One could find many preexisting prejudices towards people from different background. The indigenous people of America, Asia, and, Africa, had no civilization when Muslim and Christian Europeans came to them. Their lifestyle and ways were simple with no formal rules to guide their social life. Furthermore, the indigenous people did not have a monotheistic religion (Ashcroft et al.) Namely, they “believed in multiple gods and goddesses”. As a result, Christian Europeans had negative opinions and towards them. In spite of the Muslim and Christian religious beliefs teaching on equality and love for all human species, the Europeans acted otherwise. Thus, Christian Europeans contributed to the spread of the dominance over indigenous people in many implications.
The attitudes towards the indigenous people were full of resentment whereby the indigenous people were perceived as a lower species that needed to be ruled and guided in a civilized way of life. The Europeans Christians were harsh to the indigenous people they encountered. Moreover, for Europeans the contribution of indigenous people towards religion was not clear as they underestimate their affection towards God.
Nevertheless, according to Walls, the Muslim and Christian religion required the believers to spread the religious beliefs to other people in the society. Some of the Muslim and Christian Europeans, therefore, spread religion to the indigenous people despite their negative attitudes. The differences they encountered in the indigenous people, and their lack of religion acted as a fuel that propelled them to spread the ways of their religion to the savages.
Furthermore, Christian Europeans closely engaged in spreading the education with the religious background. Namely, missionary school were established so as to teach the indigenous people of religion and the civilized way of living. The indigenous people were forcefully made to depart from their cultural ways and adhere to the beliefs of religion. In particular, the Muslim Europeans enacted the Sharia laws on the indigenous people and required the indigenous people to adhere to its practices. Those who resisted conversion to Islamic religion were treated as unequal and outcasts in the society (Norris et al.) Therefore, one could conclude that Europeans perceived themselves as dominant due to their religious preference as well as due to their perception of other religious with pre-existing prejudices.
Cited Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. Post-colonial Studies: The Key Concepts. Routledge,
Norris, Pippa, and Ronald F. Inglehart. “Muslim Integration into Western cultures: Between Origins and Destinations.” Political Studies 60.2 (2012): 228-251.
Walls, Andrew F. Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith. Orbis Books