Forced tolerance worked, but worth the cost?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Si modo, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    There's a good thought provoking discussion going on in the France/Burqa thread and it got me thinking about something - a little country called Albania.

    Albania was a communist nation from the end of WWII until 1992, so there are a few generations of Albanians for whom communism was a normal way of life.

    Albania's demographics include a significant Muslim population:
    Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%

    note: percentages are estimates; there are no available current statistics on religious affiliation; all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice​

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/al.html

    During the communist rule, it was illegal for Albanians to express their religion. It was even illegal for Albanians to name their children names that have a religious origin (ie. David, Catherine, Joseph, Muhammed, etc. were not allowed as names for one's offspring). I don't have a source for that, just my experience with Albanian nationals. Theoretically, the communists mandated this to prevent divisiveness among the citzenry.

    Today, we see a country with significant Muslim and Christian populations getting along quite well together. There were a couple of generations who were not free to practice and express their religions. Now, they coexist quite well with each other, likely because of the suppression of religion.

    I am not advocating taking away religious freedoms at all. But I find it interesting that such religious oppression worked at keeping religious divisiveness to a minimum even after the communism is gone.

    Having religious fundamentalists get along is not an easy task. One can force them to with an iron fist, as happened in Albania; or one can allow that coexistence to equilibrate naturally by adhering to the first principle of guarding inalienable rights above accomodation to the religiously offended. If those who are offended by such freedom of speech - for example, 'hate speech' against a religion - then perhaps they will decide that they are not suited to living in such a free society and go elsewhere.

    Yes, forcing tolerance seems to have worked in Albania, but at a cost that is prohibitive to me. It seems to me that guarding freedoms will work, too, in an equilibrating sense.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  2. xotoxi
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    xotoxi Platinum Member

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    Thank you for sharing.

    How does this apply to France? Do you think that the government should forbid people from wearing religious and cultural clothing?
     
  3. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    No, I don't. That's why this popped into my head.

    I also think it's very bad that France and many other EU nations have limited speech to disallow 'hate speech' or to accomodate any religion along that line. If one is too offeneded to live in a free society, then that is not the place for them to live.
     

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