According to FBI data, most hate crimes are motivated by race, accounting for nearly 50 percent of all cases. Moreover, greater than 66 percent of reported single-bias hate crimes target Americans of African descent. This does not include law enforcement’s abuse of power and unjustified use of lethal force, which also happens to disproportionately affect Americans of African descent. The Southern Poverty Law Center has referenced the fact that anti-Muslim hate crimes jumped 50 percent several years ago as a direct result of anti-Muslim propagandizing, i.e. Islamophobia. A recent FBI bulletin forecasts that Muslims will continue to be targeted by these elements and that crimes against Muslims and their mosques will escalate.
Eugenic principles date back to ancient Greek culture and its exploits to create the perfect human race. Eugenics can be described as both a political and social dogma, supported by racially biased pseudo-science, where a distinction is made between presumed ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ elements of society. In recent history, the application of eugenics toward the Jews by the Nazis resulted in widespread human rights abuses, along with subsequent condemnation of the practices. Not only is it incumbent upon society at large to acknowledge that certain groups are, even if subconsciously, deemed inferior, but it is also imperative to identify the root causes of these views.
The origins of systemic racism and eugenics, the devastating consequences thereof, as well as the myriad of human rights violations via unethical human experiments or barbaric medical practices (e.g. lobotomy, Electroconvulsive Therapy, sterilization), can be traced back to Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud. In fact, Darwinism and Freudianism are considered two aspects of the same misguidance. In Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America, author Wesley J. Smith wrote, “Most people believe that the medical horrors of the Holocaust bore the trademark of Adolf Hitler. In fact, the path to medical evil was laid long before Nazism was even a cloud on the German horizon…Because of eugenic theories, social Darwinist beliefs and the deprivation caused by the war, half of Germany’s mental patients were starved to death during World War I.”
The provenance of racial hate and enmity can be traced to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which presumed to provide a measure of scientific credence to racial demarcation. In the early 20th century, thoughts turned into actions as these doctrines transformed into a cultural infrastructure of hate at the hands of Sigmund Freud and his disciples. German psychiatrist and Eugenicist Alfred Ploetz, together with psychiatrist Ersnt Rudin, founded the German Society for Racial Hygiene in 1905. This gathering, which proceeded the 1920 book by Binding and Hoche, Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life, set the tone for what was to come. German psychiatrist Eugen Fischer urged the annihilation of “Negro” children, theorizing that Americans of African descent were devoid of value and useless for employment other than for “manual crafts.” Obviously, the Holocaust has been one of the most documented and highly chronicled examples of perverted human views on the superiority of one race over another.
In South Africa, where Apartheid didn’t officially end until 1994, the branches of racism grew from a tree rooted in psychological manipulation and distortion. Former South African Prime Minister, Hendrik Verwoerd was a psychologist who studied in German eugenics universities before returning to his country to implement Nazi racial hygiene laws. In 1923, psychiatrist J.T. Dunston, South Africa’s first Commissioner of Mental Hygiene, boldly claimed natives were mentally inferior to whites. As late as the 1970’s, hidden psychiatric camps were established to incarcerate thousands upon thousands of natives for “industrial therapy,” which a World Health Organization report referred to as a slave trade.
Regrettably, the precepts of racism and eugenics are deeply intertwined into the tapestry of America’s past, beginning with her underpinning. Notwithstanding is the prominent influence that racism and eugenics have had in shaping and molding America’s present-day social construct. One need to look no further than founding father Thomas Jefferson who, among many other notable things, wrote the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…” While Jefferson espoused these beliefs, there were inherent qualifiers to his statement, as evidenced by the fact that Jefferson was, himself, a slave owner. Moreover, Jefferson historian and author Joseph J. Ellis remarked, “In Jefferson’s view,…Americans of African descent were inferior not because they were slaves but because they were ‘black’. Asked when a person of mixed-race ancestry could be considered white, he (Jefferson) answered that neither a one-half nor a three-quarter white person qualified, but seven-eighths did because ‘then the blood cleared’.” It was these sentiments, irrespective of the language of the Constitution, that became the substructure of America’s racial divide, which persists in many forms and fashions.
As was the case in South Africa, medical professionals in the United States played a vital role in the implementation of policies that distinguished one race from the next. Psychologist and prominent eugenicist Lewis Terman, who coined the term “IQ” after developing racially biased intelligence testing, asserted “non-whites could never be educated.” In describing Mexicans, Native Americans and Americans of African descent, Terman stated, "Their dullness seems to be racial, or at least inherent in the family stocks from which they come. Children in this group should be segregated in special classes.” Having worked at prestigious Stanford University, coupled with his tenure as president of the American Psychological Association, Terman was, and continues to be, regarded by many as a thought leader in modern day Psychology. These sentiments have permeated into present day practitioners, as well. As recently as 1994, psychologist Richard Herrnstein in, The Bell Curve, advocated selective breeding to prevent human “residue” from being born.
Perhaps the most egregious exemplification of institutional racism and racial superiority can be found in the remarks of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. Sanger was a member of both the American and English eugenics societies and founded The American Birth Control League, the progenitor of Planned Parenthood. She promoted sterilization as a solution to the “inferior” problem. In her autobiography, she mentioned “accomplishing her goal” after speaking at a women’s group for the Klu Klux Klan. The Klan, a known white supremacist and terrorist organization, has recently been stirred to action with increased recruitment undertakings in the wake of the Charleston massacre and the ensuing removal of the Confederate flag from the State grounds in Columbia, SC. Other remarks attributed to Sanger include: “The campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical with the final aims of eugenics. Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.” One means to her end was to hire American ministers of African descent to unwittingly assist her and her allies in their mission to “destroy the ‘Negro’ population.” Sanger’s quotes shed light on the level of sophistication that was employed to accomplish their agenda. What cannot be lost to those seeking to understand the challenges of today, is the scope and spread of the ill-intended perpetrators, not to mention the ramifications that exist as a result. Nearly a century later, Americans of African descent continue to be marginalized, dehumanized and devalued, both intrinsically and extrinsically.
In the annals of history, the particular group of people that happens to be victimized at one point or another varies based upon geography and numerous other historical factors. More pertinent are the ideologies and behavioral patterns deemed socially acceptable that allow such a climate to exist. Taking into consideration the rising tide of Islamophobia in the absence of intervention, is it hard to imagine the Muslims of tomorrow suffering the same fate as the Jews of yesteryear? The common thread between the two groups has nothing to do with religious beliefs. Rather, the similitude is found in their respective political expediencies. In the post 9/11 era, Muslims the world over have been the victims of violent extremism time and time again, in some cases carte blanche. In recent decades, approximately 100,000 Muslims were slaughtered in Bosnia and Kosovo as part of ethnic cleansing by Bosnian Serbs. Hundreds of Muslims have been killed in Kashmir in yet another demonstration of attempted ethnic genocide. Muslims in China and Chechnya have faced similar trials and tribulations pertaining to basic human rights.
It is a fact that if the current level of Islamophobia continues to rise, coupled with the underwhelming response of not only law enforcement, but also society as a whole, there could be a Holocaust-type event in the 21st century. For those who consider this a bold statement, reflect upon the events of April 2015 in the small hamlet of Hancock, New York. A peaceful Muslim community was threatened with destruction by a 2014 candidate for the United States Congress. Robert Doggart of Tennessee, along with a group of co-conspirators, devised a plan to burn the village to the ground and murder all of its inhabitants including the elderly, women, and children. Additionally in New York, Glendon Scott Crawford, an engineer from Albany, was arrested on charges for constructing an X-ray weapon of mass destruction to target the same Muslim community as well as President Obama. Considering the current anti-Muslim climate and trajectory, it is worth noting that this may just be the tip of the iceberg.
There does exist a glimpse of hope for an alternate course of events. For many years, practitioners from The Abdul Qadir Gilani Institute of Sufic Sciences, Inc., founded by El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, have worked and collaborated with the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) to support their longstanding efforts in exposing the inhumane and brutal nature of many current psychiatric and mental health practices. The goal remains to manifest how these practices affect the social and moral structure of societies the world over and, in a repressed manner, affect human behavior. One of the major collaborations between The Abdul Qadir Gilani Institute of Sufic Sciences and CCHR is the inclusion of an abridged version of Psychiatry, the Ultimate Betrayal by Bruce Wiseman in the acclaimed work, Ultimate Fraud of Freudists by El Sheik Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani. Additionally, members of the AQG Institute were privileged guests in attendance at the 2012 CCHR conference in California, where they presented initiatives to continue their valiant crusade.
The reality is that Mankind was derived from a single set of parents. Hence, all are the children of Adam (Peace and Blessings be upon Him)! Sadistic human influences, the likes of Darwin and Freud, successfully propagated the tenets of hate and bias, from which the social movement of eugenics was born. This has led, quite directly, to the culture of racial discord and Islamophobia that exists today. These ill-intended agents were likely aware of the true phenomena of human origin, yet endeavored to bury the common bond of brotherhood that we all share. In the absence of intercultural and interfaith dialogue, the present culture of hate will continue to flourish. As was stated by the racist mass murderer, Dylan Roof, the desire of many is to incite a catastrophic clash of epic proportions, be it based on race or ethnicity. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the peacemakers to join hands and unite in the face of all opposition.