In the world we live in today, many predominant disorders and inherent dangers to world peace spring from the concept of national or racial superiority. This is what is termed ‘racialism’ or ‘racism’.
Racism, though loudly condemned by every nation of the world, still exists and is a widespread phenomenon.
Fifty-two years ago, in December 1965, a treaty was adopted by the United Nations called The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racism and Discrimination as a powerful weapon in the fight against racism.
It is extremely hurtful and worrying that, after 52 years, our very modernised and civilised world has not as yet been released from the clutches of this demon. It is an extremely poisonous weed which cannot easily be rooted out.
All people of truth who see and recognise it know very well the roots of this deadly weed are found everywhere. Despite great speeches and loud condemnations of racism, it continues to raise its head.
This weed is so poisonous and hardy that it insidiously creeps into and flourishes in every soil, be it religious, social, political or philosophical.
Every religion, society and nation promotes tolerance between people. How truly Jesus Christ said: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).
Martin Luther King Jr. expressed his dream of racial harmony by saying: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”
According to the Holy Quran, every form of racism must be stamped out from the world. Without this, peace can never be established. Although colours and races differ, it is only to make recognition easy, otherwise all humans are linked to the same progeny of Adam and Eve.
In no way does it create any distinctions. The Holy Quran states: “O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you tribes and sub-tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable amongst you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous among you” (49:14).
Contemporary times require the need to build on racial harmony for a greater cause, which everyone loves and cherishes, and that is peace
The message of this verse is clear: that there are no social classes or racial supremacy, but all people are equal.
The worth of a man is not judged by the colour of skin, wealth, rank or social status, his descent or pedigree, but by his moral goodness and the way he fulfils his duty to God and mankind. The purpose of diversity in colour is to make the world attractive, competitive and a source of knowledge and guidance from each other.
To help humankind abstain from every form of racism the following verse of the Quran declares: “O ye who believe! Let not one people deride another people, who may be better than they, nor let women deride other women, who may be better than they. And do not slander your own people, nor taunt each other with nicknames.” (49:12)
The Holy Prophet Muhammad proclaimed a great charter of racial equality and harmony in his last sermon during his last pilgrimage: “O humankind your Lord is One and your father was also one, so listen carefully that Arabs have no superiority over non-Arabs nor have the non-Arabs any superiority over the Arabs. Similarly, the white and red races have no superiority over black races, and black races have no superiority over the white. Yes, only he is superior who transcends in his personal good deeds.”
Writing in a message at the occasion of the 51st World Day of Peace, Pope Francis said: “Those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia, which are matters of great worry for all those concerned about the safety of every human being.”
This message of acceptance was further highlighted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community founder, who writes: “If at all you desire that God in heaven be pleased with you, hasten to become one among yourselves, as though you were brothers born of the same mother.”
The contemporary times require the need to build on racial harmony for a greater cause, which everyone loves and cherishes, and that is peace. Let’s unite together to fight back racism strongly, effectively and on long-term basis.
Let’s become one human family.
Let’s make the world realise that it is the character and disposition which matters, and not the colour or race of a human being.
Laiq Ahmed Atif is president Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta.
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