Journal

Racism; Church is one of the main culprits!

white supremacy, beliefs and ideas purporting natural superiority of the lighter-skinned, or “white,” human races over other racial groups. In contemporary usage, the term white supremacist has been used to describe some groups espousing ultra-nationalist, racist, or fascist doctrines. White supremacist groups often have relied on violence to achieve their goals. why?

In Greece, racism is a systemic problem, and the church is one of the main culprits! They talk about the love of Christ, as the Islamist say about love in the religion of Muhammad, but to me all this is nothing but verbal games and lies.

The issue has been reduced to white supremacy. Yet, this is not the whole story. The church has played a historic role in creating and maintaining this discourse and state.

We know now, when race, color, and blood became institutionalized for the first time. We saw it taking form with the Crusades when the Christian kingdoms of northern Spain, together with the church leadership and other European monarchies, decided to take over Muslim-controlled trade routes to the Far East. The ultimate goal of the Church and the European rulers was never just about winning souls to Christianity. It was also about gaining wealth and power through annihilation.

In 1478, the Pope approved the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition, which had to investigate the “cleanliness of blood” of Moorish and Jewish converts. “Clean blood” was Christian/European; “unclean blood” was savage, non-Christian. The cleanliness of blood requirement to be Spanish then is the basis of the others, France, Britain, Dutch and their colonialism was built on those concepts and racial order. The race was invented at that moment.

This is the origin of the ideology of white supremacy. For the first time in the world, the concept of race based on “blood” was used as law. White supremacy made it possible for Europeans to think it was acceptable to enslave or exterminate other peoples.

That led to the mass deportations of Jews from Spain in 1492, and Muslims in the following decades. The pattern continues today. That is why the racist Greek Minister for Asylum and migration, Notis Mitarachi says that those who are coming from Ukraine are the real refugees, while the “others” are dying in Aegean or at the borders by his Pushback policy.

Denmark is a another perfect example, where in 2015, people arriving from Afghanistan or Syria were referred to as migrants, but Ukrainians are now immediately taken in as refugees. Denmark has granted refugee status to 30,000 Syrians since 2014. On the one hand the country has asked them to return home despite the civil war, on the other it is welcoming Ukrainian refugees.

I saw a similar situation in Iran as well. Refugees from Afghanistan were considered non-Shiites and non-Iranian Muslims when they arrived in Iran. The same thing happened during the Iran-Iraq war with Arab refugees coming from the southwest who were told they are war victims and were systematically marginalized.

Same pattern in Turkey, where the dominant discourse is on the base of Turkish race and discrimination on the highest level.

The discourse of Islamophobia, which is the result of the confrontation between the two side of political Islam and the Church, reproduces and preserves exactly this historical state. Both reduce the critique of religion, the critique of the superiority discourse on which Christianity and Islam are based, to individual attitudes and white supremacy, by deliberately ignoring and eliminating its role in the history of racism.

Due to this, everyone has the opportunity to contribute to society’s fight for equality, no matter where they live. Against all of this, we must stand up. We must force them to adhere to human values and to take a more serious stance against racism and discrimination.


Photo: The Hellenic Coast Guard has rescued over 100 refugees off the island of Paros in the Cyclades on Sunday. ABR

Title of the Greek media: 100 young foreign Muslims arrived for permanent settlement in Greece

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