The first is that it assumes that we are the best judges of whether we are racist or not. The second is that it misses a whole world of data that shows less obvious factors in racial inequality and discrimination.
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Racism is more than someone calling a person of color by a terrible name. It is also seen in differences in pay, housing discrimination, mortgage lending, school segregation, and rates of policing and incarceration.
White people may not feel that we have anything to do with these larger problems, but our silence is part of the problem. Our acceptance of the status quo makes these injustices harder to challenge. While racism is certainly seen in hateful actions and words, it is also seen in our inaction and silence regarding the larger social problems that stem from our racist history and continue because of our indifference.
Myth 3: Only Ku Klux Klan members and self-proclaimed white supremacists perpetuate racism. Even when we are faced with great opposition in talking with other white people about racism, we need to remember that we are no different from those people. We share the same benefits from the sinful legacy of racism. Myth 4: Racism has to do with intentions. If we have no intention of offending someone else and no consciousness of racial bias, then we may feel resentful for being accused of racism. If we are generally good people who feed and clothe the homeless and give our money to the poor, it can feel as if we are being unjustly accused of racism when the rest of our behavior shows our moral intentions.
Unfortunately, great harm comes to others not simply by our intentions , but by our inattentions. If we are not paying attention to how others are harmed by large social forces that may be out of our personal control but nevertheless benefit us in unjust ways, our inattentiveness to these social forces can be hurtful. Paying attention to the ways racism continues to unjustly privilege white people and disadvantage people and communities of color enables us to see racism as much bigger than our intentions.
Separating intention from inattention means that if we say something that inadvertently hurts someone else, we do not need to get defensive. I did not realize what that would sound like or feel like for you. Myth 5: Racism is caused by ignorance.
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We cannot blame racism on ignorance, because we perpetuate it even when we should know better. To say racism is only about ignorance denies the ways racism is perpetuated even by those who denounce white supremacy and seek to work against it. It also ignores the fact that racism has been justified and defended by persons who have received many years of education. Trained clergy with academic degrees argued for the legitimacy of slavery on religious grounds. White politicians with college degrees have labeled entire countries of black and brown populations with derogatory terms.
Even at the highest levels of academia, persons of color continue to experience racism from those who are bearers of the intellectual torch. Myth 6: Racism is irrational.
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This myth assumes that racism does not make sense and that it is based on faulty ideas about the racial superiority of whites over nonwhites. But what do we mean by rational? If developers want to build apartments in the neighborhood that will increase the availability of low-income housing, giving more people access to these great schools, it may seem just as rational to want to protest such development.
These responses may all seem rational, but at the same time they perpetuate a system of racial exclusion. The way racism perpetuates itself is often through these subtle avenues. We fail to consider how our prejudices operate to preserve our own self-interests. It is completely rational for us to want the best schools for our children. It is completely rational to want our home investments to increase in value.
But how do we respond to persons for whom the color of their skin prevents them from buying a home in the best school districts or getting a mortgage for a home they can invest in? Myth 7: Racism can be remedied through education. Unfortunately, education cannot solve all of our problems. We are selfish. Even if we know we should be less selfish, it does not make it any easier for us to want to share with others.
Even if we have been educated in liberal schools, it does not prevent us from operating out of our unconscious biases.
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Even if we have been taught to recognize that the stereotypes about people of color are not true, we may still respond physically out of deep prejudices when we are least aware. Learning the right definitions of racism or using the most up-to-date terms will not inoculate us against continuing to act in racist ways or contributing to racial inequity. Some people have never had the advantages of an education and yet have led the way in antiracism and kindness toward all people. If we assume racism can be remedied through education, then we are assuming a privileged status for those who are educated, as if those with education are more virtuous or have a greater capacity to be good.
Myth 8: Racism will end as we have more and more interracial relationships. While it is important for our congregations to become more diverse, it will not be enough to end racism. Islam is growing faster than any other religion. Most Muslims one billion live in Asia, predominately in south and southeast Asia. More than million Muslims live in Sub-Saharan Africa as well. The four largest Muslim populations are in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, each home to more than million Muslims.
The Middle East is a vague and often negative term which does not accurately reflect where Muslims live. Map of Muslim Population Worldwide. An Arab is a person who speaks Arabic as his or her native language, and only twenty percent of Muslims fall into this category. Millions of Arabs are Christians! There are about million Arabic speakers in the world today.
Arabic is the majority language of twenty-three nations. Muslims highly respect Jesus as a prophet of God and value his teachings. Muslims often name their sons after Jesus, who they call Isa , although they do not understand Jesus as the son of God or understand that he died on the cross for the sins of mankind. There are some Christian groups which teach that Allah is an idol for the moon god. This is a very offensive accusation to Muslims. The most fundamental belief in Islam is worshiping the one true God.
There is no other word in Arabic for God. Muslims do not worship the moon. The use of the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam comes from Muslim practice of following a lunar calendar.
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The vast majority of Muslims are moderate, pious people who suffer more from terrorism and violence than non-Muslims. Ninety-three percent of Muslims do not support extremist views of terrorism. Gallup, Inc. Extremist Views in the Muslim World. The meaning of the Arabic word jihad is struggle. Muslims refer to this inner struggle as the greater jihad. Muslims also have social campaigns to end poverty and hunger which they also call jihad. Like Christianity, there are many sects of Islam. Most of the oppression of women by Islam and Muslims that is highly publicized is usually due to local customs and traditions.
Muslim women have been presidents and prime ministers. Violence towards women and forcing them against their will is not permitted by Islam.
Unfortunately, many women are oppressed, However, this is a global issue and not just Islamic oppression. Prevalence of abuse of women is not higher among Muslims than among non-Muslims. Muslims place a high value on education. Many Muslims speak multiple languages.