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Combating Racism

Racism, hate speech and discrimination are of the worst societal ills. While racism is condemned worldwide, its existence in South Africa is more appalling given our history of apartheid and our liberation there from. It is regrettable that we find basic humanity lacking in many humans and as a responsible society, we must use all means at our disposal to educate and reform such people.

The problem of racism is not something new. It was widespread in the early days of Islam, some 14 centuries back. Islam addressed this problem by holding man to a higher standard, a Divine Standard.

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam in his sermon at the conquest of Makkah, stated, “O Mankind! Indeed Allah has done away with the haughtiness of the Days of Ignorance and its vain boasting of one’s ancestry. Mankind is of two types: The moral, upright one, honourable in the sight of Allah and the immoral, sinful one, worthless in the sight of Allah. All mankind are the children of Adam and Allah created Adam from sand. Allah, the Almighty, states, ‘O Mankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes so that you may come to know each other. The noblest among you in sight of Allah is the most righteous. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.’” (Tirmizi)

The fight against racism begins with conquering the hatred and racism within ourselves. A better society is made when its people become better. Islam had produced the formula for combating racism 1400 years ago. It thus befits Muslims to be the leading example for the rest of the world.

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