Why is Islamophobia a type of racism when Muslims are not a race? By on November 29, 2018 • ( 2 ) Like this:Like Loading... Related ‹ Why the commandment in Matthew 28:19 is likely unhistorical, according to a top Christian NT scholarWhether God can forgive Europe is perhaps the greatest problem of theodicy. ›Categories: Islam, Islamophobia
Very interesting accurate statement and a comprehensive summary.
Please bear with me, and many thanks beforehand for your time. I may have a long say on this, these views are nothing unusual or unique but it is sometimes worth making the obvious more obvious here.
On specific levels I personally say Islamophobia or Anti-Islamic or Anti-Muslim rhetoric does involve race and ethnicity especially in the western world.
When we have Islamophobes in the west who typically say along the lines of “Islam’s not a race, it’s a religion and ideology therefore you can’t be racist for hating Islam and Muzlims” my reply to them is there is still discrimination and bigotry involved and it definitely involves race and ethnicity and therefore can be considered racist or xenophobic especially in western nations.
To support the evidence on how Islamophobia involves race, we just need to take the demographics and ethnic origins from major western nations- Britain, France and USA and just on these 3 major countries examples alone we can see that Islamophobia contributes to a continuation of past major racial discriminations and / or past foreign affair tensions from those specific regions.
In the UK, according to the last census, just over two thirds (more than 66%) of British Muslims are from south Asia and Asia alone and in addition 10% of British Muslims are of black origins which shows us that over 3 quarters (over 75%) of the British Muslim population are of Asian and black origin. If we include the 7% British Muslims of Arab descent (of North African and Middle East) that is over 80% British Muslims which clearly highlights that there is more than an 8 out of 10 chance that attacking a British Muslim would also be an attack on one of the major non-white ethnic minorities. Also we can see the majority of British Muslims are from British Commonwealth backgrounds hence Islamophobia reigniting British colonial past tensions, speaking of which, this takes us to a similar case scenario in France. France does not have a census like the UK but according to Pew and Interior Ministry research there are over 4 million Muslims in France including over 1.5 million of those from Algerian origin, over a million from Moroccan origin followed by the Tunisian origin community being third highest of French Muslims, not to forget an additional various black African origin French Muslims and we can clearly see how French imperialist atrocities and racial tension are reignited and continued but this time with the anti-Islamic practice and propaganda.
In the USA, according to Department of State statistics 50% of US Muslims are from the African American and Arab communities and an additional third of US Muslims are from Asian backgrounds.
Undoubtedly, with the historical connotations and division of communities black, white and brown, things will be far from solved if we are further complicit in the issue of hatred against Muslims.
After all these demographic statistics it can be argued, and I have personally made this point on many occasions, we may never achieve or progress with racial harmony without religious harmony particularly when dealing with Islamophobia. One of the major ways we can achieve racial harmony will be through religious harmony especially in the west.
It is not just far-right nationalist supporters with their misconceptions and who openly claim Islamophobia is not racism and saying “it is not a race therefore it ok to be against Muslims” but so-called academics like Richard Dworkins has also openly stated this same far-right narrative on Bill Maher’s show on a mainstream platform on US Television. All of the Islamophobes regardless of where they stand in the pecking order have ignored the racial significance and other consequences that can follow.
Regardless of whether Islamophobia involves race or not, those who are still gullible to follow far right propaganda need to know Islamophobia is still discrimination and it can still lead to community divisions and worse, fascism coming to power. Religious rights are just as important as racial rights.
After the horror that the Catholic and Jewish and other religious minority communities had to suffer on our own western soil, we can no longer take Islamophobia for granted or for it to continue as todays accepted form of discrimination.
History has taught us that fascism does not start in concentration camps but that’s where it ends.