Religion is keeping us all divided
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