Isaac and Ishmael were brothers. The two sons of Abraham.
I was raised Christian. My mom is Episcopalian, my dad Roman Catholic. When I was a child I lived in Vienna, Austria. Almost everyone there was Catholic. The few who weren’t were Lutheran. In my whole 14 years living in Germany and Austria I met one Muslim. His name was Hakan. His family emigrated from Turkey. We lived a few blocks apart and sometimes walked home from school together.
Recently I went to Powell’s Books to buy Autobiography of a Yogi. On my way out a book caught my attention. Habibi “Beloved” in Arabic. It is a graphic novel with pictures that reminded me of Persepolis which was another one of those gifts from God.
Habibi is the story of two refugees and their suffering and love. It is also the story of two religions, Islam and Christianity. I will have to share more of it later, or perhaps you ought to read it yourself.
But for now let this suffice.
Isaac and Ishmael were brothers. In the Bible God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. In the Koran God asked Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael. Either way, Abraham so loved God that he was willing to sacrifice his beloved child. Either way, the child was saved and a ram sacrificed in its stead. I’m sure there is a great lesson about faith here. But the lesson I walk away with is this:
Isaac and Ishmael were brothers. The Jews and Christians are descendants of Issac. The Muslims are descendants of Ishmael. Jesus and Mohammed are both descendants of Abraham. We’re telling the same story. Can we stop killing each other now?