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Pastor Shares How Insulting A Muslim Classmate Led Him To A "Blessed" 52-Year Friendship

"We can live and embrace one another if we teach our children to be friends and not enemies."

Cover image via Facebook

In a touching tribute, Singaporean pastor Leslie Quahe shared how an insensitive comment about a Muslim classmate led to a five decade-long friendship

The Facebook post on 26 April has garnered over 1,000 shares at the time of writing.

"When I was 10 I ignorantly called my classmate a 'black boy'," he wrote

After being "chastised" by their teacher for name-calling, he took out his frustration on the boy, Iqbal, and punched him during recess.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via New Straits Times

The parents of both students were called into the principal's office for a chat, during which Quahe's father apologised profusely on his behalf.

According to the pastor, his father implied that he would punish the boy by saying that he would make him "pay" for his unwarranted indiscretion.

However, his classmate's mother had a different idea.

"In lieu of pain", she asked if she could take Quahe home every day to have lunch, do homework, and play with her son.

In the post, Quahe revealed that he has never forgotten the words she spoke in the principal's office that day - "We must make them friends and not allow them to be enemies."

Five decades later, the man recalls his time spent at Iqbal's family home with nothing but fondness.

"I spent many memorable and happy days with them," he said.

Quahe recounts that he was even welcome to sit in on the family's religious lessons studying the Quran.

"Ever since then we have been blessed with a lifelong friendship spanning 52 years now. To this day, I a pastor, am welcomed in this home as family," he added.

Leslie Quahe (left) and his friend Iqbal Jumabhoy (right).

Image via Facebook

Quahe dedicated the post to the victims of the Christchurch and Sri Lanka terrorist attacks, adding that, "We can live and embrace one another if we teach our children to be friends and not enemies."

In response to the heartwarming story, netizens expressed their agreement with the pastor's message about embracing diversity in friendships

Image via Facebook
Image via Facebook

Facebook users also applauded Iqbal's mother for choosing to educate the young boy through love and respect rather than by giving punishments.

"Such a wise woman. She must have known that they would become brothers," a netizen commented.

Image via Facebook

Read the full Facebook post here:

What an inspiring story about a beautiful friendship <3

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