The Interconnection Between Race And Religion
From a young age, I was aware that I was different in comparison to my peers. I was among the few children with dark, melanin rich skin, and with hijab. Growing up, my mother always told me to ignore the hateful and discriminatory comments. I listened to her, and always brushed off the racist and Islamophobic remarks that were repeatedly shouted at me; my mother taught me to be strong. Despite my immaturity, I understood racism and hatred, perhaps more than any child should have. However, it wasn’t until later in my life that I realized that my two identities, black and Muslim, were not as complimentary as my naive, innocent mind thought. Although, Islam emphasizes the importance of unity and equality, many individuals within the Muslim community opt to ignore and dismiss that aspect of the religion and instead hold an ethnocentric ideology.
As a Muslim, Islam is not only a religion to me, it’s far deeper than that. It is a complete way of life that leads to a balanced way of living. Islam is a social, political, and economical guide for myself and 1. 8 billion other Muslims. Islam governs ourlife in all aspects, it pours over into the entire spectrum of life; showing us how to conduct all human activities in a sound and wholesome manner; including racial matters. There is a saying: “there is no Islam without the Quran, and there is no Quran without Arabic. ”Because of this saying, naturally Arab Muslims feel like they are the protectors of the religion of Islam. Hence, thinking they are superior to non Arab, and favored over non Arabs in the eyes of God. This ideology leads Arabs to believe that they are more pious the non Arabs. However, its is all false, for being born into a culture that is rooted in Islam, and with an overwhelmingly Muslim population does not make you more of a Muslim, but it is our faith and piety that makes us more of a Muslim. In the hadith, which is a sacred text with a collection of traditions and sayings from the prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), said: “There is no superiority for an Arab over a non Arab, nor for a non Arab over an Arab.
Neither is the white superior over the black, nor is the black superior over the the white– except by piety. ” Therefore, this corrupt mentality thatIn every community there is an unofficial hierarchical system, which is the core, reasoning behind this ethnocentric ideology and racism within the Muslim community. Fortunately, I had never experienced blatant racism in the muslim community, as I do often in my everyday life. However, sadly, many times in the mosque when it’s time for prayer, you say yo see certain people shifting around and moving to another place so they don’t have to pray shoulder to shoulder with you, certain small little acts like that separate us in our community. Although it is not blatant racism and discrimination, it is still a form of racism that can be potentially harmful, especially being if it is an unconscious and innate reaction. Their children will start to pick up on on it and soon it will be a difficult problem to eradicate.
Also, there is also a segregation in our mosques. What I mean by this is that in the muslim community it is becoming increasingly popular to find, different mosques with one mosque being majority arab, and another being majority black, indian, asian, etc. The point is, it shouldn’t be like that, we should all be united together and shall all worship together. We shouldn’t allow our race play a role in our worship. Instead we should be close to oneanother, and bound by ties of religious commonality. As we say in the muslim community, we are all brothers and sisters, and like brothers and sisters we should protect, care and love one another. I have grown and matured as a black Muslim woman, I now realize that it is not easy identifying as the two most discriminated and hated groups in America and in the Western world. The intersectionality of being black and Muslim is difficult and exhausting. Instead of this hatred darkening my spirituality and developing a disliking for my melanin rich skin, I embrace my identity wholeheartedly. Despite discriminatory and bigoted attitudes, being a black Muslim permeates every facet of my life, and I am more than proud, to be a black Muslim woman.
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