Tolerance ends when harm begins. In a society where there are so many vices perpetrated vengeance is a recipe for the actions. And tolerance is unwarranted. To violate the people's basic rights and deprive them of their fundamental rights has become rampant in the society. The question that lingers in our minds is that what the limits of tolerance are when our people are murdered in broad day light. What are the principles that we should allow to prevail? Should we respond to such heinous acts with tolerance?
Buruma's The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance is about a Dutch film director who was murdered by an Islamist militant in a carefully intended murder. This book presents a clear understanding of religious conflicts and whether the society should tolerate them. On the other hand, the message that emanates Todorov's 'The Fear of Barbarians' is selective through historical eons as well as intellectual discipline. It suppresses our personal feelings and also reinforces the fear of Islamic barbarism. The two texts clearly provoke the thought of whether toleration is the right answer to religious conflicts (Todorov, 2010).
In Europe, religious conflict is eminent. Several oppositions have emerged to go against the principal. Come to think of minarets being banned in Switzerland and the end results is its spread to Italy, Germany, and beyond. Come to think of the veil saga. The French politicians have been preoccupied by this connotation for several decades now. The essense is that the religious minorities as well as majorities call for a response with crusades against the worldly societies.
Religuous conflicts are not new in the society. Todorov in his book 'The Fear of Barbarians' tends to incline to the uncouth practices of the Islamic culture. His book categorically illustrate that Islam is culturally backward and also a religion of war and atrocities. The way he postulate the murder is shockingly outrageous. Gunmen who are affiliated with the Al Qaeda terror group massacred over fifty eight Christians worshipers in Baghdad. They were in a Catholic church at that point when they fell in the trap of the terror group. A statement they made while murdering the worshipers was, Were going to heaven, and youre going to hell. (Todorov, 2010). It sparks a sense of religious conflict between the Christians and the Muslims. Incidences like this one is a manifestation of what conspires in our society today. They can tempt and confuse the mind to think that all conflicts in the middle-east are part of historical religious conflicts. In The Fear of Barbarians, Tzvetan Todorov, a Franco-Bulgarian scholar, sets a challenging stage for this perspective. Todorov puts forth a convincing defense that the West's inclination to see a solid Islam advances fear that hinders American key interests and violates democratic values qualities. Regardless of the possibility that his book might be difficult to gauge, He offers a unique point of view on Western relations with the Islamic world.
From Todorov's point of view, a civilized individual is one who respects humanity and respects other peoples religious affiliations. Achieving a level of tolerance is a recipe for establishing interpersonal connections required for a peaceful coexistence of a society. Just like Todorov, it is fundamental to classify heinous acts such as genocide torture, and murder as uncouth and can lead to immense atrocities that fuel divisions among various religious groups. Another, perspective is the aspect of awakening the realism of tolerance, equality and empathy instead of perpetuating the emphasis of culture and tradition.
Ian Buruma has another point of view. In his book Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance (Buruma, 2014). There are two incidences of murder. In both of the murders, they present a confrontation of highly pitched atrocity that could have resulted as sense of belonging and status-Dutch specialty.
The murder of film director Theo Gogh in the year 2004 polarized a divide between individuals from the Muslim group and Dutch people around the thought that the qualities were imperiled by another barbarism. In the Dutch public discussion, Muslims living in Holland were depicted as executing "medieval" perspectives that wickedness act debilitated "disintegration" of enlightenment qualities ruled Dutch political discourse after the killing of Pim, Theoas well as the demise of Andre Fogs. He described them as three saints. Their funerals created a public outrcy again particularly among the religious and populists whose sentimentalities revealed a discomfort in Dutch society. In the meantime, Islam turned into the substitute whereupon all deviances and blames were pointed. The funerals discharged mainstream emotions that crossed classes and political loyalties. Not just did the funerals produce "mass hysteria" as Buruma saw in Fortyun's case; but it also permitted the expression of anti-immigrant discourse that were described as xenophobic (Buruma, 2014).
To conclude, the crises caused by atrocities that are perpetuated by the religious conflicts are immense and needs redress in our society. In my opinion, tolerance should not be a serum for religious conflicts. However, in extreme cases where peace is required, differences should be embraced among the political divides, religious divides and cultural differences. If more people are pushed into the Islamist revolutions, more divisions would be experienced. It is prudent for societies to intergrate and encourage peaceful coexistence. This is the ultimate hope.
Todorov, T. (2010). The fear of barbarians. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Buruma, I. (2014). Murder in Amsterdam. New York: Penguin Books.
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