Racial influences rely on a number of factors depending on a place’s history and location. It may include racism according to color, racism according to social status, and racism based on religion and ethnicity. But regardless of its foundation, racism indeed has interesting effects on people and the society at large.
Racial differences in our community are not in terms of color, but of religion and ethnicity. Actually, it is between Muslims and Christians. Anywhere in the world today, the root cause of conflicts can be attributed to religious and ethnic diversities.
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The unsolved barrier amongst Muslims and Christians has always resulted to misunderstandings, discrimination and worse, wars which end up to loss of lives and more prejudice and hatred. Personally, I believe racism only puts the clashing parties at losing ends.
Culture and traditions between Muslims and Christians are different. It can be said that Muslims are more conservative and secluded compared to Christians who are more or less Westernized. From clothing to behavior and practices, both beliefs have little similarities.
In the community where I lived in, Christians often criticized the Muslim way of life. Basic is their manner of clothing. Muslim women are sanctioned to wear veils and not a single strand of hair should be exposed in public. The head should be totally covered. No skin should be seen so women always wear long-sleeves and long pants and skirts to cover their arms and legs respectively.
Talking or hanging out with men is prohibited as well. Islamic laws require that women should remain traditional and well-kept in order to be respected and clean in the eyes of Allah, the Muslim term for God. Some Christians often make rude and impolite remarks in front of Muslim women and stared at them head to foot which is a sign of disrespect and indifference.
Apathetically, some Christians cannot really hide their emotions in that they want their strong message to be really imparted in a cruel manner. They utter comments such as “Muslims are born traitors” which is for me, a nasty thing to say. It is making the gap farther and harder to patch up.
Drinking alcohol is a taboo for Islamic submitters. They should abide by the five pillars of Islam including pronouncement of faith in Allah (shahadah), praying five times a day (salat), fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadhan (saum), giving alms to the poor (zakat), and pilgrimage to Mecca if possible (hajj). Some Christians also laughed at the manner Muslims pray. During Ramadhan, some non-Muslims express negative interpretations by questioning the significance of not eating and not drinking anything the whole day.
On the contrary, Christians are more carefree and liberated though there are some conservative families as well. But more often than not, they can do anything under the sun. Discipline and control are still instilled upon them but their behavior is often unlimited.
Muslims also criticized Christians for being too modern especially in the way they dress. Some women wear very suggestive clothing, showing a lot of skin. These women are often disrespected and insulted by Muslim men and even Christian men for being too showy and vulgar. But Christians do not mind these comments thinking that they are up-to-date relative to the popular trends as seen on television and in the Internet.
Most young Christian women nowadays are free to hang out anywhere; some even drink and smoke in public. If public display of affection to a boyfriend or girlfriend is illegal for Muslims, Christians often welcome it. Muslims usually practice arranged marriage and exclusiveness in marriage between Muslims alone while most Christians can choose whoever they want to be their lifetime partner regardless of religion and culture.
As long as the couple loves each other, they can marry without obstacles from the woman’s family. This is very prevalent in the community where I live in.
Muslim women who occasionally end up with Christian men are often disowned and as a result, the family of the Muslim woman takes revenge not only to the Christian guy but to his entire clan as well. Some cases unfortunately end up in killings or total disowning of the Muslim woman by her kin and family including relatives and other blood relations.
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