I recently lost my cool when someone asked me what my religion was after I mentioned that I was Lebanese. Granted I was tired and I felt the meeting was going nowhere but my reaction was none the less slightly emotional and defensive.
I have been asked this question all my life and have until now not formulated a reply that I am happy with. My parents are both Muslim but never practiced and I was brought up in the UK, and have never been in a mosk let alone participated in any of the 5 pillars, so what does that make me ? Can someone actually categorise me based on my religion or be in anyway enlightened as to who I am by knowing what Lebanese sect I belong to ?
I think the person asking was not aware of the complexities of what my answer could be.
Non of your business will be my next answer. A persons religion is their own concern, surely if you want to establish what kind of person someone is you can figure that out by asking different questions ? The truth is within religions there are all types of personalities. You don’t have to be from one religion or another to commit murder or be an alcoholic ! I know Shias that are conservative and others that are liberated beyond normal western standards, and that applies also to Sunnis, Maronites and Druze.
Finally, the fact that the world considers the Lebanese fragmented because of the individual sects bothers me to no end. I consider myself Lebanese above my religion and I hope one day the silent majority of Lebanese who I know in my heart think the same way will embrace their country before the faith they follow because that’s what we need to survive as a nation.