Rising Racism is just a Click away from Causing Chaos
Racism is an unfortunate reality that is sadly synonymous with South African history. The heartbreaking stories of the struggle for liberation and freedom are both tear-jerking as well as fulfilling when we realize the initial difficulty and eventual success of that struggle. As Muslim citizens born and bred in this beautiful land, we are all familiar with the Apartheid struggle as many of our forebears were part of that struggle in which all others were dehumanized as being below the bar of humanity. Likewise, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) underwent immense oppression at the hands of the political hierarchy at the time, and the Muslims too were considered as ‘outcasts’. In time, and with great wisdom, the Prophet (peace be upon him) obliterated all notions of nationalism, racism, class, and caste from society by preaching the philosophy of unity through equality and righteous deeds. This is embossed by his noble words stating,
“Verily there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab or of a non-Arab over an Arab, or of a red man over a black man, or of a black man over a red man, except in terms of taqwā (piety)”
Currently, the news media is flooded with the ongoing debacle in which an advert by a famous chain store was perceived as being inherently racist in its message. As a corollary of that advert, South Africans are divided on their opinions and have taken to social media to air their views. Muslims are urged to not fall prey to the emotional rhetoric behind the politics of the said controversy and to constantly be reminded that war without wisdom is merely another massacre in waiting. Muslims are to remain steadfast on their stance against racism in all forms, but at the same juncture, to act with the decorum of the dictums of the Islāmic doctrines which preach and promote that the innocent should not have to suffer as a result of the actions of the guilty.
Thus, in addition to the immense trials arising from the Covid19 pandemic, we should not descend into disorder but ascend beyond the man-made labels which disproportionately divide our humanity. Muslims are advised to channel their actions in accordance with the Qur’ān and the prophetic example through introspection instead of accusation and assumption based on narratives of an emotive nature.