Saddened by the prevailing racism, owners of the new Interfaith School decided that a drastic change in mindsets was needed for upcoming generations to grow up hate-free. Cautious parents soon embraced this opportunity.
The uniform had a pretty scarf available for Muslim girls who chose to wear the hijab and turbans for Sikhs.
Gradually, misconceptions faded and stereotypes were broken. Christian and Jewish students learned that Muslims believed in Mary, Jesus and the Prophet Abraham, with all three mentioned in the Quran. Muslims found out that some Hindus also commemorated Imam Hussain.
There were interfaith celebrations and friendships formed.
Once, when Zainab and Jessica were at the movies, a boy pointed at Zainab and snarled, “This symbol of oppression is not welcome here! Take off your hijab!”
Zainab was horrified, but Jessica who had given her that scarf as a present, responded loudly.
“Would you ask Mother Teresa to do the same? And do check out pictures of Mother Mary as well!”
Thanks to the school, differences that existed were now happily the new normal.
Inspired by my time in a Convent school in Pakistan, where a majority of Muslim and Christian students studied side by side. Regardless of religion, students sang in the choir, decorated Christmas trees, painted Easter Eggs and celebrated Eid. Here are some pictures of this beautiful school, which is over a 150 years old 🙂