The religions share a deep heritage based in love, which can’t be confused with the actions of misguided, fire-breathing followers on both sides.
For the Sufi mystic and poet Jalaluddin Rumi, spring was more than spring: it was a reflection of all that was divine, in our lives and history.
In his poem, “Spring is Christ,” he writes of how a flower is more than a flower, a tree more than a tree and the wind more than just wind. He writes of a love so strong it permeates everything it comes into contact with. And he writes about Jesus and his mother, Mary: Jesus as the spring that brings plants into bloom after a lifeless winter, and Mary as the tree that gives life, refuge and shade.
It is a commonality that is often overlooked by fundamentalists on both sides who choose to focus on the points of divergence. And yet, at this moment, when so many seem to be rooting for a collision between the Christian West and Islamic East, there has never been a greater need for both sides to acknowledge their shared heritage.