Tag Archives: tolerance

Disgusted: Paris and More

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Sometimes, it takes an event like the terrorist attacks in Paris to make people think about how completely screwed up the world is today. Paris is a reminder that this kind of thing is happening in many parts of the world. It’s not the deadliest attack by a long way, but it is very high profile, and it happened in a country where people should be safe. If it can happen in Paris, it can happen anywhere.

People are complaining that this is getting a lot of media attention while the attacks in Lebanon, Palestine, and Africa are getting little attention. The problem is, it’s always happening in those places, and we’ve become desensitized to it. When it happens in a place like Paris, everyone notices. But whether it happens in Beirut, Lagos, or Paris, all of the lives that were lost matter.

Look at the deaths due to terrorist attacks so far in November:

  • West Bank: 5
  • Somalia: 12
  • Egypt: 3
  • Lebanon: 48
  • Iraq: 31
  • Chad: 3
  • Cameroon: 4
  • France: 128+

These numbers don’t include the terrorists, only the victims. But look at October:

  • Philippines: 4
  • West Bank: 2
  • Turkey: 106
  • Australia: 1
  • Nigeria: 98
  • East Jerusalem: 5
  • Niger: 8
  • Iraq: 64
  • Yemen: 7
  • Israel: 3
  • Chad: 38
  • Cameroon: 9
  • Saudi Arabia: 7
  • Pakistan: 33
  • Bangladesh: 2
  • Afghanistan: 6
  • Egypt: 224

Really disgusting. I’m feeling pretty speechless by all of this.  It’s hard to put into words how I’m feeling.

I just wish they would stop. These acts of terrorism are done by people who have no compassion, no sense of what being human is. They have no capacity to understand people who are different than them.

And then I hear about people saying we should shut out all the Syrian refugees. That’s not going to help anything. More than anything, it’ll create even more resentment by the refugees, and will breed more violence. These people are running for their lives, running from the very same terrorists that want to destroy western civilisation. You know who most of the victims of terrorism are? Muslims. Most of this is Muslim on Muslim violence. And those terrorists are extremists. They represent such a small percentage of the population that they do not represent everyone. I know Muslims who are wonderful people.

What I can’t stand is people who are willing to discriminate against the majority of Muslims who are good people just to try to keep out extremists and terrorists. That won’t work. And I really can’t stand people who will tell Canadian Muslims to get out of our country when those very Muslims want nothing but to live their lives in peace.

Going to the even more extreme are the people who want to stop immigration altogether. Two of my grandparents were immigrants. My wife will be an immigrant. I won’t stand for that. Especially from people I know.

All I want is for people to stop their idiotic fighting and try to get along. If you can’t get along, then just don’t talk to each other and keep to yourselves. There’s no need to bother others and impose your set of beliefs on everyone. Obey the laws of the country you live in. Don’t try to impose your religious or personal beliefs on the government of the country you live in. Respect the law, and respect others’ rights to live their lives peacefully within the law. It’s actually a very easy thing to do. I don’t know why people have to make it so difficult.

This isn’t all about France, of course. This is about everyone. I long for a peaceful world where everyone can live without fearing who’s going to hate them for religious or cultural reasons. It’s a cycle that just keeps going and going. It never ends, does it?

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In Support of a Muslim Friend

I have a friend that I went to high school with who practices Islam. Actually, I’ve known her since we were nine years old. She wasn’t always Islamic, but converted as a young adult. She is Islamic, as are her husband and children.

Some people have been posting anti-Islamic posts, and she has seen them. They are friends of hers that are doing this. So, if they are against Islam, then they are against their friend.  My friend.  Someone I have known for nearly thirty years. Someone who is an honest person. Someone who is childcare specialist, and does a damn good job at it. Someone who is a Canadian. So, I say to those friends of hers, “If you’re against Muslims, then are you against your friend?”

I know, I know, you’ll probably say, “But she’s different.” How? How is she different? I hope you realise that the vast majority of Muslims in Canada are good people. And they are Canadian. They have every right to vote, to voice their opinions about how the country is governed, and to live peacefully with their neighbours. Want to know what’s great about Canada? Tolerance, acceptance, politeness, kindness. Sure, there are some who are none of those, but that happens in every country. And you know what else? Every Muslim I have met in my life has been a kind, generous, and all around wonderful person.

Muslims aren’t scary people who are trying to blow you up. The Muslims who are doing that are extremists. There are also Christian extremists who want to kill gay people. They’re a fringe. They’re not the majority. The vast majority of Muslims, Christians, whatever, are good people.

So, to my friend, you’ve got me, an atheist, to back you up. Religion doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is the person. And you are a great person. When it all comes down to it, most of us are just people who want to live a good life and make our communities better.

I wish others would think about this. Maybe I’ve changed someone’s mind. I hope so. We need more tolerance in this world. It’s something we’re lacking.

Addressing Concerns and Getting Involved

This week on the writing course I’m taking, there was an assignment asking us to make a list of things that concern us.  These can often be a good source of material to write about.  But I wanted to look at this a bit differently.

I was never much of an activist when I was younger.  I guess I’m still not very actively an activist now, either.  However, there are some things I’m concerned about that I wish I could make a difference with.  And I do plan on doing some things to help.  I think it’s important to be more active with our world.

The Environment

Climate change, pollution, deforestation, desertification, and other environmental problems are a major concern of mine.  These issues are being taken care of at such a slow pace that at this rate they’ll never improve.

Some things that can be done include recycling, walking or riding a bicycle instead of driving (or taking public transit), volunteering to clean up a local park or your neighbourhood, buying a hybrid car, installing solar panels, and more.  Even planting a few extra plants and trees around your home could help reduce carbon dioxide, even if it is a tiny amount.  If more people did these kinds of things, carbon dioxide emissions would decrease, landfills wouldn’t fill up so quickly, we’d use less oil, and have a smaller reliance on fossil fuels for electricity (this doesn’t apply for people whose power is derived from renewable resources).

Governments should get involved, too.  They can encourage people to do the above, but also put more money into researching alternative fuels, protecting forests, cutting back on waste, and more.

Science Education

It seems to me that science has become a bit unpopular in some countries.  Unfortunately, science is what’s needed for health, engineering, agriculture, and more.  There’s been a dangerous trend of not getting children vaccinated, resulting in an increase in measles and pertussis, both of which can be fatal in infants.  People are also very uneducated about climate change and evolution because of some aspects of organised religion.  It seems I read about some state in the US trying to deny these sciences even exist, and want to alter them in their schools’ textbooks.  That’s a disservice to children.

People and governments need to be more educated about science.  It’s extremely important.  Without a proper science education, a country get fall behind, have less innovation, and in the end, be less productive.  Take an interest in science.  I know I’ll be showing my daughter how wonderful and enjoyable it is.

Political Childishness

That’s how I describe politics.  It’s nothing but little children squabbling.  I can’t believe how some leaders behave, not caring about the welfare of their own people, more concerned about lining their own pockets and living luxuriously.

My advice is for governments to grow up.  Start accepting responsibility and act like adults.  Treat people fairly, treat other countries fairly, and stop being the little brats you are.  Some of you world leaders make me sick.

Equality

Everyone should be equal.  Racial equality is still not there yet.  In many countries, there are still problems.  Gender equality isn’t there yet, either.  There are still problems with income, education, and basic rights for women.  They should be equal.  Homosexuality shouldn’t be an issue, either.  It’s today’s civil rights movement.  Gay men should be able to marry.  Lesbians should be able to marry.  What’s the big deal?  I can’t understand why so many people feel they have the right to dictate how gay people can live their lives.  They just want to live with the person they love.  Gay marriage won’t destroy traditional marriage.  Actually, it’s the straight people who act like asses towards their spouses that are ruining traditional marriage.  I wouldn’t be surprised if gay marriage was more stable and healthy.  And finally, religious equality.  There should be no favouritism for a certain religion.  There’s a lot of discrimination against minority religions, as well as the non-religious in many countries.  Religion shouldn’t dictate laws, either.  When religion starts dictating laws, that’s when intolerance against other religions begins in the realm of law enforcement.  Just recently, a Christian woman was sentence to death for simply being Christian when her father was Muslim.  Ridiculous.

Many of these issues are nothing new to most of you.  They’re constantly being talked about in the news.  I guess this all boils down to people being better than they are.  People need to be better to the Earth, other nations, and other people.  I don’t like what I see going on in the world, but it seems that this kind of thing has always been happening.  Are humans just selfish, stupid, arrogant animals?  It seems that way.  I think we can be better.

I will teach my daughter how beautiful the world is.  She will spend time in nature, looking at animals and plants.  She’ll also learn about different cultures, and how different people can be unique.  She’ll learn to be tolerant of others, whether it’s based on religion, race, gender, or sexual preference.  She’ll also see how important science is for the world to improve.  Even though she’s only two years old, she already understands it’s polite to say “please” and “thank you” and to apologise when she hurt someone.  I will teach her a lot more.

I hope a lot of you are trying to make the world a better place.