”Racialism” or the shortened term “Racism” has been in existence since people first distinguished one race from another. Given the ethnocentrism of ancient peoples and their tendency to think of themselves as the only real people, while everyone else is a barbarian, racism undoubtedly began with the first racial or ethnic distinctions…
What is racism, really? Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another.
Racism has existed throughout human history. It may be defined as the hatred of one person by another — or the belief that another person is less than human — because of skin color, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person. It has influenced wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes. Today, the word racism is thrown around all the time by not only members of racial minority groups but by whites, too. Use of the term “racism” has become so popular that it’s spun off related terms such as “reverse racism,” “horizontal racism” and “internalized racism.”
Let’s start by examining the most basic definition of racism—the dictionary meaning. According to the American Heritage College Dictionary, racism has two meanings. Firstly, racism is, “The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.” Secondly, racism is, “Discrimination or prejudice based on race.”
Examples of the first definition abound. When slavery was practiced in the United States, blacks were not only considered inferior to whites but regarded as property instead of human beings. During the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, it was agreed that slaves were to be considered three-fifths people for purposes of taxation and representation. Generally during slavery, blacks were deemed intellectually inferior to whites. This notion persists in modern-day America.
In 1994, a book called The Bell Curve posited that genetics were to blame for why African Americans traditionally score lower on intelligence tests than whites. The book was attacked by everyone from New York Timescolumnist Bob Herbert, who argued that social factors were responsible for the differential, to Stephen Jay Gould, who argued that the authors made conclusions unsupported by scientific research. In 2007, Nobel Prize-winning geneticist James Watson ignited similar controversy when he suggested that blacks were less intelligent than whites.
Sadly, racism in the form of discrimination persists in society also. A case in point is that blacks have traditionally suffered from higher rates of unemployment than whites. In June 2009, black unemployment was 15.3 percent compared to an 8.8percent unemployment rate for whites. Do blacks simply not take the initiative that whites do to find work? Studies indicate that, in actuality, discrimination likely contributes to the black-white unemployment gap.
In 2003, researchers at the University of Chicago and MIT released a study involving 5,000 fake resumes that found that 10percent of those featuring “Caucasian-sounding” names were called back compared to just 6.7percent of those featuring “black-sounding” names. Moreover, resumes featuring names such as Tamika and Aisha were called back just 5percent and 2 percent of the time. The skill-level of the faux black candidates made no impact on callback rates.
Can Minorities Be Racist?
Yes, of course. However, it’s important to note that because racial minorities in the U. S. have spent their lifetimes in a society that has traditionally valued whites over them, they are also likely to believe in the superiority of whites. It’s also worth noting that in response to living in a racially stratified society, people of color sometimes complain about whites. Typically, such complaints serve as coping mechanisms to withstand racism rather than as anti-white bias. Even when minorities are actually prejudiced against whites, they lack the institutional power to adversely affect whites’ lives.
Internalized Racism and Horizontal Racism
Internalized racism is when a minority believes that whites are superior. A highly publicized example of this is a 1954 study involving black girls and dolls. When given the choice between a black doll and a white doll, the black girls disproportionately chose the latter. In 2005, a teen filmmaker conducted a similar study and found that 64percent of the girls preferred the white dolls. The girls attributed physical traits associated with whites, such as straighter hair, with being more desirable than traits associated with blacks.
What about horizontal racism? When this occurs, members of minority groups adopt racist attitudes towards other minority groups. An example of this would be if a Japanese American prejudged a Mexican American based on the racist stereotypes of Latinos found in mainstream culture.
Racism Myth: Segregation Was a Southern Issue
Contrary to popular belief, integration wasn’t universally accepted in the North. While Martin Luther King Jr. managed to march through a number of Southern towns during the Civil Rights Movement, a city he chose not to march through for fear of violence was Cicero, Ill. When activists marched through the Chicago suburb without King to address housing segregation and related problems, they were met by angry white mobs and bricks. Fast-forward to 1975 Boston. When a judge ordered city schools to integrate in 1974 by busing black and white schoolchildren into each other’s neighborhoods, white mobs pelted the buses with rocks.
“Reverse racism” refers to anti-white discrimination. It’s often used in conjunction with practices designed to help minorities, such as affirmative action. The Supreme Court continues to receive cases that require it to determine when affirmative action programs have created anti-white bias.
Social programs have not only generated cries of “reverse racism” but people of color in positions of power have also. A number of prominent minorities, including the biracial President Barack Obama, have been accused of being anti-white. The validity of such claims is clearly debatable. They indicate, though, that as minorities become more prominent in society, more whites will argue that minorities are biased. Because people of color will surely gain more power over time, get used to hearing about “reverse racism.”
The exact definition of racism is controversial
The exact definition of racism is controversial both because there is little scholarly agreement about the meaning of the concept “race”, and because there is also little agreement about what does and doesn’t constitute discrimination. Some definitions would have it that any assumption that a person’s behavior would be influenced by their racial categorization is racist, regardless of whether the action is intentionally harmful or pejorative. Other definitions only include consciously malignant forms of discrimination.
Among the questions about how to define racism are the question of whether to include forms of discrimination that are unintentional, such as making assumptions about preferences or abilities of others based on racial stereotypes, whether to include symbolic or institutionalized forms of discrimination such as the circulation of racial stereotypes through the media, and whether to include the socio-political dynamics of social stratification that sometimes have a racial component. Some definitions of racism also include discriminatory behaviors and beliefs based on cultural, national, ethnic, caste, or religious stereotypes.
Racism and racial discrimination are often used to describe discrimination on an ethnic or cultural basis, independent of whether these differences are described as racial. According to the United Nations convention, there is no distinction between the terms racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination, and superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and that there is no justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in practice, anywhere.
In politics, racism is commonly located on the far right due to the far right’s common association with nativism, racism, and xenophobia. In history, racism has been a major part of the political and ideological underpinning of genocides such as the holocaust, but also in colonial contexts such as the rubber booms in South America and the Congo, and in the European conquest of the Americas and colonization of Africa, Asia and Australia. It was also a driving force behind the transatlantic slave trade, and behind states based on racial segregation such as the USA in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and South Africa under apartheid. Practices and ideologies of racism are universally condemned by the United Nations in the Declaration of Human Rights.
Usage of the term and related terms
In the 19th century, many scientists subscribed to the simple belief that human populations are divided into separate races. This was often used to justify the belief that some races were inferior to others, and that differential treatment was consequently justified. Such theories are generally termed scientific racism. When the practice of treating certain groups preferentially, or denying rights or benefits to certain groups, based on racial characteristics is institutionalized, it is termed “institutional racism”.
Nowadays, most biologists, anthropologists, and sociologists reject a simple taxonomy of races in favor of more specific and/or empirically verifiable criteria, such as geography, ethnicity, or a history of endogamy.
Those who subscribe to the proposition that there are inherent distinctions among people that can be ascribed to membership in a racial group (and who may use this to justify differential treatment of such groups) tend to describe themselves using the term “racialism” rather than “racism”, to avoid the negative connotations of the latter word. “Racialism” is assumed to be more value-neutral terminology, and more appropriate for (scientifically) objective communication or analysis.
However, this distribution of meanings between the two terms used to be precisely inverse at the time they were coined: The Oxford English Dictionary defined “racialism” as “belief in the superiority of a particular race” and gives a 1907 quote as the first recorded use. The shortened term “racism” did not appear in the English language until the 1930s. It was first defined by the OED as “the theory that distinctive human characteristics and abilities are determined by race”, which gives 1936 as the first recorded use.
Additionally, the OED records racism as a synonym of racialism: “belief in the superiority of a particular race”. By the end of World War II, racism had acquired the same supremacist connotations former associated with racialism: racism now implied racial discrimination, racial supremacism and a harmful intent. (The term “race hatred” had also been used by sociologist Frederick Hertz in the late 1920s.)
Modeled on the term “racism”, a large number of pejorative -ism terms have been created to describe various types of prejudice: sexism, ageism, ableism, speciesism, etc. Related concepts are antisemitism, chauvinism and homophobia (which in turn has led to terms such as Islamophobia).
Racism in Torah (?) and Talmud
“Racism Originated in the Torah” say Israeli Rabbis. Racism from high ranking Rabbis across Israel who are stating that racism is a part of Judaism and Jews shouldn’t rent apartments to Arabs. Imagine if they were Muslim?
We must also take note of those voices speaking out against such rhetoric and pronouncements because many are opposed to the language used by these Rabbis.
Top rabbis move to forbid renting homes to Arabs, say ‘Israel belongs to Jews’
(Haaretz). A number of leading rabbis who signed on to a religious ruling to forbid renting homes to gentiles – a move particularly aimed against Arabs – defended their decision with the declaration that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews. Dozens of Israel’s municipal chief rabbis signed on to the ruling, which comes just months after the chief rabbi of Safed initiated a call urging Jews to refrain from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews.
Signatories include the chief rabbis of Ramat Hasharon, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, Rishon Letzion, Carmiel, Gadera, Afula, Nahariya, Herzliya, Nahariya and Pardes Hannah, among a number of other cities. “We don’t need to help Arabs set down roots in Israel,” Rabbi Shlomo Aviner of the Beit El settlement, said. Aviner explained that he supported the move for two reasons: one, a Jew looking for an apartment should get preference over a gentile; and two, to keep the growing Arab population from settling too deeply.
“Racism originated in the Torah,” said Rabbi Yosef Scheinen, who heads the Ashdod Yeshiva. “The land of Israel is designated for the people of Israel. This is what the Holy One Blessed Be He intended and that is what the [sage] Rashi interpreted.” He added that he did not see the move as racist so much as segregationist. “The world is so big and the State of Israel is small, that God intended it for the people of Israel and the whole world covets it. That is the injustice.”
Upon news of the religious ruling, Meretz faction whip Ilan Ghilon immediately asked the attorney general to dismiss each of the rabbis who had signed their names.
“We are witnessing an epidemic of racism and xenophobia and we must act firmly,” he said. Deputy Knesset chairman MK Ahmed Tibi decried the letter as a “mass crime [committed] by a group of racist rabbis who should be given intensive course in Jewish history.”
The entire group should be tried for “incitement to racism,” added Tibi, “Muslim clerics have recently been tried or fired from their jobs for much less but the rabbis are able to pursue their unruly behavior without concern. Haifa Mayor Yonah Yahav termed the ruling the “real desecration of God’s name. It is bringing hatred against those with whom we have chosen to live our lives.” Nazareth Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy also decried the moving, declaring that “whoever thinks it damages one side is mistaken. We are all children of the land. Both nations must search for common ground and not bring about escalation.”
In their ruling, the rabbis called on the religious community to voice support Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who could face trial for incitement against Arabs for initiating the move against renting to gentiles. Minority Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman has also asked Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to begin the process of suspending Eliyahu immediately from his post as municipal rabbi.
Politicos from the national religious sector believe that the mass of prominent figures who signed on to the ruling – all of whose salaries are paid by public funds – will send a message to the attorney general to take Eliyahu’s position seriously. The rabbis’ letter prompted by Eliyahu, which was first published months ago and reprinted in October, urges Jewish owners of apartments to reconsider renting their properties to Arabs since it would deflate the value of their homes as well as those in the neighborhood.
“Their way of life is different than that of Jews,” the letter stated. “Among [the gentiles] are those who are bitter and hateful toward us and who meddle into our lives to the point where they are a danger.” The rabbis also urge neighbors of anyone renting or selling property to Arabs to caution that person. After delivering the warning, the neighbor is then encouraged to issue notices to the general public and inform the community. “The neighbors and acquaintances [of a Jew who sells or rents to an Arab] must distance themselves from the Jew, refrain from doing business with him, deny him the right to read from the Torah, and similarly [ostracize] him until he goes back on this harmful deed,” the letter reads.
HERE ARE Some VERSES of Talmud THAT ARE RACIST AND AGAINST HUMANITY
Jews May Rob and Kill Non-Jews
Sanhedrin 57a . When a Jew murders a gentile (“Cuthean”), there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.
Baba Kamma 37b. The gentiles are outside the protection of the law and God has “exposed their money to Israel.”
Hitting a Jew is the same as hitting God
Sanhedrin 58b. If a heathen (gentile) hits a Jew, the gentile must be killed.
O.K. to Cheat Non-Jews
Sanhedrin 57a . A Jew need not pay a gentile (“Cuthean”) the wages owed him for work.
Jews Have Superior Legal Status
Baba Kamma 37b. “If an ox of an Israelite gores an ox of a Canaanite there is no liability; but if an ox of a Canaanite gores an ox of an Israelite…the payment is to be in full.”
Jews May Steal from Non-Jews
Baba Mezia 24a . If a Jew finds an object lost by a gentile (“heathen”) it does not have to be returned. (Affirmed also in Baba Kamma 113b). Sanhedrin 76a. God will not spare a Jew who “marries his daughter to an old man or takes a wife for his infant son or returns a lost article to a Cuthean…”
Jews May Lie to Non-Jews
Baba Kamma 113a. Jews may use lies (“subterfuges”) to circumvent a Gentile.
Non-Jewish Children are Sub-Human
Yebamoth 98a. All gentile children are animals.
Abodah Zarah 36b. Gentile girls are in a state of niddah (filth) from birth.
Abodah Zarah 22a-22b . Gentiles prefer sex with cows.
Abodah Zara 26b: “Even the best of the Gentiles should be killed.”
Nidrasch Talpioth, p. 225-L: “Jehovah created the non-Jew in human form so that the Jew would not have to be served by beasts. The non-Jew is consequently an animal in human form, and condemned to serve the Jew day and night. (Talmud)
Aboda Sarah 37a: “A Gentile girl who is three years old can be violated.”
Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 388: “It is permitted to kill a Jewish denunciator everywhere. It is permitted to kill him even before he denounces.”
Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 348: “All property of other nations belongs to the Jewish nation, which, consequently, is entitled to seize upon it without any scruples.”
Baba Mezia, 114b “The Jews are called human beings, but the non-Jews are not humans. They are beasts.”
Midrasch Talpioth (fol. 225d): “God created them [Jews] in the form of men for the glory of Israel . But Akum were created for the sole end of ministering unto them [the Jews] day and night. Nor can they ever be relieved from this service. It is becoming to the son of a king [an Israelite] that animals in their natural form, and animals in the form of human beings should minister unto him.” (Talmud)
Babha Kama: “The name of God is not profaned when, for example, a Jew lies to a Goi by saying: ‘I gave something to your father, but he is dead; you must return it to me,’ as long as the Goi does not know that you are lying.” (Talmud)
Zionism is Racism
Zionism is a racist ideology, like all nationalisms. The specific racist characteristics are summarised here: labelling them racist should be uncontroversial in itself. However Israel and its supporters are allergic for the label, and that hinders rational assessment of nationalist ideology. “ZIONISM is racist. Being a fundamentalist political movement, ZIONISM is not categorically different from NAZISM. Only when we understand ZIONISM in its racist context will we begin to comprehend the depth of its atrocities. If Israel won’t stop itself. Humanity will eventually unite against this disgraceful state!” – An Anti-Zionist Israeli activist Gilad Atzmon.
Meanwhile the relation between Zionism and anti-Semitism is surrounded by an emotional smoke screen that deters many people, including Jews, from voicing their apprehensions about Zionism. This reluctance is well known to Zionist public relations men, who make use of it in a kind of emotional blackmail. The Zionists always use “Anti-Semitic” (branding or labeling against those who criticize them or speak against Israel) besides “Holocaust” as their best marketing stuffs to sell “ZIONISM” to the world especially the USA (their captive market for their propaganda stuffs) and the other western countries.
Arabs and Palestinians also come from the same Semitic tribe families, but they never use “Anti-Semitic” branding against the people who criticize them!
Racism and Social Darwinism
Anti-semitism is actually a type of racism. Therefore, while we search for the roots of – and remedy for – anti-semitism, we have to refer to the concept of racism. Racism is the most important component of fascist ideology, which was responsible for the greatest genocides, massacres and wars of the 20th century. When we look at Nazi ideology, in particular, we see that racism is the main constituent of fascism. The Nazis set out with the dream of making the German race, which they regarded as the superior race, dominant all over the world, and tried to eradicate other races, and particularly the Jews, to that end. As Wilhelm Reich put it, “The race theory is German fascism’s theoretical axis.” The root of this theoretical axis is based on Darwin’s theory of evolution.
The greatest influence in the sudden development of racism in the 19th century Europe was the replacement of the Christian belief that “God created all people equal” by “Darwinism”. By suggesting that man had evolved from more primitive creatures, and that some races had evolved further than others, it provided racism with a scientific mask.
In short, Darwin is the father of racism. His theory was taken up and commented on by such ‘official’ founders of racism as Arthur Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain, and the racist ideology which emerged was then put into practice by the Nazis and other fascists.
James Joll, who spent long years as a professor of history at universities such as Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, explained the relationship between Darwinism and racism in his book Europe Since 1870, which is still taught as a textbook in universities:
Charles Darwin, the English naturalist whose books On the Origin of Species, published in 1859, and The Descent of Man, which followed in 1871, launched controversies which affected many branches of European thought… The ideas of Darwin, and of some of his contemporaries such as the English philosopher Herbert Spencer, …were rapidly applied to questions far removed from the immediate scientific ones… The element of Darwinism which appeared most applicable to the development of society was the belief that the excess of population over the means of support necessitated a constant struggle for survival in which it was the strongest or the ‘fittest’ who won.
From this it was easy for some social thinkers to give a moral content to the notion of the fittest, so that the species or races which did survive were those morally entitled to do so.
The doctrine of natural selection could, therefore, very easily become associated with another train of thought developed by the French writer, Count Joseph-Arthur Gobineau, who published an Essay on the Inequality of Human Races in 1853. Gobineau insisted that the most important factor in development was race; and that those races which remained superior were those which kept their racial purity intact. Of these, according to Gobineau, it was the Aryan race which had survived best… It was.. Houston Stewart Chamberlain who contributed to carrying some of these ideas a stage further… Hitler himself admired the author (Chamberlain) sufficiently to visit him on his deathbed in 1927.
The evolutionist German biologist Ernst Haeckel is one of the most important of Nazism’s spiritual fathers. Haeckel brought Darwin’s theory to Germany, and prepared it as a program ready for the Nazis. From racists such as Arthur Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain Hitler took over a politically-centred racism, and a biological one from Haeckel. Careful inspection will reveal that the inspiration behind all these racists came from Darwinism.
Nazism’s Race Theory and Social Darwinism
Indeed, a heavy Darwinist influence can be seen in all the Nazi ideologues. When this theory, which was given form by Hitler and Alfred Rosenburg is examined, one sees concepts such as ‘natural selection,’ ‘selective mating,’ and ‘the struggle for survival between the races,’ which are repeated dozens of times in Darwin’s The Origin of Species. The name of Hitler’s book Mein Kampf was inspired by Darwin’s principle that life was a constant struggle for survival, and those who emerged victorious survived. In the book Hitler talked of the struggle between the races, and said: “History would culminate in a new millennial empire of unparalleled splendour, based on a new racial hierarchy ordained by nature herself.”
That Nazism was influenced by Darwinism is accepted by almost all historians who are expert in the period. The historian Hickman expresses the influence of Darwinism on Hitler in these words. (Hitler) was a firm believer and preacher of evolution. Whatever the deeper, profound, complexities of his psychosis, it is certain that [the concept of struggle was important because] … his book, Mein Kampf, clearly set forth a number of evolutionary ideas, particularly those emphasizing struggle, survival of the fittest and the extermination of the weak to produce a better society.
In The Mass Psychology of Fascism Wilhelm Reich describes the Nazi theory of race thus: The race theory proceeds from the presupposition that the exclusive mating of every animal with its own species is an “iron law” in nature. Only exceptional circumstances, such as captivity, are capable of causing a violation of this law and to leading to racial interbreeding. When this occurs, however, nature revenges itself and uses every means at its disposal to oppose such infringements, either by making the bastard sterile or by limiting the fertility of later offspring. In every crossbreeding of two living creatures of different “levels,” the offspring will of necessity represent something intermediate. But nature aims at a higher breeding of life; hence bastardization is contrary to the will of nature. Natural selection also takes place in the daily struggle for survival, in which the weaker, i.e., racially inferior, perish. This is consistent with the “will of nature,” for every improvement and higher breeding would cease if the weak, who are in the majority, could crowd out the strong, who are in the minority.
As we have seen, this biological view that forms the basis of the Nazi’s race theory is undiluted Darwinism. Nonsense such as that nature’s aim is to ’cause superior species to evolve,’ that it uses natural selection to do so, and that the weak are inevitably eliminated are really just a summary of Darwinism. These evolutionist views, which have no scientific basis and are just a reworking of the superstition of ‘ascribing consciousness to nature,’ existing in animist cultures, finally reached their culmination in the savagery of the Nazis. The theory was put into practice in human societies, again in a manner in conformity with Darwinism.
Wilhelm Reich continues: The National Socialist went on to apply this supposed law in nature to peoples. Their line of reasoning was something as follows: Historical experience teaches that the “intermixing of Aryan blood” with “inferior” peoples always results in the degeneration of the founders of civilization. The level of the superior race is lowered, followed by physical and mental retrogression; this marks the beginning of a progressive “decline.” The North American continent would remain strong, Hitler states, “as long as he [the German inhabitant] does not fall a victim to defilement of the blood,” that is to say, as long as he does not interbreed with non-Germanic peoples.
When Hitler said, ‘Take away the Nordic Germans and nothing remains but the dance of apes‘ he based that thought on the Darwinist ideas that man had evolved from apes, for which reason some of them still possessed ‘ape status.’ This logic constitutes the starting point of the horrible massacres they carried out against various races such as Gypsies, Slavs, Russians, and especially the Jews, and the horrible insensitivity they displayed while carrying out these horrendous acts.
Anti-semitic/Social Darwinist Racism In Our Day
Today, many anti-semite and similar racist movements draw their inspiration from Social Darwinism. In the manifesto of one of the most radical racist organizations in the US, the National Alliance, the bases of this doctrine are clearly set out. The fascist National Alliance organization stresses the difference between it and ‘Semitic beliefs’ (Islam, Christianity and Judaism), and states that they believe only in nature, that they are evolutionists, whereas ‘Semitic beliefs’ are based on faith in God. In the manifesto, the evolutionist logic behind its racist ideology is described: Our world is hierarchical. Each of us is a member of the Aryan (or European) race, which, like the other races, developed its special characteristics over many thousands of years during which natural selection not only adapted it to its environment but also advanced it along its evolutionary path. Those races which evolved in the more demanding environment of the North, where surviving a winter required planning and self-discipline, advanced more rapidly in the development of the higher mental faculties.
The National Alliance Organization is based in the United States and produces books and magazines in Swedish, French, German, Portuguese and Russian. It is rapidly spreading its Darwinist, neo-pagan ideology. The articles inside the organization’s fascist National Vanguard magazine frequently quote from the works of Darwin and other ideologues of Social Darwinism. One can find similar statements, Darwinist comments, and propaganda defending deviant pagan culture against the divine religions in the publications and web sites of other fascist organizations. Put briefly, fascist racism which was born with the re-awakening of pagan culture and the theory of naturalistic evolution in the 19th century, continues to grow in the 21st century, based on the same fundamental notions.
Is there a solution?: Islam is The Solution – The Values of the Qur’an Are Against Racism
Racist ideology, which inflicted great pain on mankind, is completely contradictory to Islam. According to Islam, human superiority has nothing to do with race. No matter from what race people may be, they are still people. Each one was created and placed in the world by God. The Qur’an reveals this truth thus:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. “O Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in God’s sight is that one of you who best performs his duty. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. “ (The Qur’an , 49:13)
The above verse is perfectly clear. No matter by what criteria human beings are judged in this world, in God’s eyes ‘superiority’ consists of closeness to Him, and fear of Him.
An individual or group which sees one race as ‘superior,’ or tries to show it to be so, is engaging in self-deception. Everyone will have to appear before God at the Day of Reckoning, and will be called to account alone. Those attributes that he perceived as conferring ‘superiority’ in this world will be of no use to him then. Quite the contrary, those who set up criteria outside those revealed by God, who claim that they are superior and oppress others, and who try to grow strong by crushing the weak, will definitely reap the fruit of their actions, both in this world and the next:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. “..Shown by their arrogance in the land and evil plotting. But evil plotting envelops only those who do it. Do they expect anything but the pattern of previous peoples? You will not find any changing in the pattern of God. You will not find any alteration in the pattern of God. Have they not travelled in the land and seen the final fate of those before them? They were far greater than them in strength. God cannot be withstood in any way, either in the heavens or on earth. He is All-Knowing, All-Powerful.” (The Qur’an , 35:43-44)
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. “There are only grounds against those who wrong people and act as tyrants in the earth without any right to do so. Such people will have a painful punishment. “(The Qur’an , 42:42)
But to many people in the West, racism no longer exists. Many believe that our ‘free'(?) world has eradicated this problem. The rights of homosexuals and animals are given higher priority, and people believe that the real oppression in the world lies here! Such delusion clouds the reality which we live in. Whilst animal rights activists and homosexuals march so vigorously for freedom, they seem to forget that people the world-over are continually being oppressed, simply due to the color of their skin or the label of their race. How sad it is that the Western world conveniently chooses to ignore the devastating consequences of this problem.
According to the Oxford dictionary, racism is the: “belief in superiority of particular race; antagonism towards other races” . From such a simple definition arises so much oppression and hatred. The belief that one particular race is superior to another, has led to injustice and tyranny against fellow humans. Racism is a disease which has taken on epidemic proportions and has even become accepted in many societies, past and present. But one may well ask, where did such behaviour originate from?
The Origins of racism – Devilish behavior
The origins of racism can be found in the annals of history. However, people are often biased and very subjective in their findings. For example, a Jew may claim that racism started with the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE. An Afro-centric person on the other hand, may claim that racism originated from the European colonisation of Africa and the engagement with the slave trade. Each race can thus claim to reveal the origins of this problem according to their own historical sufferings.
Islam however, is not like this. Because Islam was not revealed for a specific set of people or for a specific period of time, it is able to answer this question in a truly objective manner. This is one of the reasons why Islam has been so successful against racism. The origins of racism, as explained by Islam, go back to the beginning of mankind’s creation. Before the creation of man, Allah the Most High, had already created the Angels and the Jinn. Amongst the Angels at that time was a Jinn by the name of Iblis.
Iblis had resided amongst the Angels and was very obedient to Allah. However, this was to change, as Allah then created man. This new creation of Allah was created from clay and named Adam. He was first in the line of humanity, and as a result occupies a very special place in history. From him and his wife Hawwa (Eve), the generations of humanity have descended. After his creation, Allah ordered the Angels and those with them to prostrate to Adam. The holy Al Qur’an informs us of this important event, from which we may all learn a valuable lesson:
In the Name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful. “And (remember) when We said to the Angels: ‘Prostrate yourselves to Adam’, and they all prostrated except Iblis. He refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers” – (Al Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:34) and: “(Allah) said: ‘What prevented you (Iblis) that you did not prostrate?’ Iblis said; ‘I am better then him, you created me from fire and you created him from clay'” – (Al Qur’an, Surah Al-A’raf 7:12)
In Islam, the other name for Iblis is ‘Shaytan’ or the Devil. Thus, the root of racism is attributed to the Devil. Iblis’s insistence on being better than Adam, aroused his arrogance and pride. And what was the reason for this insistence? Nothing more then the fact that Iblis was of fire and Adam was of clay. It was at this stage in the history of the world, that the ugly head of racism first reared itself.
Iblis, the Devil, was consequently the world’s first racist! This Islamic explanation helps us to understand the reality of racism. Pride and arrogance leads to people thinking that they are better than others, simply because of their physical makeup. This pride and arrogance is truly a Devilish trait which humans have learnt from Iblis, the accursed Devil. Iblis’s refusal to prostrate before Adam led to his expulsion from the company of the Angels, and he vowed to Allah that: “.. I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (humanity) on the earth and I shall mislead them all, except Your chosen slaves among them” – (Al Qur’an Surah Al-Hijr 15:39-40)
True to his word, the astray Devil has indeed adorned the path of error for most of mankind throughout the ages. One of these adornments has of course been the Devilish behaviour of Racism.
Ever since Iblis’s refusal to bow down to Adam, the world has seen an increase in racism. Not only were people affected by this trend, but so were religions, creeds and ideologies. Before long Religions and creeds were justifying the superiority of some over others. An example of this is the religions of Judaism and Hinduism. By their very teachings, both of these ancient religions are racist. With Judaism, a person cannot become a Jew unless be/she is born from a Jewish mother. This then means that all non-Jews cannot enter Paradise, simply because they were not born into this faith!
With Hinduism, not only does it degrade the Creator by representing him as a monkey, rat, cow, elephant and even the male private organ (!), but it has also created one of the worlds most ancient forms of racism – the caste system. According to Hinduism, the higher castes originate from the upper body-parts of God, such as the chest and head, whereas the lower castes come from the lower bodyparts of God such as the legs and feet! This theory of degrading the Creator then justifies the oppression which happens to the lower castes. Such is this oppression, that if a higher caste person walks through the shadow of a lower caste person, he deems himself to have become impure and consequently has to bathe himself!
Other religions such as Christianity, have often been used to justify racist ventures. During the age of exploration the European powers used Christianity to justify their own imperial ambitions. The infamous Spanish Conquistadors used Christianity as a pretext to wipe out the Inca and Aztec civilisations of Central and South America during the 15th and 16th centuries. Nations such as the Dutch and the British used Christianity to justify their horrendous treatment of native Africans. The notorious Trans-Atlantic slave trade saw one of the worst forms of racism ever implemented. This form of racism saw entire cultures wiped out and replaced with the culture of their racist aggressors. This is why even today, many of the surnames which people from the Caribbean have, are in fact the names of their ancestral European slave masters.
It is not only religion which has been gripped by this disease, but also science. By the 19th century the Western world had rejected religion and was looking towards science to provide the answers for our existence. The dominant theory at the time was Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution. However, unknown to many, Darwin’s expeditions were only-funded by the British government so that a scientific base could be used for racist and imperial ambitions. The theory espoused that man evolved from apes. It then claimed that some people had not fully evolved from their primate forms, and were thus inferior to others. These inferior people were said to be the non-Europeans, and especially the Africans. Thus, on a mission to civilise these ‘savages’, the Europeans used Darwin’s theory to oppress and destroy many parts of the world.
The 20th century has also seen attempts to justify racism and its theories. During the 30’s and 40’s the German Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler used the credentials of the Aryan people, to legitimise his ruthless actions. The Apartheid regime of South Africa also used racism and racial segregation to maintain its existence. This has continued until today with many groups advocating clear White supremacy over the rest of mankind. The Ku Klux Klan, the British National Party and the Aryan Nation are examples of such groups.
The faces of racism are many. It should not be thought that racism is only conducted by the Europeans or Whites.
Racial superiority over Whites has also been advocated by Black people during this century. After centuries of oppression, the Black community in the Western world expressed its sentiments in an explosive way. The decade of the 60’s saw many civil rights movements emerge. Along with these came all the radical movements who popularised slogans such as ‘Black Power’. Before long there were many movements who openly advocated racism against White people. What made things even worse, was that some of the most vocal movements attached themselves to the religion of Islam – a religion which (as will be seen) destroys racism from its very root. Amongst these groups were the Nation of Islam and the Ansarullah. They openly advocated that the White people were devils and Black people were gods. Their open (but false) attachment to Islam helped to visualise Islam as being racist – something which could not be further from the truth.
So what is the solution for this world-wide epidemic? As Muslims we know that to defeat racism means to defeat Iblis, the Devil. Because humans are weak, it would be imperative that we adopt some, divine method in tackling this Devilish disease. This method is none other then ISLAM, the untainted and pure religion which came to benefit humanity through its teachings. Just as Islam explains the origins of racism, it also tells us how to combat it. This is firmly expressed in the holy Qur’an, when Allah explains the reason for our variety as different races and peoples:
In the Name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful.Allah Almighty said in the Noble Al Qur’an: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full Knowledge and is well-acquainted (with all things).” (Al Qur’an, Surah Al-Hujarat, Verse:13)
It is clear from this verse as to how humanity should act towards one another. We have been created like one huge beautiful garden with many different types of flowers in it. Each flower is clearly distinguished from the other, yet they all belong to the same garden. This unity of the nations can only be achieved when people recognize that it is Islam which will bring the different peoples of the world under one banner. And it is within this banner that people can achieve true piety and thus excel themselves in the sight of Allah.
The teachings of Islam cut racism from its very root. By looking at the sayings and actions of the last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (SAW), we can see how racism was truly obliterated with the advent of Islam. The Prophet (saws) said: “Indeed there is no excellence for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab, nor a White person over a Black one, nor a Black person over a White one, except through piety”. A statement like this tells us that this man, Prophet Muhammad PBUH (SAW), was truly a recipient of Divine inspiration. His words were not empty like the words of so many leaders today. Rather, he was always the first to lead by example, and this is why we find that during his lifetime so many different types of people accepted Islam.
From amongst the Prophet’s companions we find that he had an Ethiopian companion by the name of Bilal. Bilal had been a slave before he accepted Islam, and as a result his standing in Arabian society was worse then the animals. However, upon Bilal’s conversion to Islam, the force to combat the disease of Iblis, became known to all. Bilal was given a status like no Black slave had been given before. He was given the immense honour of being the first person to call the Adhaan (call to prayer) in Islam’s glorious history. More importantly however, he was accepted as an equal and a brother by the Prophet and his companions.
Through its teachings and practical implementation by the Prophet and his companions, Islam has spread to every corner of the known world. You will not see a more assorted group of people than the Muslims. From China to Spain, Siberia to Australia – never has there been such a wide body of people all united under one banner – the banner of Islam.
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Whosoever fights under the banner of the blind, becoming angry for nationalism or calling to nationalism or assisting nationalism and then dies, he dies the death of the pre-Islamic days”.This statement of the Prophet makes it clear that the consequences of involving ourselves in nationalism (which is a form of racism), is dying upon disbelief. And whosoever dies upon disbelief will undoubtedly taste the Fire of Hell. Through such statements, Islam totally isolates all forms of racism which can occur amongst humanity. It is indeed sad, that people cannot observe such beautiful advice, for if they did then maybe all the bloodshed caused by nationalism, ethnic cleansing etc. can be avoided.
The rites and injunctions of Islam also help to overcome racism. An example of this is the prayer of the Muslims. When Muslims pray in congregation, they are commanded by Islam to join together their ankles and shoulders to those next to them. Whether a man is a king, a leader, a slave, a judge or even a beggar, this command is incumbent upon every Muslim. Thus Blacks, Whites, Arabs, Indians, Malays and all other races: are truly united by worshipping their Creator. This unity is not only confined to the prayer, but to the whole of ones life, to the extent that Muslims try to fall under the saying of their beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH who said: “The example of the believers in their mutual love and mercy is like the example of a body; if one part of the body feels pain, then all the body suffers in sleeplessness and fever “. It is evident that a Muslim follows this example set by the Prophet PBUH, when he/she feels distress at the situation of the Muslims around the world, be they from Africa, Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia etc. Unity amongst such a wide range of people, can only be created by Islam.
The Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) eradicates Racism
Another rite which has helped so many to eradicate racism from their lives, is the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which is obligatory upon every Muslim at least once in a lifetime.
This annual pilgrimage, or Hajj as it is called in the Arabic language, is one of the five pillars, one of the five fundamental religious duties to be performed by Muslims.
The Hajj- the annual pilgrimage is the prime example of the multi-racial aspect of Islam: Muslims of all races gather with one common purpose to worship Allah. This is a compulsory act which should be done by all those Muslims with the strength and ability to do it. During this act, it is also very important to wear two white pieces of cloth to cover the body. People of all nations, countries gather together with one purpose, to worship Allah (SWT). Each and everybody appear the same, do the same actions, speak identical words, so much to say that everyone is Equal. This is why Allah (SWT) states in the Quran: In the Name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful. “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy.” (Al-Quran, Chapter 49, Verse 10)
In the Hajj pilgrimage, You will see a multitude of men, women and also children, close perhaps to three million, from every corner of the world, black and brown of complexion, Yellow and white, Arabs and Iranians, Turks and Malays, Chinese and Africans, black and white Americans, blond and blue-eyed Europeans- in short to quote one of our great Germanic Poets, Frederick Schiller : ” Who knows the nations, who the names of all who here together came?”
And there is still more that fills us with wonder: Whether black or brown, yellow or white, rich or poor, young or old, every male that our eye beholds is dressed alike, wearing two white seamless sheets of simple material, thus eliminating completely all marks and signs of distinction of dress between the African and American, the Asian, Australian and European, the mighty and wealthy and the poor and lowly. Here they have come, brother unto brother, sister unto sister, bearing witness to the brotherhood of mankind, to the equality of all human beings before their Creator, for it is to worship Him and to extol His glory that has brought them here.
They have heard and heeded His call, and their reply uttered, nay cried out by all and sundry, echoing and re-echoing from the surrounding mountains is: (Talbiya Du’a) “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik. Innal Hamdah, Wan Nematah, Laka wal Mulk, La Shareek Laka”
(“Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy service and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners.”)
The pilgrimage to Mecca, the huge assembly of believers from all five continents, the gathering together of the multitude of worshippers of all races on the plain of Arafat is perhaps the most spectacular expression, symbol and proof of unity and brotherhood of man as enunciated and upheld by the religion of Islam, and it is equally a symbol and proof of the equality of man before Allah, the Supreme Being, as taught by this religion.
The concept and idea of the oneness of humanity is Islam’s unique contribution to human civilization, and it came as a natural sequel to its cardinal doctrine, the doctrine of ” TAUHID” or the unity of God. The doctrine which runs through all teachings of the Holly Quran like a red thread, has found its most concise and terse expression in the 112th chapter of the Holly book, called “AL-IKHLAS,” or Purity of Faith:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. “Say (O Muhammad SAW): “He is Allah, (the) One. Allah the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks). “He begets not, nor was He begotten.” “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” – The Holly Qur’an 112: 1-4
The Hajj brings together the peoples of the world, all at one time of the year, in one place. Anyone who has witnessed this annual rite of Islam, will truly testify that there is nothing quite like it. The breathtaking view of millions of people gathered together, all for the purpose of worshipping Allah, is unforgettable. It was this rite of lslam which changed the life of the famous Black nationalist-turned-Muslim, Malcolm X.
Describing his experiences he said: “Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practised by people of all colours here in this ancient Holy land…. There were tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. They were of all colours, from Blue-eyed blondes to Black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the White and non-White. America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem“.
The words of Malcolm X can be added to; it is not only America which needs to understand Islam, but rather the whole world. Islam has brought so much to the lives of so many, that it is inconceivable that racism could be defeated without it. From the moment the Prophet Muhammad PBUH preached his message of unity under the worship of Allah, did the light of hope shine forth in this World of darkness. Honour has been given to all those who have entered Islam. Throughout the ages, those who normally would have been downtrodden were rescued and dignified by Islam.
Today, this is still continuing. People who were clearly racist (like Malcolm X) have been humbled and overwhelmed by the truth of Islam. British National Party members, Ku Klux Klan members, members of the Nation of Islam and many others from racist organisations, have all become united under the banner of Islam. It is now up to the people of the world to choose; do they want to stay in the darkness of racism or do they want to be illuminated by the light of Islam?
Either way, Islam could provide and would still be, the solution for the problem of racism. (HSH)
1. Al Qur’an 2. What is racism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism) 3. http://racerelations.about.com/od/understandingrac1/a/WhatIsRacism.htm 4. http://www.adl.org/hate-patrol/racism.asp 5. http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/12/racism-originated-in-the-torah-say-israeli-rabbis/ 6. “Racism And Social Darwinism” by HARUN YAHYA (http://www.islamdenouncesantisemitism.com/thesocial.htm) 7. Racism: is there a solution?from the ‘Invitation to Islam’ Newsletter, Issue 4, January 1998. (http://www.khayma.com/librarians/call2islaam/articles/racism_is_there_a_solution.html) 8. “ISLAM’S ANSWER TO THE RACIAL PROBLEM” by Muhammad Amen Hobohm, a German diplomat (http://www.islamawareness.net/Racism/hobohm.html) 9. “Islam & Racism” (http://www.inter-islam.org/Prohibitions/RACISM.htm)