Diversity is inclusive


For convenience I have copied my numerous facebook posts on the Committee of Diversity and inclusion’s decision to petition changing the Catholic Central High School mascot into one place.

I will add for reference, I was raised a Roman Catholic is a fairly liberal diocese, rejected that faith as a teenager and looked into the Eastern mystics, but in the end converted to Islam almost 30 years ago. Though my religious devotion is as lacking today as it was as a teen, and I tend to put more faith in science then mysticism.

Listen very carefully London. Diversity means the inclusion of diverse ideas and cultures. It does not mean the obliteration of individuality in a crusade to rid the community of any hint of non-conformity to establish a safe but meaningless homogeneous grey void.
You want to celebrate diversity? bring back Kavalcade where once a year the various cultural centers opened their doors to welcome stranger in to experience a taste of the various cultures that make this community.
Let’s dance to music we’ve never listened to, lets eat food we’ve never seen, lets see displays we have not been a party too.
That’s how you celebrate diversity, not by hiding it under a uniform blanket, but by exposing it for the magnificent patchwork quilt our community is.

The petition is being put forward by a city advisory committee on diversity. A committee that seems to want to stifle diversity by obliteration. Crusader: Defender of the faith to Christians. and a word that means: person who campaigns vigorously to everyone else. But this group narrowly attributes it to Knights of the crusades and the atrocities they committed during those centuries. I wonder if they are also going to petition to change the name of the London Knights? A vile group of serf owning overlords who lived for war and violence. Who not only committed acts of barbarism during the crusades, but even at home in revolt against the crown, wars of conquest and mistreatment of their own vassals

I despise an organization that seeks to stifle diversity and cultural differences.in the misguided idealism of non-offensiveness. It is up to people to learn not to be offended by something new or different. They need to learn how to accept those differences and maybe learn something from the exposure. To name a committee ‘Diversity’ while having an agenda to homogenize sickens me.

Can you think of any person you have ever heard of who’s still upset about the 11th-13th century holy wars? It seems pretty far fetched to me, but maybe I am just to thick skinned. I Don’t even blame the British for invading Ireland any more.

Pope Urban ordered the Christian armies to unite to fight the Muslims in the Holy Lands, and yes there was a lot of propaganda thrown in on how evil the Muslims were, but the main reason for the 1st Crusade was at the request of Emperor Alexius I who was under threat of invasion from the Turks and wanted military aide to protect Constantinople from being conquered. The Islamic empire was nearing it’s height of power at this time and had conquered all of North Africa the Middle East and most of Spain/Portugal as it moved on Europe. This wasn’t an invasion of a quiet neighbour, it was a reaction to a military aggression and threat. What the Pope and therefore the Crusaders did not know was that the Muslim empire accepted Christians as well as Jews to reside within their borders as ‘People of the book’ and when the crusaders arrived they began to slaughter everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. An ignorant act by ignorant people in a time of ignorance. It was how wars were fought at the time, not some new dastardly evil plot be a corrupt church. It was just a war of conquest in response to another war of conquest.

While I certainly can’t prove anything, I have my suspicions there is a certain amount of bias towards established religions in this decision. Often, but not always, the zealots of the far left have a bigotry towards religious observance perversely usually mostly directed at their personal religious background. Christians opposed to Papal Christianity, Muslims opposed to the Sunna, Jews opposed to orthodoxy. Rarely do you find these people will cross over the line to disparage another religion, but they have no qualms about attacking their own.

Personally, I just feel that changing the name of a high school sports team from what was once represented a devotion of faith and militancy (most sports teams are named for either animals or militant orders) because someone might still be offended by the effects of wars that happened 700-900 years ago is meaninglessly combative and does noting to improve the acceptance of diversity. It attacks one group that will surely get their back up and resent the change, actually dividing rather them bonding our community.

I consider myself reasonably open minded and accepting of diversity and to mean that means diversity, not the homogenization of everything, and the enforcement of meaningless feel good platitudes. The Crusaders were the title of Christian’s who believed they were defending the holy land. It’s a generic term used to mean knights, men at arms, foot soldiers, priests and peasants. Yes horrible things happened during the different crusades, atrocities committed by soldiers and civilians alike, but the intended spirit of the term was meant as defender of the faith. An appropriate mascot for a Catholic school.

Shall we change the London Knights? Knights were crusaders. Owners of slaves, serfs and in many cases violent oppressors within their own homeland when not openly revolting against the crown or engaged in civil wars as well as wars of conquest. What about the vile name Knights of Columbus? An order dedicated to a genocidal adventurer. Shall we obliterate Crusader was attributed to those involved in the campaigns to gain control of the Holy Lands. They were not all knights. which was my original point. The spirit of the crusades was meant to be one of religious devotion. right or wrong, it was not conceived as evil, it was simply one side in a religious disagreement that raged on and off for centuries. It is no better or worse the the Trojans, the Spartans, the Knights, or any other historical militant group we often use as mascots for sport teams.

You are confusing Templars with Crusaders. The Templar knights were priests, most of the Crusaders were not.And for that matter, the Templars original charter was to protect pilgrims travelling to and from the Holy lands, more a protective police force then army. It wasn’t until later they became the huge military force everyone imagines when they think of the Crusades. all aspects of history and culture that might offend, or should we accept ownership of our past, learn about our cultural roots as well as the cultures that surround us and grow together using our combined knowledge, diversity and experience.

As I said above. Diversity should mean owning and accepting the history, both the good and the bad and learning from it. If we seek to obliterate it from our lexicon, we are denying it’s importance both to the perpetrators and the victims. The Spirit and the folly.

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