The Big Debate

Ten centuries ago, the Pope decided that all the Muslims had to leave Jerusalem. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Muslim community. So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Muslim community. If the Muslim won the debate, all the Muslims could stay. If the Pope won, all the Muslims would have to leave. The Muslims realised that they had no choice.

They looked around for a champion who could defend their faith, but no one wanted to volunteer. It was too risky. But they finally picked their representative, an old Mullah who unknowingly agreed without knowing what he was getting himself into. He agreed only on the condition that neither side be allowed to talk but communicate by miming only. The pope agreed. The day of the great debate came. The Mullah and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. The Mullah looked back at him and raised his middle finger.

The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Mullah Nasruddin pointed to the ground and stamped his foot. The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Mullah pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up and said, ‘I give up. This man is too good. The Muslims can stay.’

An hour later, the cardials were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said: First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and stamping on it, showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple, reminding me of the first sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?

Meanwhile, the Muslim community had crowded around the Mullah in total astonishmen. What happened? they asked.

Well,said the Mullah, First he said to me that we Muslims had three days to leave Jerusalem. I told him up yours. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Muslims. I said none of us leaving this land!

And then? asked a woman.

He took out his lunch and I took out mine, said the Mullah.

Special thanks to Malladi for sharing this spiritual story with us!

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