Concepts, General Concepts, Side Feature

Racism: Looking behind the Colours

In recent weeks much has been said about racism. Needless to say, is that the focus has mainly been put on skin colour, as this is the reality of what people have experienced.  Discrimination based on someone’s colour is merely a manifestation of racism not the reason and motivation behind it. In fact, racism is not about colour, it’s about arrogance, greed, dominance and exploitation of one nation over another.

The same people who are leading the caravan of racism today use to enslave, “white” skinned Slavic people from Eastern Europe in the Early Medieval Period in Europe. The word “slave” is actually derived from the ethnonym (ethnic name), Slav.

In the 15th century it was the powerful Church who gave the verdict to enslave “pagans” and “people of other religions”. Later on, Priests like Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda argued that “Yellow” Indians have no soul and therefore are not people. Paving the way not only to enslave the indigenous peoples of Spanish colonies in Central and South America, but to also exterminate them as if they were vermin.

So ethnic backgrounds and skin complexions are merely an excuse for the arrogant and greedy nations to find a legitimacy to dominate and exploit the “other”.

Also, today these kinds of rhetoric’s still exist. Native Americans or people with mixed Native American ancestry are called “red niggers”. In the same way the Arabs are called “Sand niggers”. These derogative terms are nothing more than a means to dehumanize Arabs, in order to justify the occupations of their lands, indiscriminate killing of their women and children, destroying their entire infrastructure and plundering and looting their wealth, and robbing them from their dignity and honour.

In the past, kingdoms and empires were the ones who dominated and exploited other nations according to their worldview. Today its Capitalism and the capitalistic nations who dominate and exploit other nations. Its not far stretched to suggest that Capitalism is the worst form of arrogance and greed, dominance and exploitation in human history, because the foundation is based on these characteristics. So, it produces these types of individuals and nations, and sustains these ideas as this is what lies at the base of its survival, like a parasite.

Capitalism, disregards the Creator and puts the human in place of God, so it causes arrogance within people. It idolises the idea of individualism which leads to selfishness and egoism. It seeks happiness in materialism which leads to greed. It builds its states on the basis of nationalism and patriotism, which indefinitely leads to discrimination of the other next to its border and causes dominance and exploitation.

So as long as the motivation behind racism is not countered, which is the capitalistic view, we can never eradicate it by merely fighting the symptoms. The only alternative is Islam which opposes arrogance, stimulates humbleness and produces Godfearing people. It sees selfishness as a sin and taking care of others as a virtue. Rejects the notion that happiness is sought in material gain and directs happiness to obeying the Creator who created the wealth and material and distributing it justly among the people. It rejects the shallow idea of nation-based states which excludes people, and introduces the idea of one Ummah, which includes all humanity. And finally, it declares the war on the exploitation of people based on skin colour, ethnicity, gender as it regards this as an unjust act against humanity and considers it tyranny.


Okay Pala

Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in The Netherlands