Tolerance is a Two-Way Street

Below is the intervention read by Dave Petteys, representing the ACT For America 5280 Coalition at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 14 “Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination, also Focusing on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians and Members of other Religions”, Warsaw, September 30, 2015.

OSCE 2015 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

Working Session 14: Tolerance and non-Discrimination

Mr./Mme. Moderator, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you.

Mr/Ms. Moderator:

“Tolerance” is defined as the “willingness to accept feelings, habits or beliefs that are different from your own” [Merriam Webster Dictionary].

Yet what do we see?

  • The 2006 the world-wide Danish Cartoon riots that killed dozens and caused widespread damage.
  • Vitriol and threats over the remarks of Pope Benedict XVI mentioning some historical facts at a conference in Regensburg.
  • In Paris, the notorious Charlie Hebdo attack that killed a dozen journalists.

These violent events seem to show marked intolerance and an appalling unwillingness to “accept beliefs that are different from their own”.

Mr/Mme. Moderator:

The ACT for America 5280 Coalition recommends that any complaints by self-defined Islamic entities concerning “intolerance” be ignored until such a time that these same entities show some of the tolerance to others that they are demanding from the West.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.