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Not to be confused with suprematism.
"Racial supremacist" and "racial supremacism" redirect here. For other uses, see Racial supremacy.

Supremacism is the belief that a particular age, race, species, ethnic group, religion, gender, sexual orientation, class, belief system or culture is superior to others and entitles those who identify with it to dominate, control or rule those who do not.


Further information: Female supremacy, patriarchy and male privilege

Feminist theorists have argued that in patriarchy, a standard of male supremacism is enforced through a variety of cultural, political and interpersonal strategies.[1] Others note that this often has been balanced by various forms of female authority.[2] Since the 19th century there have been a number of feminist movements opposed to male supremacism, partly working for equal legal rights and protections for women in all cultural, political and interpersonal relations,[3][4][5] and partly arguing for scenarios of female supremacism, either suggesting historical forms of matriarchy, or arguing female supremacy in radical feminism, separatist feminism or political lesbianism. Marianismo is a different kind of "female supremacism", the idealization of female virtues on the part of males.


Centuries of European colonialism of the Americas, Africa, Australia, Oceania and Asia were justified by white supremacist attitudes.[6] During the 19th century, the phrase "The White Man's Burden" was widely used to justify imperialist policy as a noble enterprise.[7][8]

Following the American Civil War, a secret society, the Ku Klux Klan, was formed in the South. Its purpose was to restore white supremacy after the Reconstruction period.[9] They preached supremacy over all other races, as well as over Jews, Catholics and other minorities.

Cornel West writes that Black supremacy arose in America as a counter to white supremacism.[10] Groups advocating some version of it include Nation of Islam, the New Black Panther Party, the Black Hebrew Israelites and the Bobo Shanti section of the Rastafari movement.

During the early 20th century until the end of World War II - the Shōwa era - the propaganda of the Empire of Japan used the old concept of hakko ichiu to support the idea that the Yamato was a superior race, destined to rule Asia and the Pacific. Many documents such as Kokutai no Hongi, Shinmin no Michi and An Investigation of Global Policy with the Yamato Race as Nucleus referred to this concept of racial supremacy.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Adolf Hitler's German Nazi Party preached the existence of an Aryan master race and attempted to establish through conquest such an empire throughout Europe. They were World War II "Axis powers" allies of the Japanese empire.

In Africa, black Southern Sudanese allege that they are subjected to a racist form of Arab supremacy, which they equate with the historic white supremacism of South African apartheid.[11] The alleged genocide in the ongoing War in Darfur has been described as an example of Arab racism.[12]


Some academics and writers have alleged Christian supremacism as a motivation for the Crusades to the “Holy Land,” as well as for crusades against Muslims and pagans throughout Europe.[13] The Atlantic slave trade has been attributed in part to it as well.[14] The Ku Klux Klan has been described as a Christian, as well as a white, supremacist group. So are many white supremacist groups in the United States today.[15]

Some academics and writers have alleged Muslim or Islamic supremacism. The Qur'an and other Islamic documents always speak of tolerant and protective beliefs which have been misused, misquoted and misinterpreted by supremacists and anti Islamic elements.[16] Specific examples of how supremacists have exploited the name of Islam include Muslim participation in the African slave trade, the early 20th century pan-Islamism promoted by Abdul Hamid II,[17] the jizya and rules of marriage in Muslim countries being imposed on non-Muslims,[18] the majority Muslim interpretations of the rules of pluralism in Malaysia, and "defensive" supremacism practised by some Muslim immigrants in Europe.[19] Other writers posit a “poisonous, violent, Islamic supremacist creed”[20] and that supremacism is inherent in a few Muslims as it is in all other religions as Supremacist emotion is human.[21] Bruce Bawer alleges that Saudi Arabian princes have funded institutions to paint accusations of Islamic supremacism as “Islamophobic lies.”[22] -†Needs to be verified in what context this has been quoted.

Zoroastrianism, an early monotheistic faith that influenced Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was originated among a people who called themselves Aryans, including Persians.[23] Friedrich Nietzsche's writings like Thus Spoke Zarathustra (another name for Zoroaster) were interpreted by Nazis as being a foundation for their ideas of the Aryan superman and white supremacism.[24] Nazis also appropriated the symbol of the faravahar of Zoroastrianism.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peggy Reeves Sanday, Female power and male dominance: on the origins of sexual inequality, Cambridge University Press, 1981, p. 6-8, 113-114, 174, 182. ISBN 0-521-28075-3, ISBN 978-0-521-28075-4
  2. ^ Peggy Reeves Sanday, p. 113.
  3. ^ Collins Dictionary and Thesaurus. London: Collins. 2006. ISBN 0-00-722405-2. 
  4. ^ Humm, Maggie (1992). Modern feminisms: Political, Literary, Cultural. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08072-7. 
  5. ^ Cornell, Drucilla (1998). At the heart of freedom: feminism, sex, and equality. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-02896-5. 
  6. ^ Takashi Fujitani, Geoffrey Miles White, Lisa Yoneyama, Perilous memories: the Asia-Pacific War(s), p. 303, 2001.
  7. ^ Miller, Stuart Creighton (1982). Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03081-9.  p. 5: "...imperialist editors came out in favor of retaining the entire archipelago (using) higher-sounding justifications related to the "white man's burden."
  8. ^ Opinion archive, International Herald Tribune (February 4, 1999). "In Our Pages: 100, 75 and 50 Years Ago; 1899: Kipling's Plea". International Herald Tribune: 6. : Notes that Rudyard Kipling's new poem, "The White Man's Burden", "is regarded as the strongest argument yet published in favor of expansion."
  9. ^ Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, Perennial (HarperCollins), 1989, p. 425–426.
  10. ^ Cornel West, Race Matters, Beacon Press, 1993, p 99.: "The basic aim of black Muslim theology — with its distinct black supremacist account of the origins of white people — was to counter white supremacy."
  11. ^ "Racism in Sudan". 
  12. ^ "Welcome To B'nai Brith". 2004-08-04. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  13. ^ Carol Lansing, Edward D. English, A companion to the medieval world, Volume 7, John Wiley and Sons, 2009, p. 457, ISBN 1-4051-0922-X, 9781405109222
  14. ^ Mary E. Hunt, Diann L. Neu, New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views, SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2010, p. 122, ISBN 1-59473-285-X, 9781594732850
  15. ^ R. Scott Appleby, The ambivalence of the sacred: religion, violence, and reconciliation, Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict series, Rowman & Littlefield, 2000, p. 103, ISBN 0-8476-8555-1, ISBN 978-0-8476-8555-4
  16. ^ Joshua Cohen, Ian Lague, Khaled Abou El Fadl, The place of tolerance in Islam, Beacon Press, 2002, p. 23, ISBN 0-8070-0229-1, ISBN 978-0-8070-0229-2
  17. ^ Gareth Jenkins, Political Islam in Turkey: running west, heading east?, Macmillan, 2008, p. 59, ISBN 1-4039-6883-7, ISBN 978-1-4039-6883-8
  18. ^ Malise Ruthven, Islam: a very short introduction, Oxford University Press, 1997, Macmillan, 2008 p. 117, ISBN 0-19-950469-5, ISBN 978-0-19-950469-5
  19. ^ Bassam Tibi, Ethnicity of Fear? Islamic Migration and the Ethnicization of Islam in Europe, John Wiley & Sons online, June 2010.
  20. ^ Mark W. Smith, The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy 2008: The Arguments You Need to Defeat the Loony Left This Election Year, Regnery Publishing, 2007, p. 27, ISBN 1-59698-049-4, ISBN 978-1-59698-049-5
  21. ^ Robert Spencer, Stealth jihad: how radical Islam is subverting America without guns or bombs, Regnery Publishing, 2008, p. 101, 203, 207, ISBN 1-59698-556-9, ISBN 978-1-59698-556-8
  22. ^ Bruce Bawer, Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom, Random House, Inc., 2007, p. 152, ISBN 0-7679-2837-7, ISBN 978-0-7679-2837-3
  23. ^ Janet Levy, Iran and the Shia: Understanding Iran, The Rosen Publishing Group, 2009, pp 9-10.
  24. ^ Bill Yenne, Hitler's Master of the Dark Arts: Himmler's Black Knights and the Occult Origins of the SS, Zenith Imprint, 2010, pp 43-44.
  25. ^ George Lundskow, The Sociology of Religion: A Substantive and Transdisciplinary Approach, Pine Forge Press, 2008, p 118.