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Racism is never respectable, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin tells Muslim gathering

By Cian Molloy - 03 June, 2019

Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin (Photo: John McElroy)

Racism and religious intolerance can never be allowed to assume even a token tone of respectability or reasonableness, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin at an interfaith meeting hosted by the Muslim Sisters of Eire.

Archbishop Martin said half-racism or partial intolerance did not exist.

“There is no way any society can think that racist or religious tolerance should take on any respectable place within it.”

He made his remarks during a reflection on recent tragedies in Sri Lanka and in New Zealand. In the first of these two countries, Muslim extremists bombed Christian church services on Easter Sunday, and in the second country, a white supremacist shot dead 51 Muslim worshippers in gun attacks on two mosques.

“History shows that when racism and religious intolerance are not addressed they contain within themselves a frightening power for fostering hatred and social destruction,” said the Archbishop.

“An attack on a minority in a population, an attack on any single group within a population, is an attack on the entire population. Hatred and intolerance that in any way undermine that fundamental unity of human kind are an attack on the God who created us as a single human family.

“The inspiration of the event in Christchurch – to attack people of prayer in two mosques just because they were of a different faith – is something that offends Christian culture. The attack on Christian worshippers in Sri Lanka is an offence against the essential culture of Islam.”

The Archbishop gave his reflection on Saturday evening at an iftar gathering, the communal meal where Muslims break their day-long fast during Ramadan.

Archbishop Martin told the gathering that Christianity and Islam share the same fundamental view concerning the unique dignity of every human person.

“They insist on the unity of the human family. While throughout history there may have been dispersion of peoples or the accentuation of difference, all people are essentially destined to form one sole family according to God’s plan established in the beginning. We are all of God’s same race.”

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