Mankind is one. We are all brothers and sisters no matter what our class, caste, colour, creed or country. No matter what we look like, no matter how rich or poor we are, we are all brothers and sisters.
That is true whether you believe in the Bible, the Koran or in Western science.
The Bible and the Koran – the holy books of about half of mankind – say that we all came from Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman. The races were not created separately but come from the same root. That means we share the same human nature. And even though the Bible was written long ago, you can read it now and see that men thought and acted back then just the same way they do now. Human nature has not changed. We all have the same heart.
Western science says that we all come from Mitochondrial Eve, a black woman who lived in Africa long ago. All of us, every single one. That means that we are all cousins – not as some nice idea we would like to believe in, but as a cold, hard fact found by men in white coats.
On Christmas Eve night in 1968 three men went to the moon, far from their families. And when they looked back they saw the earth rise above the moon, they saw the earth all alone, a jewel in the blackness of space, the home of their families, of everyone they loved, the home of all mankind.
I felt the oneness of mankind for the first time on Christmas Eve too, but not from the moon, but in a church. During midnight mass it came to me that people in North America, the Caribbean and South America were all doing the very same thing, all worshipping the same God in the same way at the same moment.
During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug) – while praying to the same God – with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the “white” Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan, and Ghana.
We were truly all the same (brothers) – because their belief in one God had removed the “white” from their minds, the ‘white’ from their behavior, and the ‘white’ from their attitude.
I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man – and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their “differences” in color.