Different uses (and abuses) of the word ‘racist’


Mahmound Ahmadinejad’s polemic speech in the UN Conference on racism and the reactions to it have silenced an important step forward of the international community. Indeed, more than 100 countries have agreed a 16-pages final declaration calling on the international community to combat intolerance, a document that has been described as an “historic outcome”.

Despite dropping a controversial phrase from his draft speech casting doubt on the Holocaust, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been the main character of the day for his definition of Zionism as racism. His remarks have pushed many Western representatives to leave the conference room and accuse him of racist and his words of inadmissible.

Below you can check Ahmadinejad’s draft speech and actual speech, but here you have some excerpts related to Palestine and Israel:

After the Second World War, by exploiting the holocaust and under the pretext of protecting the Jews they made a nation homeless with military expeditions and invasion. They transferred various groups of people from America, Europe and other countries to this land. They established a completely racist government in the occupied Palestinian territories. And in fact, under the pretext of making up for damages resulting from racism in Europe, they established the most aggressive, racist country in another territory, i.e. Palestine.

The Security Council endorsed this usurper regime and for 60 years constantly defended it and let it commit any kind of crime.

Worse than this is that some Western governments and America are committed to support genocidal racists while others condemn the bombardment of innocent human beings, the occupation of their land and the disasters that took place in Gaza. Even before they kept silent, not responding to all the crimes of that regime, and supported it.

(···)

But dear friends, today the human society is facing a kind of racism which has an ugliness that has completely distorted the honour of mankind at the verge of the third millennium and it has made the global society shameful. The global Zionism is the complete symbol of racism, which with unreal reliance on religion has tried to misuse the religious beliefs of some unaware people and hide its ugly face. But what should be seriously considered are the goals of certain superpowers and those in possession of major interests in the world; those who try their best through economic power and political influence and wide media means, to lessen the crimes and ugliness of the nature of the Zionist regime. Here, the main issue is not ignorance and therefore, cultural movements on their own, are not sufficient to fight this evil phenomenon. But we should try to put an end to the misuse of international means by the Zionists and their supporters. And by respecting nations’ demands, we should motivate the united governments to eliminate this clear racism and step on the path of reforming international relations and mechanisms with courage.

Related links:

UN conference on racism draft outcome

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech –  BBC translation from a speech transcript supplied by the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Tehran, in Persian.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s draft speech – Different in some respects from the draft submitted previously by the Iranians to the UN.

World reactions to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech – Compiled by BBC

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