The only real security we have is getting to know our neighbors
On Tuesday, my wife and I attended an Iftar dinner. Iftar is the evening meal that breaks the daily fast during the Muslim observance of Ramadan.
But this was an unusual Iftar dinner. It was held at Seattle University, a Jesuit school, and it included not just Muslims but Catholics, Jews, and Protestants.
Ramadan requires a strict fast — no food or drink from sunrise to sunset. Because sunset in Seattle isn’t until after 9 p.m., there’s time to fill. So there was a panel discussion with a Rabbi, a Bishop, and a Muslim.
The topic was “What is home?” The consensus was home is where you feel secure. Yet, there are people who want to destroy that feeling. The Muslim — who’d come here from Afghanistan at age 3 — said she was at the beach in West Seattle about a mile from her house when someone saw her headscarf and yelled: “go home.”
But the answer to that, she said, was in the room where we were all about to have dinner.
We were mostly strangers to each other, but at an Iftar dinner, everybody has one thing in common. You’re all starving, and to distract yourself until sunset, you talk.
I met a Cuban professor. I met a Turkish refugee who had to leave his wife and daughter behind or face arrest, and I met the American couple who took him in. The county sheriff and the FBI were also there as guests.
As the bishop looked over this crowd, he observed that one of the fastest growing industries today is Home Security. But what you soon learn is that the only real security is getting to know your neighbors.