AD28: Mauritians welcome ethnic/religious diversity but are less tolerant of homosexuals and people living with HIV/AIDS

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Darga, L. Amédée and Gilles Joomun

Despite their multiplicity of ethnic/cultural (European, African, Indian, Chinese) and religious (Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist) backgrounds, Mauritians have experienced few incidents of ethnic or religious violence. The last major incident dates back to 1999, when the popular Creole musician Kaya was found dead whilst in police custody, triggering riots against the mostly Hindu police and fights between Creoles and Hindus. Since then, the country has lived in relative harmony through three successive national elections.

The latest Afrobarometer survey confirms Mauritians’ acceptance of the multi-ethnic and multicultural character of their country, marked by a strong national identity in spite of significant perceptions of unfair treatment of their ethnic or cultural groups.

A majority of Mauritians express tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and do not exhibit xenophobic attitudes toward immigrants or foreign workers. But they show less tolerance for people living with HIV/AIDS and homosexuals.