Before we are anything else, we are human. Before we are black, white, yellow, brown or any other shade of colour, we are human. Factually, it comes down to male and female human beings spread across this planet Earth where colour and language are nothing but states of nature (1). This not only demonstrates the folly of racism but also shows the nonsense of ethnic nationalism. Actually, the word Racism is a misnomer itself, because, in the context of this planet Earth (2), there is only one race and that is the human race (3). Also, in our biology ‘distinct races’ do not exist (e.g. out of the tens of thousands of genes that make up the human genetic code only a tiny fraction influences skin colour), so if ‘Race’ cannot be found in our biology then as a concept it is an absurdity. Also, by recognizing this reality, labels like “integration,” “inter-racial,” “multi-racial,” “majority,” “minority” and “visible minority” become irrational. In a society made up of human beings there is no such thing as “integration,” “inter-racial,” “multi-racial,” “majority,” “minority” and “visible minority” – these terms simply aim at pigeonholing segments of human society.
The Deadly Sin of False-Pride
Racism derives from self-deluded pride (4). If someone finds pride in things such as the colour of their skin or what their tribal ancestors did then that’s really ‘false pride’ (5). Logically, how can one have pride in something, that they personally had nothing to do with, or, that is completely independent of their will?
Humanity as One Family
I leave you with the words of the late and great American human rights activist, Malcolm X. This was his response to a question on so-called ‘integration’ and ‘intermarriage’: “I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being, neither white, black, brown nor red. When you are dealing with humanity as one family, there’s no question of integration or intermarriage. It’s just one human being marrying another human being, or one human being living around and with another human being.” (6)
- “Among His wonders is the creation of the cosmos and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours: for in this, behold, evidences indeed abound for all those who possess knowledge.” (Qur’an 30:22). Also, the false narrative begins with a statement of ‘races’, as demonstrated there is no such thing as distinct races, and secondly there is no mention of ‘races’ in the Qur’an (even though some have erroneously translated shu’uban as ‘races’ in Qur’anic verse 49:13), in Qur’anic verse 49:13 it uses shu ‘uban wa-qaba’ila, meaning of shu’uban is scatterred/large collection. Meaning of qabaila is face to face/familial. In other words, “O mankind! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female and We made you shu’uban (scattered groups of human beings) and qabaila (familial groups of human beings) that you may know one another. Indeed, (the) most noble of you near Allah (is the) most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah (is) All-Knower, All-Aware.” (Qur’an 49:13)
- Human beings, as a species, are deemed the most capable of higher intelligence on Earth.
- This argument demonstrates the irrationality of ‘racism’ and ‘ethnic nationalism’ in the context of humanity alone, however, we can take this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion. Say, one day, we come across intelligent extraterrestrials from another planet — how would we look at ourselves then? Answer: Before we are anything else, even before we are human, we are, ultimately, Sentient.
- As revealed in the Qur’an (see verses 2:34 & 15:30-33), the infamous sin committed by Iblees (Satan) was the result of false-pride. It was Iblees’s prideful attitude of viewing himself as superior to Adam, because Adam was human, which caused him to disobey God’s command of paying homage to Adam. In other words, Iblees was being racist towards Adam.
5. The Prophet Muhammad (saaw) said: “He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise.” (Sahih Muslim Hadith). The Prophet Muhammad (saaw) also said: “There is no favor of an Arab over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab, and neither white skin over black skin, nor black skin over white skin, except by righteousness.” (Musnad Ahmad Sahih Hadith)
6. The Pierre Berton Interview, January 19, 1965.