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Islam Is Not A Race

12 Aug

I came across this in my facebook feed this morning. There are not enough faces, nor palms to place against them, for this kind of poor thinking.

Opinion- -try replacing 'Muslim' with 'Black' in... - Al Jazeera English

What kind of nonsense is this? How can people still be getting this so wrong, especially news journalists? Don’t they have a duty to maintain at least a modicum of integrity?

Islam. Is. Not. A. Race. To claim it is, is insulting to the millions of Punjab and Pashtun people of Pakistan – an incredibly Islamic state. Very few are Arabic. Nor are they Berber.

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim nation on Earth.

Is this question trying to say that Punjabs, Pashtuns, Arabs, Egyptians Berbers, Turks and Javanese are all the same race? This is lunacy akin to saying Canada and Mongolia are the same country.

The article is here, and the author doesn’t seem to have read Harris’ work. Murtaza Hussain also seems to miss one rather important distinction when he says “It’s worth remembering why making sweeping statements about “the Jews” and “the Blacks” became considered unconscionable behaviour in the first place. Both groups were once spoken of by racists and anti-Semites as though they were a homogenous mass of people, undifferentiated in any meaningful way and all sharing the same (largely negative) characteristics.”

The distinction missed is this: racism targets people based on who their parents were. Criticism of religion is not criticizing people for things they have no control over in this way. Harris and Dawkins are criticizing ideas. Ideas are not people, though they are held by people. Ideas really do affect the way people act, unlike their skin colour.

Religion does not come down to the melanin receptor distribution in your skin, Mr. Hussain. Thanks for trying though.

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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Politics, Religion

 

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