Volume 93, Issue 89

Friday, March 17, 2000


All rights should be respected

Men on film get thumbs down

All rights should be respected

Re: "ASA, MSA protest atrium celebration" March 10

To the Editor:

So, is a seven yearÐold a terrorist? Probably not. Yet, to whom were Thursday's protesters addressing this question? The Jewish Students' Union? Other members of their group? Or the general unaffiliated student population?

If this question had actually been voiced to these different groups, the answers would have been the same and perhaps some common ground could have been established. Nothing can be gained without communication.

The fact is, the JSU was not celebrating human rights violations – they were promoting their own culture, just as every group on campus has the opportunity to do. You cannot protest someone's heritage and accomplish much except breed hatred and resentment between groups.

I am all for protesting, or promoting awareness, but the way in which this protest was conducted, disrespected someone else's fundamental right to free speech. The University Community Centre is exactly what the name implies – a community for all members of the campus, where differences are celebrated or at least respectfully tolerated.

Just because someone disagrees with the actions of another group's government does not make it right to disrespect the group themselves. When we start to disapprove of another culture, we are treading the thin line of ethnocentrism which can escalate emotions to levels of hatred, resentment and violence.

Furthermore, because a group's government acts unjustly or does something we disagree with, does not mean we should expect that group to renounce their identity and the many other truths their culture stands for.

Should we reject our Canadian culture because of Chrétien and the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit incident? Should the gay, lesbian and bi-sexual community protest every Londoner because of Dianne Haskett's decision to deny a Pride Parade?

It is a privilege to belong to the multicultural heritage we have in Canada. But a truly diverse nation can only be built on respect for others. We cannot forget that underneath our differences, we are joined together in Canadian culture and when this element of multiculturalism is lost, we no longer have a nation.

No human life together

Without a world ethic for the nations

No peace among the nations

Without peace among the religions

No peace among the religions

Without dialogue among the religions

–Hans Kung

Stephanie Hall
Psychology IV

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