Racism in the Black Muslim community— it’s real and it’s a problem
by Furdos Nurhussen
Among your circle of friends (if they are mostly Black Muslims), across the board, everyone would agree that racism in the greater Muslim community as well as society at large exists. We all have a similar story of “that one time this lady at the masjid wouldn’t return my salaam” or perhaps you know someone who was rejected for marriage based solely on the fact that he/she was Black. It’s quite obviously a problem and a pervasive one. But how many of us would like to admit that racism among black/African people is a problem, too?
I don’t want to dismiss the issue of racism in the greater Muslim community by distracting from it, rather I want to bring attention to a problem that’s just as serious- if not more so- because it hurts us from the inside.
Colorism is a symptom of an even larger issue, that is, white supremacy. Colorism is prejudice based on the belief that lighter skinned black people are superior to darker skinned black people. How often have we heard people in our circles say derogatory things about another Black ethnic group? Like Africans looking down on African-Americans, or East Africans dissin’ West Africans, or North-Africans pretending like they aren’t a part of the rest of Africa. Remember when #TeamLightSkin was a thing?
(As if light skin is some badge of honor)
We complain about the discrimination we face while sometimes being guilty of the same crime.
This is the result of years and years of conditioning so I know it won't go away in a day. But we have to change the way we view each other as we seek equality in the greater community.
It’s easy to be enraged when we face or hear about discrimination (and we should be), but we need to first examine our selves, the things we say, and the harmful ideas that we subconsciously abide by.