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Does Islam Justify Racism and Discrimination?

Q: I have a question about Islam’s views on racism and discrimination. In my home country, everyone justifies racism and discrimination toward other religions with Islam. Most say that in Islam, we should prioritize other Muslims first and protect our own race. Is this true? If this is, it’s very concerning and wrong in so many ways that people would use Islam to justify their inner racism and discriminate against others.

A: Prophet Muhammad stated in his farewell sermon, “O people. Your Lord is one, and your father is one. (Adam) An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also, white has no superiority over black, nor does black have any superiority over white, except by piety and righteousness. All humans are from Adam, and Adam is from dust.” Thus, this view is not true, as we should treat everyone equally.

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Arman
4 months ago

Salaam,

Let me answer the above question to the best of my abilities.

You need to first separate culture and tradition from religion.

The religion is clear, there is no bias and no preference between any nation or race. Everyone is equal. The best of us are the ones who are righteous, in our religion and worldly affairs. I am saying being righteous is very different then being a person who just does his or hers daily prayers and normal duties of a muslim. Most people don’t know why we have to pray or fast or doing anything within the religion. The goal for muslims AND non-Muslims in terms of the children of Adam, is to be righteous.

From Surah Baqarah verse 176-177:

Righteousness is not in turning your faces towards the east or the west. Rather, the righteous are those who believe in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Books, and the prophets; who give charity out of their cherished wealth to relatives, orphans, the poor, ˹needy˺ travellers, beggars, and for freeing captives; who establish prayer, pay alms-tax, and keep the pledges they make; and who are patient in times of suffering, adversity, and in ˹the heat of˺ battle. It is they who are true ˹in faith˺, and it is they who are mindful ˹of Allah˺.