Religion and preferential treatment

Religion still has great importance in almost every society as it is the means to bind them. There are zealous religious people who consider their religion as the right one while the other religions are pure heresy. The atheists caught in such a situation are the most to suffer discrimination as their beliefs is seen as a threat to established religions.

This can be true just in societies where religion is of paramount importance. But in secular countries like France, religion isn’t mandatory. On the contrary, an atheist can have more chance to have a job than a Muslim. However atheists, now still a very small minority even in secular countries, shouldn’t be discriminated against or persecuted. At the same time, they shouldn’t mount a fight against the existing religions. Many people, especially the poor, have no solace but in religion. Atheists have no right to impose their views on them.

Let’s be fair. There are atheist as well as agnostic politicians Isn’t UK foreign secretary David Milliband an atheist? He holds one of the most important jobs in the government.

Concerning whether science will obliterate religion, this remains debatable as there scientists who are devoutly religious and their scientific knowledge just enhances their belief in God.

Concerning Muslim countries, the Islamists are still feared by the current regimes governing them. In Morocco, all the Moroccan citizens of Arab and Berber origins, who make 98% of its population, are considered as Muslims. And yet, the Islamists don’t get any preferential treatment. On the contrary, many of them are suspected of being just terrorists preparing to establish an Islamic state. In Morocco, the official argument is that religion should not be the monopoly of any political party.
What matters in any society is that people can live in peace and not use their beliefs as a justification to fight each other because of differences about why they are in this world and how they should live in it and leave it.

In general, religion should be a personal matter and not a vehicle to get favour or power. Favouring one category of people because of their religion is a call for the rest to join it, not out of conviction but for self-interest.

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7 Comments

  1. Mike said,

    March 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

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  2. Hisham said,

    March 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Really great post! I’ve missed that one when you first published it Abdelilah.

    You’ve just spelled out a manifesto for a modern society really. You articulated what many (let’s call them) ‘progressive minded’ Moroccans think.

    There is no point in having an official “state religion.”

    Freedom of conscience is an obvious natural human right. There is no point in pretending to be a believer for the only reason of being born in such or such group.

    And as you put it, belief should be a personal matter, and people ought to respect each other regardless of what their degree of belief might be.

    Finally, one should make the clear distinction between the religion as a cultural and identity matrix on the one hand, and religion as a system of belief.

    Perfectly spot on! Keep up the great work.

    P.S. : Thank you for your messages on facebook; it’s a shame we couldn’t meet in the same program as we usually did. I propose that we keep in touch and inform each other trough our blogs, our facebook pages or by email each other one of us is about to participate in a WHYS program so that we could debate live again. What do you think?

  3. March 27, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks Hisham for your comment. It’s a pity that we didn’t meet again on WHYS.

    I wanted to podcast the show on which you appeared. But there was the podcast only of the first edition. As you know WHYS now has two editions. The first starts at 17:00 GMT.

    Surely, we’ll keep in touch. It’s always a pleasure to read your articles.

  4. Hisham said,

    April 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Abdelilah… I hope you’re all right.

  5. Hisham said,

    April 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Abdelilah… How are you doign man!

  6. April 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks Hisham for your enquiry. Sorry if I didn’t answer in time because I had internet disconnection for six days due to a Wana unpaid bill which in the first place I hadn’t received.

  7. Hisham said,

    April 30, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Haha! Welcome back… That’s reassuring.
    Can’t wait to read you again.


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