All too often Muslim African Americans have been taught to deemphasize race. This is done primarily to avoid being seen as nationalistic or racist thus going against the very teachings of Al Islam itself. However, to deemphasize race is to also deemphasize the conditions directed onto a community borne from the most powerful racism (in America this is called white supremacy) such as police brutality, employment discrimination, and an unjust and very biased legal system that often mistreats the poor and downtrodden just to name a few.
Yet there is a tendency to forget the many verses of Qur'an that admonish mankind for harboring racism in the first place. We must remember that as Shaytan became the first racist in history by refusing to bow to man merely because man was created from the mud of the earth and he was created from smokeless fire, that Allah punished him for that and condemned him to the Hellfire.
As Allah condemns racism, He also gives those victims of racism the permission to fight it. Yet one cannot fight it, if they are either unwilling or are taught to not confront it. When Shaytan expressed his racist hatred of man and swore to be man's eternal enemy, Allah gave man tools to fight Shaytan.
The first tool He provided was the ability to recognize Shaytans' tactics through our intellect, and other senses. Once this is used, we are then to formulate strategies designed to prevent the racist agents of Shaytan from enacting their way of racism. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that anyone who has a mustard seed of pride in his heart would never enter the Paradise, and that pride was to have a disdain for the truth and a contempt for a people. Shaytan exhibited this toward Adam and all of mankind. The philosophy of racism itself is to exhibit this. In America this is called white supremacy only because those who have the most power to enact their racism on other who are powerless members of a minority happen to be classified as white. In Saudi it might be called Saudi supremacy, in China Chinese supremacy and so on. Yet Allah did not ignore Shaytan's racism, but punished him for it. This should remove the tendency to deemphasize race among the Muslim African American if he or she is to overcome it.
Many Muslims who come from overseas have shown their disinterest in directly confronting the issue. This can be experienced by their lack of involvement in areas of helping the homeles, the drug addicted or routine ex convict that found Al Islam in prison and now needs a support group upon his release. This can be evidently seen by the large annual conventions that can attract thousands of Muslims and adopt themes such as having a beautiful Ramadan or loving one's neighbor, but refuse to seriously deal with oppression and social injustices throughout the world. When I say "seriously deal with" I mean to identify the problems, adopt a plan of isolating them, formulating a strategy to correct them, monitor its progress, and hold individuals accountable for the strategic implementation.
In this series "Facts on Sunni Muslims - Confronting Racism in the Hearts of Some Muslims & Its Effect on Muslim African Americans" insha Allah I will do that.
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- Amir Makin
- I initially accepted Al Islam through an unexpected yet fruitful journey to Africa. Having always been intrigued with the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor, I found myself amazed by witnessing the poorest of the poor having a dignity and a self respect in their downtrodden condtion that I've not witnessed amongst the indigineous oppressed anywhere else. Once realizing that Al Islam was the reason for this, I quickly dedicated my life to understanding the Islamic principles for overcoming oppression and how Allah commands its resistance. I've written the first of many other books to follow which detail what I've learned and strategized in A Worthy Muslim: Quranic Tools Needed to Overcome Oppression and Imperialism in Order to Institute Justice I am extremely busy currently giving interviews and conducting seminars on how best to deal with several of the issues raised in the book.