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I agree about human rights in general, but racism? The treatment of the Baha'i is religious hatred, clearly unjustified, but not racist: there's no racial difference between them, after all.

I'm not even sure that their attitude to Jews counts as racism. The question would be how they would deal with Jews that converted. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they would be treated any different from other Muslims (at least if they chose  the right branch of Islam). This is not the case in the West (think of the Spanish Inquisition or the Nazis), so we really cannot seriously regard antisemitism in the West as anything other than racism, but I'm not sure if the same applies to Muslim countries.

I don't mean to justify anything the Iranians are doing, just to point out that the term racism does not apply. One could of course ask why the U.N. is having a summit on racism, rather than on human rights in general.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Sep 4th, 2008 at 02:39:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Under some definitions of racism, religious bigotry qualifies either in general or in certain specific circumstances.

There is a case for merging the two because very often religious bigotry is just a bad cover for old-fashioned racism - and because in many ways the causes and effects are similar. And there is a case for keeping them separate, because there are important cases where they are conceptually different.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Sep 4th, 2008 at 11:44:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I think that's a bit of a superficial distinction in this case. It's still discrimination and persecution of a group of people based on a totally arbitrary characteristic, be it "race", religion or eye-colour.

The Heathlander
by heathlander on Thu Sep 4th, 2008 at 04:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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