Does Skin Color Still Matter Today???

26 06 2007

I came across this news story today. I saw it on CNN. However, the only article that I can find now is below:

It basically tells of an instance in a small white majority Louisiana town. In a nut shell, some white students hung three nooses on a tree(which is a felony that carries prision time) in which it was known that the African American students congregated around . They were sentenced by the principal to three days of in school suspension. Fast forward, a fight broke out in the school. It is alleged that six African American students attacked a white student while he was coming out of a locker room. He had allegedly been a friend of the boys who hung the nooses on the tree. The boy ended up in the hospital with non life threatening injuries. Now those five African American students are charged with attempted murder and could face up to 100 years in prision, one of the six got his charges reduced. This appears to come in a long line of similar incidences in this county and throughout the southern United States. Which you can read in the article.

As Muslims, we are taught that Islam abolished racism. People were no longer defined by what they had or where they came from but by the taqwa (fear of Allah, piety) in their hearts.

The Prophet(saw) said: “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white-except by piety and good action.(Saheeh Bukhari, Vol.7, Ch.3)

O mankind! We (God Almighty) created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (English interpretaion of the Qur’an 49:13)

Hajj is an excellent example of this. People from every corner of the earth and every station in life travel to Mecca, wearing the same clothes, going through all the same actions. The prayer is another example. We all pray shoulder to shoulder no matter our wealth, color, or background.

So, anyway, this brings me to the Questions of the Day…….

Do you think this instance is race related?

Do you think that the color of a person’s skin still makes a difference in his or her treatment today?

Do you think racism is still prominent in the Muslim community even though Islam speaks against it so clearly?

Do you think it is possible to eliminate racism and if so, do you have any ideas on how it can be done?




14 responses

26 06 2007

I think the sentencing is race related (my opinion). I don’t know too much about the south but I do know that in some instances black americans get more time in prison than some white americans, it’s unfortunate but I think it’s true.

2. I do think that the color of the person’s skin does make a difference on how they are treated. They may get better job offers, get paid more, or for instance let’s say you’re in a department store or that mom and pop store. A black person will be followed or followed by the sales person in suspicion of theft, while a lighter skinned person or white individual would be welcomed and helped and not followed because they think they will steal.

3. I totally think that racism is prevalent in the muslim community. I have encountered this all too many times because I’m an American convert. Some people have put me down because I don’t know Arabic, or because I’m not Arab, and have given me the cold shoulder because I’m not like them racially. Even in the mosque this is far too common at times. People come all around me thinking I’m of Arabic descent because of my olive toned skin or features, when I tell them I’m not arab or don’t speak arabic I can see the look on their faces like oh no she’s not like me and don’t get a response when i give salaams etc. Don’t get me wrong I think there are good people in the community but I do think converts to Islam are looked down upon when it comes to marriage and Islamic knowledge which like you mentioned in your post has no basis in Islam. I hope I answered the questions thoroughly.

Oh yea and how could this be changed LOL almost missed that one…. hmm… I think more knowledge of the deen and inshallah understanding of it. Some people have become so prideful of where they come from, and have forgotten that being a Muslim is more important. Also by our actions, I think as converts we have a great responsibility of showing people the beauty of Islam by doing things Islamically and demonstrating to them that no one is better than anyone else when it comes to color of skin or nationality. We are one ummah and I think this is evident when the Islamic community is confronted with calamities as a whole.

26 06 2007

LOL…. I think I made my own post *blushing* sorry about that sis. Hugs 😉

26 06 2007
Umm Yusuf

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

nah! you didn’t. Mash’Allah, thank you sis for answering the questions ……..and you even answered them all! kudos!

🙂 hugs

26 06 2007

sigh… subhaanAllah, I hate to sound like the pessimist but unfortunately I believe that racism is still indeed majorly intact and actively thriving due to people’s ignorance and hatred. I say that because I am African American and I have experienced racism before I became Muslim and now that I am Muslim. Now not so much due to the Niqab, alhamdulliah. But I remember a few years back during Ramadan my family and I were coming out of the masjid after Tarawih prayers and one of the young Muslim brothers looks at me and says “what’s up nigga?” uugghh, I was totally disgusted. My husband was not with me, it was just me and my sil’s so I just kept my head up and kept it moving. That brother will have to answer to Allah subhaanahu wa ta’Ala on yawm al Qiyaama.

Anyhow, it is not only African-Americans who are often the victims of racism. White’s experience it, Latino’s, Asian’s, just about every racial group. Racism I believe is a disease that some people have in their hearts and for whatever reason they tend to hate others who do not belong to their racial group.

As far as remedies or rectifying the situation, it’s hard to give an answer to that because that would mean going out and finding every racist person and like totally de-program them. We find it even in Islam, which is a sad thing.

26 06 2007

I think that the incident in Lousiana was undoubtedly motivated by a deep-seeded racism.

I’m certain that the color of a person’s skim makes a difference – not only in the treatment a person receives, but also in the opportunities afforded to a person. This stubborn fact of life is affected, of course, by time and place. I live in the Southern US, and I’m here to tell you that race is still a huge issue here and now, although few care to admit it much less own up to the consequences or consider how to fix the problem.

I’m ignorant as to to goings-on of racism in the Muslim community, but carimuslima’s response suggests that racism, or something akin to it, does exist in the Muslim community.

I’m curious: is the last question referring eliminating racism in the Muslim community only, or the world at large? As an outsider to the Muslim community, I can only speculate about the situation in the world at large, and I’d venture to say that racism is a pernicious fluke of human culture if even religious doctrine – the purported equality of Islam and Christianity – cannot offer a feasible solution.

27 06 2007
Umm Yusuf

The last question is for the world at large….

Do you think it is possible to eliminate racism and if so, do you have any ideas on how it can be done?

That’s how it should have read. I apologize for making that ambiguous.

27 06 2007

I’m not convinced that it is possible to eliminate racism entirely. Education and hands-on experience with racial diversity in day-to-day situations from an early age would probably go a long way, but I don’t know how feasible that could be.

27 06 2007

I feel I should clarify —
I’m not convinced that it is possible to eliminate racism entirely from the world at large. Within individuals, families, and communities, racism can be eliminated or at least negated. It is in the world at large that it becomes much more complicated business eliminating racism.

27 06 2007

Salam everyone,

its not only a matter of skin colour….sometimes looks too play an important factor, ppl have a tendency to treat ppl who looks beautiful or handsome better than those who are not…. 😦

27 06 2007

maybe some of the optimists will post later but i have to respond with :
(1) yes
(2) yes
(3) no doubt
(4) not in our lifetime; islam has helped me more than anything else.

27 06 2007

racism sucks big time. i lo-ove to meet people from different countries and backgrounds, and can’t understand anyone that feels differently. wouldn’t the world just be the most boring place if we were all the same?
as for racism in the Muslim community- that just makes me so–o angry. don’t even get me started.
practical solutions- it’s difficult- but i just think we should lead by example, and not accept racism when we see it.

27 06 2007

Do I think colour racism exist in muslim community? YES!

I know a lot of middle-eastern people, and ofcourse not all of them are like that, but quite a few are. I am asian in origin and I have an Iranian friend. She had a male friend from Nigeria who had a crush on her. She respected the person a lot, but could not accept him for his colour. One day she even told me, ‘ I cannot marry him because of his colour, why dont you?’
Now I am using that as an example, but there are so many incidenses where I have seen arabs and asian muslims being so racist about people who are a shade darker than them. Its really pathetic.

And finally does racism still exist in the west? I will give you an even bigger YES with that. I was unaware of it till my late teens. Its only when I left home for university that I started to see this. Before then, I guess any incidences I just thought something wrong with the person.


27 06 2007

And I also agree with tangle, I dont think racism or favourism can be eliminated. Even if we were all the same colour, same ethnicity etc, people will always find some reason or other to differentiate groups of people.

But through ‘mulit-culturism’ and education and ‘mixing’ I beleive it is possilbe to change it into a godd thing, where we understand the differences in each other but we actually respect them for it.

27 06 2007
Umm Yusuf

You know, I think you are right Adik. Even if we were all the same race and religion we would find something to bicker about.

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