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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Muslim perspective from an American living in Europe

Click for Options My high school friend Will is an artist who paints                                  with a serene spirit. He speaks with perspective                                about Muslims.
Le Salève dans le matin:

Le Salève dans le matin- by Will Linthicum

Living in Meinier, Switzerland, Will has a much closer perspective
perspective about living andn working side by side with Muslims than many Americans, who are living in the USA experience. 

Here is what Will wrote to our classmates who are his colleagues from Dundalk, Maryland "Dundalk High School Class of 1963" (DHS).
Thank you Will for sharing your artistic talent for spreading serenity in the world through your paintings.

Dear classmates, writes Will;

Thanks for the warm thoughts and kind words (about my art). 

Yes, I have been fortunate to have lived here (in Switzerland) this long and to have had these opportunities (to create art).
We have friends in Brussels (Belgium). They are safe (following the March 2016 airport and metro terrorist attack). 

This morning I saw a post by an old DHS friend who lives in Dundalk. A smart and educated guy, his post was hateful toward Muslims. The number of likes and comments were disturbing. I choose not to get political in the public forum of Facebook, so I share this with my classmates:
The art department head at the International School of Geneva who is my colleague during the residency is Dr. Momar Seck. 

He is a wonderful artist and very kind and giving person, Momar is a native of Senegal. He spends his vacation time going back and building a school in a poor village near his hometown. Last year he took a group of students for two weeks as a community service project. Dr. Seck is nationally renowned as a conceptual artist, having recently been featured at the Havana Biennial. He is respected and beloved by his students and colleagues. He is a devout muslim. As Americans get caught up in the narrow scope of their local lives, I wish more of them could have the friendships with muslim persons that I have. On Sunday, my daughter had her good friend, Sera, at the house to work on their biology project. Sera is Turkish and muslim. Her mother attended university in the USA and worked at an advertising agency in New York. We have had dinners together and shared stories and wine. We feel seamlessly attached to our Muslim friends here in Geneva, as we also do with Jewish, Roman Catholic and Protestant friends. I don’t expect my Jewish friends to control the inequities in Israel. I don’t expect my Roman Catholic friends to stop the child abuse committed by clergy. I don’t hold my Protestant friends responsible for the absurd politics of the religious right. Why would any rational person expect good Muslim people to control Muslim criminals?

William W. LInthicum

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