Islam, America’s Answer to the Race Problem

April 5, 2012 by  


By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, TMO

“I have made you different”
“Your colors are a sign”.

There is none more aware of the differences of human beings than the One who created them.  It is through the generosity and graciousness of ALLAH that He made us different nations, tribes and colors.  Just think for a moment how dull the world would be if everyone were pink and thought exactly alike.  We could not learn from each other – and thus, we could not grow.  But ALLAH, with His infinite wisdom, has made us different- so we may know each other.

In the early 1960’s, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) returned from his pilgrimage to Mecca and made the profound statement that “America needs to look at Islam as the answer to its race problem.”  Here was a man whose mind had been previously clouded by erroneous assertions of Black superiority and Caucasian devilishness.  While on hajj he wrote to his wife that he had sat down and eaten with blonde-haired, blue-eyed people and there was no racism there – only brotherhood.

Recently, in Southeast Michigan where I live, there have been a rash of ugly racial incidents and feelings put out.  A person was shot and killed at a gas station recently and immediately the tone of racism filled the air. 

Emphasizing the racial disparities made reaching a peaceful solution virtually impossible.  Everybody involved was in such a hurry to throw blame on the other party and absolve themselves of any wrongdoing. Deep down in their soul everyone there felt uneasy.

I believe the less we speak about or acknowledge racial differences, the better off we will be. ALLAH, The Almighty, emphasizes the unity of mankind to make it easy for human beings to co-exist.

Southeast Michigan has the reputation of being one of the most racially segregated areas in the country.  Cities separated by a few miles are 90% African-American and 98% Caucasian respectively. 

This can be looked at negatively as a sign of hatred, which in some cases it might very well be.  But what is more important than where people live is what is in their hearts.

In my nearly 30 years as a Muslim, I am a witness that Muslims, for the most part, look upon other Muslims as brothers and sisters, regardless of their culture, ethnic background, or school of thought.  A Muslim from China can meet a Muslim from the Netherlands while they are vacationing in Brazil, and there is an instant kinship and recognition – and most times a universal greeting of As Salaam alaikum.  I have seen this in no other group of people whether it be religious or fraternal.  Even Muslims who don’t necessarily like each other still share this kinship.  And it is not fake.  You know in your soul and heart if someone really likes you or not.

This is a blessing from ALLAH to those who are adherents to the highest form of existence for a human being…Islam.

Our charge now is to exercise this brotherhood by more visible interaction of the various Islamic communities.  Even if we live, work and play in different areas, we must make a conscious effort to be seen interacting and cooperating with each other.  This is not only good for us, but it will also be a sign and a help to those who are not Muslim.  It will raise the esteem of Muslims in the general society as having something very positive and beneficial to the entire world.

The Muslims must exercise their Islam more to be an example to the world.  We need Islam- America needs Islam- the world needs Islam. Peace.

As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin

14-15

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