Southern Highland News Editorial
Tolerance must reign supreme for peace to have a permanent place on Earth
In the space of 40 minutes a handful of radicals turned the United States of America and many of its peace-loving allies on their heads.
The sight of commercial airliners hurtling towards a set of skyscrapers will be permanently etched into the minds of those who witnessed the drama live, or soon after.
One of the lessons to be learned from the carnage of September 11 was the need for tolerance. Regardless of their religious or ethnic backgrounds, the perpetrators of the US terrorist attacks demonstrated no tolerance for those innocent victims who fell prey to their dastardly act.
It seems that religion and ethnicity have forged a wedge between sections of many communities, including Australia.
Which is why it’s disappointing some councillors have objected to members of Bahai faith addressing Wingecarribee Shire Council.
One councillor has mounted the case for his opposition to Bahai’s links to Islam. Is he suggesting that all Muslims – especially the hundreds of thousands living in Australia – are anything but law-abiding, peaceful citizens. Or perhaps omly Christians have a mortgage on such a serene existence.
Another councillor argues that Bahai doesn’t represent the majority of Australians. Should that then prevent members of that faith expressing their views in a public forum?
Council is representative of all ratepayers, including members of the Islam and Bahai faiths.
Just as Christian followers are able to address council, so should Bahai follows be able to extend a message for world peace.
To suggest otherwise is to display a brand of intolerance that stains the very fabric on which Australia’s great democratic nationhood is built.
We should all embrace tolerance and understanding, for it is what separate us from the evil nature of those who wreaked their havoc on September 11.
©Copyright 2002, Southern Highland News (Australia)