What Does Coexistence Look Like: The U.S. February 25, 2019 byRaimy Khalife-Hamdan
All People are a single nation - Qu’ran Religion is the core of humanity. The actual percentage of non-religious humans is miniscule to the immense history of human civilization. Even before literacy, humans have practiced religion to explain mysterious phenomenon. Historically, Muslims, Jews, and Christians have lived and worked together in coexistence in Western Asia and North Africa. Their lifestyles were not distinctly separated; all was interwoven. They were not labeled by their countries, as much as their specific towns, and it was not until they needed to differentiate themselves that they created a nationalist approach to identification. Personal identities during immigration were strengthened with self-claimed labels. There is more than enough evidence of the contemporary conflict that stems from anger, betrayal, and revenge, but most importantly, religion. Over time, this conflict became cyclical. Headlines everywhere highlight a concept that extreme religious difference cannot coexist. In a world more diverse than ever, a question arises: how can communities of religious differences thrive peacefully? And what makes the United States so different, then? Our connection to land is incredibly different than that of the rest of the world. Looking at the historical and current conflict between religious groups across the Middle East in particular, a lot of the source of the conflict is the true desire for a land that each group deeply considers to be their own. Yet the United States is no one’s homeland, other the marginalized Native Americans. Legally and financially, land holds significance; but to the general population there is not as deep an attachment as what some of those globally feel. It seems that perhaps, because of this detachment from one’s own territory, there is a weaker sense of identity in a nationalist or cultural sense. I do not mean to imply that peace is more easily found in the U.S. than abroad. History shows us an array of peaceful and reconciliatory moments between inter-nationally. But, the U.S. is a whole made up of various parts, parts rooted at different depths. Coexistence, an American Convivencia, is alive, despite its suffering.