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BRITAIN HAILS HYPOCRISY

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Religious freedom.
Multi-cultural society.
The above words are terminology which are used time and time again to define our British society, and yet time and time again it transpires that indeed our society ultimately don’t deserve the satisfaction of projecting a harmonious and united image that actually accounts for little reality. The friction between opposing cultural and religious values is visibly apparent in my hometown. I am more than aware of the fact that in comparison to other civilisations and cities worldwide we are by all means ahead in the rat race towards the ever-important prize of bridging the gaps where divisions so naturally lie, but I am also aware tbat we are fundamentally smoothing over the cracks of our broken society by ignoring the cracks altogether. I may not know much, but that sounds awfully stupid to me.

One imperative issue I feel is the lack of awareness and thus empathy for other religious and cultural values. Of course there is compulsory religious education stemming through the curriculum, but it obviously seems to be doing very little in terms of broadening minds. I know this for a fact because I am surrounded on a daily basis by individuals of a well reputed academy and yet I have heard astoundingly ignorant comments thrown around commonly, implying that perhaps we know a lot less than we ought to. It seems that people are so consumed in their own beliefs, they forget to acknowledge or respect the diversity that is encouraged.

We spend most of our primary school education in specific faith assemblies, learning more about our traditional cultures, which by all means is excellent since most people who straddle English culture and foreign cultures (like me, for example). I found faith assemblies particularly useful because I gained understanding about my faith that I hadn’t been actively taught at home or by my family with much assertion, but retrospectively speaking, I realise that I only ever heard about other faiths with more emphasis when impending events such as Easter, Christmas and Eid were around. Being genuinely interested, I read up on a lot of faiths and beliefs since then because I wanted to, but what about the other poor ignorant fellows who didn’t and continue not to share the same initiative? Do people recognise the purpose of certain attire, for instance, the symbolisation of the Sikh turban or the Burka in Islamic cultures? I can understand the blissful ignorance which fuels the many blank minds of racial culprits, and with no interest in the topic at hand, there isn’t going to be any progress made. The attitude appears to consist of, ‘I will care for my own people and I have little/no regard for your beliefs’. Allowing people of different ethnicities and cultures to enter and reside in our country is one step towards progress in multiculturalism, but then allowing for these same people to be submitted to inferior treatment as a result of the fact they wish to practice their religion or faith is hypocrisy at its peak. We need to take action!



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