Children Facing Religious & Racial Prejudice
Sat coaches the parents when their children face the Religious & Racial Prejudice, to tell them to love and accept all religions because there is only one God, and that is the highest Art of Living.
Maryam: I have a son, Danny who went on a playdate and when I picked him up he said his friend's mom wasn’t happy and maybe she doesn't want him going back there. I asked him why and he said his friend told him quietly that, “We don’t want Danny around anymore because his family is Muslim and we are Christian.” And Danny’s response was, “No I’m not Muslim, I’m Christian.” At that moment, I had lots of emotions and feelings, like “Why did she judge us? She knew me. Why did she invite us? Why wasn’t she honest?” I said, “How did she figure out you are Muslim?” And Danny said, “Because of my skin color and she saw me hanging out with one of the kids whose mother wears a hijab and so they assumed.” He asked if it was okay that he pretended he was Christian so he could hang out with his friend. And I said, “I can’t answer you right now,” and I had a moment of silence. And then I thought, I did my job. I never told him he was a certain religion, I told him instead that you are the light. My question is, what should I do in these kinds of cases?
Sat: Well, don’t wear the ignorance of other people. In other words, don’t even think about it. It’s their ignorance - their problem. And as far as your son goes, it’s okay that he said he is Christian. At that moment, he wanted to remedy the situation. But really help him understand if anyone asks that [he can say something like] “I don’t have a specific religion but I accept all religions because there’s only one God.” Or just say, “I have love for all religions but I myself don’t practice anything.” Because that’s the truth. Sometimes I Myself wonder what My grownup boys write when they are asked for [their] religion. Because they were not religious- they were spiritual growing up.
And also tell your children, “We are perfect. They need to come to terms with their own stuff.” And just brush it away by saying to him that we are the lucky ones because we don’t have a specific religion and we accept and tolerate and love all religions and this is the best way to live. I don’t know if I answered your question but as far as he’s concerned he said what that situation called for. We can't be intimidated by ignorance and narrowness.
Maryam: It was the friend’s mom who was wearing the hijab but that part where they judged him on his skin color and hanging out with the family with the hijab really got me badly and I was feeling all the emotions. But thanks to You and all the teachings, I calmed down and said, “That’s their problem, not mine.”
Sat: Absolutely it’s their problem. First of all … the skin color … (laughs) it’s ridiculous. I’m so sorry that the children have to be confronted with that. I’m so sorry. Just tell your son that he’s perfect the way he is. And it’s their imperfection and thank God we don't review people like this. Give him a lot of compliments for not being one of them. It's unfortunate. I'm telling you those are parents I would like to have on the phone and let them have it - as far as what is real and what is not. But to get angry is not your sin. You should be celebrating your approach to religion. Yea, this is something that unfortunately in this time of the world our children are confronted with, where it absolutely doesn't make sense. But thank God for you to support him. And definitely you don’t need to get angry. Sad? Yes. It’s like, it saddens me that people are still thinking this way. Anyway, you did a great job.
Farnaz: For my son, I feel and hear things like what Maryam shared are happening to him too but he doesn’t really want to share or address them. But he’s asking questions about what we are … like, “Are we Muslim? Are we not Muslim? Are we this or that?” It’s like he wants to put himself in a group or a category or something. Does what You shared with Maryam apply to all of our kids - the older ones too?
Sat: Yes and they have to know that because we are not putting ourselves in a box of fanaticism, I’m saying that for older children, we’re actually free to accept all of it and throw away the things that don’t sit in our hearts. We are not under influence. Shervin needs to know what a freedom he has to take from each religion what sits in his heart and throw the rest away. Where the others are forced to - they have to swallow it. And if someone asks him what religion he is, he can only say, “I respect all religions.” Who can argue with that? And he needs to accept that too because there is no practice of Islam or Christianity or Hinduism but yet we are teachig our children Art of living through the grace of God. I mean, this is the highest religion. It is Atma Dharma.
I think another thing that should be emphasized with our boys and girls is that they are decent people through what they are taught of tolerance and unity. They are decent people. They need to know. If they don’t have acceptance of all then they should work on that more than religion. And also in the case of Shervin, you also have to teach him by example, that when I say I accept all religion, that you also accept one religion, you also accept that there is one God, you also understand how lucky you are that you have freedom of movement and you are not tied down to hearsay - in his case I’m talking about.
November 05, 2022