“To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.”
Charles "the Great" de Montesquieu
“Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. Love others as well as you love yourself.”
“I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else - I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.”
“Brotherhood is not just a Bible word. Out of comradeship can come and will come the happy life for all.”
Heywood C. Broun
Yes, there is something alive here that turned me from a "get out of my way!" East Coast person into a much more patient driver and citizen. Tolerance is a nice, safe concept when living as a majority person. It is something else entirely when you have neighbors, co-workers, and even, perhaps, a boss from a very different culture from your own. Unexamined assumptions on both sides can cause very interesting issues to arise. I know that I am a better person for these sorts of life experiences.
And here we celebrate everything!
The Hawaii State Legislature has even provided official recognition to various days with religious connections:
Asian Lunar New Year Commemoration Week
Baha'i New Year's Day
Father Damien De Veuster Day
Makahiki Commemoration Day
[* Official state holidays
** Recognized by resolution, not in Hawaii law]
And this doesn't include Mayoral and Gubernatorial proclamations honoring Israeli Independence Day and the like.
Shall we all sing "Kumbayah" now?
If exclamation points appeared over your head when you read "Islam Day" you are not alone.
"Fortunately for us, we're inundated with calls of support and encouragement, not just now, but after 9/11," he said. "This is the Aloha State. We live together, respect each other, love each other. We know that no people should be judged based on the actions of a few."
The terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks have continued bombing campaigns in Muslim countries, he noted. "It's a common enemy, and it's killing more Muslims than non-Muslims," Ouansafi said. "The Pakistan army is in full war against the terrorists on behalf of the world."
He said the Hawaii Legislature's move is helping build a bridge to Muslims, generating positive comments about America from viewers and readers of Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, major Arabic-language news organizations.
"It's reaching the far, far corners of the world in a positive manner," he said. "The legislators have done in one resolution more to plant seeds of understanding than anyone could dream."