I have wondered about issues of social inclusion in African communities. A visit to any news website dealing with African affairs is usually painful to read in the comments sections, but maybe not any more so than the equivalent section of the UK’s Guardian newspaper or Yahoo news.
If one wants to compare the legal requirements of African countries to those of Western Europe, etc however, it becomes clear that the rights of individual citizens are possibly not protected to the same extent. South Africa is an exception that probably proves the rule of thumb, possibly due to the progressive constitution that was formulated when that nation’s electoral system changed for the better.
Interestingly, a lot of the more retrogressive laws in African countries have introduced in recent times, were supported by evangelical Christians and fundamentalist Muslims. Are there many traditional African belief systems that encourage discrimination against people on account of perceived differences?
Maybe these religious zealots should reflect on the words of the Golden Rule and its message. Jesus Christ was quoted to say “Do to others what you would want them to do to you”. In the Islamic Hadith, the Prophet was quoted to say “As you would have people do to you, do to them, and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them”
Is it time for our people to consider going through a thorough audit of the prevailing value systems in African countries and Diaspora communities?