We All Need to Take Action
Originally we were going to keep quiet about what happened with an African American named George Floyd. We were debating back and forth in our team as to whether we should say anything as some people have been saying that companies and bloggers are taking a piggyback ride on someone else’s tragedy.
There are two sides to the story, some said if you remain silent, you are supporting the evil that happened but at the same time there is a feeling that some businesses are using it for capitalist gains. Wallhu Alam. It’s best to leave that judgement to Allah (SWT).
We personally, at Hidden Pearls have been deeply saddened by the recent events that have highlighted the shocking scale of racism prevalent in our society today.
For a lot of us, it also comes at no surprise at one point or the other we have faced racism too here in UK & other parts of the World but the extent to which US Police gets away with the horrible treatment of minorities is just shocking. It’s even more shocking that this is not a one-off incident.
Opening Our Eyes
Looking at it from a Muslim perspective, post 9/11 era there are countless incidents where innocent peace-loving Muslims homes were raided by FBI and Police, their lives turned upside down, them being fired from jobs, hijabis being spat at on the streets, them being forced to leave the country for the sake of the safety of their young children.
So yes again we were not surprised that other minority communities also go through similar issues and sometimes even worse at the hands of these law enforcement agencies who job is to protect us and not harass us.
Some of us here in the UK like to pretend that racism doesn’t exist in the UK. So for such people, the following should inshaAllah be eye-openers:
- A study by experts based at the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, found applicants from minority ethnic backgrounds had to send 80% more applications to get a positive response from an employer than a white person of British origin.
- A linked study by the same researchers, comparing their results with similar field experiments dating back to 1969, found discrimination against black Britons and those of South Asian origin – particularly Pakistanis – unchanged over almost 50 years. WOW!
- Muslim men are 76% less likely to be employed than their white Christian counterparts, according to research by the Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol.
- The last census in 2011 showed Muslims make up just over 1 million of the capital’s 8.2 million inhabitants. But more than half of Muslim households are in poverty, higher than any other social group, according to the Muslim Council of Britain.
In a society in which racist practices are widespread, we as Muslims should be committed to taking positive action to eliminate injustice, oppression and inequality, wherever it exists.
People of colour but especially Black people have always been treated horribly. No matter who you are, or what your background, it’s not enough to not be racist. We all need to speak up!
Thinking and believing in conspiracy theories that these protests are being done for some ulterior benefit is not the way forward. In Shah Allah, there will be some kind of positive impact from everything that is currently being done. A united voice of Black people and Muslims, as well as other ethnic minorities, will ensure that these injustices and inequalities are reduced over time.
On the authority of Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.”
Taking Positive Action
We can all take positive action in various ways including:
- Make Dua for all the people who are under oppression are being tortured. May Allah accept our duas. Ameen.
- Collect charity and send it through trustworthy channels for causes fighting injustices and inequalities. Do your research thoroughly and ensure it is a legitimate charity!
- Support the weak and oppressed in all ways, including the media and the internet as much as you can. It does not matter what others think of you, your intention is between you and Allah (SWT). Even we have often been at fault for judging others, but we need to break this habit of judging others and try to improve ourselves and strengthen our deen.
- Confront racism at home. Face any biases you may have within yourself. Have tough conversations with your families, and call out racism. Yes, it’s true, racism exists in us Muslims as well. It exists in our parents who may view Bengalis, Pakistanis, Chinese, Black people in a certain way. Sometimes it might be a simple comment such as “oh black people always commit a crime” or “oh they are from so and so area that’s why they behave this way. These are all little racism attacks, and gradually they can multiply. Our children will pick up on these things and also speak in this way. So it’s very important to change things starting now.
- Finally, TAKE ACTION. Use your voice, platform, or position of power in a halal & Islamic manner to elevate the causes helping to eliminate injustices, inequalities and racism. As the Prophet (S) taught us, It’s our responsibility. It’s part of our faith.
Lets beat racism, inequality and injustice together by starting at home. Insha Allah.