We’re living in a time of unrest, turmoil and uncertainty.
No amount of ignorance can shield one from the discrimination, hate and helplessness faced by our fellow human beings.
Why this discrimination?
It is for no reason other than the colour of one’s skin.
And although the pressing issue today is most definitely discrimination against black individuals (and so it should be), we know that this issue of differential treatment based on a singular factor also affects those of other races and those of different religions.
Even more disappointing may be the fact that as a society we believed that we had moved past this history of discrimination.
So I ask you this, what makes any of it okay, where does one find the justification for this inequality? The answer, nowhere.
Islam eloquently explains that God has created us from a single soul (Chapter 4:Verse 2), with God further instructing His people to “let not one people deride another people, who may be better than they… and defame not your own people…” (Chapter 49:Verse 12)
As Muslims, we are taught to have Love for All and Hatred for None and to remember that no one individual can be superior to another, except by piety and good action. But in reality, recitation and memorisation of these words is nothing. If we do not take the time to understand and properly action these words, we are no better than those who claim ignorance.
This inequality is injustice, and this injustice is in contradiction to one of the most important principles of Islam.
Reader, let me ask you to ponder this.
If your own rights were being infringed, such that you feared for your life when carrying out daily simple tasks like running or driving simply for the reason that you looked different, would you stay silent?
Or say even if it was a close family or friend in that situation, would you stand idly by and allow the injustice to continue?
I think it’s safe to say that most would not, and if we are not willing to accept this behaviour ourselves, then we should not tolerate injustices against others.
Again, we need only look to the Holy Quran to understand the importance of absolute justice. “O ye who believe! be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them both than you are. Therefore, follow not low desires so that you may be able to act equitably. And if you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that Allah is well aware of what you do” (Chapter 4: Verse 136)
It’s as simple as that.
Act equitably, observe justice, and don’t conceal the truth.
We cannot argue that we are not aware of the extent of these injustices. With the age of social media, nothing is private anymore. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, you decide, but when it comes to matters of inequality and injustice, this lack of privacy leads to exposure, exposure leads to open communication, and the aim of open communication should always be education.
Above all else, we need to advocate for unity and for peace.
We cannot have true peace when some members of our community are suffering whilst others prosper. We cannot have true unity when we choose silence and inaction when members of our community are in pain.
The choices we make undoubtedly have effects on the greater community.
Now, how we respond to inequality, injustice, and discrimination is completely and 100% our choice.