Sectarianism: a social cancer

How ethnic and religious “labeling” is destroying the Middle East and menacing the whole world

As we watch bewildered the fantastic technological advancements in the world we also see the barbaric reflexes of our still primitive nature. It’s absolutely paradoxical to put a man on the moon and still kill each other because of religion or ideology. The rise of groups like

ISIS, recruiting people from many western countries shows how far behind we are regarding tolerance and coexistence.

Before, the worst sectarian conflicts were restricted to the Middle East region, but today we see them infecting the whole world as a social cancer. Unfortunately, the middle eastern “patient” is in a terminal condition and will die very soon if noting is done. As if it was possible the situation in the region to get any worse, some might question. The answer is a rotund “yes”!

Before the so-called “globalization”, nations could live almost independently as “social islands”. Currently, that behavior became more and more difficult. The most closed and solid regimes are getting more and more poriferous of the novelties from the “free” world. Naturally, the internet has a considerable share on this process of penetrating the once inexpugnable system.  The politicians and the religious leaders must fill the gaps creating legal systems where everyone is the same, regardless of any label.

Religions and ideologies are an important part of our individuality and shall be preserved as inalienable rights. However, when those transpire to the political and legal establishment, that’s when there are problems.

In a recent article on the Aljazeera’s website, the award winning Egyptian-Belgian journalist Khaleb Diab wrote an opinion article called: “Diversity in disunity in the Middle East -The practice of assigning a faith to every citizen promotes division and sectarianism” and he finishes the piece saying:

It is time for Middle Eastern countries to remove all mention of religious and sectarian affiliation from official documents, and to abolish religious family courts.

This would not only be good for the freedom of belief – not to mention love and the equality of citizens – it would also reinforce a sense of common national identity among communities within a country, promoting a sense of unity in diversity.”

We share this opinion. We shall never forget that before everything and anything we are human beings all sharing the same small planet. Sadly, sometimes the labels make us to forget this paramount and self-evident truth.

 

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