Anyone could be forgiven for believing that problems of racism, inter-ethnic conflict and prejudice and intolerance are simply intractable and that the idea of peace and harmony between different communities is just a naive pipe dream. After all, these problems seem to have been with us for all time, they also have been the cause of some of the most appalling atrocities and injustices and are present in some form or another in every part of the world. And what could be more understandable than wanting to favour our own kind? Surely it is natural to be suspicious about people who appear not to be ‘like us’ and with whom we are asked to believe that we have little in common? Is the ‘fear of difference’ then, simply a natural phenomenon with which we have to live?
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