Terms You Should Know about Religious Discrimination


hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group

The Crusades

A series of military campaigns during the time of Medieval England against the Muslims of the Middle East. In 1076, the Muslims captured Jerusalem - the most holy of holy places for both Christians (they called it the "City of God") and Muslims. Jesus had been born in nearby Bethlehem and had spent most of his life in Jerusalem and was crucified there. Muhammad, the founder of the Muslim faith, had been there. As a matter of fact, a beautiful dome - called the Dome of the Rock - was built on the rock where Muhammad was said to have sat and prayed and it was so holy that no Muslim was allowed to tread on the rock or touch it when visiting the Dome. Therefore the Christians fought to get Jerusalem back while the Muslims fought to keep Jerusalem. These wars were to last nearly 200 years.


The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. "Holocaust" is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.


literally translates to mean "holy war." Or, more precisely: It means the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims. The purpose of jihad, in other words, is not directly to spread the Islamic faith but to extend sovereign Muslim power (faith, of course, often follows the flag).


Any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, and a philosophy of life.

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