THE ECHO: A Short Story

A CEO once asked me, “As a Christian, why do you sometimes write about Islam? Do you think it’s right for you to propagate a religion that you know nothing about?” He asked these questions after reading this post and this one that I did as far back as 2012.

I can understand his concerns. He’s not just a Christian like me, but also a pastor. We have so many pastor CEOs in our country.

I explained to him that he was wrong to have assumed that I knew nothing about Islam. I very much know something about the religion.

Secondly, I sometimes write about Islam because I don’t discriminate.

I went further to ask him if he, just like me, has Muslim friends. He said no (which I didn’t believe). I also asked him if his company has Muslim customers and he responded, “Yes, of course.” I asked if his company sends out greetings to its Muslim customers during festivities like Eid el Kabir and he answered, “Of course we do. But that is business.”

Can anyone beat that?

It’s another Eid el Kabir so I am wishing all my Muslim friends, colleagues, and readers, Barka de Sallah.

As we celebrate, let us remember that we are all God’s creations. It was when we got into this world that we separated ourselves by religion and ethnicity. Let us preach peace and harmony. Let us spread love and utter words that are good and strengthening.

And that reminds me of another story by Professor Yasar Kandemir titled, The Echo. The story goes like this (in his own words):

Little Remzi was taking food to his father who was working in the fields. He spotted a shadowy figure behind the rocks at the top of the hill. Thinking that it was another child he shouted to him, saying “Heeeey!”

A voice came back, saying “Heeeey!” from the hill top.

Not realizing it was an echo, he thought that another child was up there, making fun of him.

“Just wait and see what happens if I come up!”

The voice answered: “Just wait and see what happens if I come up!”

Remzi got really angry and shouted at the top of  his voice: “Come out and let me see you, you coward!”

When the same answer came back to him he started to run toward the cliff. Soon he was tired, but he couldn’t see anyone there. He thought that the other child must be hiding somewhere else. He climbed up the rocks, shouting all the while. He thought about what he would do to that other child when he caught him. But that cowardly child didn’t dare to come out.

After a long time, he remembered his father. He must be very hungry by now. When he got to his father he told his father everything that had happened. His father listened to him and reminded his son of a proverb: “He who speaks whatever he wants hears whatever he doesn’t want to hear.”

If Remzi had known the following saying of the Prophet, he would not have acted in such a way: “Let the one who believes in God and the Last Day speak good or remain silent.” 

Please have a very beautiful holiday.