“You can’t be racist against Islam or Muslims. That just doesn’t make any sense to me.” … “it’s discrimination, yes not racism.” -R
I get that you’re coming from a technical angle. I’ll add another perspective which I think covers a very big gray area:
I think racism does happen in this case when people discriminate on the basis of skin color and whether someone chooses to wear any coverings on their head.
e.g. Sikh Indian man got beaten to death because he wore a turban, and one of the most common racial slurs is “raghead.”
If someone hated Buddhists and started killing, threatening, or denying services to anyone who looked Asian, the same line of associations and “logic” would apply–they hate the ideology and are using very generalized physical/nationalistic features to discriminate how they direct their hatred.
That kind of racism forces false identities onto people without letting people who are subject to it to be seen as humans with basic rights.
Then there’s the systemic part of racism that makes us consider why it’s so easy for people to make discriminating assumptions that dehumanize other people even without intentionally being hateful.
At the end of the day, I think we all agree hatred and discrimination’s a real problem. Words and definitions aside, what really matters is that it’s spurred more than enough deaths and threats that can be terrifying for people who experience it.
Long explanation. Hopefully it helps for future conversations when you encounter people who seem to come from a really different angle about racial/justice issues.
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If you’ve read this far and given time to digest the ideas, I now invite you to feel free to celebrate and enjoy the funky wonders of Habibi Funk: