Re­li­gion is keep­ing us all di­vided

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Kanti Makan

SAB­RINA Essa calls out the “so­cial me­dia closet racists” in her well-bal­anced ar­ti­cle in The Star’s com­ment sec­tion of De­cem­ber 30.

She says: “Racists, your dis­crim­i­na­tory be­hav­iour by way of race, sex­ism, misog­yny and big­otry are ab­so­lutely un­ac­cept­able.” How­ever, she should have gone fur­ther by ad­dress­ing racism and sep­a­ra­tion of peo­ple in other as­pects of our daily lives.

In ad­di­tion to sep­a­ra­tion of peo­ple by skin colour, there are the in­sid­i­ous dis­tinc­tions made by casteism (pri­mar­ily in the Hindu com­mu­nity), re­li­gions, trib­al­ism and ide­olo­gies such as lib­er­al­ism ver­sus con­ser­vatism and cap­i­tal­ism ver­sus com­mu­nism.

While some of these dis­tinc­tions may seem in­nocu­ous and are ac­cepted and pro­moted un­der the rubric of var­i­ous free­doms, they ad­vance and per­pet­u­ate un­ten­able dis­tinc­tions purely on the ba­sis of ex­clud­ing “the other”. These seg­re­ga­tions are man­i­fested via our dif­fer­ent houses of wor­ship, dis­tinct cloth­ing, wear­ing re­li­gious arte­facts that iden­tify us with one group of be­liev­ers and the cel­e­bra­tion of “holy” days that again in­di­rectly ei­ther ex­clude oth­ers or as­sert that re­li­gion’s su­pe­ri­or­ity.

Fur­ther­more, we revel in such dis­tinc­tions with­out even con­sid­er­ing if these same be­hav­iours were based on colour, gen­der or hand­i­caps, we would find them wor­thy of con­dem­na­tion. These dis­tinc­tions are so in­grained in us we go through life with­out giv­ing them much thought.

The dawn of a new day will cer­tainly be­gin when we can put aside all our dif­fer­ences and in­deed not judge peo­ple by the con­tent of their char­ac­ter nor by the colour of their skin or their ide­olo­gies. Pre­to­ria

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.