This paper will examine how secular societies have lost respect for radical religions, thus effecting their attitude toward more traditional and tolerate religions.
Western societies have become too politically correct. With the trend of increasing political correctness, Western culture has become over tolerant of religious differences. In the wake of overly tolerant attitudes toward other religions, Western societies left themselves open for the 9/11 attack and the London bombing. This has swung the pendulum in the opposite direction creating a zero-tolerance policy for any one of the Islamic faith.
One must question the willingness of Western cultures to have the attitude of religious tolerance. The answer is simple. Western cultures have fought for civil rights, especially religious freedoms. To understand Western views, one must examine not only the definition of religious tolerance but the social and moral facets of this issue as well.
Looking at this definition, it could be that the 90-s political correctness has shifted many from the centre towards either the softheadedness or the narrow-mindendness. This is perhaps why, as we turn to a new century, the New Labour Government is critically re-evaluating the effects of this policy. This comes in the form of demand on those who are tolerated to embrace integration process rather than resort to the unhealthy creation of parallel communities. In other words, they are asked to be tolerant in return for being tolerated. This seems a reasonable proposition and is a necessary departure from the historical context of religious tolerance. In John Locke’s A Letter Concerning Toleration he emphasises ‘the mutual toleration of private persons differing from one another in religion’. The recent address by Prime Minister Tony Blair, whilst seen as signalling a mixed message on multiculturalism, implies .that ethnic and religious minorities settling in the UK, in return for being tolerated have a community duty to integrate and this tolerance on their behalf is of a social rather than religious nature. .