Muslim journalist Mahassen Haddara in December 2015. Photo/courtesy of Mahassen Haddara via Twitter

Unity in the face of terror

By  Kelli-Anne Tim, Youth Speak News
  • September 8, 2016

I see the world enduring endless strife and conflict. But beyond this chaos, I see people standing to fight for humanity.

When I first read about Mahassen Haddara’s messages to the world about Islam, Christianity and Judaism, I was struck by the conviction in them. Haddara is a Muslim journalist who has caught the world’s attention for speaking out in defence of Christians and Jews who are being persecuted around the world.

After the murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel, she posted this prayer on her Facebook page: “Virgin Mary, don’t be late! Christ, don’t be late! Virgin Mary, Lady of women of the world, we beg you to speed up the coming of Christ…”

Haddara is finding power in words and in faith beyond the boundaries of her religion to, as she says, “carry peace to the world.” It is a powerful statement that resonates with me as a young Catholic journalist who shares Haddara’s desire for peace.

Journalists are given platforms to share ideas and messages. Haddara is using her platform to spread a positive message of peace for the world. And perhaps this is something to strive towards as a journalist.

In an interview with Catholic web site Aleteia, Haddara said, “I scream, in the face of terrorism, and say: ‘In the name of humanity and celestial books: The Torah, the Bible and the Quran!’ I will defend Judaism if Judaism is oppressed, and I will protect Christianity from all evil, so that I may feel that I am a true Muslim!”

I find it inspiring that Haddara wants to defend Judaism, Islam and Christianity from terrorism. Three religions that are burdened by their own historical conflict and unity. These three Abrahamic religions are closely tied to each other and, despite much historical conflict between them, there is even greater common ground.

Haddara’s message reminds the world that peace is for everyone no matter their religion. By continuing to spread her vision, the world might find a way out of this endless conflict and chaos. Haddara shows the courage I want to emulate in order to share her message of peace.

The world is burdened by prejudice and preconceived notions. We are a world that focuses on our differences. It is easier to fear them than to recognize the similarities that make us human.

Every week when I attend Mass, I hear messages of love from Scripture, from the homily and from the songs. God is pleading with us to love each other no matter our differences.

So I believe in peace for the world for Christians, for Muslims and for Jews. I can only hope that through my own platform that I will be able to spread this message of peace like Haddara. I want to use my talents to help create a world where peace is possible.

(Tim, 22 is a first-year Master’s student in the Road to Democracy program at the University of Siegen in Germany.)

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