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Discrimination Between Religions & Races

What Is It? The 1965 UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination defines racial discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.” ("Wikipedia", 2017). Later on, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights entitled everyone to the rights "without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." ("Wikipedia", 2017). Racial discrimination can happen anywhere and everywhere, even within a country. This is a very controversial topic amongst the world, and it is difficult to have people of all walks come together and eliminate this unnecessary hatred towards other groups. This is not impossible though, as individuals can to a better job at keeping hateful acts and comments to themselves, and also do a better job at raising awareness of the issue. • Anna & Navnee

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China

China bases some of its racial discrimination prior to what happened in its history and the countries in this list are Japan, Mongolia, Korea and some European countries. Since the Opium Wars, China developed a rather less friendly relationship with England. It also disliked how England were trying to be above the law e.g. some drunk soldiers killed a Chinese villager and England refused to have their criminals go on trial under the Chinese jurisprudence. Today Islam make up 0.45% of all the religions in China. The Hui Muslims have an interesting historical background in China about how the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan, tried to impose their Mongol values on them and deemed Islam as a wrong way of living. The Hui Muslims seeked help from the Han Chinese to vanquish the Mongols and are grateful for this action towards the Han Chinese. China usually discriminate the other ethnicities by making fun of their languages, clothing and features. Since China valours fair skin and certain body features such as the eyes, lips and height, the Chinese mock certain ethnicities such as Black people having “big lips”, Koreans having small eyes and big heads, Japanese being short implying that they are submissives, Europeans being a “ghost guy” because of their fair skin and people who have a dark complexion. They even ridicule certain speeches and accents such as the South Asians saying “anna” which means elder brother in Tamil and used as a derogatory Hokkien term. The Chinese also find it “lowly” the way that Koreans and Japanese used to dress. Nevertheless, China rather has a great deal of racist issues with its neighbouring countries and within its citizens e.g. Chinese people converting to Islam is a psychological issue and they associate Islam with terrorism.

• Navnee

Cuba

Cuba is no more innocent than the US is in terms of racial discrimination, despite how beautiful and breathtaking it may seem to be. Cuba is said to be filled with misinterpretations of people, different cultures, and religions, culture, government affairs and policies, as well as food. Cuba was initially a Spanish colony, and had kept Black people as slaves; slavery was abolished later on in the late 1880’s, and Cuba became an independent country, making those who were once slaves, soldiers. Despite all this, Blacks in Cuba were still not treated any better, their moral freedoms such as religion were ruled by the government, in order to ensure everything held a high ‘moral standard’ – stripping their rights and freedoms to religion. Citizens of Caucasian descent have always been held to a much higher standard, as they are considered ‘wealthy’ and ‘high-class’ individuals, whereas Black citizens are not even considered anything remotely close to any of that. They were accused of sabotaging the country’s peace, resulting in them speaking out for their rights and freedoms, speaking against the accusation. Due to these actions, Cuba thought that their problem would be put to rest if they removed Black citizens – including their culture and race – from their country entirely, but little did they know that this would cause major tension and problems between the two due to that forceful kicking out.

• Anna

France

Ever since ISIS attacks especially, France has been noticeably hostile towards the Muslim community, evident through the violence and hatred present in the country present towards that specific racial group. Generally, France has never had any issues, and is quite considerate and welcoming of people of all walks, regardless of religion, culture, and race, but clearly, this is not the case with the Muslim community. France has actually revoked women of the Islamic religion from wearing cultural clothing, including the hijab and burqa, which is an identifier of an individual’s religious values. There are citizens attacking other Muslim citizens and roaming free around the country without any justice being served, which is clearly unethical. Generally, France has been working hard to mending and maintaining relationships so that there is not a racial segregation between people, including slavery abolishment. France not only seems to have problems with the Muslim community, but also the Jewish community; however, there are precautions being taken in order to mend these relationships between the French and Jewish communities, but there is still no act that has been implemented to fix things with the Muslim community. This is unfortunate, due to the fact that France is once again, generally known to practice equality and liberty, not judging any of their citizens based on religion or race. France must take steps in order to come to better terms with the Muslim community so that they would not have to be looked down on by others.

• Anna

India

India deals with racial discrimination between the Indians and the English, ever since the seventeenth-century attacks made in India, resulting in an apartheid between both nations, ever since. While the English were trying to colonize India, they began to act superior, treating the Indian less than they were worth, as they imposed their values upon them to follow, thus creating a very hostile relationship between the two races, which lead to protests and riots. This continued from 1858 to 1947 and was referred to as the British Raj, in which the Queen wanted to rule the Indian citizens alongside with UK’s. Despite the fact that this is over and India is an independent country now, Indian citizens still want justice and compensation for what the English had done to them, and there still remains racial discrimination between India and the UK. India and Africa seem to have good relations in terms of trade, but behind closed doors the two are not very polite to each other, to say the least. Both races are constantly attacking one another, and example is African who are subject to racial attacks in the country, for which Indian say that they are not ‘xenophobic attacks’ – a recent attack entails an Indian teenager dying from a drug overdose from his five Nigerian neighbours, who allegedly sold him the drugs. It is evident that both races are just as bad to each other, no one is better or worse than the other, and it is imperative that these racial issues are resolved in order to maintain peace and respect.

• Anna

Iran

It is evident that Iran is a theocratic country, in which the laws are deeply rooted and intertwined with the Islamic religion. It also goes without saying, that Islam is widely practiced and teaching are part of the education in Iran, regardless of what religion the students may follow, although it would mainly be Islam anyways. Nearly 100% of the country practices Islam, branching off into different sectors of the religion which include predominantly the Sunni and Shia groups. Despite being under Islam, the Shias are considered a majority in comparison to the Sunni minority, since they practice their faith in a slightly different manner. The other minority bit of the citizens practice religions such as Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism, and there is also a portion of atheists included in that small percentage. The minorities are permitted to practice and perform religious right and ceremonies, within limits of the law, and also it is stated that all citizens must be treated with respect and equality. Although they are permitted these things, there are many racial pulls between these groups, as not all of them are born or from Iran, but have immigrated. These tension are especially shown very strongly between the Muslim, Jewish and Christian groups. There is also another faith referred to as Baha’i, and they are not treated the same equal and respected way they are supposed to; in fact, people of this faith face a lot of discrimination and harassment in Iran, children are also targets in school. These student are sometimes interrogated by even the Iranian government about their practice, beliefs and faith in their school while they are supposed to be learning like the rest of the students. It is unfortunate that Iran faces a lot of discrimination within their own community and country, and if this is resolved it can easily set a more peaceful environment amongst citizens.

• Anna

Japan

Japan initiates mostly perpetual racism when it comes to racism. It shares ethnic issues with Korea, China, Taiwan and the Japanese Indigenous people such as the Ainu and the Ryukyuan. Japan most likely have issues with Korea and China which goes back in history. Earlier, Japan had invaded Korea and tried to colonise Korea. The Koreans were treated as slaves and the Japanese started to implement certain laws. They tried to ban the Korean language, forced the Koreans to speak Japanese and take Japanese names. The Koreans were also victims of forced labour and were taken away from some benefits such as land and livelihood. It was around the 1940s that Korea became independent of Japanese rule. The Chinese living in Japan are usually portrayed as criminals on the national television. Japan also believes in preserving its ethnic background and does not accept those of mixed ancestry as Japanese. The Ainus and Ryukyuans are treated almost like slaves on their own lands even though they are technically Japanese and are discriminated in workplaces with signs reading “No Ryukyuans or Koreans.” The half Japanese are also discriminated in Japan. In 2015, Priyanka Yoshikawa, a half Indian, won the 2015 Miss Universe Japan and faced a lot of criticism on social media e.g. she was called an “Arab terrorist”. Some even said that a “pure” Japanese should have won. Ariana Miyamoto, a half African, also faced the same controversy when she became Miss Japan 2015. Also added to it, Japan does not fully welcome refugees in their country. Some Sikh people were earlier being persecuted in their own country and took refuge in Japan. Even though their kids were born as Japanese, the children are allowed to stay in Japan but the refugees should return back to their host countries.

• Navnee

Mexico

In Mexico, the people that are most likely subjected to discrimination are the poor dark skinned Amerindians who are part of the working class and Black people who constitute 1% of the Mexican population. Mexico adopted this racist mentality from the Spanish colonial caste system and the ideology was that the Mexicans with a lighter skin tone should be more privileged and would be the upper class while the Amerindians should be deprived of all those privileges. The Hispanic Mexicans further oppressed the Indigenous people by forcing them to give up their cultural heritage. The Hispanic Mexicans preached that the Indigenous culture was wrong and prevented the Indigenous people from socially advancing unless the Amerindians renounced their culture and followed the lifestyle of the Hispanic Mexicans. Nowadays, the Amerindians have managed to make their way up to the middle class and almost to the upper class but few laws against Indigenous discrimination have been implemented in Mexico and the Mexican government provides little help to the Indigenous people. Despite the ascent of some Amerindians, it does not diminish the general Mexican belief that Amerindians are inferior and their culture is inappropriate. Since the Mexicans discriminate based on skin colour, they act racist towards the Blacks of their population and use derogatory terms to express their disgust of the dark complexion and their underestimation of the Black race e.g. using Mexican expressions to refer Blacks as slaves.

• Navnee

North Korea

Practicing religions of choice is a dream of North Korean citizens, since the small amount who follow and practice a religion are separated from everyone else. They are typically banned from following religions of choice so that moral compasses can be more easily manipulated by the government, as opposed to different religions; it gives them a better sense of control over their citizens. Also, much like Marx’s theory, religion is a way to divide the upper-class (bourgeoisie), versus the lower-class (proletariat). There is not any tension between people practicing a specific religion, but instead there is an issue with citizens practicing any religion at all, and these individuals are all subject to discrimination. Not only are their own citizens subject to this, but North Koreans deem the Yamato race superior to the Yankee race (anyone from England, US, or other northern states), calling them ‘inferior foreigners’ and state that the Yamato race must be on hostile terms with the Yankee race. North Koreans since the beginning of time have always believed in being pure-blooded and maintaining homogeneity, not wanting any other race to ‘taint’ them.

• Anna

Pakistan

The main cause of racial discrimination between Pakistan’s citizens and Bangladesh’s citizens is religion. Pakistan was divided into two parts: East Pakistan i.e. Bangladesh and West Pakistan i.e. Pakistan. The Bengali was the majority of the population of the previous Pakistan and some Bengali adopted Muslim values while some adopted Hindu values. The Muslim Bengali were against Bengali people adhering to Hindu values and this led to the Bangladesh Liberation War which partitioned Pakistan. The Pakistanis killed at least 3 million Bangladeshis when Bangladesh was seeking for independence. The Government of Bangladesh even apologised for killing Pakistanis during the war and offered to remain peaceful with Pakistan. However, Pakistan refused to stop this war. Nowadays, racial discrimination has expanded to other religious groups such as Christianity and other minority groups. Discrimination in Pakistan also contains its implicit side i.e. in between the Pakistanis in terms of social status and gender. The Sunni Muslims i.e. the superior Muslim community persecutes the Shia Muslims i.e. the inferior Muslim community since these two groups practise their religious doctrines differently and have discrepant social status in Pakistan. For instance, the Shia Muslims used to be poor people and servants to the rich (usually the Sunni Muslims) in the previous era and even though, the Shia Muslims climbed up the social class, the general Pakistani belief is that the Shia Muslims are inferior. Like the rest of the world, Pakistanis also think that someone with a darker skin tone is made to be felt inferior and less privileged while the a fair person should have access to privileges.

• Navnee

Russia

According to Alexander Brod, the director of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, 50% percent of Russians exude xenophobia and racist behaviour towards the foreigners, explaining that Russians discriminate people of other skin colours. The groups mostly targeted by Russian racism are Africans, People of the Caucasus such as Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, Jews and Vietnamese. Africans usually came as students in Russia since they were offered free education from the Russian universities and no racist issues existed between those two groups. Recently, Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy reported that half of the Africans faced physical aggression in the Moscow Metro and other public places and received “monkey” insults from Russians. Also related to this, since Obama became president of the US, political “monkey” insults have been made about him in Russia e.g. there was a picture of Obama as a monkey with a banana. Russia was later forced to formally apologise to the US as some controversy was sparked between Americans and Russians. Russians are even racist towards people of almost the same ethnicity as them and deny that some people of the Caucasus are to be classified as white. The Russian-Georgian relations worsened since Russia wanted to take over Georgia and some external religious and ethnic conflicts that followed, caused the deportation of Georgians from Russia in 2006. Russia claimed that they were only sending back illegal immigrants to their host countries but Georgia protested that Russians were engaging in ethnic cleansing. Vietnam is disappointed with how Russia treats the Vietnamese migrant workers working in Russia and never expected Russia to hold such hostility against the Vietnamese. Some Vietnamese migrant workers were brutally beaten up and were even killed at the hands of some Russian extremists such as the Russian skinheads. Around 600 Vietnamese migrant workers seeked for deportation to Vietnam in August 2013 due to this extreme hostility and the rest are asking for protection from this antipathy. Nowadays, Russians radical nationalists are affiliating with Islam and terrorist Muslims.

• Navnee

Syria

Today, in Syria, the majority of the population is made mostly of the Sunni Muslims, which is 68.4% of the population, and some other minority groups. The history of Syrian racism dates back from a long time and the main religious conflict that existed for long in Syria was between the Christians and the Jews. Earlier, many Jews used to live in Syria before the Christians rejected the Jewish beliefs and ousted the Jews out of Syria. Many Jews ran to Israel when they faced persecution and witnessed the murder of a large amount of Jews. The reign of Christianity did not last long in Syria and the country was later conquered by Muslim Arabs during the Muslim conquest of the Levant in 634-640. As of today, around 200 Jews or less inhabit Syria, which makes them a minority community in Syria. Nowadays, the Christians in Syria have the same standard of living that the Jews used to have in Syria i.e. they have proper access to education and occupy the well-paid and famed jobs. However, the Christians are somehow at a disadvantage since Christianity is a minority group in Syria, (11.2% of the population) and are therefore subjected to no power on Syria. The Sunni Muslims are the ones to have a huge control on Syria as they form part of the majority of the Syrian population. Therefore, the Christians have to obey the laws that the Sunni Muslims set in Syria and agree with their decisions as they fear of facing any kind of racial harm from the Sunni Muslims.

• Navnee

USA

Since the beginning of time, there has been a major racial tug-of-war happening between African-American citizens and Caucasian citizens. Black citizens are treated, in most cases, nowhere nearly as fairly as the other citizens are, especially in terms of police brutality. They tend to be looked down on by colleagues, and other Americans just due to their skin colour, and because of the stereotypes they are given, almost as if they have no worth. These feelings of hatred can likely be dated back to the days of slavery, which was most predominant in the Southern states of America. There have been many protests and riots even, in which mainly Black citizens recite the phrase “Black Lives Matter”, in order to prove that Black people are of equal worth and status, and should be treated as such. On the other hand, it is predominantly people of Caucasian descent that backfire and have brought up the phrase “All Lives Matter”, which is quite arguable and controversial, considering that the Black community has been targeted by the police more than the Caucasian group has – but then again, this is very controversial, and the truths here are relative. This has risen especially due to the police brutality that many people of the Black community are facing, and it is unfortunate that a lot of this is just due to hate crime against Blacks, and the fact that these officers are getting away with it, as there is no justice being served to the victims and their families. There have also been Indians and Muslims that are targeted every day since the 9/11 attacks, which is also derived from racism. It is obvious that all American citizens, regardless of race, gender, and religion deserve the equal rights to life, liberty, and security.

• Anna

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