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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Reality bites

There is a parent out there who believes that her ‘Johnny’ can do no wrong even if all the evidence points to the fact he can do little that is right. It is in the end what they choose to believe rather than what is a fact. It is that willingness to disregard facts against an emotional prejudice that fuels in many ways anything from religious intolerance to naked racism, or the overall critique of the young as against rose coloured glasses in remembering yesteryear, and the perceived lack of crime thereof.
The facts are rather different.

In Ireland crime has been steadily decreasing rather than rising and the Muslims have not taken over either. The fact is there are about 60,000 Muslims here, which is less than 1.5% of the population, and the ‘British And The Americans Are Really Coming’ is more reality than fiction. The British outnumber all other immigrant groups bar none, and even though the Polish language is spoken here more than Gaelic, they ranked behind the British and just before the Americans in terms of immigrants. Combined with all of them with the rest, it still is little more than 12% of the population. 

There are other prejudices that are encouraged by global events, which by any definition in the world where they happen is always local and defined by its locality. The well- respected Gallup poll found when they interviewed 2,482 Americans, 78% of those that were Muslims believed that the killing of civilians is never justified compared to just 39% of Catholics and 38% protestants. The Atheists did better than the latter two with 56% believing it to be wrong. 

When the same question was narrowed down to: “Would it be justified for an individual person or a small group of persons to target and kill civilians,” all of them were against this in higher numbers with Protestant and Catholics on a par at 71% yet Atheists more at 78% and Muslims higher still at 89%. 

Reality bites and is all too often avoided to insulate oneself from it. It is an insulation that rarely prevents a cold, and when it happens, reality is the only road to getting cured.   

Barry Clifford