Stand up against religious discrimination – even if it’s not your religion | Eboo Patel


My closest friends in high school, the kids
I ate lunch with, included a Cuban Jew, a South Indian Hindu, a Nigerian Evangelical,
a Mormon, a Lutheran and a Catholic. And we talked about everything under the sun
as 16-year-old suburban high school kids are want to do. We never talked about religion. And even though there were parts of all of
our lives that were at least a little bit religious, it generally manifested in something
along the lines of ‘I can’t play basketball this Sunday because my mom is making me go
to some religion thing’, but our families had a certain set of expectations around our
religious participation, and some people, especially my Latter-Day Saints friend, was
especially involved in that kind of stuff. So why does it matter that religion was not
part of the conversation? For a couple of months during my high school
career a group of thugs in my school started going after my Jewish friend and they would
call him ugly anti-Semitic slurs in the hallway and they would scrawl really terrible things
on classroom desks. And I saw my once vibrant friend slink into
the shadows of the school. He would come to school right as the opening
bell rang; he would leave right as the closing bell rang. And I watched this happen over these couple
months. A few years later when we were home from college
for a summer, he brings this up with me and he says “Those were the worst months of my
life. And the part of it that really sucked wasn’t
what those thugs did to me, it was watching you watch me suffer and do nothing. Why did you do nothing?” And I’m 43 years old and I’ve done a lot of
dumb things and that’s the most humiliating moment of my life – it’s my friend calling
me out on a moment of profound weakness, like, the opposite of courage. And I told the story to my dad, who is not
a ritualistic Muslim at all, but he was like, “You failed your friend and you failed your
faith.” “Like what do you mean I failed my faith?” He’s like, “We’re Muslims, Eboo. We stand up for people who are hurting. That’s the core of the religion. That’s what it means to be Rahmatul Alameen
— a mercy upon all the worlds — as Allah says to the Prophet Mohammed in the holy Quran.” And that’s when I started to think to myself:
Why is it that my friend group wasn’t talking about religion, but these thugs in my school
we’re happy to be openly anti-Semitic? And it’s one of the early experiences in my
life that got me thinking about how important it is to be positive and proactive about engaging
religious identity towards interfaith cooperation. And that is now a norm in American life. Like your elementary school where you send
your kids, or the hospital where your kids were born, those are all religiously diverse
places and that religious diversity matters. Let’s think for a moment about how religious
diversity intersects with healthcare. Different religious orientations literally
have different definitions of when life begins, have different definitions of what to do when
a baby is born, have different definitions of what a good life is and have different
definitions of when a person dies. So if you are a nurse or a doctor and you
enter the room of a Buddhist family whose grandfather is on the bed about to pass into
the next world and you point to the brain scan and say, “We’re very sorry that Grandpa
has passed,” and the family looks at you and says, “Grandpa is still hooked up to the breathing
machine and still has breath, he’s not dead.” Those Buddhists have a different definition
of death than Western science. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with their
definition, but if you’re a doctor you’d better know how to handle that situation. And there are 4 million Buddhists in America;
there are 4 million ELCA Christians in America; 2 million Episcopalians; 6 million Methodists
— what I mean to say is that religious minority communities are growing. There’s about 4 million Muslims in America,
for example, a couple million Hindus. Increasingly our educational, our health care
facilities, our athletic leagues, our businesses are going to be religiously diverse and part
of what every educated American needs is the ability to positively engage that religious
diversity.




Comments
  1. "The common people find religion true, the wise find it false, the rulers find it useful".  Right now, our ruler(s) find if very useful. Our founding fathers kept religion out of government for a very wise reason which they learned through experience.  You can not have religion in government period.  One religion will eventually win out and rule over all and enforce their beliefs into the law of the land. Just look what is happening right before your eyes with this administration. Trump and his ilk are no more religious than my dog but, they find they can use religion to help gain and keep power.

  2. Yes and no. You are free to choose your religion in the confines of your home and free to build any church mosque whatever where it is allowed to build structures. But in any public space you should not be allowed to impose any rules specific for a religion on others. So demanding the food is halal in a public event is a big nono. Otherwise you'll get the tiranny of the least tolerant. And your intolerance is the only thing I'm being intolerant about. No religion in any public place like schools, work, university, library, community center, keep it religion free and do not impose any part of your religion on anybody else present. So no prayer rooms for specific religions in hospitals and university. You do that at home, or at church or a mosque. We should be tolerant to anybody who thinks different, I have no issue with that, but I'm intolerant to any intolerance of any religion about the outside world. So you don''t have the right to try ban abortion because your religion demands it, or try advocate everybody or every event should have halal food. No you should be tolerant about other opinions in any public space. Otherwise everybody has to live by everybody's moronic thought up religious rules. I can invent a couple of religions in a week and try impose those rules in all the public spaces. That would favor me :).

  3. Stand up against science deniers – even if you have to criticize religious ideas. Ideas don't have rights for a reason…

  4. Just look at the dislike ratio.
    People have proven almost everything that was previously explained by "gods will" or "miracle" to be something explainable, yet religious communities manage to "move the goalpost" further and further. Oh, right. This is just too much money and influence to give up on.
    Never in my life I discriminated on any person with any beliefs, yet I'm somehow sure that if I say "Hail Satan" like christians say "amen" I might quite possibly be beaten up by religious mob, or at least find myself surrounded by a mass of people yelling profanities at me. Kinda one sided discrimination ain't it?
    Hail Satan!

  5. The first part of this was great! I believe that it is a great thing to support your friends and family, and anyone else, that is being targeting and bullied for being who they are. This is supporting PEOPLE. One can support a person in their struggles with bigotry without supporting their belief system. Special note, though, this support does not need to be driven by any religious doctrine. Non-religious people can just as easily provide this type of support. It's called empathy.

    However, the second half of the video went way off of the rails.
    Schools , hospitals, athletic leagues, businesses, etc, are not "religiously diverse" places. They are secular places, with the people in them being religiously diverse. None of these things can have a religion. They are not human.
    The definition of death is not a "Western" thing, it is a biological, scientific, and medical thing. A person's religious doctrines does not change this, and, quite frankly, is irrelevant in this situation.

    The closest that humanity has come to objective truth is through the scientific method, where we do as much as we can to remove human bias, and come to reasonably high levels of certainty by rigorous testing, refining, retesting, etc.

    While it might not be "nice" to declare a brain dead patient as dead, that does not change the biological, scientific, medical definition of death.

    Want to change the definition? Cool. Do so by using the scientific method.

  6. Hard to Swallow Truth Pills:
    1.Not all religions are the same
    2.Some are objectively more dangerous than others
    3.All religions are make believe

  7. When being critical of a bad things religion does it's now called discrimination and shouldn't be talked about, political correctness protects rapist murderers terrorist under veil of discrimination.

  8. Religion has been around for thousands of years and for thousands of years it hasn't solved any problems; give less religion a chance.

  9. Bullshit to your Allah and all your religion!!!!! And all religion!!! We dont belong to any religion and we are not by birth any religion till stupid racists ignorant show off religious people indoctrinate there children into that shit!!!!! America is based on chritianity that's fine with me even though I am not. I am not a victom, I finished my elementary school and all the way to high school in good old usa!!!! Stop this bullshit !!!!!!! Every country should have its sovereign believes stope trying to mix up the people !!!! You are a minority and you chose that ,that's fine as long as you are not persecuted!!!! Its part of being a strong American to take some shit in school!!! Is good for you…..I hate thes religios bigots and traitors to there race like this fool trying to brain wash the innocent!!!!! Its ok some religions look strange to us !!!!! Look the way he tells how his Muslim father tells him about being nice to others!!!!!! As long as there are Islam nations you all are hypocrites and dont know what America went through to be this nice !!!!!! Go preach to your Islamic countries 1st!!!!!! THIS GUY IS A MUSLIM IN OF A DISGUISE of a HINDU AND a CHRISTIAN 🤥
    A Muslim 1st name and hindu last name he is a Muslim through and through!!!! FAKING as if he is so virtues being a muslim!!!!!🤣😂🤣😂🤮😅🤥🙊🤡🧟‍♀️

  10. Sorry, Allah says find the Jews and kill them, even those hiding behind a rock. Glad this speaker doesn’t follow that.
    It also says that non-Muslims should be treated differently, and pay an extra dhimittude / tax that should make them feel humiliated.
    Ideas should be challenged, whether religious or not.

  11. Religion is a farce and has no place in the world. If you need an imaginary friend to threaten you with eternal hell if you do something bad, you're not a good person.

  12. Not really related to the message of this video, but sell your fucking cakes to gay people and get on with it.

  13. All organized religion should be oppressed and discriminated against. These are cults of influence, not spiritual refuge. Organized religion literally caused the dark ages.

  14. All he's trying to say is that when you see something, do something. No need to overanalyze and overcomplicate things.

  15. Essentially he's asking for others to privilege religion and the religious over reason and rationality. Sorry, buddy. Be a better man. Accept that religions are wrong and thus are evil. Recognise that Jew haters do exist, and they exist because of religion, like Christianity, Islam, Communism and Fascism, and Jew hating is considered "good" in these religions. Recognise that religion actively drives evil around the world, actively hurting people through their possessed religious followers, and so work AGAINST religion, while respecting people. Recognise your Jewish friend was bullied because of religion, and recognise that the religious Islamic motivation to "protect" Jews is an expression of Dhimmitude, not an expression of caring or human rights. Educate yourself about the evil of Dhimmitude here: https://www.dhimmitude.org Your father taught you this because he didn't know about human rights. Learn to recognise the difference between Dhimmitude and respecting other's rights, and recognise that Dhimmitude is evil, as it relies upon mob justice and enforces Islam, a evil religion. What next, going to promote Sharia for the good Jews and Christians and taxing them through Zakat? And when they disobey, hurting them?

  16. In short, ideas, including religions and ideologies, NEVER have rights. Humans have rights. Do violence to ideas. Do peace to people.

  17. I don't care about beliefs and religions but people who don't stand up for their friends are the worst.

  18. I think all religions need to be put back in their place, if you look around the world they have control of so many countries and politics. In fact the ones that have religious rules as law are the most violent.

  19. Great taqiya buddy.
    Islam has compassion 😂😂😂
    I guess all those extreme islamic killers were trying to show their compassion.

  20. religion isn't the problem, but defective cultures that use religion as a justification of their cultural beliefs.

  21. I am all for free speech but I don't agree with attacking someone personally because you don't agree with their beliefs. Criticise the Jew for their stated beliefs, if you want, but don't stoop to calling that person infantile names and indulging in slurs. Personal respect trumps all other considerations in a civil society as far as I am concerned.

  22. Islam is horse shit. Christianity is horse shit. It's all fucking horse shit. Deluded people feeding delusions to make more deluded people.

  23. Meanwhile atheists are the most hated group next to Muslims. Funny how these people never stand up for atheist rights.

  24. not all religions were created equal…

    the kids that bullied your friend were just bullies. kids at that age are rarely truly 'racist', i.e. they think their race is superior to the other, they're just using your race as a tool for bullying.

    "we are muslims"… Eboo do you know what your religion says about the jews? and the dirty apostates and infidels?

    religious definitions of life and death shouldn't matter in a place like a hospital… if you're scientifically dead, you're dead. does it matter if someone thinks their dead grandpa is alive just because someone forgot to turn off the respirator?

  25. Satanism /naziism is my realign your place but it is circumstantial evidence that girl I think its not the weekend?

  26. Completely disagree, We should have no personal stake in any of the beliefs we hold, but simply in the rational assurance that whatever beliefs we do hold are indeed correspondent with reality.

    Why don’t we start researching our beliefs and then, we can argue if they deserve defending.

  27. I tried to avoid looking at dislikes of the video to see anything good from it first. Man, this man it is pointless!
    1. Death is death, science doesn’t have to adapt with religion, religious people should adapt with science.
    2. People can be religious as long as they don’t annoy others.
    3. If someone mocks your religion, it is simple to kick his asses and call him “brain-damaged”
    4. After all said above, religion is still the backward to the modern society.

  28. I am all for "positively engaging religious diversity", but there is an extent to which people are tolerant, as with any subject. If my grandpa stopped breathing and was a decaying corpse sitting in the hospital, it should not matter what my beliefs on death are, this decaying corpse of my grandpa is a threat to others in the hospital with compromised immune systems and is a waste of hospital resources.

    Being overly sensitive in this, albeit ridiculous, scenario would be harmful. When bad evidence (faith) is taken into the public domain, where it effects others, and treated as if it were on a level field with good evidence (scientific observation) it should rightly be called into question.

    America is becoming more and more secular and moving away from religion, despite what this speaker may think. Those that are coming to this country harboring what ever religious beliefs they have should be free from persecution and bullying. Yet these same people must also understand that this society will not accept bad evidence over good evidence and that society will not drop everything to conform to their personal religious beliefs.

    That's not even to scratch the surface on what is the difference between a cult and a religion? History? Length of time? By all accounts Scientology is just as much of a religion as any Abrahamic religion, yet only 1 of these gets a negative stigma. And for some reason I very much so doubt that Mr. Patel here would rush to defend the scripture that was written by a sci-fi writer who is on record saying, "the easiest way to get rich is to form your own religion" and then did just that and got very rich.

  29. Stories are too vague to think much about. “Anti-Semitic” seems to mean a lot of very different things these days.

  30. "Positively engaging that diversity" is not intergration. It is contributing to encouraging pockets of " the permanently different " by way of validation that very often leads to conflict. The seeker-outers, instead of adopting at least the visual attempt at intergration, try to forcibly turn their adoptive land into a replica of what they left behind, demanding and not giving, trying to destroy what is "different " to them by forcing the secular to bow down to their very own ideas which are governed by their own religious beliefs. The differences dictate the degree to which intergration can be effective. For some it it goes as far as to mean " reverse integration." Is that a positive engagement? No.
    You skirted about why you didn't help your Jewish friend. Could it have been that your personal religious indoctrination took over. " Give me a child until he is three years old and I have him for life!"
    Moments of profound weakness are not uniquely to be found in defending a friend whom is being religiously discriminated against by a pack of hooligans. Finding courage to lay your life down for a friend, because that is what it COULD have been, is the greatest sign of love.
    " Greater love hath no man than this; than to lay down his life for a friend." You don't have to be religious to believe in this.
    Your Father was right. What happened to the son?
    And if the same situation should again arise, whose side would you choose especially if you had to take the stand AGAINST those of the same religious beliefs among whom you are standing?

  31. Jehovah’s Witnesses break up families, shun any who officially choose to leave, let children die for lack of certain medical procedures, and have a two witness rule when it comes to reporting sin including child sexual abuse, along with a history of not reporting this to the authorities in order to “not bring reproach on Jehovah.” Never mind a string of false prophecies. They, my family, are discriminating against me based on my LACK of religious beliefs, shunning me, because I one day began to realize it wasn’t the truth and started asking questions.

  32. When religion is used as both a shield and a sword that becomes extremely dangerous. In one hand is religion as a weapon used to harm others, discrimination towards marginalized communities, demonizing of people who believe in a different religion or have no religion at all, spreading toxic and dangerous misinformation about things ranging from saying homosexuals are all pedophiles to telling people not to go to the doctor when they're sick just pray hard enough and they'll get better, attempting to revoke or militantly protest against a slew of human rights, destroying the rights of women to bodily autonomy, (etc, ad nauseum).

    In the other hand is religion as a shield, used to defend themselves from criticism, to portray themselves as victims, claims that their right to freely practice their religion are being violated when they aren't allowed to discriminate against people (esp LGBTQIA+ folx), claiming they (white Evangelical Christians) are the real people being persecuted (etc. ad nauseum).

    They are getting away with doing whatever they want while hiding under the guise of religion, then when they're told to quit doing something harmful towards others they cry and whine about the persecution of Christians and using the freedom of religion tactic to deflect any action taken against them.

  33. why do you care about persecution of jews in America and say nothing about antisemitism in Muslim world?

  34. I think we need to treat religion like porn. Believe whatever weird freaky shit you want, but do it at home and don't get kids involved…

  35. Discrimination isn't good either is religion. Good people do good things, bad people do bad things. It takes religion to get good people to do bad things. Let's focus on proper education and critical thinking skills for all and hopefully we can get rid of discrimination and religion at the same time.

  36. Sure you should have helped your friend. But that is just about someone getting bullied and the fact it was about religion is just a coincidence.
    Of course people dont discuss religion tho with friends of different religions. Because it couldnt possibly go well. Its all equally stupid made up shit that one guy believes and the other 7 know its nonsense. But youre supposed to respect it anyway. I do not see how i could have an open discussion about somebodys religion and be both honest and nice at the same time…

  37. Religion like politics should be private by openly displaying your religion one is playing identity politics.

  38. Wow. So bad to be this person. Being abused but being abused and everyone just getting by with it…

  39. Why would we accept things that are not true or detrimental to social or individual development? Religion is now the cause of half the bad things in the world. And religious accepting others religions is the dumbest thing!!! I don't mean you need to be mean or mistreat religious people but we cannot accept what is not true and most of the time harmful. We need people that are able of critical thinking, free of personal development and such…

  40. Oh please… the best thing for society would be to purge all religion. There are healthier forms of fantasy at the movie theater and on TV.
    And if you really want to turn it up take a trip to Disney World. 😶

  41. nah. I believe people should be judged based on things they cant change, religion, sexual preference, etc. Religion is different. If someone chooses to believe in something that doesn't make sense and without proof, Im going to judge them. Remember, history has proved again and again, religion can be dangerous.

  42. some great comments here (for a change) so I'm only going to add – Keep Your Religion Out of MY Government Rights! Period. America is becoming far too theocratic right now and that is very dangerous!

  43. Your jew friend was not under jizya which means you were not under any obligation to stand up for him.

  44. All religions need to discriminated against, as they all force humans to NOT think. The difference between animals and humans, regardless of what has been previously posited, is that animals do NOT have the need to believe in fairy tales/religions.

  45. Belief in absurdity sets the stage for the atrocity. Will we never grow up and leave the "boogie man" behind?

  46. As an atheist I will fight for your right to believe whatever you want to. But racial slurs has nothin to do with religion. And religion itself does more harm than good to a society in my opinion. So wear your cross if you want to, but wear it uder you shirt.

  47. The problem with religion is that everyone believes that their religion equals truth and therefore they usually try to impose their beliefs on others in order to "save those people" or "save society".

  48. The video did not say "avoid criticizing religious beliefs." The video said "stand up against religious discrimination." Discrimination is when you treat someone as less deserving of human dignity because of a group they belong to. You can criticize beliefs and ideas without making people feel like dirt.

  49. since I dont believe in "religion", i equally discriminate them all, and would just rather them all fade away

  50. wow so many people in the comment section either missing the point or taking offense that they can't mock religion. The point he was making is don't BULLY people and instead respect everyone's personal belief and find a positive way of interacting with people from all walks of life.

  51. Like the Jewish boy in the story, many gay kids are bullied in school. The difference? They don't choose to be gay where people choose their religions. Their religions have been hateful since the beginning of time…just look at what is going on in present day Brunei.

  52. So rather than pushing to educate people out of their superstitions and dogmas, it's our responsibility to learn how to participate in them?

  53. Not all religions are equal. I would stand up against religious discrimination for some religions e.g. Buddhist, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Shintoists, Wiccans, Satanists, Pagans, Liberal Jews, Unitarian Universalists, Bahai followers, Yazidis, Animists, Zoroastrians, Taoists, Ancestor Worshippers, Druids and non-religious people like Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, Freethinkers.
    The people of religion I would NEVER stand up for or defend are Muslims of all denominations, including Shotes, Sunnis, Ismailis, etc, Evangelical Born-Again Christians, All Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics, 99% of mainline Protestant Christians, Scientologists, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Pentecostals, Assemblies Of God Christians, Southern Baptists, Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox and Heradi Jews. ALL of these denominations and religions in this second group are BULLIES and will not hesitate to discriminate against people outside of their belief systems. These groups also preach hatred or have hateful and/or disgusting practices against Ex-followers or critics. Many of these religions in the 2nd group weld a lot of political as well as social power. Their followers bully others. So there is no need for these already power hungry religions and their followers to be protected.

  54. When my high school friend was being bullied by a guy in my class I, one morning in class , walked by his desk and slammed his face down onto his desk. That was the end of that. By the way that was in the 70s. Dad got a phone call saying I should not do that but we kind of deserve it.

  55. It's good to be sensitive to people as we're all in different levels of understanding which can't be helped. And yes it's condescending to be that way. But simply giving into supernatural beliefs isn't necessarily beneficial. Kids can get along, but adults are driven by the passion of experience. Talk to a kid, and they'll have love for humankind no matter their beliefs. Talk to an adult who's experienced struggle, and you will find a harsh will to segregate, and coerce others to fit their narrative. You're a unique person Eboo, but you have one experience that doesn't count for very much in the history of humankind.

  56. Religious diversity and tolerance is certainly to be respected, until it comes up against what one would normally consider harming of a person or group. If your religion demands that I not take sex ed classes, cannot marry this or that person, to wear a condom or not, to get proper medical attention, or when it interferes with someone else or a group purely for ideological and emotional reasons, then you are in the wrong and 'tolerance' and 'freedom' ends right there.

  57. So be tolerant to the ideas of:
    – Throwing gays off roofs
    – Be-headings of the unbelievers
    – Anti-abortion
    – Anti-gay marriage
    – Tax free exemption just because you're declaring it's a religion
    – No free speech, or else killed for drawing a idol, or offending it's followers.

    Couldn't disagree more.
    Bad ideas need to be criticized.

  58. You say the race of each person until you get to what I assume are white people. Which means white means person and the others are people with a qualifier. Check your internal racism, there’s no telling how else it’s affecting you.

  59. @ 3:33 You mean like cutting parts off of new born baby boys penises instead of waiting for them to turn 18 and letting them decide for them self? Ya man, let that vulnerable soft area grow some hard skin, who wouldnt want that at the tip of their dick?

  60. No mention of the atheist? Not a religion but there is a lot of people who are discrimined and shunned for it.

  61. One says religious discrimination I hope they understand religious people can discriminate, be prejudice, abusive, and harm others. It is not discrimination to tell cult or individual that is religious to stop causing harm reguardless if dogma is to harm ( not seen as harm by cult members).

  62. Áve María, grátia pléna, Dóminus técum.
    Benedícta tū in muliéribus, et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.
    Sáncta María, Máter Déi, óra pro nóbis peccatóribus, nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae.
    Ámen.

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