Religion and racism is a topic of interest to many researchers as there have been many events in racist events in history, which many attribute to religion. Many studies have been done to understand if this is actually the case and if religion leads to racism. Historical events such the crusades and slavery have been thought to be due to racism.
Most major religions around the world do not advocate racism and instead preach of brotherly love between believers, and race plays no significant part. However religion has been used as a reason to justify racism; an example of this is slavery, specifically in America. All of the slaves in America were of African descent and, due to the high population of Christians in America; the bible was used as justification for slavery.
Although the bible doesn’t call for targeting people of African descent as slaves, the American slavery did which used the bible as justification, which has led many people to believe religion advocates racism. Jefferson Davis, the president of the confederacy of the United States, said that ‘’Slavery was established by decree of Almighy God… it is sanctioned in the bible’’, and slavery was one of the main reasons for the civil war.
The Middle East is an extremely religious area of the world, where many countries still follow Sharia Law, the Islamic religious code, yet it is extremely racist and many people are openly discriminated. Again, like Christianity, Islam does not call for racism and instead calls for ‘brotherly love’ between followers of Islam no matter their ethnicity. The UAE has a large population of foreign workers who mainly come from South Asia to work menial jobs and to better their lives.
The mistreatment of many of these workers is well documented in the UAE. UAE has many employment laws in place, however these are rarely applied to foreign workers from South Asia.
An example of this is the fact that the UAE has a minimum wage however it is never applied to South Asian workers. The workers, on average, earn around $175 a month; the average per-capita income of the UAE is $2106. Workers from Western countries are always given precedent and protected from laws, especially white workers from the Western world, however South Asian are not, and many human rights campaigners have said it is due to racism.
Although most major religions in the world do not condone racism, many religious institutions and major religious figures have implemented racism on a wide scale and used their texts to justify it. Religion is not racist, however many people are and they manipulate their beliefs to justify it and subject people.