Refugee ban simply religious intolerance

Published 9:27 pm Friday, February 3, 2017

To the editor:

In an age of multiculturalism, pluralism and global ecumenism, religious intolerance and ethnic profiling are morally reprehensible, and they have virulent effects on our citizenry.

The crass executive order issued by Mr. Trump on Jan. 27 to temporarily ban refugees from entering America is a display of moral and civic ineptitude, at best, and does not reflect the intrinsic values of American culture.

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Our nation is composed of a mélange of individuals who accentuate what it means to coexist interdependently in a way such that various cultures, beliefs, ideologies and practices are both valued and protected.

Relegating individuals to their religious identity or ethnicity — and thereby homologizing entire groups of people based upon the actions of a few marginal extremists — further re-inscribes pre-existing fear in the public consciousness and fractures the life of the republic.
It is quintessential, then, for us to understand that not all Muslims or refugees are radical extremists, in the same way not all white Christian men are Ku Klux Klan terrorists. Making such a distinction is paramount to our analysis and the way in which we engage religious indifference.

To project our embedded theologies, predisposed fright, or malformed socio-political opinions onto an enclave of people and “other-ize” them as a result is to undermine the diverse profundity of the human family.

Operating under such assumptions about the “other” is asinine and a misconception that must be deconstructed in public and political discourses. The erasure of a concentrated demographic is corrosive to fabric and tapestry of our democracy, and attends to a fascist politicized agenda.

Hence, it is incumbent upon political leaders, and citizens alike, to disrupt such myopic assertions, repudiate categorical reductionism, and work towards co-creating a peaceful ecosystem inhabited by compassionate cosmopolitans.

Winford K. Rice Jr.