Bible or Quran: which encourages or eradicates Racism?
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Racism is one of the ruthless problems of human being.
This article illustrates that the Bible put the roots of Racism and encourages it while the Quran eradicated this cruel crisis.

The Bible encourages Racism:

The Bible is very fascinated with the races of the people.
In the Bible we can read this word "my people" in 220 verses.
In 35 verses we have "my people; Israel" as for example:
2 Samuel 3:18
"Now do it! For the LORD promised David, 'By my servant David I will rescue my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies."

In two verses we have "my people; the Israelites" as for example:

Exodus 3:10
"So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."

Many verses in the Bible consider the other nations as valueless and should be exterminated as for example:

Exodus 23:27-30

"I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. 28 I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. 29 But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land."

In these verses God will drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of the way of his people. But not in one year, because "the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for his people."

Also, in Exodus 33:2
"I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites."

And, in Exodus 34:24
"I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God."

Nevertheless, in Isaiah 19:25
"The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance."

This is the only time in the Bible to say "Egypt my people"

It follows that the Bible is very interested in the races of people.
And the two favorite races are Israel (37 times) and Egypt (only once).
On the other hand, the Bible sorts out other races like the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites as inferior. However, the Bible gives no idea about the reason to classify those races like dirt!

In addition, many American Christians In the 19th century were taught that Africans, were descendents of Ham (son of Noah), and thus deserved to be slaves. This was based on the story of Noah and his sons in Genesis 9
Everyone memorizes how black Africans were transported across the oceans, crammed in special ships, and treated like livestock. They were: 1) made slaves, 2) enforced to change their religion, names and language, 3) were not entitled to hope for true freedom, and 4) were repudiated the least of human rights.
Still some Western white people think they are the superior and their native black people are inferiors.

Arabs practiced Racism before Islam:
Before Islam, the Arabs practiced racism very much, under the name of tribalism that was prevalent in "Makka".
Mohammad's tribe "Quraysh" put themselves at the top of the Arabs in general and superior to all the other peoples of the world.

Mohammad came with the heavenly Message and declared that no Arab is superior over a non-Arab, and no white is superior over black and superiority is by righteousness and God-fearing alone
This established in the hearts and minds that superiority is not by birth or color or blood, but by Allah-fearing and righteousness.
This is firmly expressed in the Qur'an, when Allah explains the reason for our variety as different races and peoples:

"O' mankind, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is the one with the most piety"
(The Quran 49:13).

The Prophet (saws) said: "Indeed there is no excellence for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab, nor a White person over a Black one, nor a Black person over a White one, except through piety".

A statement like this tells us that this man, Mohammed, was truly a receiver of heavenly inspiration. His words were not blank like the words of so many leaders today. Rather, he was always the first to lead by example, and this is why we find that during his lifetime so many different types of people accepted Islam. From amongst the Prophet's friends we find that he had an Ethiopian companion named "Bilal".
Bilal had been a slave before he accepted Islam, and as a result his position in Arabian society was worse than the animals. However, when he converted to Islam Bilal was given a status like no Black slave had been given before. He was given the immense honor of being the first person to call the "Azan" (call to prayer) in Islam's magnificent history. More outstandingly however, he was accepted as an equal and a brother by the Prophet and his companions.
Mohammad eradicated the problem of racial or color discrimination so successfully that, for example, "Omar" the second famous Ruler in Islam once said about Bilal: "Bilal" is our master"

This was one of the reasons of the spread of Islam to every corner of the known world.
Thus Blacks, Whites, Arabs, Indians, Malays and all other races: are truly united by worshipping their Creator. This unity is not only restricted to the prayer, but to the whole of ones life, to the extent that Muslims try to fall under the saying of their beloved Prophet who said:
"The example of the believers in their mutual love and mercy is like the example of a body; if one part of the body feels pain, then all the body suffers in sleeplessness and fever ".

Another observance which has helped so many to eradicate racism from their lives, is the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makka), which is obligatory upon every Muslim at least once in a lifetime. The Hajj brings together the peoples of the world, all at one time of the year, in one place.
The Hajj to "Makka" is an experience to see people belonging to different colors, races and nationalities, kings, heads of states and ordinary men from very poor countries all dressed in simple white sheets praying to Allah without any sense of either pride or inferiority. It is a practical manifestation of the concept of equally in Islam.

Islam and Racism against other religions?

The peoples of other faiths have always enjoyed religious toleration under Islam; when the Jews were being persecuted in the rest of Europe, they found freedom and sanctity in Muslim Spain. Their historians regard that as one of their Golden Eras.
This was due to the Islamic teachings:

"Say: We believe In Allah, and in what Has been revealed to us And what was revealed To Abraham, Ishmael; Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, And in (the Books) Given to Moses, Jesus, And the Prophets, From their Lord: We make no distinction Between one and another Among them and to God do we Bow our will( in Islam)."
The Quran 3:84

"Verily, those who believe (in the Quran) And those who follow the Jewish( scriptures) And the Christians and the Sabians, Any who believe in God And the Last Day, And work righteousness Shall have their reward With their Lord; on them Shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."
The Quran 2:62

"Let there be no compulsion in matters of religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects Evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. "
The Quran 2:256

"And among His Signs Is the creation of the heavens And the earth, and the variations In your languages And your colors; verily In that are Signs For those who know."
The Quran 30:22

The last Prophet Mohammed said:
"Allah is to be praised and thanked for ridding us of the vices and pride of the days of ignorance. O People! Note that all men( the noun includes women as well) are divided in two categories only: the pious and God-fearing who are estimable in Allah's reckoning, and the transgressors and hard-hearted, who are lowly and contemptible in the eye of Allah."

"O Mankind! Most certainly, it is We( God almighty) who have
Created you all From a single (pair) Of a male and a female, And it is we who Have made you into Nations and tribes, That ye may recognize each other (Not that ye may despise each other). Verily, the noblest of you In the sight of Allah Is (he who is) the most Righteous of you."

"All men (includes women) are equal in Islam, the Arab has no superiority over the non-Arab, nor does the non-Arab have superiority over the Arab, save in the fear of God."

In conclusion:
We have noticed that the Bible is interested in races and classifies the races into superior and inferior. In addition, the Bible encouraged the "Colorism".
On the other hand, Islam is not a racist religion, nor does it preach racism. The disappearance of race awareness as between Muslims is one of the exceptional accomplishment of Islam, and in the modern world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the transmission of this Islamic benefit."

About the author:
Safaa Abdel-Aziz
Co-Chief Editor,
October Weekly Magazine,
Cairo, Egypt.

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