What is Tolerance?To tolerate someone means that you dont necessarily agree with them, but you ‘accept’ them and just get on with it.It could be behaviour, beliefs, or what theylook like, or when someone elses opinion is different to yours, to respect their point of view rather than argue against it. This is called Toleration.
Globalisation In a world that is increasingly interconnected, many nations are divided by race, religion, ethnicities and wealth. Through the ages, thesedifferences have led to wars, conﬂict, violence andgreat suffering. This is still continuing today in allfour corners of the world. Over and over again, we witness a lack of tolerance amongst us and see those with similar views group together and act against others. They may verbally or evenphysically attack others who live differently fromthem, creating an environment of hate, judgment and war.
The Irish RepublicYou may have read in the newsrecently that the Queen is due tovisit Dublin in the early summer.She will be the ﬁrst monarch tovisit since King George V in 1911.It will be seen by many as theﬁnal piece of the jigsaw in theNorthern Ireland peace process.However, many Irish Republicansare opposed to this visit becauseof the long standing hostilitybet ween Catholics andProtestants. This is an example ofreligious ‘intolerance’.
Bloody MaryReligious intolerance isnot a recent occurrence.Bloody Mary (daughterof Henry VIII) was giventhis nickname for herintolerance ofProtestants in Tudortimes. Many Protestantsunder her reign wereburned at the stake.
Freedom of ExpressionFrance has just introduced a newlaw that makes it illegal for womento cover their face in public.France is the ﬁrst country inEurope to apply a ban on thewearing of full-face coverings,including the Islamic niqab. At leasttwo niqab-wearing women werearrested for protesting the ban. Arethe French guilty of ‘intolerance’against Muslim women who chooseto cover their face and body? Is thisan intrusion on a person’sindividual freedom?
A Christian NurseA Christian nurse went to meethospital bosses to ﬁnd outwhether she will be forced out ofher job for insisting on wearinga cross while on duty. The 54-year-old grandmother has beentold she cannot wear the oneinch silver symbol openly on thehospital wards. Whilst thehospital says this is on healthand safety grounds, could it beseen as a sign of religiousintolerance?
Burning PoppiesIn March, a Muslim man was foundguilty of burning poppies atArmistice Day.District Judge Howard Riddle, whoﬁned the man £50 said: "The two-minute chanting, when otherswere observing a silence, followedby a burning of the symbol ofremembrance was a calculated anddeliberate insult to the dead andthose who mourn or rememberthem.“ Is this another example ofreligious intolerance ?
Why is Intolerance so bad?• It leads to prejudice and discrimination• It can lead to conﬂict and violence• It can make people feel superior to others• It can create negative feelings and attitudes• It causes upset, stress and mental illness