Universality and Equality

The principle of equality in dealing with people of different colors, socioeconomic status and cultures is absent from the dominant ideologies of today's world.

Indian society has suffered from a rigidly applied caste system for many centuries: some people are looked at as gods (avatars), while others are treated little better than slaves.

Although Christianity has seldom been applied as a system for living, it contains, among its contemporary teachings doctrines that can be viewed as discriminatory. The Talmud (the basis of contemporary Judaism) considers the Jews to be privileged over all other people (the Gentiles).

The list could be expanded to include the communist slogan of equality-all people are equal- then never practiced, which, in reality, means that some are more equal than others. Capitalism, as applied in several Western societies, isThe communist slogan of equality-all people are equal- never practiced, which, in reality, means that some are more equal than others. Capitalism, as applied in several Western societies, is not geared theoretically to establishing equality, since it encourages division between the rich and the poor. Socialism, which in theory is supposed to ameliorate the excesses of capitalism and communism, successfully highlighted the inherent weakness of communism and capitalism.

not geared theoretically to establishing equality, since it encourages division between the rich and the poor. Socialism, which in theory is supposed to ameliorate the excesses of capitalism and communism, successfully highlighted the inherent weakness of communism and capitalism. Yet, could not prove itself as a more viable alternative.

Of all the existing ideological systems, only Islam remains the only option that appeals to all because it respects the rights of all people and regards all humans as members of one nation living under God (Allah), in peace and harmony, in spite of their many differences. Historical and contemporary evidence stand as witness to the non-negotiable Islamic equality.


In this section, I will examine some of the teachings of Christianity in order to determine if such views could appeal to all people regardless of their differences

To be objective, reference will be made to the book of Christianity, The Bible, to document whether the message of Christ (pbuh) was for the world or limited in time and space to his people, the Isra- elites. Hence, it does not have a universal appeal.

According to Matthew, the message Jesus (pbuh) re- ceived was limited to one nation.

Jesus (pbuh) stated clearly in his instructions to his disciples that they were not to spread the message beyond the tribes of Israel.

Go not into the way of the gentiles, and into any town of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel .....

(Matthew 10:5, 6)

Another incident narrated about Jesus (pbuh) further illustrates the point in question:

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon's possession. Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, send her away, for she keeps crying out after us. He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. The woman came and knelt before him. Lord, help me! she said. He replied, it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs.

(Matthew 15: 21 - 26).

In these biblical excerpts, Jesus (pbuh) has clearly stated that his message was to be spread among the people of Israel only and, not to the people of all nations.

However, as a Muslim who believes that Jesus Christ (pbuh) was a great Messenger of Allah, I am convinced that Jesus never said the underlined quote from the Bible (Matthew 15:26).

Hill and Cheadle (1996) mentioned that colored people have been mistreated through out the history of people of European descendants. "Western European tradition has generally segregated blacks and throughout history, moving their roles and contributions into the background or omitting them completely"

Though the prophets of God can never preach hatred or discriminations, the continuous additions to the Bible by different groups to manipulate its teachings for their own interests, some passages denote discriminatory sense.

And Mariam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1).

Such excerpts from the Old Testament might explain the discriminatory treatment against the Jews of an African origin in the State of Israel. The feeling of discrimination among the African Christian American led to the reactionary feeling of some predominantAfro-American Clergy. On Good Friday, 1993, Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr. of Washington D.C., burned an image of a white Jesus in the street as he proclaimed its "historical inaccuracy": "Jesus was an 'Afro-Asiatic Jew'."9 To realize the extent the level of racism in the world's most pow- erful country, there are around 327 white supremacy groups in the U.S.


As we will see in this sec- tion, the true unashamedly dis- criminatory nature of Judaism means that it cannot be nomi- nated as a universal system for all humankind to follow. Despite its nature or perhaps even be- cause of it- the Jewish lobby is very powerful and plays a very effective role in shaping US for- eign policy; especially those in Israel's interest.

The Jewish book of guid- ance, the Talmud, the preemi- nent authority for the Jews,11 ranks them above all other people. Jews are considered to be the chosen people of God. They are supreme, and the mul- titude gentile (non-Jewish) sur- rounding them are considered unclean and sub-humans.

The reason that Jews claim selected by God and the gentiles as unclean is that the Jews were present at Mt. Sinai, but gentiles were not.

When the serpent came into Eve he infused filthy lust into her.... When Israel stood in Sinai that lust was eliminated, but the lust of idolaters, who did not stand on Sinai, did not cease

(Abodah Zarah 22b).

Let's look in the Zohar, where the Jewish rabbis inter- preted the verse from Genesis: "Now the serpent is more subtle than any beast of the field". Their interpretation is:

More subtle that is towards evil; than all the beasts, that is, the idolatrous people of the earth. For they are the children of the ancient serpent which seduced Eve.

(Zohar 1: 28b)

As a matter of fact, non-Jews (gentiles), whether Chris- tians, Buddhists or Hindus are not considered equal to the Jews in any way; the Jewish doctrine regards them as if they were non-humans. The following excerpt from the Tal- mud would make any one puzzle over the way they dispar- age other people:

A gentile Ö is not a neighbor in the sense of reciprocating and being responsible for damages caused by his negligence; nor does he watch over his cattle. Even the best gentile laws were too crude to admit of reciprocity.

(Bek. 13b)

See how this conflicts with the true sense of justice in the Qur'an:

O ye who believe! Stand out firmly forAllah, witness in justice, and let not the hatred of others make you depart from justice. Be just: That is nearer to piety. And fear Allah, forAllah is well-acquainted with all that you do.

(Qur'an 5: 8)

Christians and other non-Jews (called heathens in the Talmud) were not exempted from the hatred and the dis- trust of Jews:

Where a suit arises between an Israelite and a heathen, if you can satisfy the former according to the laws of Israel, justify him and say: This is our law; so also if you can justify him by the law of the heathens justify him and say (to the other party): This is your law; but if this can't be done, we use subterfuges to circumvent them.

(Baba Kama 113 a)

The Jewish Encyclopedia summarizes opinions of the sages about this law by stating:

The Mishnah... declares that if a gentile sues an Israelite, the verdict is for the defendant; if the Israelite is the plaintiff, he obtains full damages.

There are numerous citations in the Talmud where non- Jews are considered dirty or unworthy of living. It goes to the extent that such people are not even worthy of being accepted in their religion, even if they so desired. In fact, the Talmud prohibits, under the threat of death, the teaching of the Torah to any gentile:

Hence the Talmud prohibited the teaching to a Gentile of the Torah, the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob R. Johannan declares if one dared to do so such a person deserves death.

Certainly such a system, with its extreme discrimina- tory nature, was not designed to be a universal way of life. Many Israeli leaders do not value the lives of non-Jew- ish people. Menachem Begin's response to the world out- rage over massacres in Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon is reflective of this attitude:

Goyim [meaning gentiles] are killing Goyim and they came to hang the Jews.

Some might say that current Judaism is not built on such radical or racial ideas. Let's listen to the defense of the leading Israeli authority as to what they have done in Lebanon. One is really stunned by the Talmudic manner in which they spoke. An example of this was seen in the way Begin arrogantly informed the Americans about the massacre he had committed:

We have no duty to explain our actions to others - only to ourselves.

In other words, the Jew is above criticism by a gentile. Observing the occupying Zionist policies against the Palestinians reveals the real nature of the extreme brutality and hatred they have against children, women and helpless old people. Israeli officials have become candid in their re- jection of the gentile's law when not favoring the Jews.

After the decision by the International Court of Justice that con- struction of the partition wall was against the international law, Yousef Lapid, Israel's justice minister, told the state- controlled radio on July 10th, 2004 that Israel would pay at- tention to the ruling of the Hague-based ICJ: "We will heed the ruling of our supreme court, not the ruling of ICJ". This is the typical Talmudic Zionist view of contempt for everything non-Jewish.

The whole world is always wrong, the tens of UN resolutions condemning Israel are not fair, the many bloody and inhuman massacres in Palestinian camps are just for self-defense, bombing UN-run refugee camps and killing indiscriminately is a Zionist right.

Mistreating and even constant killings of journalists and peace activists are just unintended mistakes, etc.

This attitude is not confined to politicians. Moshe Antelman of Rehovot, Israel - a rabbi and a chemist - devel- oped a bullet containing pork fat.

Antelman, a rabbi and a chemist, developed the lard-laden ammo for use against devout Muslims, who believe any contact with pig flesh robs the soul of its chance to enter paradise. . .18 The good rabbi has offered his innovation to West Bank settlers, and he also hopes to interest the Pentagon in this refined form of military pork.

The Zionist nature of hatred for other nations and the complex sense of superiority have led them to direct their guns to their closest allies (the Americans) and kill many solders; as exemplifies by their savage attack on the Ameri- can navy ship 'Liberty', in midday.

In an interview with the prominent Jewish American thinker and MIT linguist, Prof. Noam Chomsky, responded to a question about the Jewish view of other people by saying:

If you go back to traditional Jewish culture in either Eastern Europe or North Africa, being a Christian, a non-Jew, was a different species, below the level of Jews. For example, Jewish doctors are not supposed to treat non-Jews unless Jews can gain by it. So Maimonides21 could be the doctor for the Sultan because Jews would gain by it, but not otherwise. When the following question was addressed to Chomsky

"Is this canonical or a cultural tradition?" He said: It's in the Halakah, the rabbinic tradition. There's plenty of stuff like this. They (the Jews) were on the one hand an oppressed minority, but on the other hand very racist. The racism carried over when they became a non-oppressed majority.

The preceding section focused on the Jewish view of other nations. The author depended heavily on Judaic sources that have left doubt that discriminating against other people was an ideological and a religious duty of Zionist Jews. Since Jewish-ness is only inherited, other people of any nation can never be part of it. Other people are excluded and can never be part of that narrow system that favors Jews over all other nations, for no reason but because they are Jews.


In this section, we will see that just as its racist doc- trines exclude Judaism from being nominated as a candidate for the univer- sal way of life, so too does Hinduism eliminate itself from consideration for pre- cisely the same reason- racism.

Hinduism is built around a racist apparatus incorporating a discrimina- tory caste system, which is an integral part of this religion. The caste system divides Hindu society into four major groups:

  • The Brahmans: the learned and the priestly class.
  • The Kashattriyas: the fighting and ruling class.
  • The Vaisyas: the trading and the agricultural people.
  • The Suddras: the lowest caste whose only busi- ness is to serve their superiors.

And the Dalits or the Untouchables who are outcaste because they do not belong to any of the original fourfold grouping. They are untouchable because their touch is bond to pollute the other castes. Thus, they must remain at a suf- ficient distance from the other castes. These groups are only the head of the very complicated social fabric of the Hindu society, which contains about 2800 unique communi- ties.

These castes are worlds apart from each other. This is one of the most outrageous manifestations of inequality now being practiced anywhere. One is born in one caste and dies in that caste. It is one, which even the present po- litical system of India repudiates.

This system was incorporated into the teachings of Hinduism during the time of Manu, during the heydays of the Brahman civilization. Since then, it has become an integral part of the Hindu socioreligious system. It has become more or less a hereditary system, subjugating the majority of the population, and is exploited by the minority ruling class to maintain its purity and su- periority.

Gustave le Bon mentioned some of Manu's (One of the major authors of the Hindu teachings, the Vedas) teachings: This law gave to the Brahmans the distinction, superiority and sanctity, which raised their status, equal to that of the gods . . .

Anyone who is born a Brahman is the noblest creature on earth. He is the monarch of all the created things and his duty is to defend the Shastras, the Hindu teachings that provides legitimacy to their power.

Whatever is on the earth belongs to the Brahman, for he is the highest among all creatures. All things are for him.&

The Sudras have no rights whatsoever in Hindu soci- ety. They are considered lower than the animals. A Sudra should never acquire property, even if he has the opportunity, for in so doing he is causing pain to the Brahmans. Nothing can be more honorable for a Sudra than to serve the Brahman; nothing besides this can earn him any reward...

A Sudra who assaults a higher-caste man is liable to lose the limb with which the assault is made... And so it goes on, unceasingly condescending: The atonement for killing a dog, a cat, a frog, a lizard, a crow, an owl and a Sudra is the same.

This extremely discriminatory system is not a thing of the past, but also it has its manifestations on present day politics. It would be extremely difficult to believe, accept or adopt such an unjust system as a way of life, not to mention a global system for humanity.


Capitalism is not a religion but it has become a way of life that millions of people aspire to and once achieved, de- fend with great enthusiasm. Millions of people have been fooled by the symbols of American capitalism,29 such as the Statue of Liberty welcoming every newcomer to the land of happiness and opportunity. However, it seems as if many people have forgotten the history of slavery, the plantations, and the back-of-the-bus theory where blacks were not al- lowed to sit in the front seats of public transportation.

Few capitalists seem bothered by the dire conse- quences of the unbridled pursuit of possessions and wealth such as: escalating rates of crime, rape, child molestation, battered women, drug addiction, covert and overt discrimi- nation, homelessness, and the calamity facing old people.

Capitalism is not a religion but it has become a way of life that millions of people aspire to and once achieved, defend with great en- thusiasm. Millions of people have been fooled by the symbols of American capital- ism, such as the Statue of Liberty welcom- ing every newcomer to the land of happi- ness and opportunity.

As a result of unequal treatment and discrimination, the Afro-American community is facing a number of esca- lating problems. White America faces the same problems, but the alarming difference is of scale.

Phillipson (1992) referred to the key investigator for Phelps-Stokes Fund, Thomas Jesse Jones, a Welsh Ameri- can who was closely associated with the policy of separate education for the blacks of the USA. The philosophy behind the policy of providing appropriate education for the blacks was formulated clearly at the turn of the century on purely discriminatory grounds. The black people were viewed as a lower race fit for lower education and good for humble jobs because they were not white:

the white people are to be the leaders Ö the Caucasian will rule Ö in the negro is the opportunity of the South. Time has proven that he is best fitted to perform the heavy labor in the Southern states Ö He will willingly fill the more menial positions, and do the heavy work, at less wages, than the American white man or any foreign race" (quoted in Berman 1982: 180 and cited in Phillipson 1992: 199).

Sixty-nine percent of all births of the African-American community are out of wedlock. Two thirds of their children live in single parent homes. About one third of Afro-Ameri- can boys can expect to serve a jail or prison sentence be- fore the age of sixteen. Four out of ten black males aged sixteen to thirty-five are in jail, in prison, on parole, or are on probation.

he highest rates of drug consumption, school dropouts and rape are found also among blacks.31 Buchanan referred to this and similar statistics regarding minorities in an accusatory manner rather than trying to find out the real reasons behind such alarming statistics. Minori- ties that in the past faced slavery and extreme forms of bru- tality and discrimination are now experiencing covert institu- tional negligence and discrimination. Little effort to restore equality and justice is evident. Making retribution for the evil centuries and shameful history is studiously avoided, but pinpointing fingers and blaming the oppressed is not. An un- suitable system at the local level can never meet the chal- lenges of a complicated and diverse world.


Capitalism results in economic inequality, particularly for minorities and 'non-producing segments', such as children and the elderly. Because of the great changes that have taken place in America and other west- ern societies during the last one hundred years, many so- cial problems have emerged. The huge corporate invasion of family farms and small family-centered enterprises have resulted in many socioeconomic tensions. Although the capi- talist system as a way of life has provided material gains for a small number of individuals, large segments of society suffer: among them the senior citizens, single women, chil- dren born out of wedlock, and the non-white minorities.

A common sight in downtown areas of American cit- ies is the many elderly people among the homeless. A num- ber of American sociologists forecast that the problems faced by the elderly will become even more severe in the near future.32 Declining birthrates and increasing numbers of eld- erly people indicate that such trends will continue. It is ex- pected that the elderly will soon constitute a large proportion of society. In 1900, people over 65 constituted four percent of the American population (three million people); by 1976, they comprised over 10 percent of the populace (22 mil- lion). It is projected that by 2030 there will be more than 50 million people over 65 in the United States - making about 17 percent of the population.

This is not just an American problem

it is a capi- talist problem caused because individual wealth is valued over all things, including people. According to the UN statistics on the depopulation of capitalist Europe, in the year 2000, there were 494 million Eu- ropeans aged fifteen to sixty-five.

That is projected to plunge to 365 million by 2050; however, the 107 mil- lion Europeans over sixty-five today will soar to 172 million in the same period.34 By that time, more than a third of Europe's people will be over sixty.

Capitalism, in theory, calls for an equal treatment between all the segments of society; in practice it can never provide the right mechanism to do so. It institutes a differ- ent type of rigid socio- economic castes, which result in segre- gation and unequal ac- cess to social, health and educational ser- vices. The rights of the strong sectors of soci- ety are preserved- the young, the rich, the white, etc- while the rights of the weak sec- tors -women, children, elderly people, single parents, elderly people, etc. - are overlooked.

There is no point in discussing the topic of equality and communism here, since it has been discred- ited and abandoned by most of its own theoreticians and practitioners, regardless of all rigorous modifications. It brought little or no good to the nations that have adopted it at the point of the gun: only the ills of poverty, backwardness and misery.

Capitalism is rooted in monopoly, the rich becomes richer while the poor gets poorer; otherwise, there will be no capitalism. The world is not in need for more global eco- nomical exploitations at the hands of the multinational capitalist company. The dignity of the human has to be restored through a universal way of life that is not discriminatory and that views man the most dignified creature on earth. This will lead us to our final destination in search of the only uni- versal system of life, which is mankind's only hope for a nondiscriminatory treatment.


Any system that assumes universal applicability should appreciate its followers' potentials and recognize their achievements, regardless of their ethnic, racial, geographi- cal or socioeconomic backgrounds. In other words, such a system should only evaluate their potential (or their accom- plishment), and not what they have naturally been endowed with in terms of such as, their color, race, country of origin, etc. Islam views people as equal. In fact, in Islam inherent differences have a greater wisdom that is worthy of appre- ciation. The religion, which views that all people are equal in the eyes of their Creator, is Islam:

And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and colors. Indeed, in that are signs for those of knowledge.

(The Qur'an 30:22)

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a white man have any superiority over a black man, or the black man any superiority over the white man. You are all the children of Adam, and Adam was created from dust\earth.

Islam rejects all forms of superiority complex based one.All of you came from Adam and Adam was created from dust. The noblest among you before Allah is the most righteous. NoArab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab over an Arab. A white man has no superiority over a black man, nor does a black man over a white man but with righteousness. Have I clearly conveyed the message? O. Allah you are the Witness. Let the one who is present deliver the message to the absent ones.

Prof. Ramakrishna Rao, a professing Hindu,36 quoted Sarojini Naidu, the greatest Indian poetess, who spoke about how equality has been practiced in Islam by saying:

It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the adhan (the Muslim call to prayer) is sounded and the worshippers are gathered together, the equality of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and the king kneel side by side and proclaim, God alone is great.

The great poetess of India continues: I have been struck over and again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes a man instinctively a brother. When you meet an Egyptian, anAlgerian, an Indian and a Turk in London, Egypt is the motherland for one and India is the motherland for another.

Equality as an uncompromised Islamic principle is not recognized as a mere slogan to aspire for. It is prac- ticed on a daily basis through the five daily prayers, where Muslims submit to God standing on straight lines with no distinction between them. The ul- timate universal nature of Islam is ex- emplified during the Hajj (Pilgrimage) where about three million Muslims from more than 70 countries gather in one place with the same dress for the sake of pleasing God and glorify- ing Him. All barriers including that of race, color, language and status collapse.

As some systems promote religious exclusiveness and discrimination (Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity) and yet others encourage economic; consequently social, inequal- ity (capitalism, communism and socialism), only Islam is an all-embracing and equalitarian system. This leads us to a second comparison between Islam and other existing ideo- logical systems in relation to tolerance, the second condi- tion for any proposed World Order.