Religious Censorship Fuels Inequality and Otherness

2728 WordsJun 15, 201811 Pages
Tolerance is accepted as an essential part of developing a harmonious community, but tolerance and censorship are not entirely the same thing. While tolerance is defined by the OED as "the disposition to be patient with or indulgent to the opinions or practices of others; freedom from bigotry or undue severity in judging the conduct of others," and implies a personal decision to accept the differences of others, censorship is defined as "official supervision; control" by the OED which revokes personal responsiblity and places it on another entity than the self. Too often is it simply accepted that the successful implementation of tolerance requires censorship to also exist, and while this may be true in some cases such as the act of…show more content…
By viewing other religious groups as others, the humanity of these people is lost. The government and media have a very important role in how other religions are perceived. There are "no problems of free speech," claims author Ursula Owen in reference to Britain, "just a mass of disinformation and abandonment of the responsiblity, by press and politicians to inform the public" (Owen 1). Ursula Owen questions whether the reports provided by the media really do inform citizens properly about specific religious groups. Often news stories seem to strengthen stereotypes rather than deliver a true understanding of cultural norms. For example, Muslims are protrayed as violent and misogynistic when another story surfaces about what is potentially just a localized incident (Owen 1). Is the media "part of the problem or part of the solution [...] How are concepts of culture and identity being represented? How does hate speech manifest itself in the media? How is religious intolerance being reported? How is the media reflecting the contentious debates and arguments about the place of free expression itself?" (Owen 1). The selective control of the media is a type of censorship that undoubtedly creates a sense of otherness. "Conservative politicians and media commentators have skillfully used concern about

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