As part of Christmas celebrations,, my son invited me for a Handel’s “Messiah” at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. He probably remembered that I took him, and his two sisters, to many Handel’s “Messiah” when they were young. At least, I remembered one at Springfield (VA) Methodist Church, just down the road form where we have been living for almost 30 years in Burke, VA. They barely paid attention, but, as usual, I just hoped it would have some effect in their lives.
Messiah, composed in the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin in 1742, is Handel's most famous creation and is among the most popular works in Western choral literature. The very well-known "Hallelujah" chorus is part of Handel's Messiah.The most famous movement is the "Hallelujah" chorus, which concludes the second of the three parts. The text is drawn from three passages in the New Testament book of Revelation:
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this World are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for the audience to stand for this section of the performance. Tradition has it that King George II rose to his feet at this point.
At the National Cathedral we stood up for that section. And that was probably the most interesting part as far as I was concerned.
Also, I like the congregation. Your stereotype white middle and upper middle class, well dressed, quite (“the quite American”) and gracious.
My daughter asked why I go to “Christian things,” and I said: “…., I am not a Jew. Muslims are not Jews. We believe in Jesus Christ. There is probably as much about Jesus Christ in the Koran as is in the Bible. As a matter of fact, there is more about Mary the Virgin in the Koran than in the Bible.”
Read an interview with me from "OpEdNews.com" in About Me (English)
The Washington Post
WHY I HOLD A JIHAD AT THE WHITE HOUSE
By Mohammad Ali Salih
… During the last year of George W. Bush administration, on weekends, silently and alone, I started standing in front of the White House holding a huge banner that asks, on one side, "What is Terrorism?" and, on the other side, "What is Islam?"
Since 1980, I have been a Washington, DC, full-time correspondent for major Arabic publications in the Middle East, and have been grateful to this most free and most moral country in the history of mankind. But since Sept. 11, 2001, I have become sad, frustrated and sometimes angry because of what I had come to believe were Bush's subtle wars on Muslims, in the name of the so-called “War on Terrorism.”
Because I couldn’t express this opinion in the American media, I started this silent and lonely campaign. I am not the stereotypical demonstrator; I don’t shout slogans, argue, marsh, fast, camp outside the White House, chain myself to its fence, or even wear jeans and T-shirts. Believing that my conduct is part of my message, I dress in dark suits, and only briefly and quietly answer quick questions.
In small print at the bottom of my banner, I wrote: "Obama wants to improve America’s image in the Muslim World. I want to improve Islam’s image in America. I will be here until I die!"
My hope is to get enough media attention and collect enough online donations to be able to quit my job and do my vigil daily. This plan has disrupted my wife's plan for us to retire in Florida; I told her that if I become self-employed and winter becomes too cold for me to stand in front of the White House, we will take off to Florida. Another part of my plan is to use a wheelchair when I became older or won’t be able to stand. I actually envision myself dying in front of the White House while holding my banner …
In 2009, after the start of Barack Obama Administration and for few months, I stopped my vigil, believing he would fulfill his campaign promises to end Bush's militaristic approach to Muslims; to change the tense political atmosphere in Washington; and to end the fear of Islam and Muslims that had engulfed this great and proud country. But Obama disappointed when he acted like a typical politician: makes promises in order to be elected and, once elected, starts planning to be reelected.
On the other hand, all over the world, most Muslims have opposed U.S. occupation of two Muslim countries (Afghanistan and Iraq); U.S. bombardment of two Muslim countries (Pakistan and Somalia); U.S. threats to bombard two Muslim countries (Syria and Iran) and the recent U.S. threats to intervene in a Muslim country (Yemen).
I believe Bush’s and Obama’s basic problem with the Muslims is the two’s inability to understand -- or perhaps their denial -- that the Koran, clearly and repeatedly, calls upon Muslims to stand up against injustice, particularly if inflicted upon them by non-Muslims, and particularly if in the form of a blatant military occupation. The Koran, clearly and repeatedly, asks Muslims to sacrifice their time, money, family and -- ultimately -- life to end injustice.
Probably my faith is not strong enough to make me sacrifice against injustice with my money (I barely make ends meet); with my family (I want them to be near me); or with my life (I don't think I have enough left). But, yes, with my time; that was why I declared a peaceful, silent and lonely jihad in front of the White House …
Meantime, I am indebted to the great American liberty for allowing me, a Muslim, Arab, African and “foreigner” to raise my banner in front of the White House – protected by its cops. Actually, as I try to improve Islam’s image in America, Obama could use my example to improve America’s image in the Muslim world.
Go to My Family to see more pictures of cruises and my vacations!