My mother grew up in Ipil Zamboanga del Sur and became wary of Moslems for being violent, ill-educated and always out to make a quick buck at the expense of others. Naturally, that was how I saw Moslems too, until I met Wanie in law school, one of the kindest, smartest and most generous persons I'll ever have the privilege of knowing. And she happens to be Moslem.
Obviously I realized that Wanie wasn't one of "those" Moslems that my mother feared, and that for every one of her, there were hundreds and thousands more just like her who were far from the stereotype that had been fed to us for far too long. I was clearly the ignorant one for thinking that ALL Moslems were to be feared just because my mother's experience with a handful had not been positive.
While it was great that the Asterix cartoonist came out of retirement to show his support to the murdered Charlie Hebdo journalists, I fear that although well-meaning, his cartoon will only further stoke the anti-Islamic fire that is already threatening to engulf us.
Please take the time to read this wonderful article over at Raptitude (What Terrorists Want From You).
I will always admire all the good that religion has and will bring to humanity, but maybe John Lennon had it right all along and we'd be better off without religion. If we considered ourselves as human beings first with our religious and political affiliations only secondary, all of our perceived differences will dissipate. And with all the differences wiped out, we'll see ourselves in everyone around us, thus making them human too in our eyes.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.