The Eritrean Covenant Towards Sustainable Justice and Peace - Part 2

Written by: Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar

V. Guiding Principles:

1. Eritrean Muslims, who have never shown ethnic supremacy aspirations in their history,

believe in the equality of all citizens under the law; all citizens must be accorded equal opportunities to education, employment and economic benefits.

2. Eritrean Muslims have always been true to national unity and have paid their fair share in safeguarding the unity of Eritrea as a political entity; this is their legacy since the formation of Eritrea and they will always remain truthful to it.

3. Eritrean Muslims base their patriotism on the spirit of the Eritrean constitution of 1952 which was willingly adopted by all Eritreans when they expressed their vision of Eritrea in a relatively free environment where the rights of citizens and founding principles of the Eritrean nation was agreed upon by representatives of the people. Despite its limitations with regard to women’s right to vote or be elected, the 1952 constitution was ratified by a democratically elected legitimate assembly in 1952.

4. Hence, the spirit of the basic tenets of the 1952 constitution still guides Eritrean Muslims today with regard to national symbols, education, governance, land ownership, employment policies, liberal politics and Arabic/Tigrinya as official languages.

5. Most Eritrean Muslims embrace the Arabic language as a fundamental component of the foundation of Eritrea as they consider it a cornerstone in the structure of the country. The forefathers of Eritrean Muslims had long ago reached a consensus and willingly adopted Arabic as their unifying language for the sake of a greater ideal and for the common good without relinquishing their very right to develop their own respective languages.

6. Eritrean Muslims firmly believe that their patriotic credentials are deeply rooted in the history of the nation and they take pride in keeping the legacy of their fathers and forefathers, the renowned patriots including Ibrahim Sultan, Abulkadir Kebire, Hamid Idris Awate, Sheikh Mohammed Omar Akito, Osman Saleh Sabbe, Idris Mohammed Adem, and others. Eritrean Muslims reject the desecration of the names of our heroes, belittling them or disrespecting them in any way or form.

7. The bigotry of the ethnocratic regime is nowhere more evident than in its designations of what constitutes Eritrea’s national heritage and historical landmarks. For a multicultural society, it is no coincident that the entire eleven members of the regime’s Culture Heritage Commission are Tigrinya speaking Christians. It is not surprising then that both the Debre-Bizen Monastery, which was built by Abuna Filipos in 1361, and the 200-years-old Kidane Mehret Church in Senafe are listed as cultural heritage sites worthy of restoration while none of Massawa’s four grand mosques (Missjid Abu Hanafi, built in 1203; Misjid Sheikh Mudui, built in 1503 by Hergigo’s Sheikh Mudui; Missjid Hamal, built in 1543 by Sheikh Omar Ibn Sadiq AlAnsari and Misjid Shaaf’e) or the ruins from the Sahel, Dahlak or even Adulis were even listed as historical sites.

8. Eritreans Muslims do not appreciate the Eritrean regime’s obsession with restoring and preserving Fascist and colonial Art Deco in Asmara while ignoring and destroying centuries-old Muslim heritage, (mainly in the port city of Massawa) which has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. This includes the promotion of “Hamlay Deset” as a Tigrignized name for the “Sheikh Saeed” island.

9. The best way for Eritrean Muslims, who are poly-lingual, multi-ethnic, and culturally diverse and spread apart geographically, is to coalesce and defend their rights in the national equation, and that can only be achieved when these rights are defined based on their common identity.

VI. Justice, Freedom & Democracy:

1. We understand that democracy is a method of deciding who shall rule and how. Whatever its virtues, democracy neither guarantees freedom nor peace. However, democracy is necessary for freedom to flourish and for peace to prevail. To have a free and peaceful country, we strive to create a society in which the inalienable rights of the individual and of communities are respected, and the powers of government are limited.

2. Eritrean Muslims believe that in order to promote peace, justice and freedom and to live in a multicultural democracy, the following principles must be upheld.

a. Recognition of the essential dignity of the individual and the equality of all citizens.

b. Acceptance of the principle of free and fair elections with the offer of genuine choice.

c. Drawing the just powers of government from the consent of the governed.

d. Accountability of the government to its electorate and the acceptance of the right of genuine opposition.

e. Principle of justice and equity before the law, and the upholding the cherished freedoms of speech, association, movement, conscience and religion.

3. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. The right, ability, and willingness to criticize every branch of our government at every level should be part of our democratic culture. We also believe that for the success of democratic government, both rulers and ruled must learn and exercise tolerance.

4. We recognize that no issue, Muslim or otherwise, can be safely raised and solved in the absence of democracy, which itself cannot achieve its full potential if disadvantaged groups are excluded from full participation. The journey towards democracy must not start with some empowered and others crippled by the colonial rule and its aftermath.

5. Slogans of “equality” cannot be raised without levelling the playing field of opportunities and rights; democracy cannot thrive, or even sprout, but would usher the degeneration of any regime into tyranny if it is installed on a shaky and unjust foundation.

6. Eritrean Muslims believe that until and unless justice is done and served to all Eritreans on par by eliminating overt and covert classes in citizenship both assumed and practiced, Eritrea will face upheavals that would undermine its viability as a state. The extant severe disparities of rights and powers must be eliminated and justice and equality restored.

7. Hence, the steps towards healing and reconciliation require recognizing these unmistakable historical facts as manifested by the current socio-economic disparities and addressing those facts with the intention of closing the socio-economic gap for the formation of a secure, viable, and sustainable, post PFDJ state.

VII. Governance:

1. Fundamental agreement and accords between the components of the society, upon which harmonious relations are based, should remain constant and points of reference that are not changeable. The fundamentals of Eritrean national unity should not be negotiable.

2. Eritrean Muslims do not recognize proclamations passed under the auspices of an authoritarian regime; and though they struggle for constitutionalism, they leave the topic of a constitution to a truly representative group that should be assembled under a just system to tackle the constitutional and other issues related to social justice.

3. The Constitutional Commission that was tasked to draft the 1997 PFDJ constitution was exclusively composed of Eritreans who were members or sympathizers of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF.) Naturally, this meant that the perspective that was brought to it were the principles that guided the EPLF in all areas including: language policy, land policy, centralization of power, and national symbols (flag), a considerable departure from the negotiated arrangement that was reached by representatives of the Eritrean people in the 1952 constitution.

4. Eritrean Muslims reject being ruled from a central bureaucracy (similar to that of Ethiopia’s colonial rule) and by a group of self appointed clique while they are relegated to the peripheries; they demand more autonomous regional governments to govern themselves within broad national parameters.

5. Since the primary divide in defining the inhabitants of Eritrea is faith-based followed by the tribal and geographical localities, a sect-sensitive system of governance (state level) and an equitable power sharing regime which allows more autonomy (regional level) could be the ideal antidote to Eritrea’s problems associated with inequality and lack of freedoms.

6. Appointments to public positions should take into considerations the diversity of the Eritrean society—we should strive to establish an egalitarian system, similar to the one that was sabotaged during the federal period.

7. The regime has baptized Eritrean regions with new names, and official terminologies and phrases used are exclusively Tigrignized with the exclusion of other Eritrean languages. The process of Tigrignization of the state must be halted immediately and reversed.

8. Eritrean Muslims believe that the Eritrean Defense Forces should be a non-partisan national institution and a muscle of the people on whose behalf it guards the democratic institutions of the country and its security. In order to build a professional and competent army that safeguards Eritrean national cohesion, its leadership should be representative of the Eritrean diversity and subservient to a civilian leadership.

9. Equal opportunities should not be understood to mean Sekou Toure style “ethnic arithmetic” that Isaias and others employ by ostensibly dividing cosmetic cabinet “power” or responsibility equally among people carrying Muslim and Christian names, when in reality, power actually resides with him and his clique alone; Eritrean Muslims reject token representation and token opportunities including that afforded to them by some groups.

VIII. Assertion of Rights:

1. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Eritrean Muslims want the same things that every Eritrean wants: equal opportunity; freedom of expression; freedom of worship; equality under the law; protection from harassment; access to resources. Eritrean Muslims assert their rights for a fair, unabridged share of power and resources, and a complete exercise of rights to the fullest in our God-given land for which we paid preciously.

2. Eritrean Muslims believe in the geographical division of Eritrean regions as it existed in 1952; any changes done without the consent of the people, through their duly delegated representatives, should be considered null and void.

3. Eritrean Muslims do not accept being treated with suspicion and mistrust by the ruling clique and its appendages and thus be treated as second class citizens in their own country.

4. Indigenous Peoples Rights: Eritrean Muslims are concerned with the predicament of the Kunama people, a segment of Eritreans whose numbers have been decreasing drastically and their land shrinking to severe levels. If the current policies of the regime are not remedied, this minority group faces extinction.

5. In general, indigenous cultures and beliefs have either disappeared or were incorporated to a greater or lesser degree into the practices of the two major belief systems: Islam and Christianity. This has happened to many communities that are either extinct or on their way to extinction. For example, the Bitama, and the Elit peoples have either been totally swallowed or went extinct.

6. In present Eritrea, the Afars and the Kunamas can be considered the most disadvantaged communities whose lifestyles and traditions had sustained severe blows by the policies of the PFDJ regime.

7. We thus believe the Afars and the Kunamas, who consider themselves and want to have the right to remain distinct people, qualify to be characterized as indigenous peoples. Their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education should be recognized and protected under guidelines of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People of 2007. The declaration “emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions, and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations”. It also promotes “their full and effective participation in all matters that concerns to them”.

8. Rights of Return: Eritrean Muslims strongly condemn the conspiracy of the PFDJ regime to depopulate Eritrea of its Muslims by hatching and pursuing several plots that are forcing Eritrean Muslim refugees who were forced out of their country by successive Ethiopian regimes not to return to their homes, and instead to be assimilated in Sudanese society.

9. The UN declaration on human rights, Article 13 declares that “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” Eritreans were forced to leave their country and for over 40 years have been pinning away their lives in various refugee camps where the vast majority are Muslims who should be repatriated and rehabilitated in their ancestral lands.

10. The issue of refugees and their repatriation is a recognized global humanitarian issue that all countries are morally bound to help. Eritrean Muslims are determined to struggle for the rights of refugees languishing in the refugee camps of the Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen and Djibouti and who are rendered exiles by the regime.

11. Their ancestral homes are being taken over by regime sponsored settlements that must be stopped immediately. Refugees (and owners of any confiscated land) should be properly compensated to rebuild their lives.

12. Women’s’ Rights: Eritrean Muslims are determined to struggle to improve women’s conditions and rights; and they believe that the issue of women should not be characterized (as it is mostly done) as a dispute between champions of women’s liberty and those who want to deprive women of liberty; they also believe that education is the key to the emancipation of women.

IX. Freedom of Religion:

1. In the case of Eritrea, the tradition of religious tolerance was especially marked in ancient times when religion was traditionally considered a matter of personal choice as attested by the fact that in some families and clans, close relatives or even siblings might adhere to different religions.

2. Eritrean Muslims strongly uphold the right to freedom of worship and are against proselytizing by anyone or any sect.

3. Eritrean Muslims recognize the ideological challenges posed by global Islamist movements that polarize Muslim societies around the world and consider it a serious phenomenon with ensuing repercussions on Eritrean religious fabric in general and the cohesion of Eritrean Muslims in particular. Eritrean Muslims condemn any act of terrorism against civilians.

4. Eritrean Muslims recognize that the growth of more extremist forms of Islam is mainly recent and is of a political nature associated with nationalist movements in Islamic countries; Eritrea has so far been shielded from such extremism; Eritrean Muslims shun all forms of extremism while at the same time they are worried by the fact that the policies of the Eritrean regime are brewing all forms of extremism.

5. Extremist versions of Islam and the imposition of austere interpretation of Sharia law appears more as a reaction against Western influence and the human impulse to preserve one’s traditional values; Eritrean Muslims have always been moderate in practicing their religion and they strive to keep it that way.

6. But intolerance is by no means a characteristic of Muslims (Eritrean Muslims do not have such a history at all); on the contrary, it was the extremist and violent approaches of Ethiopia and its allies that caused all historical sufferings in Eritrea and the rampant violence and violations of right in Eritrea is not the making of Muslims.

7. Eritrean Muslims want the government’s hands off Muslim affairs; they do not accept that the government should appoint their Mufti, it is the task of the Council of Muslim Ulema. Eritrean Muslims will always demand a secular government (and not “secular religions”) because only secularism would protect them from government interference in their religious affairs.

8. Eritrean Muslims are determined to assert their Islamic identity in their country and will equally uphold the right of their fellow Christian compatriots to their own chosen identity. They are guided by the teaching, “There is no compulsion in religion.” And “To you is your way of life (religion), and to me is my way of life (religion)” is how Eritrean Muslims lived their lives throughout their history and that is how they will continue to live.

X. Languages:

1. Eritrean Muslims believe that, in the field of education and employment, Arabic language fluency must be recognized as a valuable skill, and that concrete efforts should be made to bring it on par with the employability of Tigrinya.

2. The credits of those who choose to study in Islamic schools must be transferable to public schools as long as they meet national standards which should be set by a panel of experts who are representative of the Eritrean people without any language, religious or regional bias. And an incentives scheme must be established to encourage scholarships for Muslims to train or study in subjects or skills where they are underrepresented because of historical disparities.

XI. Land:

1. Since the sixties, Christian elites had taken it as a project to expropriate Gash and Barka lands. In the sixties, vast areas of the Kunama land were taken by aggressive settlement projects designed by the Ethiopian occupiers and executed by their Eritrean operatives including Colonel Gebreqal in Upper Gash region.

3. The Muslims of the Western region, who have preserved their environment for centuries, have now become open to land grabbers pushed to expropriate their lands by the PFDJ regime—the whole region faces a serious environmental degradation due to the wrong policies of the regime.

4. The Kunama people divide their land into three portions and rotate its use for habitation, farming and grazing; disrupting this culture of land management under the influence of sedentary values, the PFDJ is destroying the ecology, economy, social life and the environment of the entire Lowlands.

5. As settlements grew and as the wide stretches of land that were pastures suddenly became the property of some other people, the livelihood of pastoralists and their way of life, even their very survival is being threatened.

6. In general, the people of the Lowlands never had problems with newcomers settling in their lands as long as they didn’t disrupt the social and political structure of the communities where they settle.

7. Eritrean Muslims are against the onslaught by the regime on pastoralist and agro-pastoralist which are a way of life for the overwhelming majority of Muslims who depend on sustainable, environment-friendly mode of production. The pastoralists’ often declared statement that “land belongs to Allah” should not be understood that they do not mind being stripped of their ancestral pastures.

8. Eritrean Muslims deplore the PFDJ regime’s policy of militarization of the society that has gravely impacted natural habitats and caused indiscriminate deforestation of the land, thus damaging the natural environment that was already impacted by the long years of war.

9. We call on Eritreans to recognize that Eritrean Muslim lands have been under an assault for more than 50 years and that all just and fair Eritreans should struggle to stop this aggression on land and other resources.

XII. Development:

1. Eritrean Muslims recognize that the enemy of all Eritreans is the baneful combination of ignorance, poverty, and prejudice; and in cooperation with all willing compatriots, they will continue to struggle to ameliorate the consequences of these underlying causes.

2. While aware that liberal, market oriented economy is not a panacea, we believe economic salvation would come by adopting a free market economy in which property rights are respected and our people have the right to pursue whatever means they see fit to achieve economic success, not forgetting that any economic development should be socially responsible and follow global standards for the protection of the environment and social cultures.

3. Eritrean Muslims demand that special attention be given to the developing of the war-torn areas of the Lowlands that have suffered unprecedented damage for decades and now being damaged by the presence of extensive militarization of the nation.

4. Eritrean Muslims condemn the regime’s practice of establishing projects by its companies or by its favored private sector concerns at the expense of residents of an area; residents of a given area should be the primary gainers from any such enterprise, including those in the field of mining.

XIII. Call for Action:

1. We call on all Eritreans to reject the PFDJ constitution and call for drafting a new constitution once the Eritrean people are rid of the oppressive regime; a constitution that will take into consideration the will and aspirations of all Eritreans.

2. We call on all compatriots to recognize the rights of our different Eritrean communities that are blessed with rich cultural, tribal, ethnic and linguistic diversity, representing a kaleidoscope of cultures that form an integral part of the cultural tapestry that adorns Eritrean Society.

3. We call on all Eritreans to help restore the refugee status and legal protection for all Eritreans in Sudan, and not just the ones in the UNHCR designated refugee camps; a move that the PFDJ regime has been campaigning against.

4. We call on Eritreans to recognize that local environments are best promoted and protected by their own indigenous populations; they should condemn the social engineering and the policies of uprooting and settlements of communities that are being carried out by the PFDJ regime.

5. We call on all Muslims to abandon narrow sectarian and regional tendencies in favour of promoting a united force and collective leadership that promotes and protects the rights of Eritrean Muslims, and by extension, the rights of all Eritreans.

6. We remind Eritrean Muslims that there are options and opportunities for negotiated settlements to these issues and thus they should struggle to assert their rights by seeking consensus and dialog.

7. We call on all peace and freedom loving Eritreans to endorse the rights stated above, and to rectify all the disparities along with every other Eritrean grievance.

8. We call of all Eritreans, inside the country and outside, to rally behind the citizens rights articulated above and organize to use The Eritrean Covenant as a platform.

9. We call on all Eritreans to break the psychological, emotional and political barriers and act in unison towards realizing the Revival of the Eritrean Promise.

XIV. The Way Forward:

1. The concept of conflict resolution is based on the idea that a sustainable resolution of a conflict requires solutions that are acceptable to all the parties, otherwise the parties will continue their struggle until one or all are exhausted, often at the detriment of both parties’ interests. If a settlement is reached without addressing the underlying problems, the conflict is likely to re-surface in one form or another if any of the party’s feel they have been treated unfairly.

2. Modern techniques of conflict resolution seek to identify the factors and conditions that make it difficult for the parties to consider a negotiated settlement. One such technique is reframing and re-examining the assumptions underlying a conflict.

3. We, as advocates of a conflict resolution approach, believe in the need for exploring alternative approaches that may be more likely to allow all stakeholders to work together by convincing them that a solution can be attained if and when it is based on enlightened self-interest rather than one that is based on a narrow hegemonic self interest.

4. The interests of all Eritreans can only be asserted in a united multicultural, multilingual, democratic country where citizens feel they have equal stake in its advancement.

5. This, of course, will require efforts from all of us to develop alternative perspectives to find creative arrangements which will satisfy the concerns of all segments of our diverse society. Otherwise, we all would be wondering for generations to come as how it is in the diverse, multi-ethnic polity of Eritrea, a single ethnic group that completely controls and occupies virtually all positions of the state apparatus could possibly continue to sustain its grip on power without undermining the viability of Eritrea as an independent state.

6. Future Work: Eritreans (including Eritrean Muslims) will have a variety of opinions on this statement. Synthesizing these disparate views into a workable solution that all can be agreed upon will be among the first challenges that a post-PFDJ government will face.

7. To follow up on the issues raised here, we encourage all scholars, researchers and academics to publish a series of papers to expand on the issues raised in this document.

8. For politicians and community leaders, we suggest the following objectives:

a. Outline a political framework under which a representative national unity government could be envisioned.

b. Propose means and ways to close the socio-economic disparity among all ethnic, regional, and religious groups.

c. Offer a vision of a just and equitable system of governance and rally Eritreans around the objectives of achieving it.

d. Initiate discussions and propose a framework for reconciliation through truth and forgiveness.

e. Educate the public on the myth and reality of global Islam and the difference between Islam as a faith and political Islam in the context of the geopolitics of our region.

End Notes:

1. ‘The Eritrean Covenant’ is intended to be publicly owned by all justice, peace and freedom loving Eritreans immediately after its publication. Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar is only a sponsor of ‘The Eritrean Covenant’ and does not claim sole ownership over it. The Mejlis is a council made up of Eritreans inside and outside Eritrea and is named after late Mufti Ibrahim Mukhtar (1909-1969) who was the Grand Mufti of Eritrea from 1940 until he passed away in Asmara in 1969. Mufti Ibrahim Mukhtar was a great religious leader, a scholar, an author, a staunch Eritrean patriot and unifier. You can read his brief biography by visiting a website dedicated to his works.

2. PFDJ: People’s Front for Democracy & Justice—the transformation of the EPLF through which the ruling clique consolidated power after the independence of Eritrea

3. Ethnocracy, as defined by Wikipedia, is a form of government where representatives of a particular ethnic group hold a number of government posts disproportionately large to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group(s) represents and use them to advance the position of their particular ethnic group(s) to the detriment of others. Ethnocracies are characterized by their control system – the legal, institutional, and physical instruments of power deemed necessary to secure ethnic dominance. An ethnic elite refers to an ethnic groupwhich in a local context has gained a position of economic and power over that of other groups. Ethnic elites may also foster ideologies and beliefs which serve to sustain their relative power.

4. Based on publicly available data and reliable inside information, we believe the army’s composition has changed substantially since 2000. Best available estimates put Christians at 52% during 1998-2000 war. This figure is slightly higher than in the general population because conscripts are heavily drawn from major cities and compliance is less enforced in rural area. With an estimated 10% desertion since 2000, the current figure of Christens in the army is likely to be in the mid to high 40’s.

5. List of Top Military Officers of the Eritrean Defense Forces.

6. Bulir, Ales, Brixiova, Zuzana and Comenetz, Joshua. The Gender Gap in Education in Eritrea in 1991-98: A Missed Opportunity? (July 2001). IMF Working Paper, Vol., pp. 1-25, 2001.

7. The genesis of the ethnocratic regime can be traced to a manifesto published in November 1971 entitled Nehnan Elamanan (“We and Our Objectives”), an unsigned document that is widely believed to have been authored by Isaias Afwerki and aimed to serve as a clarion call for uprising and a blue print for ethnic domination. From its very title, the document for the first time characterized the conflict from the “Eritreans vs. Ethiopians” focus of the Eritrean struggle for independence to “Christian Highlanders vs. Muslim Lowlanders”. It demonizes the Muslim leadership of the ELF as corrupt, sex-crazed, religious fanatics and barbaric murderers who had no political vision other than to shoot their guns aimlessly and to fight for the sake of Allah and make Eritrea an Arab state, a smear campaign taken straight from Ethiopia’s propaganda playbook. In contrast, it characterizes the Christian Highlanders as patriotic and progressive. It alleges that the ELF persecuted and “slaughtered with knives” some 550 Christian’s fighters and civilians, but only provides the names of two individuals. It further alleges that the ELF stole Highlander’s cows and with the proceeds took up multiple wives in Sudan. The unsubstantiated allegations were presented as facts and repeated in the Western media and academic publications authored by Isaias’ supporters. This stereotypical image of Eritrean Muslims persists until today. Any organization led by a Muslim Eritrean, whether it is a political organization, a website, or a charity, is habitually accused of harbouring Jihadist ambitions by Issias supporters and some opposition leaders, politicians, and writers in the internet.

8. Bet Giorgis: a place in the outskirts of Asmara where the first inter Eritrean congress was held.

9. Rabita Al-Islamiya: the first organized Muslim party that struggled for independence of Eritrea and against the partition of the country between Ethiopia and Sudan.

10. ELM: Eritrean Liberation Movement, also known as Haraka, was formed in Port Sudan in 1958 as the first organized group to struggle for the right to self-determination.

11. Srryet Addis: a unit that was allegedly killed by the ELF according to Isaias’ NE manifesto. So far, after over forty years, no names of the victims (whom NE claims to be several hundred) have been publicized; but the incident was and is still used as a rallying cry in Isaias’ mobilizing activities and to agitate the Eritrean Christian population.

12. ELF: Eritrean Liberation Front. The organization that began the armed struggle to liberate Eritrea and from which all organizations split.

13. TPLF: Tigray People’s Liberation Front- The Ethiopian organization that is a major component of the Ethiopian ruling party, EPRDF.

14. Menka’a: the first group of dissenters to appear within the EPLF and who were eliminated by Isaias and his clique in the mid-seventies.

15. EPLF: Eritrean Popular Liberation Front: The organization that Isaias came to control after taking over another two factions that split from the ELF.

16. List of names of Civil Servants of the Eritrean Government: Lists of Civil Servants: Regional and Country.

17. Multiculturalism, as defined by Wikipedia, is the acceptance or promotion of multiple ethnic cultures, for practical reasons and/or for the sake of diversity and applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g. schools, businesses, neighborhoods, cities or nations. In this context, multiculturalists advocate extending equitable status to distinct ethnic and religious groups without promoting any specific ethnic, religious, and/or cultural community values as central.

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