Two years ago a white supremacist in 2019 massacred 51 Muslims in (Masjid) in Christchurch, New Zealand in an attack that shocked the world & put the spotlight on the rise of racist attacks occurring worldwide.
White nationalist is a group of whites (Ethnicity) who espouse white supremacy & advocate enforced racial segregation. White nationalism is a pan-nationalism used by white supremacists as a euphemism for white supremacy. The pursuit of white nationalism is of a “White-only-state, supremacism is a belief that white people are superior to non whites & should dominate them, lending basic ideas from Social Darwinism & Nazism.
Social Darwinism is the concept which emerged in Western Europe, claiming to apply biological concepts of natural selection and Survival of the Fittest (used by sociologist Harbert Spencer influenced by Darwin in 1800s) to sociology and politics.
Sociologists have used white nationalism as an umbrella term for a range of white supremacist groups & ideologies.
In recent months there have been a no of attacks fuelled by white nationalism in places like Germany, France and the U.S. The world is filled up by the echoes of same kind of anti-immigration, Islamophobic, anti Semitic kinds of ideas or conspiracy theories. And these people are mainly mainstream politicians who feel legitimised to do so.
Many white nationalists believe that miscegenation, multiculturalism, immigration of non whites & low birth rates among whites are threatening the white race. (White genocide) there are many racist organisations who support white nationalism by justifying themselves as reflected by Calwell’s comments in his 1972 memoirs, Be Just and Fear Not, in which he made it clear that he maintained his view that non-European people should not be allowed to settle in Australia.
I am proud of my white skin, just as a Chinese is proud of his yellow skin, a Japanese of his brown skin, and the Indians of their various hues from black to coffee-coloured. Anybody who is not proud of his race is not a man at all. And any man who tries to stigmatize the Australian community as racist because they want to preserve this country for the white race is doing our nation great harm… I reject, in conscience, the idea that Australia should or ever can become a multi-racial society and survive.
Taking Islam’s anti-racist message from the 7th century which still resonates today.
The Prophet Muhammad ( Peace and blessings be upon Him) told his followers that all people are created equal. “All humans are descended from Adam and Eve,” said Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon Him) in his last known public speech. “There is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab, or of a non-Arab over an Arab, and no superiority of a white person over a black person or of a black person over a white person, except on the basis of personal piety and righteousness.” In this sermon, known as the Farewell Address, Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon Him) outlined the basic religious and ethical ideals of Islam. Racial equality was one of them. His words jolted a society divided by notions of tribal and ethnic superiority.
Chapter 49, verse 13 of Islam’s sacred scripture, the Quran, declares: “O humankind! We have made you…into nations and tribes, so that you may get to know one another. The noblest of you in God’s sight is the one who is most righteous.” This verse challenged many of the values of pre-Islamic Arab society, where inequalities based on tribal membership, kinship and wealth were a fact of life. Kinship or lineal descent – “nasab” in Arabic – was the primary determinant of an individual’s social status. Members of larger, more prominent tribes like the aristocratic Quraysh were powerful. Those from less wealthy tribes like the Khazraj had lower standing.
The Quran said personal piety and deeds were the basis for merit, not tribal affiliation – an alien and potentially destabilizing message in a society built on nasab. As is often the case with revolutionary movements, early Islam encountered fierce opposition from many elites.
The Quraysh, for example, who controlled trade in Mecca – a business from which they profited greatly – had no intention of giving up the comfortable lifestyles they’d built on the backs of others, especially their slaves brought over from Africa. The Prophet’s message of egalitarianism tended to attract the “undesirables” –people from the margins of society. Early Muslims included young men from less influential tribes escaping that stigma and slaves who were promised emancipation by embracing Islam.
Women, declared to be the equal of men by the Quran, also found Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon Him) message appealing. However, the potential of gender equality in Islam would become compromised by the rise of patriarchal societies.
Enslaved Ethiopian named Bilal.
An enslaved servant of a Meccan aristocrat named Umayya, Bilal was persecuted by his owner for embracing the new faith. Umayya would place a rock on Bilal’s chest, trying to choke the air
out of his body so that he would abandon Islam. Moved by Bilal’s suffering, Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) friend and confidant Abu Bakr (RH) who would go on to rule the Muslim community after the Prophet’s death, set him free.
Bilal was exceptionally close to the Prophet, too. In 622, the Prophet appointed him the first person to give the public call to prayer in recognition of his powerful, pleasing voice and personal piety. Bilal would later marry an Arab woman from a respectable tribe – unthinkable for an enslaved African in the pre-Islamic period.
Black lives Matter’s
For many modern Muslims, Bilal is the symbol of Islam’s egalitarian message, which in its ideal application recognizes no difference among humans on the basis of ethnicity or race but rather is more concerned with personal integrity. One of the United States’ leading Black Muslim newspaper, published between 1975 and 1981, was called The Bilalian News.
More recently Yasir Qadhi, dean of the Islamic Seminary of America, in Texas, invoked Islam’s egalitarian roots. In a June 5 public address, he said American Muslims, a population familiar with discrimination, “must fight racism, whether it is by education or by other means.” The fight against racism must be a global endeavour to celebrate the egalitarian approach of Islam in our lives. Remember racism is a pandemic too.