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Thursday, October 11, 2007


This news (click here) made me think about limits of freedom and multiculturalism. For me it was shocking when I read: “Some Muslim medical students are refusing to attend lectures or answer exam questions on alcohol-related or sexually transmitted diseases because they claim it offends their religious beliefs.

This is nonsense. If people feel that they can not do some particular part of a job because of religious beliefs then he or she should quit. I don’t know how people feel at ease to even ask if they can complete the course without taking this lectures or exams. But the worst was the fact that “Sainsbury’s is permitting Muslim checkout operators to refuse to handle customers’ alcohol purchases on religious grounds”. This for me is going too far and is extremely dangerous.

First, if someone is so religious to the point that it does not touch a bottle of wine (for example) then it should also be that strong in terms of not working there. It has the choice, but it can not force his beliefs on others. For me it is a lame excuse for not working, nothing more. It has no grounds to support such action, or even allow it in a company.

Second, there are limits to freedom and to the notion of multiculturalism. For me it is not multiculturalism to endorse such actions, not from the company and not for the costumers. It is the promotion of an attitude that it is not in our common values. People shouldn’t forget that we live in a part of the world where discrimination is a crime. Those people are using the “discrimination factor” only in one way. The reality is that by fearing to be viewed as discriminators we are allowing other people to discriminate.

I don’t know where people got the notion that they can wear a Burka on the street (I am against) but they are allowed to refuse to handle customers’ alcohol purchases.

In general the message that we are giving everybody is that is ok to become more radical, to loose values that were so dear to us. I don’t know if it is out of fear or belief in radical multiculturalism but either way is wrong. People should be free to have their religion beliefs but it should be an inner choice and not a social choice. By endorsing this attitudes we are promoting religion to enter the social area, a place that we thought it had left a long time ago.

The only reason that I think this is allowed is because of our eternal pride and belief of our moral superiority. Imagine that you live in a country where you couldn’t buy something because you are homosexual, and it is a common religious belief to be against sexual promiscuity, do you really endorse such an attitude?

I am just sorry that I am not a Sainsbury’s customer. If I was I would stop being as a protest against their acceptance of discrimination of customers. And I really think you should do the same!!!

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