A famous Jewish philosopher and theologian of the 20th century, Martin Buber, made a powerful observation about human relationships in his book “I and Thou”. There are two primary types of human relationships, he observed. The first, where others are recognized with empathy as experiencing the same highs and lows as all human beings; the second is where others are regarded as things, to be used or abused and not recognized with empathy.
In the second instance people are disenfranchised and unacknowledged. They do not receive rights and dignities given to others. Movements like “Black lives matter” in the U.S., the feminist movement; the LGBT movement and the Idle No More phenomenon challenge the stereotypes and perception that the identity of some groups or individuals are inferior and do not require the recognition given others.
Mr. Hudson’s says that Muslims do not deserve recognition, affirmation or acknowledgement despite the tragedies affecting countries in which they live.. The West’s superiority comes from its Judeo/Christian roots, he says. That attitude, I believe, resulted in the forced subjugation of aboriginal worldwide. Interestingly, Mr. Hudson does not mention the secret, often undocumented wars of colonization of the last 500 years where aboriginal groups were decimated, forcefully removed to live in isolated ghettos or reserves and often led lives of economic servitude.
I challenge Mr. Hudson to meet a Muslim, in this community or anywhere else and to ask about that person’s life and his or her concerns. I believe there would be many commonalities. It is surprising how similar human beings are despite our differences. That is where bridges need to be built; not around our differences, but around what we share in common.