Is Discriminating Against Muslims Racist?

Some people say discriminating against Muslims is racist. Others say it isn’t racist because Islam is a religion, not a race. We think it doesn’t matter either way: discrimination is offensive and illegal.

Debating whether or not discrimination towards Muslims is racist is focusing on a technicality. It avoids the real issue, which is whether we treat people unfairly because of their skin colour, nationality or cultural background or we treat them fairly as unique individuals.

Islamophobia is defined as negative attitudes or emotions generally directed at Islam or Muslims. This word has also referred broadly to a dread or hatred of Islam, and indirectly to fear or dislike of all Muslims. It generates and connotes prejudice and hatred against Muslims. It is important to note that this term encompasses both the religion of Islam as well as its adherents, Muslim people. It is often experienced by targets in ways that are very similar to racism.