THE THEORY OF RECAPITULATION AND RACISM
According to the theory of recapitulation proposed by the German atheist and evolutionist Ernst Haeckel, developing embryos repeat the evolutionary process undergone by their alleged ancestors. This claim maintains that during its development in the mother's womb, the human embryo first exhibits fish characteristics, then reptilian ones, before finally turning into a human baby. For long years this was depicted as evidence for the theory of evolution, but eventually it was seen through as completely unscientific and nothing more than a work of imagination.1
In order to supposedly prove his unscientific theory, Ernst Haeckel falsified drawings, trying to make fish and human embryos resemble each other. When this fraud was unmasked, his defense was that other evolutionists had done the same kind of thing.2
Yet the imaginary scenario that Haeckel backed up with forged drawings laid a seemingly scientific foundation for racism in a great many countries, particularly in Germany.
Ernst Haeckel and his forged embryo drawings
According to the claims of the theory of recapitulation, the features possessed by a human at the embryonic stage or in early childhood are left over from evolutionary adult ancestors. For example, Haeckel and his followers maintained that a “civilized” child possessed the same intelligence and behavioral characteristics as a “savage” adult, and used these claims to prove the superiority of the white race. In his book Ever Since Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould summarizes the support that the theory of recapitulation provided for racism:
Recapitulation was Haeckel's favorite argument… Haeckel and his colleagues also invoked recapitulation to affirm the racial superiority of northern European whites, ... Herbert Spencer wrote that “the intellectual traits of the uncivilized… are traits recurring in the children of the civilized.” Carl Vogt said it more strongly in 1864: “The grown up Negro partakes, as regards his intellectual faculties, of the nature of the child…”3
Of course, this claim put forward by Spencer, Vogt and others did not reflect the truth in any way. These claims were gradually invalidated by science itself and abandoned. In his The Panda's Thumb, Gould wrote:
This theory, often expressed by the mouthful “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” held that higher animals, in their embryonic development, pass through a series of stages representing, in proper sequence, the adult forms of ancestral, lower creatures. ... Recapitulation provided a convenient focus for the pervasive racism of white scientists...4
Professor George J. Stein, director of the International Security Studies Core at the Air War College, published an article headed “Biological Science and the Roots of Nazism” in American Scientist. “In essence,” he wrote, “Haeckel and his fellow social Darwinists advanced the ideas that were to become the core assumptions of national socialism,”5 thus summarizing the deadly relationship between Haeckel, Social Darwinism and racism.
1. Keith S. Thompson, "Ontogeny and Phylogeny Recapitulated," American Scientist, vol. 76, May/June 1988, p. 273.
A picture by Adam Willaerts showing a British ship sailing to East India
Long before Darwin, colonialism began growing in 16th-century Europe. Exactly like racism, however, colonialism later drew strength from Darwin's theory and turned to a new target. Following the Industrial Revolution especially, commercial aims fueled the spread of European states to new continents and countries. Looking for new markets and raw materials, Europeans set about exploiting countries on other continents. Imperialist initiatives of the 19th century were based on different motives, however, which is why they became known as the new imperialism.
Social Darwinist suggestions dominated the new imperialist view of the world. One of the Darwinist causes of the new imperialism was the race for superiority. The British, French, Germans and other nations competing with one another were deceived into thinking that they needed to acquire new lands in order to emerge victorious as the most powerful nation in the race for superiority.
They were also driven by the mistaken goal of proving their superiority over other races. The Anglo-Saxons and Aryans regarded it was their natural right to assume control over the Africans, Asians and native Australians, whom they regarded as “inferior races,” and to exploit their workforces and natural resources. Thus 19th-century imperialism developed more as a result of Darwinist aims than out of any economic concerns.51
The 1946 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica says that:
Above: A procession of the Britain's Royal Family in India under British colonial rule. Below: The arrival of British forces occupying Palestinian lands in the wake of the Ottoman Empire. Palestine had enjoyed peace and security for hundreds of years under Ottoman rule, but colonial administration brought with it chaos, conflict, and oppression.
This new period of imperialism at the end of the 19th century found its spiritual support in Bismarckism and social Darwinism, in all the theories glorifying power and success, which had swept over Europe... Racial theories seemed to give to this new attitude, which was in opposition to all traditional [i.e. Christian] values of morality, a justification by “science” and “nature,” the belief in which was almost becoming the dominant faith of the period.52
A great many researchers and authors accept that Social Darwinism represents the origin of the 19th century's new imperialism. For instance, in Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, Professor of History Gertrude Himmelfarb says this about the close relationship between Social Darwinist racism and imperialism:
Social Darwinism has often been understood in this sense: as a philosophy exalting competition, power and violence over convention, ethics, and religion. Thus it has become a portmanteau of nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and dictatorship, of the cults of the hero, the superman, and the master race.53
The well-known German historian Hans-Ulrich Wehler describes this aspect of Social Darwinism in these terms:
... it [Social Darwinism] allowed the emancipatory aspirations of the workers or colonial peoples to be dismissed as the futile protestations of inferior subjects in the struggle for existence. Vested with an aura of 'irrefutable' scientific knowledge, it was this versatility of application that gave Social Darwinism its power in its very real connection with the ruling interests. As an ideology it proved virtually ideal for justifying imperialism, [and] was kept alive by a host of popularizers in the industrialised nations.54
One can see Social Darwinist views in lines written in favor of imperialism in the retired German General Friedrich von Bernhardi's 1912 book, Britain as Germany's Vassal:
In the interest of the world's civilization it is our duty to enlarge Germany's colonial empire. Thus alone can we politically, or at least nationally, unite the Germans throughout the world, for only then will they recognize that German civilization is the most necessary factor in human progress. We must endeavor to acquire new territories throughout the world by all means in our power, because we must preserve to Germany the millions of Germans who will be born in the future, and we must provide for them food and employment. They ought to be enabled to live under a German sky, and to lead a German life.55
The hunger to acquire new territories, caused by the new imperialism, led to conflicts between the imperialist countries themselves. Again based on the errors of Darwinism, regarding local peoples as “inferior races” led to enormous cruelties. Imperialists maintained that they were setting out to bring civilization to the lands in question, but inflicted a terrible amount of tears and suffering.
One of the aspects of God's having created different races, tribes and nations on Earth is cultural exchange among them. In the Qur'an, God reveals that He has created different human societies “to know each other.” (Surat al-Hujurat, 13)
The American Civil War (1861-1865) between the northern states, who demanded that slavery be abolished, and the southern states, who wanted it to continue. The idea of the superiority of the white race became a casus belli, and for four years, countrymen were to fight against one another. Slavery was finally abolished in the United States when the North emerged victorious.
According to Social Darwinism's worldview, human beings exist not to get to know one another, but to fight. Accordingly, the most important impetus for human progress is conflict between races and nations. Social Darwinism's irrational assumptions state that in order to emerge victorious from the conflict between races, new discoveries will be made. As a result, the “civilized” and “superior” will come out on top, and humanity will thus progress. To suggest that people will progress by killing and massacring one another, persecuting and oppressing others, is nothing more than barbarism. Disagreements and problems will arise from time to time. Yet all difficulties can be resolved by peaceful means. To imagine that violence offers a solution only makes the difficulties in question even more intractable. As already made clear, nations are perfectly justified in taking precautions to protect their future interests. But it is both illogical and a violation of good conscience to frame a policy ignoring the rights of other nations or believing that one nation's interests lie in destroying those of others.
Present-day evolutionists seek to portray Darwin, as “humane” and opposed to racism, but actually he was a proponent of conflict between races and advanced the lie that the “civilized”—at least in their own lights—white race would emerge victorious from such conflict. Some lines from Darwin's The Descent of Man read as follows:
When civilised nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race... The grade of their civilisation seems to be a most important element in the success of competing nations.56
Elsewhere in his book, Darwin refers to the conflict between “savages” and the “civilized,” and claims that the latter will emerge superior. By these totally illusory assumptions, he prepared the groundwork for the chaos and suffering that would continue for nearly a century.
A great many Darwinists who came after him treated conflict between races as if it were scientific fact. For example, National Life from the Standpoint of Science by Karl Pearson, a 19th century evolutionary theorist regarded as a follower of Francis Galton, is important in revealing contemporaries' view of inter-racial conflict and the causes behind the new imperialism. Like other Social Darwinists, Pearson claimed that conflict between races is necessary, and that struggle within a single race is insufficient for evolution. Some of these claims of Pearson, which are devoid of any scientific truth, read as follows:
What I have said about bad stock seems to me to hold for the lower races of man. How many centuries, how many thousand of years, have the Kaffir or the negro held large districts in Africa undisturbed by the white man? Yet their intertribal struggles have not yet produced a civilization in the least comparable with the Aryan. Educate and nurture them as you will, I do not believe that you will succeed in modifying the stock. History shows me one way, and one way only, in which a high state of civilization has been produced, namely, the struggle of race with race, and the survival of the physically and mentally fitter race.57
Twisted statements like these provided imperialism with an allegedly scientific backing. The Europeans who occupied the African continent and a large part of Asia, as well as persecuting the Australian native peoples, claimed that their occupations were based on natural law and the only way for humanity to progress. (That this claim had no foundation was later proven by subsequent advances in the scientific world.) According to Pearson, wars formerly conducted in an unconscious manner would now have to be waged in a conscious, pre-planned fashion:
There is a struggle of race against race and of nation against nation. In the early days of that struggle it was a blind, unconscious struggle of barbaric tribes. At the present day, in the case of the civilized white man, it has become more and more the conscious, carefully directed attempt of the nation to fit itself to a continuously changing environment. The nation has to foresee how and where the struggle will be carried on... I have asked you to look upon the nation as an organized whole in continual struggle with other nations, whether by force of arms or by force of trade and economic processes. I have asked you to look upon this struggle of either kind as a not wholly bad thing; it is the source of human progress throughout the world's history.58
In the 19th century, this deviant belief that conflict between races and nations was a path to progress and which regarded races and nations other than its own as “inferior,” took control over large parts of the world. Some imperialist Europeans behaved most ruthlessly towards the inhabitants of their conquered lands. From the measures they adopted, it was evident that they regarded these peoples as weak and inferior, denigrated them, and refused to accept them as humans who enjoyed equal rights with themselves. The new imperialism was a 19th-century implementation of Social Darwinism on a world scale.
One reason why Darwinist ideas received such wide support was that Europeans of the time had moved away from religious moral values, which require people to live in peace. God has commanded people to be tolerant and forgiving toward one another. Corrupting order in the world and inciting war and conflict are evils that bear a heavy responsibility in the sight of God. In the Qur'an, God has revealed that He does not love corruption or harm being inflicted on people:
When he leaves you, he goes about the Earth corrupting it, destroying crops and animals. God does not love corruption. (Surat al-Baqara, 205)
A British military ceremony in India
The Social Darwinist views that dominated the colonial elites revealed themselves in policies adopted towards the native peoples. These administrations did not regard these peoples of the countries they ruled as human, but as primitive, intermediate life forms, and usually inflicted suffering, destruction and unhappiness. Social Darwinism was one major factor in these countries' ruthless policies. As already seen, the aggressive measures adopted by some nations, that in their arrogance regarded other nations as inferior, acquired false legitimization through Social Darwinism. These countries regarded themselves as perfectly justified in adopting such policies, which only increased their greed and aggression.
Top: British forces brutally suppressing Indians demanding their freedom. Bottom: A British soldier selecting soldiers for the Indian Army
The Opium Wars are an interesting example. Great Britain began selling opium to China in the early 1800s, even though at the time the production, sale and consumption of opium were forbidden in Britain itself. The English governing class, who scrupulously protected their own people against this scourge, soon made the Chinese people dependent on opium. After his son died of excessive opium consumption, the emperor decided to put a stop to the British importing the drug into his country. A government official, Lin Zexu (Lin Tse-Hsü), was sent to Canton—the East India Company's largest port—about putting an end to the trade. Since the British merchants did not favor cooperation, Zexu had the opium warehouses closed. The British immediately followed this with military intervention. The Chinese were routed and forced to accept a humiliating treaty, under which the opium trade in China was regarded as legal. Lin Zexu lost his post in the government and was sent into exile.
Top: Prince Edward, the Duke of Windsor, receiving gifts from the Maharajah of Koihayur Bottom: Zulus entertaining British troops celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday by holding a sack race
The Portuguese, for their part, exercised their “superiority” by effectively making slaves of the natives. They kidnapped natives from their colony of Angola and sent them far across the sea as “contracted” workers for five years. But very few of them survived long enough to make the return trip.59 In the great majority of occupied countries, colonizing powers took for themselves such territories and resources as they considered appropriate and gave them to settlers or companies from their own countries. They took no interest in the people who had lost their lands, and totally exploited their workforces, goods and mineral resources.
In 1827, the French began occupying Algeria. As part of the colonialist mentality of the time, the French regarded nations other than their own as second class, and constructed a system based on oppression of and violence against the Algerians. First of all, education and even speaking in Arabic were banned. Then Algeria was made economically totally dependent on France. Opponents were bloodily suppressed. A picture showing the torture and mistreatment of the Algerian people.
From their colonies, the British sent raw materials like cotton, tea and minerals to Britain, and later sent products made from them back to the colonies, to be sold at high prices. Cotton from India was processed in Britain, and the sale of Indian cotton was prohibited in India. In other words, they could use only cotton sold by the British. The Indians were also able to buy only salt produced by the British.
Another practice of the new imperialism was their belittling and behaving disrespectfully towards rulers of the countries they colonized. But in earlier times, from the era of Elizabeth I up until Napoleon, administrators had treated foreign leaders equally. The deviant idea of regarding oneself as superior gained increasing strength in 19th-century Europe, bringing with it insolence and rudeness.
Darwinist imperialists portrayed their colonization of other nations as the result of their races being “inferior” and “backward.” According to such claims, the order of the superior race had to spread across the entire world, and if the world were to progress, the inferior had to be improved. Put another way, the colonialist powers alleged that they were bringing “civilization” to the lands they conquered. Yet their practices and policies in no way reflected their claims to be “well intentioned.” Along with their Social Darwinist ideas, the 19th- and 20th-century colonialist powers brought with them chaos, conflict, fear and humiliation, rather than well-being, happiness, culture and civilization. Even if one accepts that the colonialists did provide some benefits for their colonies, still the harm they wreaked was many times greater.
Karl Pearson's words cited below, devoid of any humanity or compassion, summarize these Darwinism-based views:
Inset left: In Nebraska in 1919, a group of some 5,000 whites besieged the courthouse and captured a black prisoner and beat him senseless before shooting him more than 1,000 times and finally burning the body. Large picture: Two young blacks, Thomas Shipp and Abraham Smith, were lynched in Indiana in 1930. Thousands of Whites armed with baseball bats beat the two to death before hanging them. In the 1930s, the Ku Klux Klan began to grow. These lynchings are just two of the countless examples of the hatred and ruthlessness that racism brings with it.
The struggle means suffering, intense suffering, while it is in progress; but that struggle and that suffering have been the stages by which the white man has reached his present stage of development, and they account for the fact that he no longer lives in caves and feeds on roots and nuts. This dependence of progress on the survival of the fitter race, terribly black as it may seem to some of you, gives the struggle for existence its redeeming features; it is the fiery crucible out of which comes the finer metal. You may hope for a time when the sword shall be turned into the ploughshare, when American and German and English traders shall no longer compete in the markets of the world for their raw material and for their food supply, when the white man and the dark shall share the soil between them, and each till it as he lists. But, believe me, when that day comes mankind will no longer progress; there will be nothing to check the fertility of inferior stock; the relentless law of heredity will not be controlled and guided by natural selection. Man will stagnate... The path of progress is strewn with the wreck of nations; traces are everywhere to be seen of the [slaughtered remains] of inferior races, and of victims who found not the narrow way to the greater perfection. Yet these dead people are, in very truth, the stepping stones on which mankind has arisen to the higher intellectual and deeper emotional life of today.60
This “world view” that regards most nations as inferior, and their suffering and death as a step on the path to so-called evolution, poses a danger to all humanity. If individuals join forces to depict an idea as scientific fact, no matter how dangerous or how unscientific and illogical it may be, and engage in propaganda on its behalf, then soon that idea and its byproducts will be accepted by those who lack sufficient information on the subject in question. This is where the hidden danger of Darwinism lies. People believing in concepts such as “the struggle for survival” and “conflict between superior and inferior races” carried out all kinds of ruthless actions under the shelter of these claims—or at least kept silent while others did so. As a result, racist, aggressive, and ruthless dictators such as Hitler, Mussolini and Franco emerged, and millions applauded their words. And because of these cruel ideologies, tens of millions lived and died in pain, fear and suffering.
The Darwinist claim that conflict is an essential part of human nature encourages war between nations. Yet the impact of wars have on innocent civilians is obvious.
The deceptive idea that inter-racial conflict could lead to nations' progressing also laid the foundation for wars. Before World War I, when Social Darwinism was widespread, war was considered the “most appropriate means” for the elimination of the weak and the eradication of people seen as burdens, the survival of the strong, and the development of the human race.
Throughout history, many wars have been fought, but usually they took place within limits, not aimed directly at civilian populations, between the armies of the nations concerned. But in wars waged by Social Darwinist means, the real target was the people, to reduce the “surplus population” of the so-called “unfit” and the allegedly “inferior.”
Before World War I, numerous writings and speeches described the Darwinist bases of war. Richard Milner, a contributing editor to Natural History, the magazine of New York's American Museum of Natural History, writes of the warlike Darwinist views of German intellectuals at the time:
Social Darwinist logic formed the basis of ruthless Nazi occupations, during which time millions of Russians were expatriated for slave labor and more millions executed for no crime at all.
During World War I, German intellectuals believed natural selection was irresistibly all-powerful (Allmacht), a law of nature impelling them to bloody struggle for domination. Their political and military textbooks promoted Darwin's theories as the “scientific” basis of a quest for world conquest, with the full backing of German scientists and professors of biology.61
During those years, General F. von Bernhardi engaged in propaganda on behalf of Social Darwinism. In his book Germany and the Next War Bernhardi maintained that conflict was a biological obligation and the best way of ridding the world of the unfit: “War is a biological necessity of the first importance, a regulative element in the life of mankind that cannot be dispensed with, since without it an unhealthy development will follow, which excludes every advancement of the race, and therefore all real civilization.”62
The idea that war is a “regulative element” cannot be justified in rational or logical terms, nor with scientific facts. War is a destructive force that causes enormous losses of life and property, and its effects on society
Young people being obliged to fight, despite all the suffering that war brings with it, represents the dark face of Darwinism.
are enormously difficult to repair.
Nonetheless, those who regarded constant war and slaughter as requirements of so-called civilization continued to call for them. Elsewhere in Bernhardi's book, for instance, he wrote:
War is not merely a necessary element in the life of nations but an indispensable factor of culture, in which a truly civilized nation finds the highest expression of strength and vitality. ... War gives a biologically just decision, since its decisions rest on the very nature of things. ... It is not only a biological law, but a moral obligation and, as such, an indispensable factor in civilization.63
No doubt that one of the greatest errors made by those taken in by such ideas was to assume that war is compatible with human nature and thus, inevitable. In that view, the more people wage war, the more power and vitality they acquire. This is a great falsehood. God has created human beings in such a way that they are happiest when at peace. Chaos and conflict cause terrible tension in the human soul. The most rapid social, economic and cultural progress is made possible in a climate of peace and security. In her book Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, Gertrude Himmelfarb makes the following comment:
As long as they do not experience war, people may never realize what a terrible disaster it actually is. It must never be forgotten that war spells sorrow, loss and suffering for millions of innocents. The way to build a world without war and conflict, one full of peace and security, is by the eradication of ideologies incompatible with the religious moral values commanded by God.
For the general [Bernhardi], it was the needs of war that came first, the imperialist adventures and nationalist experiments that followed. For others it was the reverse: the imperialist and nationalist aspirations brought war and militarism in their wake. There were even some who would have liked the virtues of war without the onus of militarism or nationalism; this was social Darwinism in its purest, most disinterested form.64
Sir Arthur Keith, an evolutionist anthropologist and biographer of Darwin, openly admitted that he was all in favor of war. Although he personally liked the idea of peace, he feared the results of such an experiment. Also, he made the illogical prediction that after 500 years of peace, the world would turn into “an orchard that has not known the pruning hook for many an autumn and has rioted in unchecked overgrowth for endless years.”65
Keith's words indicate just how ruthless Darwinist suggestions can make people. Keith believed that the world needed to be “pruned” from time to time, that those “elements” that delayed the strengthening of the world needed to be cut away and discarded. He was openly supporting savagery. The “pruning” referred to by Keith was war, and those who died in war, whom he felt needed to be discarded, were helpless men and women and children. Those taken in by the deceptions of Darwinism feel no sympathy for these innocent people. The theory that in order to strengthen and develop the white race, those regarded as weak may be eliminated led to cruelties never seen before.
Social Darwinism's twisted views are one of the main reasons for the wars, conflict and slaughter that have continued unabated since the 19th century. As a result of the constant calls for war, even some who knew nothing about Social Darwinism fell under its spell.
African-Americans lynched in 1906. So long as love of God and feelings of compassion and sympathy for the human beings He created do not prevail, humanity will continue to experience such tragedies.
In the early 20th century, those who came to believe that war was essential were not just a group of marginal ideologues, but a great many journalists, academics, politicians and civil servants.66 They encouraged the eradication of women, children, the elderly and the needy, and the heedless expense of young lives on the battlefield supposedly for the “benefit of humanity.”
These views were shared at the very highest levels. For instance, German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg subscribed to the belief, common among the middle class when World War Ibegan, that conflict between Slav and Teuton was inevitable.67 The Kaiser is known to have held similar views. Many historians regard the wicked claims that war was unavoidable and the cleansing of inferior races was natural and useful as some of the principal causes of World War I.
The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was also one of the most prominent supporters of Social Darwinism in Germany. According to him, the ideal social system should be based on armed conflict: “Man shall be trained for war and woman for the recreation of the warrior; all else is folly.”68 According to Nietzsche's twisted view, life consisted solely of war, and war contained everything within it.
Hitler, a fanatical Social Darwinist and great admirer of both Darwin and Nietzsche, put their warlike views into practice. Combining militarist thinking with the theory of evolution, Hitler said:
The 20th century, dominated by Social Darwinist philosophy, has gone down in history as one of war and bloody conflict. For decades, expressions of suffering never left the faces of millions.
The whole of nature is a continuous struggle between strength and weakness, and eternal victory of the strong over the weak.69
These ideas advanced by Hitler and others like him were products of a terrible ignorance. Those who imagined that with the theory of evolution they were basing their militaristic and aggressive thinking on a scientific foundation were merely deceiving themselves. Yet with the tens of thousands of people they induced to follow them, they inflicted ruin on the world on an unprecedented scale.
In an article titled “The Philosophy and Morals of War,” Max Nordau—one of the leaders of the Zionist movement—identifies Darwin as the primary supporter of war:
The greatest authority of all the advocates of war is Darwin. Since the theory of evolution has been promulgated, they can cover their natural barbarism with the name of Darwin and proclaim the sanguinary instincts of their inmost hearts as the last word of science.70
In Darwin, Marx, Wagner:Critique of a Heritage, Jacques Barzun, a history teacher at Columbia University, stated that Darwin stoked the fires of militarism and warfare everywhere:
In wartime, not only the civilians suffer. Soldiers forced to fight as a result of a philosophy that has inflicted nothing but blood and sorrow on the world are also part of war's cruel face.
War became the symbol, the image, the inducement, the reason, and the language of all human doings on the planet. No one who has not waded through some sizable part of the literature of the period 1870-1914 has any conception of the extent to which it is one long call for blood... The militarists of the second half of the century poeticized war and luxuriated in the prospect of it. With relative impunity for themselves, they took it for granted that all struggles in life must be struggles for life, and the death of the loser its “natural” goal.71
In the same book, Barzun described how Europe in particular fell under the influence of Darwinism's racist, militaristic tenants:
In every European country between 1870 and 1914 there was a war party demanding armaments, an individualist party demanding ruthless competition, an imperialist party demanding a free hand over backward peoples, a socialist party demanding the conquest of power, and a racialist party demanding internal purges against aliens—all of them, when appeals to greed and glory failed, or even before, invoked Spencer and Darwin, which was to say, science incarnate. ... Race was biological, it was sociological; it was Darwinian.72
These deceptions, identified and described by many academics, account for the 20th century's history of war, slaughter and genocide.
White students attacking a black lawyer. Racism is a cause of anger, hatred, aggression and conflict. These students have so taken leave of their humanity as to kill an innocent man solely because of the color of his skin. They are living under the influence of Social Darwinism, whether consciously or otherwise. Top: An Alabama passenger bus in 1930. A separate section marked "Colored Passengers" was set aside for blacks.
Such savagery was not limited to the Nazis. Many parts of the world have experienced terrible catastrophes because of racism. Because of it, hundreds of thousands have been regarded as worthless, humiliated, forced from their homes and enslaved, killed or abandoned to die, treated like animals, and used in pharmaceutical experiments. The examples cited in this book are just a few of the many documented instances of savagery and violence.
The social structure envisaged by Darwinism needs to be accurately identified. Like all other materialist theories, Social Darwinism, maintaining that people are selfish creatures who live solely for their own interests, responsible solely to themselves, can never bring proper moral values and happiness to individuals or to society as a whole. In order to acquire proper moral values and happiness, a person needs to abandon selfish desires. Religious moral values, as commanded by our Lord, teach people how this will be. People's responsibility towards God and the kind of moral values they need to attain His approval are revealed in the Qur'an.
If people have faith in God's commandments and the Book revealed by Him, then they will feel compassion and affection towards others.
...Help each other to goodness and heedfulness. Do not help each other to wrongdoing and enmity. Fear God... (Surat al-Ma'ida, 2)
Those who love and fear God and obey His commandments, see other people as beings He created, and make no distinctions between them on grounds of race, nation, skin color or language. In every human being, they see beauty created by God, and take pleasure in that beauty. Their faith makes them loving, compassionate and protective. However, someone brainwashed by Darwinism's falsehoods looks down on other races and nations, feels justified in oppressing and even eradicating them, and spreads nothing but tension, unhappiness and fear. The racism and imperialism witnessed in the 19th and 20th centuries are the result of this Darwinist world view.
In the Qur'an, God has forbidden discrimination on grounds of race and has revealed that people can attain superiority in His sight through faith and their fear of Him:
O humanity! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribe so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in God's sight is the one with the most fear of God. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surat al-Hujurat, 13)