Chapter

Race

BERNARD LEWIS

in Race and Slavery in the Middle East

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780195053265
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854561 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195053265.003.0002
Race

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The chapter discusses the substantial and significant changes to the meaning of the word “race” worldwide. As late as the midcentury, the word “race” was still commonly used in Europe and in the United States. This is what is presently called an ethnic group. In Britain, it is used to designate the four components that made up its nationality. The term “race” was used to denote a group of peoples, speaking related languages. Thus, races consisted of whites, blacks, Mongols, and the like. Different races could share a culture. Different cultures could divide a race. Even members of a family could belong to different races. The advent of Islam created an entirely new situation in race relations. The term “Islam” has at least three different meanings and much misunderstanding can arise from failure to distinguish between them.

Keywords: race; ethnic group; culture; Islam; race relations

Chapter.  2664 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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