A Muslim Saved My Life

As far as many people are concerned these days, there’s little room for debate on anything.  If you agree with something, you agree wholeheartedly with no questions or doubts. If you don’t, every fiber of your being is against it. You apparently have to be an “extremist” to have your opinion count on any issue.

That seems to be the case when it comes to the world’s current refugee problem. At least when it comes to the solutions our leaders have to offer us. The truth of the matter is that most people who have truly taken time to consider the conundrum were in fall around the middle. No one really wants to turn aside people in true need – no matter their background. And no one wants to be conned into complicity by terrorists.

When I was in high school, my German language class traveled to Germany on the ultimate field trip. It was about six months after the Berlin Wall “came down.” It was also handy to the time of the Lockerbie air plane crash. 

On the way home, in the shuffle of 20 something high school kids getting into the Berlin airport, through customs and to the right gate in a foreign language, a friend of mine lost his ticket and boarding pass. Our chaperone, a Catholic Marianist Brother, and my friend appealed to the airline to reissue – the ticket was paid for, the seat reserved as part of an educational package. It was just a piece of paper that was lost.

Airline officials in Germany were already dealing with air port security issues then, in 1990. Americans really had no idea why there were soldiers in the terminal with large guns. The airline didn’t want to let my friend on the plane. After quite sometime and probably some serious Catholic guilt from our teacher, the airline acquiesced – if my friend agreed to check everything he was carrying straight through to the States. I still remembering him fretting over expensive Germab beer steins he was taking home for family.

My friend is Middle Eastern. I’d say he’s Muslim, but I’m not really sure how active he is in the religion. I know when we were in Catholic school together (yes, you read that right) his older brother was trying to learn more about Islam. I remember him attempting to fast during Ramadan once and speaking to my world religion class about the amazing fatigue he felt. To make matters more interesting, my friend with the lost ticket had  a variety of health problems that made him look closer to 30 than 16.

I “speak” with my friend still over Facebook. He’s an American. Like those Muslims you hear about who serve dutifully in the US Armed Forces. We have interesting conversations about the refugees. He reminds me not all Muslims are part of or agree with ISIS, Al-Quida, Boko Haram, or any other extremist group. I remind him that people like me fear for the lives and future freedom of our children. Shutting the door, so to speak, doesn’t sound bad to us. 

We think about ways to separate Middle Easterners, Americans of Middle Eastern descent, and peaceful (yes, some are) Muslims in people’s minds from Muslim extremists. Almost two decades of PR experience and I’m stymied on that one. Our leaders need to think as hard as we are. There must be something between turning our backs on refugees, and allowing the fox into the hen house in the name of morality. 

Today, I remembered something that kicked me right onto the fence on refugees, from what on Saturday was a lock the door and throw away the key stance.

Just a little less than three years ago, I almost lost my life to a heart attack brought on by diabetic ketoacidosis. Not only did I survive, I am again thriving. The doctor who saved my life on the operating table with almost no damage to my heart, and who has sustained me, is a Muslim.

Not everyone is dangerous. But some certainly are. Which are you?


8 thoughts on “A Muslim Saved My Life

  1. john spizziri

    not every German or Japanese was dangerous… but some certainly were. And the ones who weren’t just went along with the flow, for the most part. If you ride with outlaws you will eventually hang with them. It is call aiding or abetting, or accomplices after the fact. Every Muslim knows that if they do not live in an Islamic State( the Abode of Islam), they live in what they term the Abode of War. Mohammed said that lying to an unbeliever is a good thing if it advances the cause of Islam. How can you reconcile any of this with Christianity? We can and must show them Christs Mercy; but if you persist in believing that someone who belongs to a system that is utterly opposed to every value you hold dear, except monotheism is an ally of yours or can be a true friend, then you are sadly mistaken. Appeasement always leads to slavery. One more thing; one the side of the Dome of the Rock facing Calvary is the Islamic inscription,”GOD HAS NO SON”.

    1. switched Post author

      I understand exactly what you are saying. And I agree that we should show them Christ’s love. I don’t think we should be inviting them in like this. It’s not prudent to put others in harms way. What I want is an alternative that shows love for humanity without endangering the lives of more people. I do not believe members of ISIS can be “converted.” But the longer regular Muslims remain silent and do not condemn what’s being done in the name of their faith, how can we show that compassion with confidence? It’s not completely unlike Christians and the Westboro Church.

      1. switched Post author

        I’ve been waffling in my mind all day John. Lol. I was thinking about how some people compared these refugees to Jews coming to America during/after WWII. I was actually thinking maybe they’re more like Germans who were moving around the world after the war. They were hated for the actions of their country and many deemed them complicit. My father’s people were Germans trying to escape Europe. I often wonder how accepted they felt or if they were “welcome.” I never asked. My father was 18 when he got here…about 12 years after the war. He’s a better American than I.

      2. john spizziri

        if you have ever talked to soldiers who fought in Europe, they will tell you that the Germans were most like us culturally- my father in law ( a Pennsylvania Dutchman) never called them Nazis- he called them Germans. many times his unit fought little boys– I asked him how that felt; he just looked at me and said “I woulda killed a baby if he had a gun”. I am not a war monger- I am a person who believes what George Washington said,” the surest way to secure a just and lasting peace is to always be ready to prosecute war”. I always counseled my children- NEVER start a fight– but by jiminy, always finish one.

  2. Christ Centered Teaching

    Still,Islam is NOT a religion of peace! Recommended reading “The Life of Muhammad” written by the Muslim historian Ibn Ishaq in 768 AD. The book gives an accurate picture of Muhammad… The very violent and aggressive military commander who fought and killed neighboring tribes into submission.

    1. switched Post author

      I never said it was or wasn’t. I know only enough to know not every one of them believe this extremist view. I also know enough to know there are small pockets of unpeaceful Christians. I think we need a better way to proceed than either let them all in or keep them all out.

      1. Christ Centered Teaching

        Estimates are 70% of Muslims are moderates. They are considered apostates by the devoted letter of the law Quaran. In other words, they follow out of ignorance and assumptions instead of knowledge. It is sad. Perhaps with the Internet and social media we can get the truth out.

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