Tolerance. From a very young age, we have been taught to take great pride in our apparently universal practice of this ideal. It has become our shining beacon of hope for societal progress. Our claims for modernity, morality and maturity hinge upon the principle of tolerance. It is that word we throw around to create a sense of unity, the word we drill into children in school, the word call for in the face of injustice, and the word cling to in times of social turmoil.
But what exactly what are the implications of being tolerant? Have we truly reached our full potential as a society in sincerely accepting each others’ differences?
The word tolerance is defined as “the power or capacity of an organism to tolerate unfavorable environmental conditions.” While many of us celebrate tolerance of diversity, there is a possibility that this concept, if improperly applied, can augur negative implications upon the fabric of our social interactions. At its very core, the root of the word tolerance comes from the concept “to tolerate” something or someone. Thus, even in the practice of tolerance, one’s guards are up and the boundaries between oneself and the other–whether they are religious, cultural, or social–are still intact.
As students at UC Irvine, we are in the perfect environment to move beyond the mechanical method of learning to instead engage in the expansion of our knowledge particularly through embracing what has historically been built up as “the other.”
In these pages you will find stories about the resurgence of Islamophobia in America, across the country and in our backyards. You will see the importance of alternative media, both on this campus and in the national arena. And you will experience the triumph and tribulations of the fight for the DREAM Act, an opportunity for undocumented students to realize the American dream.
In the Qur’an, the book revealed to the Prophet Muhammad salla Allahu `alayhi wa salaam (peace and blessings be upon him) by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (the Exalted and Glorified), we are told, “And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge” (30:22). It is a goal of Alkalima Magazine to provoke thought, encourage dialogue, and inspire action. With that in mind, questioning ourselves and the status quo is the first place to start on this journey of social understanding.
– MADIHA SHAHABUDDIN