Once again: Is “Islamophobia” racism?

Consider, if you will (I hate that phrase!), this headline below from the February 1 Huffington Post; the article is by Craig Considine, a sociologist at Rice University in Texas. Click on the screenshot to go to this horribly muddled article:

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 1.56.28 PM

First, we need to consider exactly what behaviors Considine considers “racist”. First, I won’t agree to use the word “Islamophobia” to mean “bigotry against Muslims”, as the term, if it has any meaning, means “unwarranted fear of Islam.” That’s not the same as “bigotry against the faith’s adherents”, which I call “Muslimophobia” or “anti-Muslim bigotry.”

No, the behavior that Considine equates with racism is this:

“. . . bigotry against Muslims, or, as the author notes, discriminating against others not (simply because of the color of their skin (or other phenotypes) but because of their beliefs and practices associated with some ‘imagined culture’.”

His argument is that this discrimination is not only Islamophobia but racism.  But how can bigotry against Muslims be racism if Muslims aren’t a race? Indeed, the notion of “race” to many Leftists, including Considine, is odious, so they argue that races are “purely cultural constructs.” Here’s Considine mouthing that misleading mantra:

You see, there is no such thing as race or races, traditionally understood. Scientists long ago proved that race is not a biological reality but a myth, a socially constructed concept. Yet, despite the data, human beings have been programmed to associate specific things to certain “racial groups”; things like intelligence, work ethic, family values, and behavior. As such, we have been brainwashed to think that some groups are inherently better than others, and that the White race — to be frank — is better than all.

Check the link for his assertion. Well, it’s not that simple. As I’ve said repeatedly, human populations are distinguishable by their genetic constitution, or rather by the average frequencies of different forms of genes in each group. The analysis of human genetic differences has gone so far that we can determine with substantial accuracy the ethnicity and ancestry of an individual by sequencing their genes. (If we couldn’t do that, 23AndMe would be out of business.)

And we can even cluster humans into groups based on genetic differences, but there’s no hard-and-fast boundary for how many groups, so we can’t unambiguously say that “individual X belongs to race Y”.  The paper in the previous link, however, shows five pretty well demarcated genetic clusters that correspond to the geographic regions of Africa, Europe + Middle East + Central/South Asia, East Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, comporting well with both traditional ethnic distinctions and the history of human geographic isolation.

This means that although there is some subjectivity in how you group humans into clusters—for we have clusters within clusters within clusters—the notion of genetically differentiated populations is real, not a social construct.  You can say that “race—better yet, the “number of genetically differentiated groups”—is a subjective issue, but not that it’s a social construct.

The “social construct” theme may be useful in dispelling the old idea that human populations are drastically different in their genetic constitutions and can be unambiguously divided into objective and discrete groups, but it’s more often used by the egalitarian Left to dispel the notion of human genetic differences. And that’s based on the ideological position that all races are equal in every way. (My view is that they should be equal in how we treat individuals who belong to different groups.)

But no matter what you call a race, Muslims aren’t one of them, for there are Muslims in Indonesia, in North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, in the Middle East, in India, and in Africa; and there’s no way they’re going to fall into one fairly homogenous genetic cluster. That’s because Islam is a religion that has spread not just vertically, along with people’s genes, but horizontally, by conversion and conquest. If you did analyses based on genetic clustering, you’d never find Muslims coming out as a group that’s distinct from other groups. Considine dimly recognizes this:

Muslims are a diverse religious grouping, and, in fact, one of the most heterogeneous populations in the world. In theory, the ummah – or global Muslim community – is made up of many “races.” Moreover, not all Muslims are simply born “Muslim,” like people are born White or Black. Muslim identity is something that one can acquire through conversion. In this sense, Muslim identity is nurtured and not natured.

How, then, can you reject the notion of races as mere social constructs, recognize that Islam is a belief system and not a “race”, and yet still call bigotry against Muslims “racism”?

And why would you want to do that?

The answer to “how” question is that you simply redefine races and racism; races are now “cultural groups” and racism is “discrimination against cultural groups”. As Considine notes:

According to [Stuart] Hall, there is a new type of racism — “cultural racism,” which is my focus here. Racism is no longer about race (skin color) but culture. People are Othered and discriminated against not (simply) because of the color of their skin (or other phenotypes) but because of their beliefs and practices associated with some “imagined culture.”

Cultural racism, therefore, happens when certain people perceive their beliefs and customs as being culturally superior to the beliefs and customs of other groups of people. Cultural racism, in-turn, reproduces the idea of “the hierarchy of cultures,” meaning, in the context of current affairs, that “our” Western culture is superior to “their” Islamic culture. This way of thinking is problematic because it essentializes diverse classifications like “Westerners” and “Muslims.” It creates a binary of “Western = civilized” and “Islamic = uncivilized.”

While this discrimination may be bigotry, it has nothing to do with “race”, as we’ve viewed conventionally recognized races. And there are other problems as well. What, exactly, is Muslim “culture”? Are the “beliefs and practices” entirely to do with worship, like praying five times a day? In that case it’s religion and not culture itself that is the object of discrimination. And if you’re just criticizing those religious beliefs and practices, it’s not bigotry but simple criticism. If you discriminate against people because they fast on Ramadan, for instance, then yes, that’s bigotry. But it’s not racism.

Further, “customs” and “culture” are far from homogenous among Muslims. A Muslim in London has a very different “culture” from a Muslim in Somalia, and both differ from Muslims in Indonesia. None of them practice Saudi Arabian Muslim “culture”, which mandates burqas for women, no driving for women, discrimination against gays, mutilation of criminals, and the use of religious police to enforce their “culture”.

And is it bigotry and racism to argue that many aspects of Saudi Muslim culture are not as good as aspects of liberal Western culture? Is it bigotry and “cultural imperialism” to decry the veiling of women, the beheading of criminals, and the demonization of gays—part of Saudi Arabia’s “culture”—as inferior to Western culture? I don’t think so. The view that the world is becoming more “moral,” as Steve Pinker tells us, means that we have to have a basis for judging “morality” (I construe it roughly as “societal well being”, which comports with Pinker’s view); and if you have such a basis you can judge cultures on a morality scale. Saudi Arabia flunks, big time.

To buttress his equation of “racism” with “bigotry against culture”, Considine simply asserts it, over and over again, as if it were self evident, or quotes others:

Bobby Sayyid, another favorite thinker of mine, argues that Islamophobia is undoubtedly a form of racism. He regards it as a type of racism that “takes up the white man’s burden for the new American century.”


Let me be clear here. There is nothing rational about Islamophobia. Treating Muslims poorly because they are Muslim is racism. It is that simple. If someone gives a Muslim women wearing the hijab a dirty look, sorry, but you are racist.

No, it’s not that simple. And, after describing a Sikh who was assaulted in Chicago for wearing a turban, so that people mistook him for a Muslim, Considine makes the assertion again:

A cultural symbol, in this case, was used as a signifier to judge an entire group of people, however wrongly. Is this racism? Most definitely. Even Sikhs suffer from Islamophobia.

But then Considine admits this:

Now is the time to teach youth that racism is much more than the white-black dichotomy. Racism is changing in its form, but the beast is still very much alive and well.

Well, if racism is changing its form, it’s because people like Considine are trying to redefine the word—just as the term “violence” has been expanded to mean “criticism of my beliefs”. But why won’t the word “bigotry” do here, especially since Considine and his fellow social justice warriors don’t even accept the objective existence of races?

And that brings me to the second question, “Why would you want to redefine racism?”

The reason is simple.

“Racist” is the worst word—the greatest insult—you can throw at a liberal. If you can expand the term “racism” to cover discrimination against any group, including those with different “cultures”, then all forms of bigotry ultimately become racism, including discrimination against those Christian sects that specifically practice faith healing, or handle snakes. And there’s no defense against being called a “racist,” especially if every criticism of your own views can be deemed racist.

There’s no doubt what Considine is doing here: trying to change the meaning of a word so he can use it to tar those who criticize a diversity of religions, behaviors, or cultural practices. Some of that criticism is pure bigotry, but some of it is rational discourse. Considine is trying to lump these together so he can dismiss them in toto.

This is what I suggest:

  • The term “racism” should apply to discrimination based on genetic differences between groups, whether you conceive of those groups as “ethnic groups” or “races.”
  • The term “Islamophobia” should be ditched, as it is universally used to mean bigotry against Muslims, not against Islam, which as a faith cannot be discriminated against. (Only its adherents can.) The proper term is “Muslimophobia,” or, better yet, “anti-Muslim bigotry.” Too many things are conflated under the “Islamophobia” term.
  • People should stop flatly asserting that “races” are “social constructs.” There are pretty diagnostic genetic differences between people in different parts of the world, and we should recognize that. Those differences are profound enough that they can be used to diagnose someone’s ancestry and geographic origin. However, the idea that there are a fixed number of  unambiguously diagnosable genetic groups is indeed a social construct, but the “social construct” term confuses the subjectivity issue with a different false claim: that “there are no reliable genetic differences between groups—all distinctions between populations are simply made up.” The flat assertion that races are social constructs overlooks the genetic data, and misleads people into thinking that geographic populations don’t differ phenotypically and genetically (the phenotypic differences are, of course, based on genetic ones). The situation is more complex than can be summed up in the “social-construct” mantra.

Finally, I’m starting to wonder if sociology departments are much more useful than theology departments.


  1. Stephen Barnard
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Mexicans aren’t a race, either, but people routinely call Trump’s (deplorable) insults directed at Mexicans racism. We need another word.

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Bigotry against Mexicans, or anti-Mexican bigotry. That has just as many syllables as “Mexicanophobia”.

  2. Todd J Morgan
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I have to say, Jerry. I fully enjoy your writing and this site.

    It’s a nice balm after going over to PZ’s site.

  3. Pliny the in Between
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    No, it isn’t racism. Racism is about indivisible identity not ideology.

    It is regressive and dangerous to confer protections to ideas. Particularly ideas that represent biases in critical thinking that impact all areas of a person’s life and their interactions with others. This is possibly the biggest reason that science and religion aren’t compatible. Nothing is protected from evidence in science.

    I’m sorry, but for many of us the very definition of (any) religious faith masks a large set of cognitive biases that are problematic for us all and therefore are worthy of scrutiny.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      I agree. One of the biggest problems with defining Muslims as a race is that it offers protection to a set of ideas. Religion already receives a certain amount of protection from criticism in our culture and making Islam a race just doubles that.

      Considine has effectively made blasphemy into racism.

      All ideas should be open to debate and criticism. If someone hates gays because their religion tells them to, it doesn’t make them any less of a bigot. It does make them someone who follows the ideas of others without thinking for themselves.

      “Because my religion says so,” is never a definitive reason for holding a particular point of view. You should also be able to defend that point of view. If you can’t, you need to take a hard look at your religion (or whatever belief system you adhere to).

      • Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        I think Considine has it exactly backwards. People like Jerry, Sam Harris, etc. who criticize Islam are not racists. Considine, however, displays an implicit racism in his position. He would never accept the subjugation of women or murder of gays in his country, but when people who look different do it in exotic lands, it’s ok. “Can’t expect too much civilization among the natives! Let them develop at their own pace. It’s racism to expect them to live in the 21st century.” Who’s the racist? The soft bigotry of low expectations, I believe it’s called.

      • steve
        Posted September 1, 2016 at 6:04 am | Permalink

        But the religious think that that IS a defence. The reason they feel they don’t need to defend a bigoted statement about gay people for example, is that saying “Because my religion says so.” is a defence. I think it is an appeal to authority. (Not a great defence, but that’s what they’ve got and that’s what they’ll use).

  4. prinzler
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Once again, Jerry, thanks for navigating a tricky issue with clarity. Unfortunately, the details you lay out will probably be missed by a lot of people.

  5. TJR
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Fully agree, but one suggested slight change:

    In (1) replace “discrimination” with “prejudice”.

    Discrimination already has another related but very different use, e.g. discriminating tastes or linear discriminant analysis. In this sense, discriminating between ethnic groups based on e.g. different average susceptibilities to diseases might be quite reasonable.

    I remember when I was an undergrad 30+ years ago a few times people admitted that they were a bit racist, and in every case I persuaded them that they were in fact culturist.

  6. YF
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink


    Isn’t ‘Islamophobia’ (fear of Islam) vs ‘Muslimophobia’ (fear of those who practice Islam, i.e., Muslims) a distinction without a difference?


    Nazism. Isn’t ‘Nazismophobia’ (fear of Nazi ideology) essentially the same as ‘Naziphobia’ (fear of Nazis)?

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      “Muslimophobia” can be said to encompass fear of those who are presumed to be Muslim, based on stereotypes in the phobic person’s mind. It references an identity label rather than a set of ideas or beliefs. If you fear Nazis, it’s truly because you fear the specific ideology of Naziism. Fear of “Muslims” is often directed at non-Muslims (e.g. Sikhs) and is usually not based on knowledge of their beliefs.

    • Sastra
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      If the people who self-identify as “Nazis” turn out to be a varied group, one whose members have a lot of different ways of interpreting what Nazi ideology is, and how a proper Nazi behaves, then it might make sense to talk about an irrational “Naziphobia.” Not all Nazis, etc.

      But I think criticism of the basic ideology as conceived of by those who formed it, those in power, and/or those in the majority can be both legitimate and separated from, say, the desire to kill or imprison anyone who is a Nazi just for being a Nazi. We wouldn’t call such criticism “bigotry.”

      And neither would we call it “racism.”

      So I think your analogy is a pretty good one. Nazis believe they are united by all being members of a “master race.” So is it racism to criticize Nazis being what we don’t like about being a Nazi?

      • Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Also, it depends on when. These days I *would* be afraid of anyone who seriously claims to be a Nazi, because it seems to suggest they actually want to put in place some of the horrendous policies that their predecessors did. It isn’t clear what someone who claims to be a Muslim subscribes to because there *is* variation. If it gets to the point that there really is a Caliphate from Morocco to Indonesia, then yes, maybe one should worry about Muslims *here*. Notice that this is different from the case of Japanese (say) during WWII: being Japanese doesn’t tell you anything about what you believe; subscribing to what is now by hypothesis something that is at least officially ideologically uniform is something else. Similarly if someone claims they are a capitial-C Communist, I can reduce the number of “role models”. If they say they are an out-right Stalinist, that reduces to “current Nazi”.

        By contrast, if someone is a Nazi in 1945, one should determine if they are one by choice or not. Some of my relatives, for example, were drafted into the army in Germany then, and they were Nazis, then, yes, but that shouldn’t entail any fear, since they joined at the barrel of a gun.

        • Devin MacGregor
          Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Most in the Heer (Army) were not Nazis, ie a member of the Nazi party. Rommel was not a Nazi. Most in the SS were and was in fact a requirement initially. The SS were not part of the Wehrmacht (Heer, Luftwaffe, and Kriegsmarine) as well. The Waffen SS for all intended purposes could be called the Nazi Army as that is what it was meant to support.

          BUT one as well did not have to actually be a member of the Nazi party to commit atrocities as the Heer also massacred Jews.

          Just clarifying. I had relatives fight on both sides of the Atlantic.

          • Posted August 31, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            “I had relatives fight on both sides of the Atlantic.”

            What do you mean by this?

            • Devin MacGregor
              Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

              You could not understand that? I am mostly German. My last name is German. Surname wise we have been here since we were a colony. I have relatives who remained in Germany on both sides of the family. Some of them fought for Germany in both WWI and WWII. My Mom’s side is from northern Germany and my Dad’s side from southern Germany.

              Relatives over here fought in the US Armed Forces in both the Atlantic side and the Pacific.

              • HaggisForBrains
                Posted September 1, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

                Which part of Germany did the MacGregor clan come from?

              • Devin MacGregor
                Posted September 1, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink


                Devin MacGregor is a pseudonym much like you use HaggisForBrains.

                So what you are saying is because I use a name on message boards that is not my real name that that means nothing I previously said is true?

                I have used this name on message boards for 20 years. I created the name in 1977 when I started playing Dungeons and Dragons. If I were to write professionally this is the name I would use. Unlike your silly name which may just be a sockpuppet account you use to troll people.

                Now I use this pseudonym because there are a lot of crazy fargin iceholes online who have haggis between their ears. I would like to remain as anonymous as I can.

                Now Mr Haggis on my Dad’s side, all German. My actual surname is rare and comes primarily from Bavaria. Do you know where that is at? We have been here since we were a colony. Now when I say that that means one should understand that I am an American. I was born here. I am a Veteran as well. I was in the US Army. We were part of the Pennsylvania Dutch movement, ie Germans. Most of us live in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The bulk of them coming over in the early 1800s,

                On my Mother’s Mom’s side we are Danish and German. The German side comes from the Holstein area. Do you know where that is? This is a later group as well that immigrated here much later than my Dad’s side did.

                On my Mother’s Dad’s side I get Dutch from his Mom, they were here when we were a colony as well and from his Dad’s side we get Scot and some English. My Grandfather’s surname is Scottish and comes from those wee islands off the Northwest coast of Scotland. They moved to the mainland and then over to the colonies meaning they have been here too since we were a colony.

                Now does this all refute anything I said? I have family who were on both sides of WWI and WWII. I have 43 surname relatives who put on blue and fought for the Union.

                The Wehrmacht consisted of the Heer (Army), Luftwaffe (Airforce) and Kreigsmarine (Navy). The SS were the political arm. They had to be racially pure, be party members and sword allegiance to Hitler. They had to obey all orders without question. Due to heavy losses the former part got more lenient as we have several SS Divisions that were created in the Balkan region. The Waffen SS or Armed SS were largely frontline troops of the SS but were also used as police forces behind the lines to stamp out resistance. Primarily the policing was done by the Allgemeine-SS or general SS. The ones in the camps were the SS-Totenkopfverbände, ie death heads which was their symbol. The SS were originally designed to be like the Praetorian Guard of the Roman Empire. They truly can be called the Nazi Army. Initially they were to protecting ranking party members and the party itself.

                In comparison to US forces we do not call them the Democratic Army due to the political party of the head of state just like under Bush Sr and Bush Jr we did not all it the Republican army.

                Rommel was in the Heer. He was a proud German who fought for his country but he was not a Nazi.

                When I was 10 the same year I started to play D&D I started to play wargames, ie Avalon Hill board games. Primarily Squad Leader which was WWII central and a really awesome game. If you ever played SSI’s Steel Panthers that was what Squad Leader was like. Too bad Avalon Hill did not push to convert all their board games to computer games. Now I primarily played the Germans. I wanted to play the Yanks but most 10 year old’s do not have the intelligence to understand that German is a people while Nazi is a party and one can be one without being the other but since my last name was German I obviously was a Nazi.

                Anything else you might want to discredit me on based on my choice to use a pseudonym? Grammar, spelling, perhaps?

              • Posted September 1, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

                You wrote that relatives “fought on both sides of the Atlantic,” which I took to mean, in Europe and in the Americas. There was not much fighting on the east coast of the US. I was wondering if someone was in a submarine off New York or Boston. You meant, “fought on (or for) both sides in the war,” not “both sides of the Atlantic.” I was fairly sure that’s what you meant, but not completely sure. That’s why I asked.

              • HaggisForBrains
                Posted September 2, 2016 at 3:20 am | Permalink


                No, it was a joke. Sheesh!

                Sorry if I touched a nerve.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        No one calls criticism of Scientology racism.

  7. Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Everyone is a “cultural racist”. Racism is itself an integral element of many cultures, and we tend to think that it’s inferior. It’s contradictory to appeal to something so fluid as “culture”, which can be subdivided indefinitely into smaller populations or practices or ideologies, and say it’s wrong to “discriminate” among those groups or their practices. Neonazis constitute a cultural group. Anti-vaxxers are a culture. Prison inmates are a culture. While male “bros” are a culture. Subcultures are also cultures. There’s an inescapable arbitrariness to how we dileniate “culture.”

    • DiscoveredJoys
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      ‘Stereotypes’ is the word I reach for. You can have racial stereotypes, gender stereotypes, cultural stereotypes, genetic stereotypes, religious stereotypes, and so on.

      If you judge an individual by the stereotype you assign them to that can be prejudice. Usually adverse, but sometimes advantageous to that individual.

      Unfortunately we have evolved to assign people to stereotypes automatically – before our conscious thoughts can overcome our pre-judgement. So a person of one stereotype can observe subconscious pre-judgement (also subconsciously) by a different stereotype before a rational assessment can be made.

    • Kevin
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      But there are sub-categories. A:’Flexible cultural racist’ and B:’Inflexible cultural racist’. Both person A and B can think their beer/art/music/clothing/language is the best over all others. But A is willing, and may even, be attracted to trying other culture’s beer/art/music/clothing/language, whereas B condemns those things outright.

      • Posted August 31, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        None of this is in the same category as “racism” is traditionally understood. If I think Mexican food is preferable to Thai food, that would make me a kind of “cultural racist” under this definition. But it doesn’t seem very useful for distinguishing trivial discrimination from harmful bigotry. There’s really no way to make value judgments without simultaneously declaring preference for one cultural thing over another. “I think neonazi skinheads are bad” is a cultural value judgment. If you want you can call that “cultural racism,” but it trivializes the term and makes it into an irrelevant label.

  8. Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    How does Islamophobia compare with antisemitism?

    • Ian Clark
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      It’s the pot calling the kettle “black”. Or is that racist?

  9. Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink


  10. Sastra
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Racism is no longer about race (skin color) but culture. People are Othered and discriminated against not (simply) because of the color of their skin (or other phenotypes) but because of their beliefs and practices associated with some “imagined culture.”

    What if the culture isn’t an “imagined culture” but an actual culture? And what if that actual culture contains beliefs and practices which are “Other” not in the sense of “different but equal,” but “Other” in the sense of wrong, cruel, dangerous, or harmful?

    After all, Considine’s argument goes nowhere if he himself is not allowed to pick out a culture whose beliefs and practices he deems “racist” and say it is “wrong.” Or, rather, wrong.

  11. J.Baldwin
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I try to make the distinction between the reality of races and the socially constructed realities of races for undergraduate students like this: Race is a natural phenomenon, grouping people of similar genetics. Our judgments about what those genetic differences mean are often not “natural” but cultural. They are social constructs.

  12. J. Quinton
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    In the story the boy who cried wolf, he did it so much that when a wolf actually came, no one believed him and it ate him.

    The West is becoming the boy, with “the wolf” being racism. This means when actual racists pop up no one will believe that they’re racists.

    • jacoxnet
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      This comment only makes sense if there are actually no real racists around right now. That’s counterfactual.

      • Posted September 1, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        “This comment only makes sense if there are actually no real racists around right now. That’s counterfactual.”

        Your comment only makes sense if wolves don’t actually exist.

    • Posted September 1, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I also think that the obsession with racist accusation will lead to acceptance of racism. When people tell me I’m racist, I reply something of the kind, “Well, so what?”

      Europeans are constantly being told by their elites that if they do not continue to welcome large numbers of Muslim immigrants, they are racist. This makes more and more voters to turn to openly racist parties.

  13. Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    How can these two statements both be true?

    1.”The analysis of human genetic differences has gone so far that we can determine with substantial accuracy the ethnicity and ancestry of an individual by sequencing their genes.”

    2. And we can even cluster humans into groups based on genetic differences, but there’s no hard-and-fast boundary for how many groups, so we can’t unambiguously say that “individual X belongs to race Y”.

    Is it because “substantial accuracy” falls short of “unambiguously”?

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      If we can determine with substantial accuracy that a person has ancestors including Sub-saharan Africans, South Asians, Northern Europeans, and Native Americans…what race is that person?

      That is one of the problems.

  14. Richard Bond
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I am obviously a racist, since I despise all religious belief. In particular, I despise the beliefs of all of those white (like me) American creationists. Oh, wait a minute, many non-white Americans are creationists; now I am confused. Funnily enough, I have met many Muslims in Kenya, west and north Africa, Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia, and I had no phobia with respect to them. Now I am even more confused.

  15. Dimitris Klaras
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Do not forget that racism as a term exists before gene term came in light. Has nothing to do with genetics even some morphological characteristics can be combined in cases. We are educated to consider a group defined in some way as “bad” or “inferior”. For example the blacks enslaved and brought to America or another genetically undistinguished group but considered “not us” defeated in conflict etc. I think it has more to do with the exercise of power and how to keep it. It can work at the individual and the group level.

    Remember a story in a book by Jared Diamond about New Zealand natives that made a trip in a small island in their vicinity just to enslave genetically same people and for the pleasure to exercise their power. Killed many of them and bring in their home the rest only to offer them a life of torture and humiliation until all died. They were racists?

    Racism becomes what it is considered today in a society that needs to include as many people as possible and thinks that this is beneficial and winning. Outside this context I don’t think so that this word has any meaning. It is about what a specific organization of society considers as beneficial and winning and accordingly it excludes or includes attitudes or behaviors. Through the evolution of institutions, of course.

    Same situation with the concept of “Free speech”. Some societies/cultures consider it as bad and others as a virtue. But who gets the biggest advantage? He/she will inherit earth!

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but the morphological differences are reflections of underlying genetic differences. You can use morphology (if it does have a genetic basis, as do many human traits that differ among populations) as a surrogate for genetic differences. But the DNA data is better because it can quantify how much genetic difference (not a lot, on average, between groups), but also help us group individuals using each gene as independent data.

    • Posted September 1, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      In European Antiquity, many enslaved people were genetically the same as their masters. It was a standard procedure to abduct and enslave, and to enslave because of failure to pay one’s debts. Plato spent some time as a slave. It is an American idea that slavery requires racism and visible differences between slaves and slaveholders, because American slavery was of this type.

      I’d disagree with you about the Maori. They attacked the Moriori (the victim population) not because of sadism but to make space for their unsustainable population growth. The same motivation was behind much of European migration to the Americas and Australia, and much of today’s Third World migration to Europe and America. The abducted Moriori were women who were forced into (polygamous) marriage with the Maori victors – again, a standard phenomenon during conquest.

  16. peepuk
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Even if race is a social construct, that doesn’t mean that islam is a race, or that muslims are a race. It only means that races don’t exist; that they are imagined.

    And if we assume culture and race are the same thing, criticizing and not tolerating Nazism would also be racism. Racism would then be a good thing.

  17. Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your aims, but disagree with some of your analysis. The white race was not a consistent idea, and excluded Eastern Europeans, Jews, Irish and Italians at different times, making this “cultural racism” idea less loony than it seems at first.

    Races are a social construct in the sense that Americans (say) chose to hitch their concepts on features which are perceptible (that is, which are phenotypical) and culturally meaningful in their lands.

    Of course these traits arise out of genetics, which correspond to origin, but as European contries (for example) show in contrast, the idea of human races as conceived in the US is less universal than it seems. Europeans would find it odd that the whole continent is “white” but somehow the Spaniards are their own “hispanics” race. Perhaps “real” hispanics are something else to Americans, though this type of categorization makes no sense in Europe.

    Here’s a Gedankenexperiment: If you take one native of each European country and each one from Africa, humans might perceive two “races”. Now you double the number of Europeans, but the extras are all Irish. Did the European “race” now grew, or wouldn’t we have suddenly wind up with three “races” where by sheer magic the large Irish group is perceived as its own thing, different from the other Europeans. Something like this seems to have happened in the US several times, which, together with shifting socio-economic circumstances, led to shifting race conceptions.

    Thus, genetic clustering notwithstanding (no disagreement there), “human races” are an obsolete, pseudoscience-polluted, historically dubious concept that should be discontinued. Population geneticist can refer to clusters. We can refer to traits, as we say “did you see the blonde?”; we can refer to ethnicity if culture-language-customs-appearance are of interest.

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure we disagree. I wouldn’t use the term “races” now; I’d say “populations” or “groups”. The reason I’m talking about them here is that people who claim that “races” are social constructs are, by and large, taking that to mean that there isn’t any way to use biological data to identify related clusters of individuals within H. sapiens.

      • jacoxnet
        Posted August 31, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        I’ve never heard of anyone suggesting that “there isn’t any way to use biological data to identify related clusters of individuals within H. sapiens.” That’s plainly wrong and, as you say, disproved by the success of 23andme among others. Race as a social construct means that the social and cultural differences among races are something society creates, and they have nothing to do with biological data.

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted August 31, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          I have on many occasions read of biological data — genetics in particular — used as an argument that race is a social construct. In fact, it’s the primary argument.

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted August 31, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          I’ll add that although I’m liberal on nearly every issue, I differ from the mainstream liberal position on affirmative action. I’m all for considering poverty and possibly some other social disadvantages for preferential treatment, I don’t think using race is appropriate or wise. I find myself in the strange position of agreeing with Chief Justice John Roberts: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

  18. Siaj
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    But the definition of phobia is “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something”, what about rational fear of Muslims? Given what we know about the worldview of most of them, isn’t it rational and actually quite normal to fear them? Specially if you live in Europe or a predominantly Muslim neighborhood??

    • Posted September 1, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      + 1. I’d add that I am not sure it is the worlds view of “most” of Muslims, but even if it is 20% or 10% or 5%, it is problematic.

      I am all the time told that I am a bigot for “judging the many by the actions of a few”. During the nearly 20 years between the fall of communism in my country and its acceptance into the EU, we were shut out of more advanced European countries with the excuse of the activities of our criminals, that is, a few of us.

  19. jacoxnet
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I think you ignore or minimize the real bigotry that exists against (at a minimum) Muslim Americans. We see this regularly as Muslims are kicked off airplanes, beaten up, treated with unwarranted suspicion, and otherwise discriminated against unfairly. I don’t see why it matters a lot whether this formally fits your definition of “racism” or someone else’s, but the problem is very similar to bigotry against blacks, Jews, and others, and it ought to be called out.

    Most of the time, it seems to me, it is more important to you to emphasize the right to make fair criticisms of religious ideology and practices, including (and maybe especially) Muslim ideology and practices, rather than to protect individual Muslims against religious, cultural, or race-based bigotry. Why can’t we do both?

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      “Most of the time, it seems to me, it is more important to you to emphasize the right to make fair criticisms of religious ideology and practices, including (and maybe especially) Muslim ideology and practices, rather than to protect individual Muslims against religious, cultural, or race-based bigotry. Why can’t we do both?”

      We can do both, and should try to, but yes it’s far more important IMO to have the right to criticize the ideology of Islam than to protect Muslims in the west against bigotry, and that’s because in the world as a whole there are orders of magnitude more victims of the ideology of Islam. And most of those victims are gay, female, atheist, Muslims, or former Muslims. Jews, according to FBI statistics, are disproportionately subjected to more hate crime than Muslims. Should we therefore criticize Israel less because it might fuel anti-semitism? And if not why the double standard?

      • Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        I wanted to add that I’m not accusing you of engaging in that double standard, but many of those who immediately jump to the conclusion that criticism of Islam is fueled by, or is thinly disguised racism, assume criticism of Israel isn’t fueled by anti-semitism.

        I live in Alabama, and certainly much of the anti-Muslim sentiment is fueled by racism in that people assume Muslims are mostly brown people, or by religious bigotry, but that doesn’t negate legitimate criticism. Likewise anti-semites can express legitimate criticism of Israel. What we need to address is what people say, not what ideology, religion, or nation they say it about.

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, but I reject your criticism that I ignore real bigotry against Muslims. I’ve called Trump out on it, I’ve called out the stupid burkini ban as being truly bigoted, and at every opportunity I criticize those who are bigoted against Muslims. I think YOU ignore the very real bigotry that Muslims exercise against liberal Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Maajid Nawaz, and Ali Rizvi.

      • jacoxnet
        Posted August 31, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you didn’t ignore but criticized the “stupid burkini ban,” but you actually spent more time in the same post explaining how wrongheaded the idea of burkinis was. Your principal focus was clear. So that was an example of “minimizing” not ignoring!

      • Francisco
        Posted September 1, 2016 at 1:47 am | Permalink

        “liberal Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “…Ayaan is an ex- Muslim and proud Atheist.

        In the West, majority of Muslims are not White and majority of White folks hid their racism behind Islamophobia.

        Minority of Muslims are extremists but this minority makes noise in the West aka Christian based White nations.

        Islamophobia is the wrong word …like antisemitism.

        • Posted September 1, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          “In the West, majority of Muslims are not White and majority of White folks hid their racism behind Islamophobia.”

          I’d put it the other way round: the Western elites hide their Islamophilia behind anti-racism – actually, this is not anti-racism but anti-self racism, self-hate. The best example are the scandals in Rotherham and elsewhere, with authorities allowing Muslim non-white predators enslave native girls with impunity.

          • Francisco
            Posted September 2, 2016 at 12:07 am | Permalink

            Nice try but false equivalency.
            There is a problem with both: Islamophobia and minority abusing of their rights.
            The only difference is one has done more damage and nourishes the extremists.

  20. harrync
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  21. fjordaniv
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    “Finally, I’m starting to wonder if sociology departments are much more useful than theology departments.”

    The seem to have much in common these days.

  22. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Once again, Dr. Coyne nails it. Two small criticism, though. The phrase “big time” grates on my nerves big time or, to phrase it much more meaningfully, “massively”. 🙂 I also object to applying the “SJW” label to the regressive, authoritarian left. By redefining words, minimizing the role of Islam in Islamic atrocities, and equating all criticism of Islam with racism, they are doing the very opposite of fighting for Social Justice. Social Justice Warrior is a perfectly sound label for a social justice activist who is actually promoting more social justice, not giving cover to Islamic fascism whose clear often openly proclaimed aim is to eliminate social justice from the world altogether.

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      I think at this point the phrase “Social Justice Warrior” has achieved full irony in usage. Anyone using that phrase is essentially saying that the person thus identified is neither a true proponent of social justice, nor a warrior…”keyboard warrior,” maybe…but not a real fighter or activist.

      • Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        “I think at this point the phrase “Social Justice Warrior” has achieved full irony in usage.”

        When I use the term SJW I’m referring to people who believe in silencing the opposition, and that includes silencing those who oppose the tactic of silencing the opposition.

        • Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          It’s analogous to ‘armchair general’, ‘barrack room lawyer’ or ‘Monday morning quarterback’. It denotes someone who’s expertise and activism is essentially just mouthing-off. It’s nothing to do with genuine activism.

          • Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think that’s a very accurate definition. Almost every anti-SJW I know would categorize those who, for example, try to silence Milo Yiannopoulos by blocking venues, or yelling during his speeches, as SJW’s. They certainly aren’t armchair activists.

            • Posted August 31, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

              Add to that the girl at Yale, and professor at University of Missouri who “needed some muscle”. SJW’s all. Social justice warriors may include some who are keyboard warriors, but is not restricted to them. We know this is true because there are many social justice activists whose activism is restricted to online activity, but aren’t SJW’s.

      • Ullrich Fischer
        Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        True that, pacopicopiedra, but SJW is also used by the actually racist and bigoted right to tar all actual Social Justice activists with the brush of fake “SJWs” just making a fuss about a non-problem. That’s why I prefer more accurate and specific terms like “regressive” or “authoritarian” left.

  23. Curt Nelson
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    This is why I think criticizing Islam in particular is problematic, because it leaves one open to a door-slamming response like “Islamophobe!” or “racist!” even when it isn’t true, especially because that is what’s at the heart of a lot of anti-Muslim rhetoric. It’s about impossible to recover from that and make any kind of useful point.

    So, I’d say the criticism should be broadened, if possible, to target all religion, along the lines of: “Oh, more death and destruction courtesy of Religion.” If Islam needs specific criticism and the response is “racist!” respond with: “No, I’m criticizing that especially nutty religion. Christianity and the rest aren’t much better.”

    • Posted September 1, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      But sometimes one has to be concrete, or risk an analogy. Analogical reasoning is hard, which is why it is easy to be hypocritical.

  24. Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I think we need to ditch the word ‘phobia’ except as a word denoting particular anxiety disorders.

    The use of it to describe a prejudice gives a pseudo-scientific gloss to an ideology. You can’t treat an ideology as if it is the same as an individual pathology.

    • Posted September 1, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      So “homophobia” is out. What would you recommend as the replacement?

      (I dare say that being too prescriptivist about language is an exercise in futility.)

      • Stephen Barnard
        Posted September 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        The root word of “phobia” is the Greek Phobos: irrational fear.

        I agree with you about the futility of prescriptive language complaints, but reserve the right to regret neologisms that take a wrong turn.

        People who are prejudiced against gays may fear gays, but that’s not to be taken for granted.

        Then there’s the prefix “homo”, which is a problem. The Greek root, Homo, could mean “man” or just “human”, but certainly not explicitly “woman”. “Homophobia” derives, I suppose, from homosexual, which is explicitly male, which is not heard much anymore, and which is considered by some to be border-line derogatory.

        • Posted September 2, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

          “phobos” does mean fear, etymologically, but “homo” means *same* in Greek. For example, “homonym” or “homogeneous.” So to pendantic it should be “homosexualphobia”

          You’re thinking Latin.

  25. Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  26. Posted August 31, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  27. Kev
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Racism = bigotry based on genes
    Culturism = bigotry based on memes

  28. Posted August 31, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Why is it people
    call only their tribe “human“,
    but not the others?

    Some human discriminatory functions have run wildly amok. Recognizing differences may have been very useful once upon a time for survival, to keep from being enslaved or eaten (which undoubtedly increased individual “well-being”.) But, some of us now slice differences ever more finely and leave too many people out of our “tribe of humans”. And we misuse our existing language in trying to describe these abominable nuances.

  29. John Atkins
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    No surprise. This is exactly how the OIC (Organisation for Islamic Cooperation representing 57 Islamic countries)defined the term in it’s submission to the UN Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related intolerance. Under the heading Contemporary forms of Racism – their definition is:
    “Contemporary forms of racism are based on discrimination and disparagement on a cultural, rather than biological basis.”

    This is tabled at the UN. So when Islam talks about racism….this is what they mean. Control the language you control the debate.

    • Posted September 1, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Thank you for this information. The million-dollar question is, why does the West accept these bids for domination?

    • somer
      Posted September 4, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Yes this is something we seldom hear about. They are trying to get the meaning of religious freedom changed in the Covenant of civil and political rights – with Pakistan acting for Saudi in the forefront. The UN committee staff and rapporteurs are resisting but the Organisation is persistent and gradually making progress since the organisation was formed in the late 1990s. They have a Charter of Islamic Human rights which is just straight Sharia law, and which asserts that Sharia law is the only valid human rights.

      • somer
        Posted September 4, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Sorry – its the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – I referred to it as the Conference because it used to be called the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
        Wikipedia mediated its article on this a while ago – a very good article available at
        Human Rights and Religion, The Spirit of Things 18 October 2009, http://www.abc.net.au/rn/spiritofthings/stories/2009/2712753.htm#transcript

  30. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Genuine “Muslimophobia” (as opposed to inauthentic Islamophobia) is a close cousin of racism, springing as it does from a similar xenophobic fear and/or hatred of the dissimilar.

  31. Posted September 1, 2016 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the explanation of the concept of “race”.

  32. jeffery
    Posted September 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    (1) Article is in PuffHo
    (2) “Islamaphobia” and “Racism” are used in same sentence, ESPECIALLY if it is the title sentence
    SOLUTION: Seek “safe space” of rationality IMMEDIATELY by closing article and searching for one about something factual….

  33. somer
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Once again. Our Australian Broadcasting Corporation equating “Islamophobia” with racism on their Religion and ethics online portal. The article references a handful of bigots who protest against halal certification making untrue or distorted claims about how its practised in Australia, and a journalist who makes crude negative stereotypes about the suburb Lakemba but the author fails to distinguish this from criticism of religion in the face of the facile tendency in the West and by many muslims to blame Islamist violence as primarily caused by the west.

    Randa Abdel-Fattah
    Taking Over: The role of emotions in Islamophobia
    article blaming the West for terrorism and violence in Muslim lands
    Khaled About el Fatl
    Is this the Dawn of the new age of Unreason?
    compare both these articles implicit claim that criticism of Islam is racist or colonialist with
    Raheel Raza – By the Numbers – the Untold story of Muslim opinions and demographic

    Randa Abdel-Fattah’s article about “Islamophobia” includes this passage:

    “Swanton theorises race as a technology of differentiation that senses, sorts and judges bodies, places and things under a White gaze. I conceputalise Islamophobia as racism and I therefore use Swanton’s theory of “race as a technology” as a theory equally applicable to Islamophobia. Focusing on what race or Islamophobia does foregrounds the way it unconsciously forms and shapes orientations, sedimenting and honing perceptual practices, or what Linda Alcoff calls, “racial seeing.” As I’ve already mentioned, Ahmed argues that the “aboutness of emotions” means they “involve a direction or orientation towards an object” – a way of apprehending the world.”

  34. Posted September 23, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Islamaphobia is racism. While Islam is not a race, the stereotypical image of a Muslim of middle eastern and our fear towards Islam is also a fear towards Arab Americans.

    • Devin MacGregor
      Posted September 23, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      WOW, Arab Americans huh? So all Muslims are Arabs now? Go tell an Iranian he is an Arab.

      • Posted September 23, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        I did not say all Muslims or Arabs, I said that it was the perception in our society.

        • Devin MacGregor
          Posted September 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          I live in the US and no it is not the perception in our society. Nation of Islam are Muslims and none of them that I know of are Arabs. What most people in MY sphere think is Muslim = brown person hence a minority.

          Islamophobia is not racism. Why? Because simply criticizing Islam in of itself is being labeled that.

          Most Christians are not white. Should we invent a word and call it Christophobia and say any criticism of the Bible is now racist?

          You do realize some want laws doing just that? And I believe some European countries have passed some laws to that affect.

          • Posted September 23, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

            After 9/11, many people racialized Islam and much of the hatred and backlash against muslims were racial. I am not suggesting that criticizing Islam in and of itself is islamaphobic. I am a Christian and have several criticisms with Islam. I too critique people who suggest that criticizing Islam as a doctrine is Islamaphobic. The problem is, that many criticisms at Islam turn to generalization about a religion of 1.6 billion people. The problem is that many critcs of Islam single out that religion as somehow more dangerous than others and by default people who follow that faith are more dangerous. It becomes islamaphobic and racist when one suggests that muslims should be banned from this country or when “muslim-looking” are harassed, targeted, and profiled.

            • Posted September 23, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

              I realize that my original comment on this article was misleading. Criticisms of Islam can be racist and often is but is not inherently racist. There are critics of Islam who are not bigoted or islamaphobic and there are many who are.

              • Devin MacGregor
                Posted September 23, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

                Quit it. I am not a neophyte on the subject. You speak against generalizations but are using generalizations.

                It is making thought a crime. That is the problem with it. Atheist pages who are criticizing the doctrines of Islam, ie the Quran and Hadith have been banned claiming Islamophobia when before they were doing no different with again the Christian bible and no one called them a Christophobe and banned their pages. I spent 10 years on the Christian Bible Errancy Debate Group and not once were we ever censored by our Host.

                “Criticisms of Islam can be racist and often is but is not inherently racist. There are critics of Islam who are not bigoted or Islamophobic and there are many who are.”

                No there is no often are because it is as well often NOT. That is my point. Harris and Maher are examples of how such a word goes too far because the moment they criticize the ideas they are labeled an Islamophobia and discussion is shutdown. Meanwhile they are vilified as Islamophobes when none of them said let’s go bomb them mother fuckers. Polling data of what people in the region think on subjects is valid criticism just like we do here.

                What I have seen is many Islamic Apologists and they use the same tactics I ran into with Christian Apologists in the 1990s. Difference now is the word Islamophobia. Again it is not just branding people that say kill all towel heads or kill them camel jockeys to include actual physical acts of violence, etc. NO ONE in the 1990s when I pointed out BS passages in the Bible said oh oh but what about them Muslims. This happens now. ANYTIME you say hey look at this passage or when someone claims ISIS are not true Muslims (a bullshit stance)you get yeah but you mean Christians correct, because those Christians 400 years ago did this. These are how these conversations go now or you are just insinuating Trump supporters are the only ones in this debate so worthy of such a racist moniker? Because Regressive Left was actually coined by Liberals who have ran into this word being thrown at them to shut down the debate.

                What it is called is Crusader Guilt and Identity Politics. Which is ANY criticism means we are going to drop more bombs on brown people. The irony is they have little to any issue with brown people killing other brown people. That can happen all day long just so long as no white people are doing it.

                You know why most Muslims are peaceful? The same reason why most Christians are, neither are following their religions to the T but when either decides to be more fundamental that is when we should be concerned. Secularism has tempered Western Christianity and has allowed many more groups to co habit better. This is what US Fundamentalist Christians fight against, some who outright say Secularism is a religion and the US Govt is in violation of the US Constitution. There are Middle Eastern Muslims who have said they do not want Secularism stating what it did to Christianity.

                Muslims are having a lot of children and polling shows that those under 25 are being more fundamental while older are actually assimilating into their new country. That is not good news for the future and those under 25 are seeing it as a cultural identity. That does not bode well for the Secular West or do we just say fuck it and let us revert back 600 years to sectarian violence. Because simply bringing this up gets hostility towards you calling you an Islamophobe.

                It is again a dangerous word and just like Fundamental US Christians have passed laws thinking they are passing so called Religious Freedom laws they are seeing them bite themselves in the ass as other Faiths can claim the law for themselves as well. We do not need words Islamophobia or Islamophobic. We already have hate crime laws so if someone does something to someone they can be arrested, tried and convicted. Going the other route we again are now including any criticism and if we codify this as I said has happened already it means ANY criticism of ANY religion could be seen as a hate crime.

                To bring a parallel are two words, Misogyny and Misandry. Literally means hate of female and hate or male. If you change the definition of one you change the other by proxy. This is not being done in practice by some. The latter is being left to only mean that while the former is more and more meaning simply ANY criticism of any female. So it is misogyny to criticize the idea that the male population should be brought down to 10% and that 10% should be put into camps kept in by armed females. These males would then be made to clean up the world of all the mess they have done.

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