The Trouble With Tolerance

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BlackOpal
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Post by BlackOpal » Thu 22nd Mar 2007

Okay, so there is a big issue in Canada right now. A girl wore her headdress to a soccer tournament in Quebec and got kicked out because it was a type of hat, and a health hazard, but she isn't supposed to take it off. Should she be allowed to wear it?
There's also the difficulties with some Arabian culture. When they become older, they have to wear a kapan, which is a sword, on their belt. The sword is sewn into the sheath, so it cannot be used as a weapon, but several schools wish to ban it, because they want a strict no weapons policy. An odd fact is, that random schools in Canada have been allowing people to carry these swords for a hundred years, and they have never been used violently.
Another example is when there was a Muslim place of worship across from a YMCA. The YMCA had people working out in their window, and the Muslims asked them to cover it up. The YMCA refused. It is odd, because in that case it was the minority who were being intolerant.
Tolerance is a tricky, tricky thing. We can only be so tolerant without giving people special privileges. And occasionally, tolerance becomes insulting.
A teacher on a radio show was talking about, in his first day of work there were six African-Canadian students in his class. He was asking all of the children about their summers and none of the A-Cs were answering. So he said, "Would someone who's African-American in this class tell me about their summer?" Well, they didn't appreciate this. While he was not discriminating against them, he was singling them out because of their race. Should he have done this? Or is it not a big deal, I mean, it is a fact of life that they are who they are, and addressing it does not change anything.
This probably won't be a heated debate as much as a discussion, but how much should people tolerate when it comes to religion, and race? Their customs seem dangerous, or may be against the rules of a certain organization, how much do we bend the rules for them?
If anybody else has a story about not being allowed to do something that was their religion, please say so.
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Post by no. 1 » Fri 23rd Mar 2007

Hmm, trouble, trouble, trouble. Truly, there has to be a truce, a middle ground. If people are going to migrate to another country, or convert to another religion when the law restricts some of the rights of that religion, then they have to be able to bend a little to be able to accomodate these rules. They have to accept that they have to respect the law first. Like it or not, it's the law that will hold cultrully diverse countries together. I say, the law first, then religion and custom. It's up to the law to decide what's acceptible within the different cultures, and up to people to understand that this unifies them and if they want to live here they want to live, then they have to abide by it. Otherwise, we'd have a whole turf war, even from suburb to suburb. Tolerating others enough to slightly change yourself is true tolerance, as then we can live in harmony without suggesting there should be some kind of heirarchy.

About the african-american kids, well, weren't they actually african-canadian? I know I would be a little offended if someone called me english. I think that it's ok to call someone as a title, but to single you out when you may be a bit shy, well, that's harsh.
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Post by domovoihappy » Fri 23rd Mar 2007

I wear a head scarf/bandana because I'm Russian Orthodox Christian..when I first went to high school I had some trouble with the teachers trying to adhere to the rules, and not understanding why I wore it..

But, my dad went to the school and pretty much settled it. I didn't have much trouble after that.

In America, you get religious exemption for a lot of things...I was allowed to wear my bandana when i got my license picture taken for example.

But, my dad went to the school and pretty much settled it. I didn't have much trouble after that.

But, yes tolerance can be tricky. My grandmother is tolerant and accepting of nearly everything this new age has to offer. She's a hard core liberal. But, one thing she can not tolerate is my faith. She makes fun of the services and prayers and traditions, things that are important to me. And she bashes it every chance she gets. She contradicts herself. I guess she's tolerant of everything and everyone as long as they feel the same and are just as tolerant as she pretends to be.

I don't think tolerance is so great in the big picture. I don't think you have to accept the way everybody else chooses to live. I'm not saying you should lock up everyone that doesn't share the same ideas as you...I think it's just natural that if someone has strong convictions and standards, they should have to give those up just because someone else feels differently.

But, if it doesn't hurt you, like BlackOpal's example of the headdress, I don't see the problem . Their choices don't seem to make big impacts in the morality and direction of the country, but it does in their personal lives, so what's the big deal?

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Post by MichaelM » Fri 23rd Mar 2007

I don't really have a lot of sympathy for some of those customs. For instance, the soccer match. She doesn't want to take her headdress? Fine. But she can't go to the match then. She can choose which she would rather do, but she can't do both. ^_^

And carrying knives is ridiculous I think. It's nothing to do with the heritage, it's simply not safe. And aside from that, how many people could get away with carrying knives that way, if they pretended to be a part of that religion?

There is so much diversity in western countries nowadays, I think the law should prevail as well. Like no.1 said, all should have to adapt their customs to the law, if their customs could be dangerous. (Granted, not all customs are dangerous. Like the headdresses are fine I think, if the ones wearing them realise that there will be certain places they simply aren't allowed into anymore)
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Post by BlackOpal » Fri 23rd Mar 2007

And carrying knives is ridiculous I think. It's nothing to do with the heritage, it's simply not safe. And aside from that, how many people could get away with carrying knives that way, if they pretended to be a part of that religion?

They need papers, I think, to allow that. And the swords can't be used, not as in aren't allowed to be used, they don't have the ability to be drawn, they're sewn in.

I just read about this law in a place in France, where people are not allowed to wear any religious things in public, such as turbans. It is supposed to promote equality. Does anybody else see hypocrisy in that law? I mean, it is basically saying, you are equal, but only if you don't do anything odd, and are exactly like everybody else.
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Post by Aphrodite » Fri 23rd Mar 2007

How in the name of Frond is a hat seen as a health hazard????
I think the French law is really stupid, remember a couple of years ago when it was really "in" to wear crosses? Everyone wore sparkly earings and necklaces with crosses on them, they would be banned in France now because they are a symbol of Christianity. (N.B! I never wore them I thought they were a bit tacky!!!)
People should be allowed to wear whatever they want, I think! I don't see why Muslim girls and women should be forced to wear the scarf things, but if they want to, why not??? It's not harming us in anyway is it???
But the sword thing is a bit extreme. I think, it's a bit obvious why you shouldn't be allowed to go around with a knife or sword in public.
I don't know what YMCA is, could you please explain???
Well if the African Canadian children weren't anwsering, the teacher had to say something to that particular group of people and that's what he said. He could maybe have put it a bit more tactfully, but I really can't see that he did anything wrong. The children were disobeying the teacher.
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Post by BlackOpal » Fri 23rd Mar 2007

I don't know what YMCA is, could you please explain???


It's the Young Men's Christian Association, they used to be about church, but now it is a place for day camps, gym workouts, all sorts of activities.
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Post by Aphrodite » Fri 23rd Mar 2007

Right, thanks Black Opal. Whichever was there first should have to change, I think.
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Post by BlackOpal » Fri 23rd Mar 2007

I don't think either should have to change, I think that even though they didn't like the window, they should be tolerant and deal with it, instead of trying to make the gym occupants make them do what they think is right.

Also, is trying to convert somebody a lack of tolerance? Like, my dad tells me not to preach Vegetarianism to people, because it is imposing my beliefs on others, but I think that if you think you are right, it is only natural to try to get people to see your way. I mean, being insistent and not letting somebody alone is one thing, but just telling them your side of the story is another. And telling somebody that they can't talk about their beliefs is being intolerant as well.
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Post by MichaelM » Sat 24th Mar 2007

BlackOpal wrote:
And carrying knives is ridiculous I think. It's nothing to do with the heritage, it's simply not safe. And aside from that, how many people could get away with carrying knives that way, if they pretended to be a part of that religion?

They need papers, I think, to allow that. And the swords can't be used, not as in aren't allowed to be used, they don't have the ability to be drawn, they're sewn in.

But how hard would that be to fake? I mean, the police won't demand papers on the spot, from every person they see in this attire.

And sewing it in doesn't stop it from being used. One good tug... :(


I just wouldn't feel comfortable knowing that the guy on the other side of the bus is carring a knife in plain sight... :(
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Post by TomRK1089 » Sat 24th Mar 2007

I'd say you really have to go on a case-by-case basis. For the clothing and apparel -- will it harm anyone else? Likely not. The swords? Perhaps. As others have said, though we want to be tolerant, we can't merely make exceptions to laws with sound reasoning behind them.

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Post by BlackOpal » Sat 24th Mar 2007

MichaelM wrote:
BlackOpal wrote:
And carrying knives is ridiculous I think. It's nothing to do with the heritage, it's simply not safe. And aside from that, how many people could get away with carrying knives that way, if they pretended to be a part of that religion?

They need papers, I think, to allow that. And the swords can't be used, not as in aren't allowed to be used, they don't have the ability to be drawn, they're sewn in.

But how hard would that be to fake? I mean, the police won't demand papers on the spot, from every person they see in this attire.

And sewing it in doesn't stop it from being used. One good tug... :(


I just wouldn't feel comfortable knowing that the guy on the other side of the bus is carring a knife in plain sight... :(

Well, actually, they're dull, and sometimes even plastic. They aren't designed to cut anything, one good tug wouldn't get the sword out. It would take another knife completely.
And when you are in school, I'm think they'd get the papers, then inform all of the teachers so they don't force them to take it off.

Though I do see the No Swords thing, I just feel bad, because they have to give up a big part of themselves to go to school.
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Post by no. 1 » Sat 24th Mar 2007

BlackOpal wrote:
MichaelM wrote:
BlackOpal wrote:
And carrying knives is ridiculous I think. It's nothing to do with the heritage, it's simply not safe. And aside from that, how many people could get away with carrying knives that way, if they pretended to be a part of that religion?

They need papers, I think, to allow that. And the swords can't be used, not as in aren't allowed to be used, they don't have the ability to be drawn, they're sewn in.

But how hard would that be to fake? I mean, the police won't demand papers on the spot, from every person they see in this attire.

And sewing it in doesn't stop it from being used. One good tug... :(


I just wouldn't feel comfortable knowing that the guy on the other side of the bus is carring a knife in plain sight... :(

Well, actually, they're dull, and sometimes even plastic. They aren't designed to cut anything, one good tug wouldn't get the sword out. It would take another knife completely.
And when you are in school, I'm think they'd get the papers, then inform all of the teachers so they don't force them to take it off.

Though I do see the No Swords thing, I just feel bad, because they have to give up a big part of themselves to go to school.

But shouldn't it be ok if they're plastic? As long as they realise that in order to live where they live, it has to be plastic, and they have to be subject to inspection with papers and stuff, then I don't see a problem with that. There's no law against plastic.
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Post by MichaelM » Sun 25th Mar 2007

Hmmm..... did the 9/11 hijackers not use plastic knives? :unsure:

And I don't mean about inside schools just. Think of being out in public. Anyone could buy the attire they wear, and hang a knife in their belt. Are you really going to walk up to them and ask for their papers? Or check their stitching?


And of course, there are other religious dress codes which can be problematic. For instance, head dresses that only cover the back/top of your head aren't usually too bad, but the ones that cover your whole face, bar the eyes are a huge security problem. It could literally be ANYONE under the headdress. Should that be allowed, even when it means that criminal can evade the police (Unrecognisable), pedophiles can get into schools (By pretending to be parents) and photographic ID becomes obsolete? :unsure:

no.1 - I agree that it should be ****ysed on a case-by-case basic, but the problem with that is that each group that gets restrained then starts up the usual "Racism/Prejudice/Discrimination" rubbish. I think that's why France chose to ban all religious insignia. It showed that they weren't doing this to annoy any particular group. It was to help. :(
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Post by Athena » Sun 25th Mar 2007

It could really cause some problems if only sertian religious garments where banned.. People would deffinutly think they where biased.
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