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Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Andrew Bolt, ANZAC, Julie Bishop, Islam, Gillian Triggs

Andrew Bolt says that Islam is an ideology: "Islam is an ideology, not a racial category."  He appears to be trying to give those biased against Muslims cover by criticizing the criticism instead of addressing the clear reality of bigotry against Abdel-Magied.  Abdel-Magied apologized for her wrongheaded ANZAC post, but continues to be attacked in bigoted tones.

But Bolt claims Islam is an ideology, "not a racial category". Bolt is wrong: Islam is neither a race nor an ideology.  Islam is a religion.

If Bolt wants to claim that all religions are ideologies, he may be able to do so; but if he singles out one religion and claims that it is an ideology while other religions are not, he will need to present strong evidence and a clear case for his singling out the one religion.

Next steps for Bolt would be to consider the following questions, if he hasn't yet:
  • Are all religions ideologies?
  • If not, which religions (beyond Islam) are ideologies?
  • What is the difference between religion and ideology?
  • After defining "religion" and "ideology", what attributes does Islam have to make it an ideology rather than a religion?

As he considers answers to these questions, he should be careful to acknowledge the diversity within religions generally and within Islam specifically.


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