Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics.
Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another.
We’ve been dealing with racism for centuries whether it’s racism against skin color or religious beliefs.
There is no place for racism in Islam and there are many inspiring narrations in Islamic history of the position that Islam holds towards this topic.
Bilal ibn Rabah (may Allah have mercy on him) is one of the most illustrious names in Islamic history.
A Negro slave originally from Habasha (Ethiopia), Bilal’s an evident story of Islam’s respect for human equality, anti-racism and social equity.
Bilal too served as slave to a lady close to Umayyah ibn Khalaf, an arch enemy of Islam. When Umayyah heard about Bilal converting to Islam, he tortured him and forced him to relinquish the new faith.
When the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) learned about his tribulation, he sent Abu Bakr, who bought him from the oppressor and freed him. The freedom was Islam’s first gift to Bilal.
Second Caliph Omar ibn Khattab honored him by calling him as Sayyedna (our leader). Bilal became one of the most trusted and loyal companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the first to declare equality among human beings in the annals of world history 1,400 years ago. In the presence of over 120,000 companions during Hajj, he declared: O people! Your Lord is one Lord, and you all share the same father (Adam). Indeed, there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab or of a non-Arab over an Arab; or of a white over a black; nor a black over a white, except by taqwa (righteousness).
Another great honor came to Bilal after the Conquest of Makkah in 8 AH. When the city surrendered and all the nobles from the Muslims and the non-Muslims were standing in the courtyard, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) asked Bilal to climb the roof of the Holy Kaaba and give a call of Azaan from the top of it.
This was the first Azaan, which was given in Makkah Mukarramah.
Racism against muslims and black muslims “Islamophobia” is really underrated. People often talk about racism against the black and forget that racism comes in several ways.
If any bomb attack happens, it is the Muslims who are blamed they for it.
This has become more and more acceptable but is in fact outright racism as there is often not enough proof againgst such claims.
The media succeed in creating fear amongst the public and hatred towards Muslims who are deemed terrorists. Hence the religion of freedom and equality is painted in a very picture from the reality.
Muslim people always search for peace. Women who cover their heads anywhere outside Arab countries face racism regularly. This may not necessarily be through direct comments but can be through insinuations of terrorism.
We need to stop this stereotyping and the fear created through Islamophobia. We need to inform people about the real Islam – the Islam that saved Bilal ibn Rabah from racist folks at a time when there was no freedom.
Islam gave him freedom. And now in 2020 we should be living in peace and freedom but what a contrast that we live in a world where racism has not only re-emerged but it is used against Muslims on a regular basis.
Racism should be considered as dangerous as the panedemic we are currently going through. It haunts and kills not only the members of the society but also the dreams of safety and equality.
As any virus, racism is tricky. It sneakily passes through households and families. If it is not treated just like a virus needs a vaccine, then from a young age it nurtures into a living lifetsyle the growing mentality against it will mean that racism may never end.