The belief that any criticism of the Islamic religion is tantamount to racism has become entrenched in our society–or at least in political discourse. Bernie Sanders fulminated that President Trump’s temporary travel ban on six Muslim-majority nations was “racist.” Marches against shari`ah law were attacked as “racist” by SJWs and other virtue-signalers. Even liberals who acknowledge that Islam is NOT a biological race (if such a thing actually exists among Homo sapiens), at venues like “Huffington Post” and “Vox,” immediately–and rather oxymoronically–insist that there can be (I’m not making this up) “racism without race” (as per the former article) and that linking Islam to terrorism is just another nefarious manifestation of “Orientalism” as defined by that “eminent [sic] Middle East scholar Edward Said” (according to the latter piece). The flip-side of this is that many liberals (and some conservatives) axiomatically contrapose “white” and “Muslim, with the clear implication being that the former encompasses Christians, while the latter must be dark(er) of skin.
I don’t want to discuss the very clear precedents within Islam for violence against non-Muslims, nor the ridiculous assertion that ideologies other than Islam are the main motivators of terrorism. I simply want to explode the myth that Muslims belong to a “race” with more melanin than others, especially Christians.
What about the contention that Islam is the religion of the world’s brown and black people? Well, the major continental areas where such live are Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin American (all of South and Central America to include Mexico). There are about 250 million Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa (based on World Bank and Pew data) and 563 million Christians in Latin America (combining Wikipedia info on the region and on religion there). That means at least 813 million of the global Christian population of 2.2 billion are “black” or brown.” What about Islam? Muslims number about 240 million in Sub-Saharan Africa (so says Pew) but only perhaps 3 million in Latin America (according to analysis of US State Department data). That means in the two continents usually held up as the “darkest” parts of the Global South, Christians outnumber Muslims at over 3:1.
Iran has 73 million people, mostly Muslim. Many of them look like this (and no, it’s not a Saruman audition–although Iran’s foreign policy might indicate otherwise):
Ditto for Balkan Muslims, such as the Rifa`i Sufis. Turkey has about the same Muslim population as Iran and almost all of them are what liberals would call “white.”
Now here are some examples of that allegedly non-white religion of Christianity:
Those are some of the Nigerian Catholic bishops (courtesy of that organization’s website).
Here’s a picture of one of my favorite icons hanging on the wall in my study–that of St. Moses “the Black:”
He would have been surprised to hear that Christianity was a “white” religion.
In the United States, 80% of the 35 million Latino adults (Pew data) are Christian while 83% of the nearly 40 million black Americans are Christian (as per this site). That’s a lot of non-white Christians in the world’s largest Christian nation. And in fact, seven of the 10 countries with the largest Christian populations are non-white ones: Brazil, Mexico, Philippines, Nigeria, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia (again, as per Pew).
As a Christian, and an American, I really don’t care about a person’s skin color or “race.” But the “progressives” have been braying about that topic for so long and so frequently that I deemed it necessary to point out the inanity and intellectual bankruptcy of their claims about race as it relates to Islam.