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Racism in the Middle East: Wikis


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The article describes the state of race relations and racism in the Middle East. Racism of various forms is found in every country on Earth.[1] Racism is widely condemned throughout the world, with 170 states signatories of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by August 8, 2006.[2] In different countries, the forms that racism takes may be different for historic, cultural, religious, economic or demographic reasons.





Racist opinions occurred in the works of some Persian historians and geographers: so in the 982 AD, the Persian Hudud al-`alam could write:

"As regards southern countries, all their inhabitants are black on account of the heat of their climate... Most of them go naked... In all their lands and provinces, gold is found.... They are people distant from the standards of humanity." About the Zanj: "Their nature is that of wild animals. They are extremely black." About the Sudan: "Among themselves there are people who steal each other's children and sell them to the merchants when the latter arrive."

Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī (1201–74), Tasawwurat (Rawdat al-taslim):

"If (all types of men) are taken, from the first, and one placed after another, like the Negro from Zanzibar, in the Southern-most countries, the Negro does not differ from an animal in anything except the fact that his hands have been lifted from the earth -in no other peculiarity or property - except for what God wished. Many have seen that the ape is more capable of being trained than the Negro, and more intelligent."[3]

According to article 19 of the Iranian constitution[4]:

the people of Iran belonging to whatever ethnic or tribal group shall enjoy equal rights and colour of skin, race, language and the like shall not be considered as a privilege.

Iran is a signatory to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.


During World War II, Rashid Ali al-Kaylani blamed British hostility toward his pro-Nazi stance on the Iraqi Jewish community. In 1941, Iraqi nationalists murdered 200 Jews in Baghdad in a pogrom.[5]

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Iraqi Jews faced persecution so great that by 1951, approximately 100,000 of them left the country while the Iraqi rulers confiscated their property and financial assets.[5]

During 1987-1988, Iraqi forces infamously carried out a genocide against the Iraqi Kurds that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

The UN reports that although Christians comprise less than 5% of Iraq's population, they make up nearly 40% of the refugees fleeing Iraq.[6][7] More than 50% of Iraqi Christians have already left the country since 2003.[8] Iraq's Christian community numbered 1.4 million in the early 1980s at the start of Iran-Iraq War. But as the 2003 invasion has radicalized Islamic sensibilities, Christians' total numbers slumped to about 500,000, of whom 250,000 live in Baghdad.[9][10]

Furthermore, the Mandaean and Yazidi communities are at the risk of elimination due to ethnic cleansing by Islamic extremists.[11][12]

A May 25, 2007 article notes that in the past seven months only 69 people from Iraq have been granted refugee status in the United States.[13]


On 22 February 2007, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will consider the report submitted by Israel under Article 9 of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. The report states that “Racial discrimination is prohibited in Israel. The State of Israel condemns all forms of racial discrimination, and its government has maintained a consistent policy prohibiting such discrimination”. [1]

However, this report was challenged by several reports submitted to the Committee by other bodies most of which are from Muslim strong or Arab majority States. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel alleges that "Israel's discriminatory planning practices",

Adalah (The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) has alleged that “the State of Israel pursues discriminatory land and housing policies against Palestinian citizens of Israel” and that “the needs of Palestinian citizens of Israel are systematically disregarded” [2] A joint report submitted by 19 Israeli, Palestinian and international NGOs referred to “[S]tate laws and institutions that dispossess the indigenous Palestinian and Syrian populations”. [3]

See also: Anti-Arabism in Israel




Saudi Arabia

Racism in Saudi Arabia mainly against Labor workers who are foreigners , mostly from Indian , Bangladesh , Pakistan and the poor countries of far East Asia. Also there are a lot of racism towards the Saudi citizens of non-Saudi origins , such as people from Jeddah, Makkah and Madina , where the majority of people were the a pilgrimages during the Ottoman Empire and settled down in that area or they were doing business in that area and ended it up settling there. The Native Saudis (Bedouins) discriminate the Saudis of the non-Saudi origins by calling them (Sea-Rubbish) because they consider them taking the country's wealth and making it difficult for the natives from getting into the governments jobs. Also the Saudis of non-Saudi origins are not usually allowed into the military services, and the Saudi government requires the applicants to be Saudi of Saudi parents and Saudi grandparents, hence the Saudi Bedouins are the ones who are the officers and high officers in the country. There is also racism toward other Arabs, considering them non-religious as the Saudis are (considering the two holy mosques are located in Saudi Arabia and its the country of Islam and they are the true Muslims) and to be real Muslim you would have to behave like the Wahabbi Muslims who are Saudi religious extremists. Also they consider the American and the Europeans are infidels and they should be killed, but they can't touch them because of the high diplomatic relations between the Saudi government and the US and Europe.


Syria continues to persecute and disenfranchise its large Kurdish minority, resulting in periodic rebels that are repressed by mass murder.

United Arab Emirates

Migrants from Asian countries mainly face discrimination form Gulf Nations from unjust employment to targeting of racial prejiduice.


See also

Racism by country



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