Active politicians

Taking the initiative in countering intolerance

Ensure governments are proactive in countering religiously-fuelled intolerance – such as adopting policies to integrate self-isolating communities into broader society


Despite the disproportionate impact of those within a given religion exercising Mirrored Tolerance, there is also an important role for politicians and legislators. Governments need to be proactive in countering religiously-fuelled intolerance, for instance by adopting policies to integrate self-isolating communities into broader society.

Governments have a responsibility progressively to intervene in religions, with greater intervention reserved for those sects whose intolerance poses a greater risk of social disruption. Even fully-secular governments with legislative responsibilities to protect freedom-of-religion can no longer fulfill their primary obligation of national security without proactively getting involved.

Religious leaders must help governments do whatever they can to support those within religions who are exercising Mirrored Tolerance. But it is also crucial that governments themselves extend the principle of Mirrored Tolerance to encompass policies relating to integration of religious communities into broader society. This is especially important for immigrant populations. Without, for example, being able to speak the language of their adopted country, it is extremely difficult for immigrants to integrate with a broader group. But almost as important as accepting the language of their new home is that immigrants also accept its broad values – including, for instance, the equality of women and gays.

These are in no way irreligious values. But they are values that are incompatible with various intolerant interpretations of religion. If immigrants, whatever their ethnicity or nationality, cannot accept the basic values of the country that they elect to move to, then the State has an obligation to evaluate the potential long-term escalating impact of their presence – especially if they are likely to remain unintegrated other than with those who think at they do.