02 Januari 2013

Breaking the Discrimination Chain

“… The term ‘discrimination’ includes any distinction, exclusion, limitation or preference which, being based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic condition or birth, has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing equality of treatment in education..” Article 1 of the Convention against Discrimination in Education, UNESCO, Paris, 14 December 1960.

” O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” Surah Al-Hujurat (49:13)

Discrimination as a theory has been widely known. Every human being deserves a chance to life just like everybody else regardless of innate traits he had. Lessons about pluralism and discrimination themselves even been taught since elementary school. Everyone agrees that they want to be respected as human beings. Everyone have the right to live freedom from fear and pressure, the right to study within the educational system, the right to work, the right to choose the best, and the right to express opinions responsibly.

But how is the reality? Discrimination is still a major problem of mankind today. There are a lot of wars in the name of faith differences in many corners of the earth. Slavery still happening just because of the skin color differences. Education and health care services among different social classes just like heaven and earth. Even people with limited physical abilities who has special needs may never considered to exist. Here, in the world we live in today, there almost no one who has never experienced discrimination in his life.

The elimination of discrimination has been started since the Prophet Muhammad came with Islam. Al Quran states that Arabs are not more superior than non-Arab, and white is not more superior than black. Islam emphasizes equality and apply it in the community since 1400 years ago. Eliminating racism is one of the most extraordinary achievements of Islam. Martin Luther King, Jr. did the same thing. He was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. There was Malcolm X who spread anti-racism vision and values of the humanist side of Islam, evocative of the Afro-American and the world. There was Nelson Mandela who eliminated Apartheid discrimination in South Africa. He reconciled victims of discrimination without creating new discrimination against perpetrators.

But discrimination continues to happen. Maybe discrimination is being born simultaneously with the human rights itself. Sometimes people are not aware that they unconsciously discriminate others. For example, people unwittingly being rude to beggars and polite to politicians. For example, people assume that only women allowed to cry and men shouldn’t. For example, people enjoy the physical discrimination that showed in TV comedy programs. Even the question about the origin race of the newly friend can lead into clustering and grouping people. This tendency to grouping others has to be eliminated.

Well yes, there are too many Anti-Discrimination Acts that created by human. When actually only one solution for that: break the discrimination chains now. The only and the most potent way against discrimination is to not discriminate itself. Don’t discriminate others, by ourselves. If not, no one knows how many decades more human race will be struggling only with the difference. The world will not change as long as people do not want change themselves. [Nad]

” Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Surah Ar-Ra’ad: 11)

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