There have been a lot of teachings against intolerance, and these teachings seem to be in somehow head-on collision with teachings of some ardent believers in certain religions, cultures or traditions. These teachers of their various beliefs hold opinions that any other laws that are contrary to their exact teachings are false and shouldn’t be regarded, or in the other extreme, should be terminated with all available forces. They promote intolerance as way of life, trying hard to impose it on every other person.

Religion is the easiest way they can propagate intolerance and promote it as norm. When intolerance becomes ‘normal’ among people, it is very difficult to curtail its ugly trends. Seeing intolerance as a way of life as promoted by certain religious ideologies has been like ants in the pants of our society today.

A friend of mine, was very furious the other day on social media complaining about what he termed ‘blanket covering’ of all Muslims by Western media and non-Muslims as being terrorists. Being a Muslim, my friend thought such over-generalization is very dangerous because according to him, not all Muslims are religious extremists.

I really had to reason with him, at least for a while. Such impression is wrong but come to think deeper into his concerns, maybe out of prejudice too, I thought exactly like Malcolm X. Commenting on Malcolm X, John Odey said:

“Convinced that all white people are incarnation of evil. Malcolm likened all of them to a poisonous snake. And based on that major premise, he reasoned that if a snake bit his child and ran away, he would go about in search of snakes. If he found any, he would not stop to inspect to ensure that it has some blood on its jaws or it was the very one that bit his child. Rather, he would immediately kill it.”[1]

According to Malcolm X therefore, “…as far as I am concerned…’the snake is the snake’. So if snakes don’t want someone hunting snakes indiscriminately, I say that snakes should get together and clean out their shaky house. If snakes don’t want people running around indiscriminately chopping off the heads of snakes, my advice to snakes would be to keep their house in order.”[2]


[1] John O. Odey, The Parable of a wasted Generation (Enugu: SNAAP Press Limited, 2000) p.79

[2] Ibid.

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