Islam condemns racism in all shades and forms. There is no place in Islam for such a notion of a racial war. Islam is a religion that fosters freedom of life, ideas, and thought. It has forbidden racism, tension and conflict among people, calumny, suspicion, and even having negative thoughts about another individual. In fact, Islam introduces a very great and unique concept of brotherhood. In Islam, all people constitute one brotherhood. No one is beyond the borders of this brotherhood. Islam makes it clear that wealth, position, lineage, and social status are not valid reasons for feeling haughty or superior.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada , states: It is important to clarify two things:
1. Islam condemns racism in all shades and forms; hence there is no room whatsoever in Islam for such a thing as racial warfare. One of the most fundamental teachings of the Qur’an is that all of humanity is created of a single soul—a fundamental tenet that is reiterated so often in the Qur’an. For instance, we read in Surat An-Nisaa’: (O Mankind, be mindful of your Lord, who created you all from a single soul ) (An-Nisaa’ 4:1). Furthermore, Allah also reminds us of the one sacred bond of humanity that binds all people: (O mankind, We have created you all from a single (pair of a) male and female and made you nations and tribes so that you get to know one another; verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most mindful of Him. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware ) (Al-Hujurat 49:13). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) further said, “O mankind, there is no superiority for an Arab over a n
on-Arab, or for a non-Arab over an Arab, or for a white over a black, or for a black over a white. All of you are descended from Adam and Adam has been created from dust of the ground” (Ahmad).
2. Islam came to a world torn by racial, tribal, and ethnic conflicts, and preached the creed of one humanity and one family. This lesson was impressed upon the mind of Malcolm X in the most poignant way when he undertook his pilgrimage to Makkah—an experience that transformed him from a black supremacist to a proponent of a single human brotherhood.
therefore, let me state unequivocally: There is no place in Islam for such a notion of a racial war.
Now coming to the notion of so-called holy war, let me state:
a. The very notion of a “holy war” is repugnant to the spirit of Islam, for war is an evil; therefore, while you may draw a distinction between a just and unjust war you can never characterize war as holy; it is therefore an evil tolerated only in exceptional circumstances. It is like a bitter medicine taken to restore health to the body; or stated differently it is comparable to a surgical operation performed on a body in order to remove a malignant tumor for the purpose of restoring health.
b. Islam never allows a war of aggression, for aggression in all forms is totally condemned in the Qur’an: (Fight in the way of God against those who fight you, but do not initiate aggression for God loves not the aggressors ) (Al-Baqarah 2:190).
c. War in Islam, therefore, is justified only in self-defense: When someone is attacked, the aggrieved has the right to fight back; likewise, if one is persecuted or denied one’s basic rights, it is considered just to resort to armed struggle if that is the only way to attain the same. Thus we read in the Qur’an: (Permission has been granted to those against whom war has been waged unjustly to fight back. God has the power to help them—those who have been driven unjustly from their homes only for saying, “Our Lord is God” ) (Al-Hajj 22:39).
d. There is, however, no place whatsoever in Islam for a war against the peace-loving. The Qur’an categorically condemns waging war against those who are peace-loving and follow a policy of live and let live: (But if they let you be, and do not fight you, and offer you peace, then God gives you no way to (wage war) against them ) (An-Nisaa’ 4:90).