A religious expert Dr. Jairzinho Lopes Pereira is appealing to Members of the Economic Community of West African States, to work towards inculcating the virtue of religious tolerance among their children to end all forms of conflicts in the region. 

Dr. Jairzinho a cape Verdian scholar made the passionate appeal at the sidelines of the ECOWAS Parliament’s delocalized meeting of the committees on Education, Science and Culture; Health: Telecommunications and Information Technology, in Praia, Capital of Cape Verde.

He said schools in the continent must imbibe on children the value of tolerance so as to curb the scourge of religious intolerance for regional integration.

He noted that through inclusive education the plague of intolerance particularly on religion can be overcome.

Thus calling for a change in approach as everyone’s rights and beliefs must be respected while seeking to address tolerance among religions.

“The key is through education, as parliamentarians permit me to say, it is your responsibility to promote and support all efforts targeted at teaching children in school the virtue of tolerance. Please be bold and make history. Never in support of politics if tolerance has to change a country from top to bottom and I believe that education is key and it is only through inclusive education that Africa dreams of ridding itself of the specter of religious violence which has been raging for some time now.

“Religious intolerance is for brute tyrants. No one. I mean, no one has the right to impose religious beliefs on others in their aeronautical dispute. Some philosophers would have us believe that the moral virtue of toleration is impossible because it requires an agent to believe both that she has decisive reasons to actively oppose what she judged small way wrong, and that she ought not to act on those reasons. These alleged the paradox of toleration of some content is particularly overwhelming within an Objectivist meta-ethical framework that attempts to accommodate cultural pluralism. The paradox does suggest that one must deny and embrace moral relativism which is a dangerous and moral virtue.

“Why tolerate ideas they ask? why tolerate ideas, behavior, and proxies that one believes to be wrong? They ask,  I say, I say that the far more pertinent question is this. Do I,  do you, do any of us have the right to impose our own truth and beliefs on our fellow human beings? the belief that one is entitled to his rights is the origin of all evils.

“Being tolerant is to be willing to admit that others have the same right to choose and to make that choice as I, you, and all of us do. Being tolerant means standing by one’s own belief, while condemning the opposition or persecution of others.

“This is what Africa needs to inculcate in the minds of its children.”

Dr. Pereira, therefore, urged the parliamentarians to promote an educational system that is capable of making a difference in the ways children are taught about religious tolerance for peace and tranquility.

“Honourable parliamentarians, I beg of you to promote just that. Back to an educational system in which children will be taught to preserve their own beliefs and identities while respecting those who are different and I promise you a glowing future awaits our great continent.”

“If we look to the history of the West, we see centuries of senseless slaughters, sometimes ignited by religious differences, just like now we see in Africa. But ladies and gentlemen, the West has overcome those barriers. We can also do the same, let’s not postpone peace and prosperity in Africa. We deserve better. Let us be tolerant. It is our duty to be tolerant. Let’s hoist the flag of religious tolerance.”  

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