CAN RELIGION DEFINE RACE AND IS IT CORRECT TO BE CALLED A RACIST FOR OPPOSING ISLAM?

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Based on the following definitions from links from various sources one would racially discriminate someone based on how they look, on their ethnicity which is cultural and not a physical trait but one is not being racist if opposing Islam or talking about Muslims. We as a society need to lose the terms ‘racist’ and ‘racism’ when criticising Islam or any other religion and call it for what it is. Religious abuse, religious hatred or religious discrimination is never justified but does happen especially in the last 15-20 years regarding Muslims. Talking about Islam is also not Islamaphobia as people do not have irrational fears about Islam the fear is very real, just ask the 21 Coptic Christians that were killed only for not being Islamic or submitting to Islam.

Having heard for many years people label those that are anti-Muslim as being racist I thought it would be a good idea to get a really good understanding of what experts think and also what the government and what international organisations class as racial discrimination. In my findings not one of them has said that Islam or Muslim is a race. This is not to say Islamists/Muslims cannot be discriminated against due to their race but someone against Islam or Muslims cannot be deemed a racist for having opposing views on Islam. Just as a person criticising Catholicism would not be deemed a racist, being a Catholic is not a race as Catholicism is a multi-race religion. However if a person did bring a person’s physical attributes in to the debate and then putting them down for that then that is racist.

So what does this mean for today’s society with those on the left and supporters of Islam calling those against Islam racist? Well the fundamentals clearly state that is in fact incorrect of them to use this terminology. Is this is important? Well it is extremely important given that those people use this term as a means to shut down an opponent. Given that most people don’t want to be labelled as racist and not knowing the correct meaning of the term they in some cases defer from saying anymore. Now if all those people knew the true meaning of race then they could counter straight away. Unfortunately the uneducated within all sides on this matter continue to wrongly use this term. As a society we need to make sure the correct terminology is used and understand that there is bigotry on both sides of an argument, especially by those of the far left and far right side of the spectrum. Note though that just because a person is against Islam that does not automatically mean they are on the far right. What we need to know though is that bigotry is not being racist nor is opposing an ideaology.

So the main points that need answered are: 1) How to classify a race of people 2) What is racism 3) Can a religion be classed as a race 4) What is the difference between racism and discrimination based on other factors i.e. religion

Here is a short article in two parts that goes someway to explaining the differences. The first part argues against the legitimacy of racism. The second points out that Muslims are not a race, as is often implied, but if they were then it would make Islam the world’s most dangerous race-based supremacist ideology.

Race and Racism

Race is the arbitrary classification of individuals according to physical traits that presumably have a genetic pattern. How many races there are and what characteristics are used to determine racial identity is entirely subjective, since there is no such thing as a “race gene” or a series of genes that define race in the absolute sense. Race is therefore a social construct and not a physical science, even though it is based on genetics. It is no more meaningful to say that a person is of a certain race than it is to say that they were born in Indiana rather than Illinois.

Categorizing people by race is also non-sensible and irrelevant. Consider the entirely feasible example of a girl born to a white European and a native African couple. Given the different races involved, which one

would she be considered? More importantly, how could it possibly matter? Would being either “black” or “white” or something in between make her any different of a person?

Race also serves as the foundation for racism, which tries to emphasize distinctions between racial categories – arbitrary as they may be. Racism is the “science” of drawing broad conclusions from comparative studies, which are then assumed to apply to all members of a particular group who happen to share a genetic profile over which they have no control.

Racism is deeply flawed because it is fundamentally irrational. Human beings are not groups, they are individuals.

There is not one scientific or cultural fact that can be determined about an individual based on their race. One cannot know what music another person enjoys, how they vote, how high they can jump, nor any meaningful thing about them simply by knowing their race.

In fact, all racial stereotypes dissolve at the individual level. No matter how fast one runs, how quick one thinks, or how moral one’s character, there can almost always be members of any other race found who better excel at each of these – or any other imaginable measure. There is simply no such thing as a meaningful racial stereotype. People are generally whoever they choose to be.

This makes perfect sense to intelligent people. Since racial identity is arbitrary, it cannot be deterministic. Without determinism, there can be no science. Therefore, neither racism nor the study of race has anything factual to offer.

In addition to being a false science, racism is morally wrong because it is the foundation for racial discrimination, in which different rules and standards are applied to individuals based on their presumed identity. In the past, people suffered tremendously (and unfairly, of course) because of this.

Thus, the artificial system of race serves no positive purpose. Lending legitimacy to the flawed theory of racial distinction leads, almost inevitably, to racism and the justification of racial discrimination. This, along with the inherent absurdity of even classifying people by race, should be enough to merit junking racial identification altogether.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest…

Islam and “Racism” Those openly critical of Islam are sometimes dubiously slurred as racists, regardless of what their true views on race may be.

In fact, Islam is not a race. Islam has nothing at all to do with genetics, nor is it an innate characteristic. It is an ideology – a voluntarily-held set of beliefs about individual behaviour and the rules of society. People choose their beliefs; they do not choose their race

Therefore Muslims are not a race of people. In fact, there are Muslims of all races. Does a person change their race by adopting or leaving Islam?

Criticizing Islam is not racism. There is no such thing as “anti-Muslim racism” any more than there is “anti-Christian racism,” “anti-Methodist racism,” or “anti-Capitalist racism.”

So why would anyone claim differently? It is because the battle over Islam is being fought in the West, the only arena in which this religion can still be critically debated. It is also here that repugnance toward racism is strong and nearly universal. From politics to high-risk mortgages and illegal immigration, fear of the race card is one of the strongest influences on public policy.

At the same time, it is nearly impossible to defend Islam on its own merits – which is why Muslim societies usually rely on threat of violence to suppress intellectual critique of Islam and the freedom of other religion to fairly compete. According to its own texts, Islam was founded in terror, and its political and social code is deeply incompatible with Western liberal values.

Advocates of Islam cope by clinging to the race card. If they can paint any criticism of their religion as “racism” then the massive evidence against Islam can be dismissed without having to contend with it.

Having to sling the worst of all slurs to compensate for deficiency of fact and logic is bad enough, but in this case it is terrible ironic in that what is being defended in such cheap fashion is an ideology that is overtly supremacist in nature. In fact, those Muslims who do want to rely on the race card are not thinking very far ahead.

On the surface it would seem that if Islam really were a race, or Muslims a race of people, then any criticism of the common tie which unites them – in this case the religion of Islam – could be dismissed out of hand as racism, thus effectively protecting the religion from tough examination. But everything is not as it seems.

If Muslims are a race because of Islam, then it means that Islam is a racial ideology. Therefore, what this ideology has to say about its own and other “races” becomes very important.

In fact, the Qur’an posits an enormous qualitative distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims that is hard to miss. Believers are loved by God, whereas infidels are hated to the extent that they are tortured for eternity (3:32, 4:56) merely for not believing. Muslims are told not to take unbelievers as friends (3:28) and to shun them (3:118). Those outside the circle are called “helpers of evil” (25:55), “wicked” (4:160), “fond of lies” (5:42) and compared to the worst of animals (8:55, 7:176, 7:179). Muslims are told to be merciful to each other, but ruthless to those outside of the faith (48:29). Violence is also sanctioned against those who are obstinate against Islamic rule (8:12-13, 9:5).

If Islam is a race, then Christianity and Judaism are races as well, meaning that if the Quran speaks of them as inferior, then it is a racist book. In truth, the Quran does more than that. In a stunning burst of religious bigotry, Muslims are ordered to fight Jews and Christians “until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (9:29). There is no basis in the text for bringing Jew and Christians under the heel of Islamic rule except by virtue of their religious status.

No other religion filters perception through group identity to the extent that Islam does. Around the world Christians, Jews and other individuals are routinely brutalized merely because they are a member of a non-Muslim group, not because they have done anything to personally deserve having their lives taken, their children maimed or their property torched. Meanwhile, other Muslims are generally indifferent to this violence and reserve their true outrage for circumstances involving Muslim victims of non-Muslim acts, however unintentional or relatively slight.

So, if Muslims are a race, Islam would not only be a racist ideology, but arguably the most hateful and destructive in history. It is bad enough that hundreds of millions of people have been killed in the last fourteen centuries by divinely sanctioned Jihad and slavery, but to retroactively supplant the stated motive of religious supremacy with that of racial superiority is hardly a step in the right direction for a religion seeking the acceptance of an increasingly sceptical (sic) audience.

Conclusion

Race is an arbitrary label that has no legitimacy. Therefore anything based on race, including racism and racial discrimination is unsound at best and immoral and inhumane at worst.

Human beings are individuals and should only be judged as such.

Islam is not a race. Muslims are not a race. Islam is an ideology that should be open to critical examination. Muslims, however, are individuals who should be protected from harm or harassment in the same way and for the same reasons as anyone else. Source: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Racism-TROP.htm

So let’s just have a quick look at what is RACE is and what ETHNICITY is from the following sources. I have also put in two other sources of information on this so please check these out for yourself.

Definitions of Ethnicity and Race

What is ethnicity? Ethnicity is state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.[1] This is, by definition, a fluid concept; ethnic groups can be broadly or narrowly construed. For example, they can be as broad as “Native American” or as narrow as “Cherokee”. Another example is the

Indian subcontinent — Indians may be considered one ethnic group but there are actually dozens of cultural traditions and subgroups like Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, and Tamil that are also bona fide ethnic groups. Yet another example is people in Great Britain — they may be considered British, or more precisely English, Scottish or Welsh.

What is race? A race is a group of people with a common physical feature or features. While there are hundreds — if not thousands — of ethnicities, the number of races is far fewer. Comparison chart

Ethnicity Race

Definition An ethnic group or ethnicity is a population group whose members identify with each other on the basis of common nationality or shared cultural traditions. The term race refers to the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics (which usually result from genetic ancestry).

Significance Ethnicity connotes shared cultural traits and a shared group history. Some ethnic groups also share linguistic or religious traits, while others share a common group history but not a common language or religion. Race presumes shared biological or genetic traits, whether actual or asserted. In the early 19th century, racial differences were ascribed significance in areas of intelligence, health, and personality. There is no evidence validating these ideas.

Genealogy Ethnicity is defined in terms of shared genealogy, whether actual or presumed. Typically, if people believe they descend from a particular group, and they want to be associated with that group, then they are in fact members of that group. Racial categories result from a shared genealogy due to geographical isolation. In the modern world this isolation has been broken down and racial groups have mixed.

Distinguishing

Factors Ethnic groups distinguish themselves differently from one time period to another. They typically seek to define themselves but also are defined by the stereotypes of dominant groups. Races are assumed to be distinguished by skin color, facial type, etc. However, the scientific basis of racial distinctions is very weak. Scientific studies show that racial genetic differences are weak except in skin color.

Nationalism In 19th century, there was development of the political ideology of ethnic nationalism — creating nations based on a presumed shared ethnic origins (e.g. Germany, Italy, Sweden…) In 19th century, the concept of nationalism was often used to justify the domination of one race over another within a specific nation.

Legal System In the last decades of the 20th century, in the U.S. and in most nations, the legal system as well as the official ideology prohibited ethnic-based discrimination. In the last decades of the 20th century, the legal system as well as the official ideology emphasized racial equality.

Conflicts Often brutal conflicts between ethnic groups have existed throughout history and across the world. But most ethnic groups in fact get along peacefully within one another in most nations most of the time. Racial prejudice remains a continuing problem throughout the world. However, there are fewer race-based conflicts in the 21st century than in the past.

Examples of

conflict Conflict between Tamil and Sinhalese populations in Sri Lanka. Conflict between white and African-American people in the U.S., especially during the civil rights movement The traditional definition of race and ethnicity is related to biological and sociological factors respectively. Race refers to a person’s physical characteristics, such as bone structure and skin, hair, or eye colour. Ethnicity, however, refers to cultural factors, including nationality, regional culture, ancestry, and language. An example of race is brown, white, or black skin (all from various parts of the world), while an example of ethnicity is German or Spanish ancestry (regardless of race). Source: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/quick-guide/12091 Source: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Ethnicity_vs_Race Source: http://www.cliffsnotes.com/sciences/sociology/race-and-ethnicity/race-and-ethnicity-defined

So what we need to be asking Muslims and those that support Islam is, is it just as racist if a Sunni Muslim discriminates or opposes a Shia Muslim or a Sufi Muslim? To use the terminology of racism against Islam/Muslims by non-Muslims but not on Muslims v Muslim is just as racist then, isn’t it?

There have been many articles from those on the left stating how they know that technically Islam isn’t a race but their argument comes down to that it should be to help them perhaps feel better or to mainly justify their argument or their lack of an argument more than the other sides argument. Far too often people that are quick to use the term racist have no real understanding of what race or racism is and are putting their own ideas into the minds and mouths of those against Islam and Muslims. The sad part about this is these people get into places of influence and insert their ideology into legislation, guidelines and into the mindset of those in Universities and schools where they should indeed be neutral in areas such as this when in those positions. It is important that people such as this teach just the definition set out in the dictionaries and not their thoughts on it. Here are just two examples but many others can easily be found on the internet, television programs and other sources. I have also included a link for Andrew Bolt plus the take of just one former Muslim. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/20/islam-race-richard-dawkins http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/02/25/4186872.htm http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/islam_is_an_ideology_not_a_race/

https://aralbalkan.com/notes/islam-is-privilege/

So where does religion fit in to all this? Certainly someone can be discriminated against because of their religion but again that is not being racist as religion is not a race. However as ethnicity is included in the act it does come under the Racial Discrimination Act which can be explained later. Here is the Australian Anti-Discrimination ACT Section 19 which refers clearly to inciting hatred which is different to being racist. What needs to be remembered for things such as demonstrations against Islam is that as no one is being discriminated against as we know now that Islam is not a person and Muslim is not a race and then the RDA has no need to be referred to or applied in this regard. Muslims are in fact more than entitled to join events such as the Reclaim Australia rally as it is designed specifically to end racism in Australia and lessen the impact of Islam on non-Muslim Australians. However I am not here to talk at length about that subject other than to show that they cannot be classed as being racist.

The Anti-Discrimination Act refers clearly to INCITING HATRED not racism, there is a difference. ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ACT 1998 – SECT 19 19Inciting hatred A person, by a public act, must not incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or a group of persons on the ground of – (a) the race of the person or any member of the group; or (b) any disability of the person or any member of the group; or

(c) the sexual orientation or lawful sexual activity of the person or any member of the group; or (d) the religious belief or affiliation or religious activity of the person or any member of the group. Source http://www.austlii.edu.au/…/consol_act/aa1998204/s19.html

Where does racial discrimination and the Racial Discrimination Act come into this argument? Well as I have said earlier, in all honesty it doesn’t as no Muslim, or more importantly no person, is being discriminated against. They are more than welcome into Facebook groups such as Through The Eyes Of The Non Believer #TTEONB as well as at the Reclaim Australia rally.

As found on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s website:

What is racial discrimination? Racial discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than another person in a similar situation because of their race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status. For example, it would be ‘direct discrimination’ if a real estate agent refuses to rent a house to a person because they are of a particular racial background or skin colour. It is also racial discrimination when there is a rule or policy that is the same for everyone but has an unfair effect on people of a particular race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status. This is called ‘indirect discrimination’. For example, it may be indirect racial discrimination if a company says that employees must not wear hats or other headwear at work, as this is likely to have an unfair effect on people from some racial/ethnic backgrounds. (Added by Craig Robinson i.e. me here. This part is extremely important to take note of as it states headwear for racial or ethnic backgrounds not religious beliefs.) Source: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/…/know-your-rights…

What is the Racial Discrimination Act? The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (the RDA) makes it against the law to treat you unfairly because of your race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status. The RDA also makes racial hatred against the law. What is racial discrimination? Racial discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably than another person in a similar situation because of their race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status. For example, it would be ‘direct discrimination’ if a real estate agent refuses to rent a house to a person because they are of a particular racial background or skin colour. Racial discrimination also happens when there is a rule or policy that is the same for everyone but has an unfair effect on people of a particular race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status. This is called ‘indirect discrimination’. For example, it may be indirect discrimination if a company says that employees must not wear hats or other headwear at work, as this is likely to have an unfair effect on people from some racial/ethnic backgrounds. Source :https://www.humanrights.gov.au/…/complaints-under…

What is racial hatred? It is against the law to do something in public based on the race, colour, national or ethnic origin of a person or group of people which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate. Examples of racial hatred may include: racially offensive material on the internet, including eforums, blogs, social networking sites and video sharing sites racially offensive comments or images in a newspaper, magazine or other publication such as a leaflet or flyer racially offensive speeches at a public rally racially abusive comments in a public place, such as a shop, workplace, park, on public transport or at school racially abusive comments at sporting events by players, spectators, coaches or officials. Source:http://www.racismnoway.com.au/…/leg…/index-Commonwe.html Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act (1975)

The Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) gives effect to Australia’s obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The RDA aims to ensure that all Australians can enjoy their human rights and freedoms in full equality regardless of their race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin, being an immigrant (in some circumstances) or being a relative or associate of someone of a particular ethnicity or other status. The RDA applies to everyone in Australia including businesses, schools, local governments, State and Territory government agencies and departments and Commonwealth government agencies and departments. It overrides racially discriminatory State or Territory legislation, making it ineffective. However, Commonwealth legislation which is racially discriminatory is not necessarily overridden by the RDA. Where there is room for contention in the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 is PART II A 18c PROHIBITION OF OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOUR BASED ON RACIAL HATRED that lists Ethnic origin alongside race. Although it does not state religion as a race it opens up to grounds for religious discrimination on ethnicity grounds. Yet it does not acknowledge religion as a race.

So in conclusion are people against Islam and Muslims being racist? The answer is quite clearly a big resounding no. As long as they are not being discriminated against by those in the already mentioned groups and groups like them plus businesses and by government then the RDA which does include ethnicity does not need even be mentioned in the argument. Now bigotry on the other hand is an entirely different concept and for the left to call the right bigots is missing the point. In doing so they themselves are bigots. The irony of it is really quite laughable.

Craig Robinson

21/06/2015

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