"The Fanatical Rage": Racism
The rage felt against other races is responsible for the majority of conflicts, clashes and civil wars around the world. In the cases of the aggressive attitude assumed by the white race towards blacks, or the Nazi ideal of achieving a pure race and the subsequent conflict with the Allies that claimed millions of lives in recent history, or tribal clashes in Africa, we always encounter one and the same factor: "fanatical rage."
This misunderstanding suggests that one particular race is, either physically or mentally or both, superior to another and that it is unnecessary for the superior one to have feelings of mercy, compassion and respect for the other. The same rationale, in extreme cases, deems even coexistence of these races as wrong. This is, however, a dangerous mentality, since it further leads to thinking that there is no reason for various nations to exist, thereby making the elimination of "different" races compulsory.
In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that various nations and tribes exist so that "people might come to know each other." The diversity of nations, races, tribes and languages is a beauty peculiar to Allah's creation. That one person incurs the anger of another because he is shorter or has a darker skin is unacceptable. These peculiarities are all the distinctive creation of Allah with countless beauties, purposes and subtle secrets within them. A believer is well aware that the only criteria for nobility is fear of Allah, as is made clear in the following verse:
Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in Allah's Sight is the one with the most fear of Allah. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surat al-Hujurat: 13)
The pseudo-scientific roots of the racist misunderstanding, which manifests itself so brutally, deserve special mention since they are also the bases on which many of today's false ideologies are founded. Materialism, communism and wild capitalism all have roots in this pseudo-scientific basis from which they all derive power.
This pseudo-scientific foundation is the so-called theory of evolution by Darwin. Some who have heard of "the theory of evolution" might assume that it only concerns the field of biology. The theory of evolution, however, represents far more than this. Not merely a biological concept, it is the underpinning of many philosophies that hold the masses under their influence.
The Pseudo-Scientific Basis of Racism
When Darwin first proposed his theory, scientists of the period did not adopt it outright. Palaeontologists, in particular, were aware that the theory was little more than a figment of the imagination. Despite this, however, Darwin gained access to scientific circles since the theory provided an unprecedented ideological foundation for the powers prevalent in the 19th Century.
As the idea of evolution spread fast – through the publication of the book by Darwin, The Origin of Species – Europeans continued to colonize continents and other civilizations in remote parts of the world. European countries – England and France being the foremost – concentrated their efforts, partially on South Asia and Latin America and on the African continent as a whole. Meanwhile in North America, the indigenous peoples were brutally slaughtered. In brief, in the second half of the 19th Century, western empires plundered civilizations in other parts of the world. They seized power, to which they were by no means entitled, in other countries by force and terror and confiscated their natural resources. Yet, westerners felt deeply the necessity of legitimizing their illegitimate practices. At this stage, Darwinism offered a great opportunity to imperialists. With this theory, it became possible to provide a "so-called" scientific foundation to the idea that the exploited people were simply "animal species."
Darwin made his views about the origins of human beings clear in his book The Descent of Man, published in 1871. In this book, he boldly commented that man evolved from ape-like ancestors. He went further and said that existing human races were located at different rungs of the "evolutionary ladder", that the European races were the most "advanced" of all, and that many other races still bore "simian" features.
Darwin's theory had another significant dimension. Darwin based the development of living beings, including human beings, on the term "the struggle for survival." According to him, there is a fierce struggle, a constant conflict, going on in nature. In this struggle, the strong always defeat the weak and thus progress occurs.
Darwin maintained that this "struggle for survival" is also true for human races. Even the sub-title in his book The Origin of Species made his racist outlook apparent:
"The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle of Life."
According to Darwin, Europeans are the favored race. The native American peoples, Africans and all other races and nations, on the other hand, constituted the primitive races who remained behind in the process of evolution. According to this distorted rationale, domesticating, enslaving and even killing these lower races are legitimate, just as it is legitimate to do the same to apes or other animals. For the same reason, Darwin thought, their property could also be confiscated. In his book, pertaining to lower races, Darwin stated the following:
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes… will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider.16
As these statements show, Darwin was clearly a racist. He believed that Europeans are superior to other nations and thus entitled to enslave and annihilate them.
This theory, which was an adaptation of the theory of evolution to societies, is called Social Darwinism. It laid the major ground for legitimizing both imperialism and racism. One of the countries where Social Darwinism was warmly embraced was Germany.
The Nazism and Darwinism
It is not a coincidence that Neo-Nazis are inspired by the theory of evolution of Darwin since, from the day it was conceived, Darwinism has always been an inseparable part of Nazi ideology.
Nazism was born in defeated Germany after the First World War. One of the founders and the leader of the German Nazi Party, Adolf Hitler, was an ambitious and aggressive man who based most of his outlook on life on racism. Hitler firmly believed in the superiority of the Aryan "master race", and that this was the race that would lead all other nations. Hitler devoted himself to the establishment of a pan-Germanic "Third Reich," which would last a thousand years. The scientific basis of the racist theories of Hitler was Darwin's theory of evolution.
Hitler was deeply influenced by Heinrich von Treitcshke, the German racist historian who also developed his racist views under the influence of Darwin's theory of evolution. He held that nations could only have progress through fierce competition similar to the "struggle for survival" proposed by Darwin. The following words of Treitcshke reveal his stance towards other races:
The yellow races have no understanding of artistic ability and political freedom. It is the destiny of the black races to serve the whites and to be the target of the whites' loathing for all eternity…17
Hitler drew inspiration from Darwin's idea of struggle for survival while formulating his theories. The name of his famous book Mein Kampf, was an inspiration Hitler derived from Darwin's idea of struggle for survival. Hitler shared Darwin's views about races and, just like him, considered non-European races to be ape-like creatures:
Take away the Nordic Germans and nothing remains but the dance of apes.18
The evolutionist views of the Nazis led to their adoption of the concept of "eugenics", which means "the science of improving the (esp. human) population by controlled breeding for desirable inherited characteristics." However, the Nazis are remembered more for the concept, prevalent throughout Europe at the time, even in so-called liberal societies such as Sweden, that this was best achieved by preventing the disabled and mentally ill from mating, if necessary by sterilization. Darwinists, as one would assume, proposed the theory; Leonard Darwin, the son of Charles Darwin and his cousin Francis Galton.
In Germany, Earnst Haeckel, the renowned evolutionist biologist became the first adherent and propagator of "eugenics." Haeckel, a close friend of Darwin, continuously provided him with views; one of them involved speeding up the process of evolution by killing disabled babies. Another idea of Haeckel's was painlessly killing patients suffering from leprosy and cancer, as well as the mentally disturbed. Otherwise, he thought, these people would continue to be a burden on society.
After Hitler took power, he incorporated these views of Haeckel's into official policy, which resulted in the immediate internment in special centers of the mentally disturbed, the disabled, the blind and those having inherited diseases. From this distorted point of view, these people were considered the factors "polluting" the purity of the Aryan race and hindering its "so-called" evolutionary progress. After keeping these categories of men isolated from society for a while, Nazis arrogated to themselves the right to murder them secretly upon a confidential order promulgated by Hitler, known as Aktion T4.
After its defeat in World War II, the "Third Reich" became history, leaving behind millions of innocent but devastated people. Yet, Social Darwinism, which provided the basis for Nazi ideology, remains.
Many people are familiar with what has been related so far. However, the fact remains that there are very few who realize that these historic events have ongoing repercussions. The violent and merciless execution of people because of their mental or physical state reveals the sick and perverted spirit of its perpetrators. Disbelief accounts for sick and perverted spirits. As long as disbelief prevails, one can expect all forms of abnormal, merciless and perverted behavior. The existence of millions of adherents led astray by these sick-minded people is another token of disbelief.
A person who fears Allah and puts his trust in Him, knows that He is the All-Mighty, and never tends to cruelty and perversity. Furthermore, he also courageously and zealously endeavors to save other people from enslavement to tyrants, and to show them the right path and warn them. For instance, the Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, struggled alone against Pharaoh, who had the same racist and cruel dictatorial mentality as Hitler and Mussolini, and he saved the Children of Israel from his brutal rule. What made the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) so courageous was simply his profound faith in Allah and the values and conscience his faith provided him. The way Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) addressed Pharaoh shows clearly his faith in Allah and the way he put his trust in Him:
And then, after them, We sent Moses with Our Signs to Pharaoh and his ruling circle but they wrongfully rejected them. See the final fate of the corrupters! Moses said, 'Pharaoh! I am truly a Messenger from the Lord of all the worlds, duty bound to say nothing about Allah except the truth. I have come to you with a Clear Sign from your Lord. So send the tribe of Israel away with me.' (Surat al-A'raf: 103-105)
The Years of Violence "Racism" Brought to the Africa Continent
For long years, the African continent has been afflicted with clashes, wars, starvation and misery. Due to conflicts of interests arising from non-adherence to the true religion and following unrighteous beliefs, strife is continual in the region. Until the 1950s, the people of this continent suffered from all the forms of violence and racist policies the imperialist countries imposed. In the '50s, throughout the continent, there were only four officially independent countries. This figure soared to thirty in 1962. Finally in 1972, with a few exceptions, the continent had become independent. However, especially for the public, independence was merely a façade, since the former imperialist powers were simply replaced by authoritarian, repressive and cruel dictators, all of whom maintained close links with the former imperialist powers, namely the western countries of today. Therefore, independence did not bring freedom to these countries, but rather made them suffer greater poverty and violence under even more repressive regimes than the colonialist ones. Under these circumstances, people united to fight against the dictatorial regimes. Meanwhile, the dictators provoked some of the ethnic groups, destabilized their respective countries and took advantage of this disorder.
In Rwanda, a war between two of its tribes, the Hutus and Tutsis, is a typical example of the clashes taking place between races in the 20th Century. The two tribes became involved in this war in the spring of 1994. The effect of the clashes extended over a region comprising five countries including Zaire, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania.
In this region riddled with corruption, the independence of 1960 hardly brought any relief from the political pressure of the imperial western states. Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko, backed by the US, seized power in 1964 and made all the natural resources of his country available to America. Hardly devising anything to contribute to the welfare of his people, Mobutu merely accumulated a personal fortune over the years, and resorted to despotic measures to suppress the demands of his people. At a time when the inflation rate in the country tended to a peak value of 6000%, great clashes broke out between the two dominant tribes of the region. This tribal war resulted in a major genocide which left behind nearly onemillion dead. Thousands of immigrants underwent gruesome ordeals in the forests, and ultimately the majority lost their lives of hunger and epidemics. Innocent people were slaughtered. Merely because they were from a different tribe, even babies and very young children were killed.
The wars between races, namely the "fanatical rage" mentioned in the Qur'an, often end with haunting scenes of massacre. Allah, in the Qur'an draws our attention to the "fanatical rage" of ignorant people as follows:
Those who are disbelievers filled their hearts with fanatical rage - the fanatical rage of the Time of Ignorance – and Allah sent down serenity to His Messenger and to the believers, and bound them to the expression of piety of Allah which they had most right to and were most entitled to. Allah has knowledge of all things. (Surat al-Fath: 26)
Whether in Africa or in other corners of the world, racist movements have exposed this dark expression of disbelief. To remove it outright is only possible by living by the principles of the right religion and making others obey them.
16. Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 2nd edition, New York, A L. Burt Co., 1874, p. 178
17. Alaeddin Şenel, Irk ve Irkçılık Düşüncesi (The Idea of Race and Racism), Ankara:Bilim ve Sanat Yayınları, 1993, pp.62-6
18. Carl Cohen, Communism, Fascism and Democracy, New York: Random House Publishing, 1972, p.408