Sunday, March 13, 2005

Dear Faiza,

I have just read some of your web diary for the first time. It has changed something inside of me. For the first time in my life (I am 53) I am beginning to glimpse what is different about the mind of a person who lives in the Islamic world. What is different? Nothing at all! I saw marginally different values, and a different culture--but that is all. The woman inside of you is no different to the man inside of me, an Anglo Saxon who lives in Australia.

I was amazed at your writings. How fluent they are and how articulate are your observations. I live in a society that is trying it's best to (generally speaking) to portray the people that follow Mohamed as narrow viewed and ignorant--I have always known that to be a lie. I'm not well read, nor am I well educated but I was brought up to believe in the Christian religion, and my Grandmother (God rest her soul) always told me from the moment that I first sat on her knee and could understand her that there where two things that I should remember. Firstly all people are equal (she did not use the word 'men') and secondly that I must always remember that people meant everyone--not just white English.

I cannot feel sorrow nor regret for what is happening in Iraq. That in itself is sad, but it is because to me I have no perception of what it must be like--I have not had any experience of air raids or foreigners invading my homeland. All we see is two minutes of video on the 6:00 pm news or a couple of small columns in the newspaper and then we mutter how terrible it must be. I think to feel genuine sorrow or regret a person must live that in some small way. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I have just become desensitised to everything by 50 years of watching the news on the television and reading newspaper reports......

What I can feel for is the thoughts of another human being and their sensibilities. My goodness how I empathised with some of your thoughts and how some of your thoughts shed light on (to me) age old mysteries.

Thank you Faiza--I shall certainly be reading more of your diary.

Stephen Weatherill
South Australia

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