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Tom Hanks and the principle of tolerance

Strangely enough, despite numerous acts of terrorism targeting the West, the latter is still in the process of understanding us

Turki Aldakhil

Published: Updated:

After every act of terror we get enthusiastic about what we call “embellishing our image”. What’s more important is that our image should be good in the first place without the need for modification and improvement all the time.

Strangely enough, despite numerous acts of terrorism targeting the West, the latter is still in the process of understanding us. This is particularly true for some individuals. Famous Hollywood actor Tom Hanks visited Morocco recently and made some statements that deserve a comment.

Hanks was in Morocco to film parts of his new movie "A Hologram for the King." Following the visit, Hanks said: “Ten years ago, we shot some of Charlie Wilson’s War in Morocco. I had never been to a Muslim nation before. I was a white, western American and I assumed that every time the muezzin called the faithful to prayer, everybody shut down and went to their local mosque. Some did but really there was no change whatsoever. A huge stereotype was busted just like that.”

What influenced Tom Hanks is the principle of tolerance, the deep-rooted approach which has been common throughout the history of Muslims such as in Andalusia, where the Jews, Christians and Muslims were present in the administration and public position.

Strangely enough, despite numerous acts of terrorism targeting the West, the latter is still in the process of understanding us

Turki Al-Dakhil

They lived side-by-side in the society and tolerance dominated their behavior without any constraints.

Describing Morocco, that Muslim country which is full of spirituality and sufism, Hanks said: “Morocco, it’s living in a culture that tolerates you but doesn’t embrace you.”

This article was first published in Okaz on May 29, 2016.

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Turki Al-Dakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.