Challenges in tackling exclusivism and rising religiosity

I agree that race may be less salient than religion as a source of divisiveness ("Nation building reboot needed"; Jan 18).

It is unfortunate that exclusivism is enshrined in religiosity.

One way to contain the spread of exclusivism at the community level is to make use of our ability to reason and think about our own group traditions.

At the national level, we are lucky that the separation of religion and politics is a long-established principle in Singapore.

The Government does not take sides with any religious group when making policies, the media does not give dominant status to any particular religion, and schools adhere to the syllabus set by the Ministry of Education.

While Singapore's laws keep religious conflicts at bay, cultivating national identity, pride and loyalty will remain a challenge if the rising trend of religiosity is not reversed.

We, Singaporeans, have a responsibility to speak up against competitive strategies in the name of religiosity.

S. Ratnakumar

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2017, with the headline 'Challenges in tackling exclusivism and rising religiosity'. Print Edition | Subscribe