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Does race and religion have an impact on people’s freedom around the world?

Does race and religion have an impact on people’s freedom around the world?

Freedom means being entitled to your own opinion, being able to speak out and having the power to do what you want to do. What would it be like not having freedom because of who you are or to what you believe in? Well, actually this has been going on for over a century which is continuously happening. Religion of freedom is supporting an individual or a group of people in public or private to believe in their own beliefs and teachings and to express their opinions openly to the public. Not being able to have this freedom has been causing a lot of problems and issues to happen around the world.

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People not thinking that others have a right to their religion has caused a lot of chaos around the world, such as racism. Racism is showing hatred towards someone based on their race, skin colour or religion. Some people have experienced racism once in their life, however on the other hand some people are experiencing it on a daily basis. For example, when Donald Trump had his own casino he treated blacks a lot differently from whites. A hotel executive had said that Donald Trump criticised a black accountant by saying “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it is probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks”.1 This shows that people with different skin colour, religion and race all get judged because once experiencing something with a black person immediately people generalise it to all blacks.

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Other than racism, not having religion freedom also caused islamophobia. Islamophobia is when people dislike Islam and Muslims. This has caused many major issues around the world in all different countries. Nearly all terrorist attacks get blamed on Muslims which causes people to show hatred towards all Muslims. However, most of the terrorist attacks involve a group of people doing it but they then claim they follow the religion of Islam. This makes Muslims get assaulted in person or over the internet. On the other hand most Muslims get targeted and they even get physically hurt. For example, in Ramla, Israel on the 13th June 2017 a young girl was stabbed by her father as he found out she had a relationship with a Muslim man. Her father said, “this relationship violated the family’s honour”.2 This shows that islamophobia is a common issue as there has been many incidents since 1900s in nearly all countries around the world 3

One of the biggest issues in the world is prejudice. Prejudice is people having an opinion, affective feeling or a judgement towards a person. People experience this issue because of their skin colour, religion, race, gender. In the United States, most children are taught and raised with certain beliefs and the most common one is the American Dream. The children are taught that they can achieve what they want if they work hard enough for it. However, they are not taught about social barriers, one being racism and discrimination in most jobs. Prejudice has been reflected on animated cartoons such as Family Guy. On the episode, “Turban Cowboy”, the character Peter Griffin is shown driving in his car until he is pulled over by a police officer. The police officer takes out a chart showing the word “okay” pointed to the light skin colours and the word “not okay” pointed to the dark skin colours. The action the police officer took was pointing the chart directly at Peter Griffin’s face which is resulted in Peter having a light skin colour which allowed him to pass through. Family Guy has a bad impact on young children as it has already giving them an insight on how society treats coloured people unequally.4

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Treating someone unfairly because of who they are or the certain characteristics such as their race, sex, gender is described as discrimination. Harassing someone by name calling them, making inappropriate jokes about them are examples of discrimination. For example, Urdu speakers living in Bangladesh are disadvantaged because they are unknown as citizens in the country they say is their home. An Urdu speaker, Khalid Hussain, said “I remember my first day at school. All the Bengali students were looking at us as if we were strangers and they were whispering to each other that we are Bihari and that we live in dirty camps… We were marginalised in the classroom and we had to sit in a separate row.”5 This vividly enhances the fact that foreigners are mistreated as they are viewed to be strangers in a country that is not their origin.

Hate crime is a violent attack against a group of people or one person because of their race, religion, gender, ethnicity. Hate crimes has became one of the biggest issues within nearly all countries in the past recent years. According to the Home Office Statistics, it has been said that in Wales and England the number of hate crimes has increased by 29% from 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. Also in in the United States, 6121 hate crimes were reported to FBI in 2016 and this was a huge rise. 6 5 hate crimes in 4 days? This is dramatically shocking as it shows how hate crime rates have been significantly increasing in just the year 2018. 7

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In 2018, according to ‘Christianity Today’ it has been stated that “Global Religious Freedom Takes It’s Biggest Hit In Over A Decade”. 8 The worlds two biggest faith groups are Christians and Muslims who have been proven to be ranked the top victims of racism. By weighing up all the evidence, all the dreadful attacks and assaults are raised from individuals having differing race and religious beliefs. Perhaps, this has been brought about by social media because of the fake news that are often being published which triggers people’s hatred towards different minority groups. Religion freedom should be viewed normal as everyone is born to be entitled to their own identity and beliefs.

Aya Aoudj

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