No, Islam is not a race, but Islamophobia is racism | TheCritique Archives

Here’s one from our friend Martin Odoni at The Critique Archives, tailor-made for commenters who like to split hairs about the difference between racism and sectarianism/hate speech against religion:

One of the most irritating refrains from the anti-immigrant/anti-Islam crowd over the last few years has been the attempt to justify hostility to Muslims by insisting it cannot be racism. The grounds for this claim is that “Islam is not a race”. Even the likes of Richard Dawkins was tweeting it a few years ago.

The sentence is technically true, but if you think about it, the distinction it draws is entirely a quibble. The hostility towards Muslims is still a form of ‘othering’ of a foreign culture. Furthermore, on hearing the word Muslim, the average white Anglo-Saxon Briton will picture something roughly along the lines of this; –

The image is offensive, as it conflates Muslims with militant Islamists, but also because it is both sectarian and highly racial. In particular, it makes the classic mistake of assuming that Muslim is a synonym for Arab. In the real world, the proportion of Muslims worldwide who are Arabs is under fifteen per cent.

Read more: No, Islam is not a race, but Islamophobia is racism | TheCritique Archives


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5 thoughts on “No, Islam is not a race, but Islamophobia is racism | TheCritique Archives

  1. Zippi

    This, I believe, is the child of media. My mother has been asking, for years, where is this country called Muslim? The first person whom I knew to be Muslim was a man of Irish decent, with blue eyes. We also know that many other Muslims, among whom are so-called terrorists, are white British. Is Islamophobia racism, or is it fear of an ideology and those who propagate it? If neither Islam, nor Muslim is a race, how CAN Islamphobia be racism? Skinheads are synonymous with racism, because some were. If your experience of Islamist terrorism is of people who look a certain way, you will be suspicious of all people who look that way; similarly, when somebody in a navy Mercedes pointed a gun at me, I became wary of every navy Mercedes of that model. Assuming that every Muslim is of a certain hue is as absurd and irrational as saying that every Muslim is a terrorist. Remember the suspicion that fell on Irish people during the I.R.A.s reign of terror? I refute the suggestion that Islamophobia is racism. It is religious hatred, for sure but also a, perhaps, irrational response to something with, perhaps, a legitimate origin. Remember, Islamophobia doesn’t exist because many Muslims have a particular hue but because of acts of violence that have been associated with Muslims; therein lies the difference.

  2. Christine Bergin

    No he most emphatically was not. Wascism is a manufactured thing enjoyed by those who seek to look down on others. we are all and only human. we have one world on which to live. Peel a white man, a black man and a yellow man and they are all red with blood. Get over it.

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