Racism and Non-Racism

If one hates Muslims is one a racist? No. Why? Muslims are not a race. According to OED definition, racism is “Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior” [1]. That lead to the question: what is a race? According to OED definition a race is “Biology A population within a species that is distinct in some way, especially a subspecies” [1]. Now compare that with the definition of the word ethnicity: “The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition” [1]. Thus, Muslims are not technically a race they are an ethnicity in some way, but even that is still partially incorrect, because though all Muslims share the same general religious beliefs many do not share a “common national” and even in aspects beyond religion a common culture. There are Turkish Muslims, Saudi Arabian Muslims, Indonesian Muslims, British Muslims, and United States Muslims, etc. Thus, Muslim is only a religion.  This leads to this interesting situation: one that hates Muslims is not a racist (though, still a bigot), but one that hates Middle Easterners is a racists. Similarly, one that is an Anti-Semite is not a racist, Judaism is  not a race, but a religion, neither is on that hates Israelis specifically as Israel is a country (therefore, this Anti-Israelite is a ethnic bigot.)   Finally, disliking, hating, or disagreeing with one person of a specific race does NOT make one a racist, unless the dislike or hate all (or most) people of that race. 

“The core of racism is the notion that the individual is meaningless and that membership in the collective — the race — is the source of his identity and value. … The notion of  ‘diversity’ entails exactly the same premises as racism — that one’s ideas are determined by one’s race and that the source of an individual’s identity is his ethnic heritage.”
— Peter Schwartz

Sources: OED online, libertyquotes.com

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