Written by Theresa Corbin
Originally published on Al Jumuah.
You will never be like them, no matter how hard you try. So a relative told me soon after I converted to Islam, thinking my conversion was an attempt to become an Arab.
You know you won’t go to heaven. So a heritage Muslim wrote in an email to me, saying that because I am white that Jannah is not open to me.
Go back to your country. So a passerby shouts as I cross a street which generations of my family have crossed before me. Memes splashed across the internet extol the “hilarious differences” between Muslims and white people.
You are a trader [i.e., traitor] to your race – Anonymous. So the Twitter troll tweets at me. (“Anonymous” reads “coward,” by the way.)
The message is clear. I can’t be Muslim because I am White.
It’s strange, though, how I have been reading Quran, praying, fasting Ramadan, saving for Hajj, and saying the shahadah daily since 2001. But I am precluded from Muslim-ness because I have French and English ancestors. It’s strange indeed.
But in truth, racializing Islam is a gross forgery. The Prophet said in his final speech, a sermon in which he emphasized something which he knew his nation, a nation based on faith, would lose sight of:
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 white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.(Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
Islam is a brotherhood based on shared faith. It is a nation and an identity which teaches that we are all from the same source, that we are one race of people, from One God.
Continue reading here to find out why some, Muslims and non-Muslims, racialize Islam. It might surprise you where they get this attitude.
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