear to be towards them?
The common thread that exists is that the Israelis were able to separate politics from religion. Israelis will do whatever is necessary to keep Israel and its people safe from the (Muslim) enemy but at the same time they wish Muslims the very best, when it comes to celebrating their religious holy days. This would be a monumental, if not impossible task for Muslims, because so many of their clerics as well as their political leaders have polluted the Koran with political fanaticism. Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) is typically screamed by Muslim terrorists as they fly a plane filled with passengers into a skyscraper or drive a bus filled with innocent civilians over a cliff creating mass murder and mayhem.
The common thread that exists is that the vast majority of Israelis from all walks of life, from religious to secular focus on peace and coexistence and not death and destruction as their goal. For all their talk that Islam is a religion of peace, the Muslim public has remained silent, fearing for their lives, as the lunatic fringe (I’m afraid that in reality, it is more than a fringe) preaches death to the Jews, annihilation of Israel and domination of Europe (for starters). Because of their inability to speak out, the silent Muslim majority has de facto capitulated to a leadership that focuses on carnage, mayhem and domination of the world.
But let us be philosophical. Better, Muslims should celebrate their festival rather than our deaths. Let us then wish them Ramadan Kareem!
* Arabic for: Ramadan is a generous month when it comes to goodness and rewards.
Ramadan Mubarak or a blessed Ramadan is also an acceptable greeting.