Monday 17 June 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Lack of knowledge fuels the bitter curse of discrimination'

'Those who practise discrimination against another human being, for any reason, show their absolute ignorance of the world at large.' Stock Image
'Those who practise discrimination against another human being, for any reason, show their absolute ignorance of the world at large.' Stock Image
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Dr Munjed Farid al Qutob (Letters, May 30) is quite right when he writes, “The taste of discrimination and exclusion is bitter and sour.”

Those who practise discrimination against another human being, for any reason, show their absolute ignorance of the world at large.

Sadly, Western (Christian) education omitted many of the great scientists, physicians, literati and mathematicians who originated in the Middle East, and in particular Persia.

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The lack of exegesis on the existence of these highly educated people, outside of university teaching, along with the absence of a proper explanation of the Islamic religion (forever painted in Western films as mysteriously dangerous), created a bias, or what the good doctor terms “Islamophobia”, in innumerable people.

We, who are of Ireland, should be well aware of the dangers of all discrimination, as in the early days of independence, sections of the Catholic Church opted to brainwash their young charges in a vain attempt to create an ‘Irish (island) Catholicism’ – narrow thinking and little knowledge of the great big world.

The tragedy for many people is they imagine learning stops when you complete schooling, whereas it is merely the beginning of an even greater adventure.

Knowledge is power.

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia

Make politicians pay price of their illegal harassment

When will we be able to hold politicians to account for their bullying, harassment and intimidation of private or public citizens who appear before their committees?

Time and time again, we see political upstarts stepping outside their remit and acting, as the Supreme Court stated in its judgment of Angela Kerins’s appeal, “unlawfully”.

The Supreme Court judgment found the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) treatment of Ms Kerins was unlawful and that it acted outside its remit and breached the terms of the invitation it extended to Ms Kerins to appear before it.

Ms Kerins felt that some of the PAC members had been involved in a “witch hunt” and it was a form of “vendetta” against her.

The Supreme Court, in its summation, found PAC was involved in “significant and unremedied unlawful action”.

In 2014, Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin was one of the more robust questioning members along with Independent Shane Ross, who interrogated Ms Kerins and other Rehab group members.

Ms McDonald didn’t accept that they “forced a decent woman out of her job” and she “absolutely rejected that” while being interviewed by Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 in 2014.

While Ms Kerins will seek further damages in the High Court, as is her right, and will also have her legal fees paid in full, the Irish taxpayer will have to once again foot a hefty legal bill because of the actions of a few politicians.

There is a fine line between questioning someone regarding the structures, be it financial or otherwise, of an organisation partially or fully funded by the taxpayer, and an outright attack on that person’s personal standing within the organisation.

What should happen is that those members of that committee in 2014 should be individually held to account and pay a fine relative to their participation in this inquisitorial flogging of an individual, to offset the legal fees incurred by Ms Kerins and paid for by the State.

But, as we know, this won’t happen and once again the Irish taxpayer will take the hit.

Christy Galligan

Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Leavers should have faith and back a second vote

I absolutely agree with Eamonn Kitt (Letters, May 30), that Nigel Farage should not fear a second Brexit referendum.

I, too, voted to leave the EU in 2016 and would so again.

However, I firmly believe it is important a second plebiscite be held on the subject as Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain.

Many people were too young to vote, plus there are those who have changed their minds and even those who didn’t vote should have a final, binding choice.

I am happy to accept the outcome – preferably leave – but the present uncertainty does not augur well for the future.

Dominic Shelmerdine

London, UK

A little nip could solve the growing pains of our lawns

We are now in the midst of lawnmower  season. 

I suggest that a decent measure of whiskey be applied to lawns. The grass then grows … half cut.

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin

Irish Independent

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