I Love Christmas: A Muslim Child’s Mission to Change the World

12/25/2017 06:04 pm ET Updated Jan 11, 2018

The day begins with Soborno Isaac, a 5-year-old Muslim boy who brings home a Christmas tree to celebrate December 25, the birth of Jesus Christ. However, there was a problem. His mother, a devoted Muslim, did not like the idea. The conflict between mother and son began heating up.

Kathleen Raab thanked Isaac for changing her perception on Muslims. And  when Isaac asked why she wanted to take a picture wi
Kathleen Raab thanked Isaac for changing her perception on Muslims. And when Isaac asked why she wanted to take a picture with him even though he wasn’t a celebrity, Katy responded, “You might not be a celebrity, but you are a hero for people like me, whose whole view of the world has changed because of you.”

Isaac: Why can’t a Muslim celebrate Christmas, Mom

Mom: I don’t know, and I don’t need to know. All I know is I’m a Muslim, and Muslims don’t celebrate Christmas.

Isaac: I’m also a Muslim, Mom, and I love my religion, which is Islam. However, I’m also a Hindu, a Buddha, a Jew, and a Christian. I know we love Eid, but we should also love Yom Kippur, Saraswati, Buddha Purnima, and also Christmas. We should love all religions, and I think we should celebrate every holiday as our own.

The 40-year-old traditional mind was unwilling to accept the reasoning of a 5-year-old mind. As a result, Isaac’s mom threw the Christmas tree into a garbage truck. Isaac became enraged and left home, saying he would not return until he found his Christmas tree. On his way out, he wrote a very emotional letter to his mom in the lobby.

A Historic Day for Bangladesh, a historic day for Muslim World. Sadiyan Lima, the Symbol of all Muslim Women. Sadiyan Lima, a
A Historic Day for Bangladesh, a historic day for Muslim World. Sadiyan Lima, the Symbol of all Muslim Women. Sadiyan Lima, a student of Dhaka University, is the second woman who joined Soborno Isaac to create a world without terrorism! By doing so, she has become the Symbol of all Muslim Women.

Dear Mom,

I love you, but I did not like you throwing out my Christmas tree. I know you are a Muslim; I’m a Muslim, too. However, I’m not only a Muslim but also a Hindu, a Buddha, a Jew, and a Christian. I love Eid, but I also love Saraswati, Magha Puja, Yom Kippur, and Christmas.

I love all holidays because whatever we can enjoy in human products should instantly become ours, including Eid and Christmas, regardless of their origin. As a Muslim, I am proud of my humanity when I can acknowledge the festivals of other religions as my own. We should all feel a great gratitude that every great holiday, including Christmas, is ours.

I know you are praying for me to find my Christmas tree. I love you, Mom.

Yours,

Soborno Isaac

Farjana Marjia, a student of Jahangirnagar University, is the first woman to  join the Anti-Terrorism revolution to help Sobo
Farjana Marjia, a student of Jahangirnagar University, is the first woman to join the Anti-Terrorism revolution to help Soborno Isaac create a world without terrorism! By doing so, she has become the face of the anti-terrorism revolution, and the Rosa Parks of all Bengali women. She was inspired by Isaac’s movie, and motivated to promote Isaac’s message that we are all “Muslim, but we love all other religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and a Judaism. We celebrate Eid, but we also love celebrating Christmas and other holidays. ”

While reading the letter, he caught the attention of singer Lawrence Rush. Lawrence liked the letter so much that he read it twice and was motivated to help Isaac find the tree. Meanwhile, Isaac’s mom realized her mistake, and she made a banner with Isaac’s quote: I’m a Muslim, but I’m also a Hindu, a Buddha, a Jew, and a Christian. I love Eid, Durga Puja, Buddha Purnima, Hanukkah, and Christmas. I belong to all religions, and every great holiday is mine, including Eid and Christmas.” She went to every single mall, holding up her banner in hopes of finding Isaac.

While reading  the letter, Isaac caught the attention of  singer Lawrence Rush. Lawrence liked the letter so much that he  wa
While reading the letter, Isaac caught the attention of singer Lawrence Rush. Lawrence liked the letter so much that he was motivated to help Isaac find the Christmas tree.

Lawrence and Isaac tried their best to find the Christmas tree, but they couldn’t find it. Lawrence gave up, but Isaac refused to give up and went home without his tree. It was Christmas Eve, and Isaac was sitting in Central Park reading his letter to his mom aloud.As the people dispersed, one of the people there was Kathleen Raab. She thanked Isaac for changing her perspective on Muslims.

Joy Kumar Roy, a fan of Soborno Isaac, promoting his message in Shariatpur (শরিয়তপুর), to create a world without terrorism.
Joy Kumar Roy, a fan of Soborno Isaac, promoting his message in Shariatpur (শরিয়তপুর), to create a world without terrorism.

When Isaac asked why she wanted to take a picture of him even though he wasn’t a celebrity, Katie responded, “You might not be a celebrity, but you are a hero for people like me whose entire view of the world has changed because of you.” They became friends instantly, and Kathleen offered her help. They hired a horse carriage to take them all around the city in hopes of finding Isaac’s Christmas tree. They found the tree in the Central Park.

Soborno Isaac message of love has spread around the world, including to Bangladesh where a physics teacher Nahid Afzal &
Soborno Isaac message of love has spread around the world, including to Bangladesh where a physics teacher Nahid Afzal & and his son Faiyaz decided to promote Isaac’s philosophy.

Isaac’s mother apologized to him and decided to celebrate Christmas. They have been celebrating Christmas ever since . This message of love has spread around the world, including to Bangladesh where a physics teacher Nahid Afzal & and his son Faiyaz and their friend Noman Lam decided to promote Isaac’s philosophy.

Masud Rana Nakib (মাসুদ রানা নকীব),  promoting promoting Soborno Isaac’s message in চাঁদপুর, to create a world without terror
Masud Rana Nakib (মাসুদ রানা নকীব), promoting promoting Soborno Isaac’s message in চাঁদপুর, to create a world without terrorism.

They made 68,000 posters for the 68,000 villages of Bangladesh. The posters stated in Bangla, “I’m a Muslim, but I’m also a Hindu, a Buddha, a Jew, and a Christian. I love Eid, Durga Puja, Buddha Purnima, Hanukkah, and Christmas. I belong to all religions, and every holiday, including Eid and Christmas, is mine.”

Three fans of Soborno ISaac, Nahid Afzal,  Faiyaz and  Noman Lam decided to promote Isaac’s philosophy in Bangladesh. They ma
Three fans of Soborno ISaac, Nahid Afzal, Faiyaz and Noman Lam decided to promote Isaac’s philosophy in Bangladesh. They made 68,000 posters for the 68,000 villages of Bangladesh. The posters stated in Bangla, “I’m a Muslim, but I’m also a Hindu, a Buddha, a Jew, and a Christian. I love Eid, Durga Puja, Buddha Purnima, Hanukkah, and Christmas. I belong to all religions, and every holiday, including Eid and Christmas, is mine.”

These series of events convinced me to make this movie. I wanted to share this story with people, especially with the 1.7 billion Muslims in the world so they too could be inspired by Isaac. However, I’m not a professional writer or director, and I didn’t have the necessary equipment to produce a movie. Furthermore, Isaac is a math and science hero, not a movie star.

Fans of Soborno Isaac posted 68,000 posters in 68,000 villages of Bangladesh.
Fans of Soborno Isaac posted 68,000 posters in 68,000 villages of Bangladesh.

To help make this movie, I called my friend, Uday Bangali and Hrishikesh Chakraborty. What I did not tell them was that I didn’t even have a camera. Instead, all I had was a broken iPhone that had been dropped many times. I wasn’t even sure if it was capable of recording anymore. Most of the time, the shooting of the movie was done using a camera from Uday’s production, Bangali Films.

Bayejid Hawlader, a fan of Soborno Isaac, promoting his message in Gopalgonj, to create a world without terrorism.
Bayejid Hawlader, a fan of Soborno Isaac, promoting his message in Gopalgonj, to create a world without terrorism.

Soborno Isaac is a fan of Kazi Nazrul Islam, the poet Laureate of Bangladesh, who in 1920, expressed his vision of religious harmony in an editorial in Joog Bani, "Come brother Hindu! Come Musalman! Come Buddhist! Come Christian! Let us transcend all barriers, let us forsake forever all smallness, all lies, all selfishness and let us call brothers as brothers. We shall quarrel no more..."

Part # 2:

It was July 3rd, 2017. As we walked into the public park space where the prayer was held, Isaac was very jolly, ready to celebrate Independence Day. All of a sudden, he asked me, “Dad, can I ask Imam to pray for America?” I didn’t expect it from him, because he is just five years old. So I looked at him, surprised, but reluctantly said, “Go ahead,” in a hope that he would not have the audacity to do such a thing in front of hundreds of people. But, the exact opposite happened.

In the middle of the prayer, Isaac suddenly stood up, and shouted, “Excuse me Imam, can you please pray for my country, the United States of America, because tomorrow is 4th of July.” As expected, the imam ignored him, and Isaac sat back down. On his way home Isaac looked very sad and wouldn’t talk. I asked him why he was so sad, and he asked me sadly “Dad, why didn’t the imam pray for my country in his monazat?”

Computer Programmer Humayun Kabir, a fan of Isaac, promoting his movie in <em>Cox&#39;s Bazar</em> (কক্সবাজার), to create a w
Computer Programmer Humayun Kabir, a fan of Isaac, promoting his movie in Cox's Bazar (কক্সবাজার), to create a world without terrorism.

“Forgive the imam,” I said. After going home, I wanted to solve some problems with Isaac, and I was explaining differential equations to him. However, I realized his mind was elsewhere. So, I asked him, “Why aren’t you paying attention?” His response shocked me once again. “Dad, I want to write a letter to George Washington.” “Why?” This time, I was very serious in the conversation with my five- year-old son. “I think the Founding Father deserves an apology from the imam. But since the imam will never apologize, I will apologize on behalf of the imam and 1.7 billion Muslims.” This time, I knew exactly what he was talking about. So I let him go ahead.

Inspired by Isaac’s movie, many youths have joined the revolution  against terrorism in Natore (নাটোর) led by Harun.
Inspired by Isaac’s movie, many youths have joined the revolution against terrorism in Natore (নাটোর) led by Harun.

Isaac started writing a letter to one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and its first President, George Washington. After Isaac showed the letter to me, I became shocked. How could a five-year-old have the understanding and the mental capability to not only address the wrongs of a religious preacher to a Founding Father, but also try to change it by asking the imam to pray for the US, something no adult would dare to do. And then, it dawned on me.

Asfar Ahmed, GS of Shyamoli Society, promoting Soborno Isaac movie in Patuakhali (পটুয়াখালী) to create a world without terro
Asfar Ahmed, GS of Shyamoli Society, promoting Soborno Isaac movie in Patuakhali (পটুয়াখালী) to create a world without terrorism.

Rashidul Bari, a doctoral student at Columbia University, teaches mathematics at Bronx C. College. His email is rb3080@columbia.edu and website is Bari Science Lab

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