To truly progress as a species, we will have to stop fighting over religion.
“The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars,” said renowned astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan in his 1990 TV show Cosmos.
Fighting over religious differences has a lot of potential to destroy everything on the planet.
Humankind has never been able to stop fighting over religion.
In our post 9/11 world, foreign religions are linked closely with concerns for western safety.
Due to Canada’s proximity to the United States, we inherit some of the belief that Muslims hate us.
It is paranoia by association.
As always, fear and ignorance are powerful motivators.
We see differences and they scare us.
Of particular attention are the physical differences we notice of people from other parts of the world who practice religions outside of Christianity. This applies particularly to Muslim women.
A website with a name like banislamofficial.com does not appear to promote rational thinking.
Instead, the site posted a reactionary post to a video of two women getting through Canadian airport security without removing their veils.
“Flying while Muslim means you won’t be forced to uncover your face or lift up your burqa (sic) before boarding a plane,” the anonymous poster wrote.
There is an apparent attempt at journalism.
People are quoted.
But the bias is overwhelming.
One gets the feeling the argument of safety is easily used as a mask for religious persecution and racial insensitivity.
Safety is the most important thing in an airport.
People have their privacy invaded every day just to board an airplane.
The faces of those women should be verified to match their passports, while adhering to the conduct of their religious beliefs.
Safety trumps religion. But it has to be respectful.
Seeing a person wearing a burka board your airplane does not mean you are in any danger.
A necklace of the Christian symbol of the cross (or crucifix) could be used to gouge out the eyes of pilots or strangle someone.
Necklaces of the cross are not confiscated.
Of course, stories like the one on banislamofficial.com thrive in the foul abyss of Internet anonymity.
The 309 comments on the story are unilaterally offensive, drenched in fear and ignorance.
The enemy is not any group of people. The enemy is disrespect.
Everyone deserves to worship whatever they’d like, and in any form, unless it does harm to other people.
Being able to “venture to the stars” and explore the universe is a much better choice than destroying each other.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.