2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

not a matter of what the precepts of Islam are, but the interpretation through cultures

Reader comment on item: Anti-Muslim Racism?
in response to reader comment: Arab-centric (Racist) World View of Muslims

Submitted by fatima (United States), May 26, 2006 at 18:11

people can quote the hadiths, they can quote the Qur'an, and they can even go as discuss and analyze the Prophet Muhammad's last Khutba. the point, however, is that religious precepts are not necessarily the reality of any situation. christianity preaches tolerance and forgiveness, yet homsexuals are summarily persecuted; islam preaches equality, yet there is an undeniable hierarchical structure in islamic societies - primarily african - where those of african descent are viewed as 'inferior' while those of 'arab' descent are viewed as 'good' or 'non black'. even leaders of the ex-sokoto caliphate claimed lineage to the Prophet Muhammad; as if their religious 'purity' granted them greater status in society. this is the largest problem in islamic societies. it is the defining of what 'pure islam' is and labeling those who have their interpretation of islam (via african traditional religious syncretism) as inferior and non-Muslim.

i think most of the dialogue on this topic has a lot of hot-headed people whining about 'racism against arabs,' but one must look at the actual societies themselves and not the religious texts. interpretation is what has happened - through qadis, through socio-political shifts and leaders, etc. ijtihad did not bring racism, no. racism existed pre-Muhammad, but it is something that has been perpetuated - one only has to look at Ibn Khaldun's view of the blacks of African as being akin to animals and 'lesser humans'.

so yes, islam is an egalitarian religion and the hadith/sunnah precedents are overwhelmingly against priviledge by descent/status/race...but they do insist that rank and honor are determined only by piety and merit in islam. thus, the question inside of islamic theological schools is evident.

its too easy to take islam as it is, as a wonderful concept of acceptance. but it is not the case in reality. unless people realize this, there will be no change in racist attitudes ever.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to not a matter of what the precepts of Islam are, but the interpretation through cultures by fatima

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)