- Posted September 14, 2012 by
Medina, Saudi Arabia
Reporting from Muslim holy city of Medina, Saudi Arabia
My visit to Medina
Today I’m at the Nabawi Mosque, one of the places most sacred to the world's 1.5 billion Muslims. The Prophet Mohammad is buried here. I'm with Muslims from Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Ethiopia, Chad, Afghanistan, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and many other nations.
When people find out I'm an American they crowd around to shake my hand and to hug and kiss me on the cheeks. They all express solidarity with America. And there are the typical questions, "Hey, Sam. Do you know my cousin Abdullah in Chicago?"
Over nine months since I first arrived in Saudi Arabia
I've been here in Saudi Arabia 9 months now, and I haven't had even one negative experience.
But, of course, just like in Washington, DC, there are probably neighborhoods and places where any intelligent person shouldn't venture. I haven't run into those yet. I walk or take taxis everywhere I go. I ask my Muslim friends to introduce me to "radicals" so I can meet them--to speak with them--to find out why they think the way they do. But my friends here say they don't know any people like that.
The Muslims I meet are good people. While they are very dedicated in their faith, they love and respect America. They deserve our support just as much as we support Israel.
Responding to radicalism
Of course, we know there are radical Muslims—just as there are radical Christians and radical Jews. They exist. When they start attacking each other and smearing each other the evidence can be quite sadistic. They insult. They curse. They murder. We see it now in Libya and Egypt. Innocent people die.
May God give us wisdom to behave as Jesus would behave in the face of false accusations, smears and fighting. Let us seek peace instead of war. Wherever and whenever possible, let us overcome evil with good.