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Connecting Prophet Muhammad's Engagement With Tribalism To Systemic Racism Today

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Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on February 3, 2019 at 5:34pm

For Prophet Muhammad, and for many change makers both before and after him, the starting point in dismantling this oppressive system that marginalized so many was recognizing that the intrinsic value in any individual is who they are spiritually.

I am humbled to say I was invited last week to deliver the Friday sermon at Columbia University at Low Plaza, the school’s main campus grounds. I took this as an opportunity to go deeper into my own faith tradition to study how a social hierarchy manifested itself in the past through the system of tribalism and examine some of the steps Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) took as an individual to dismantle this system by diminishing this notion of the “other.” I then drew parallels between that system of hierarchy and the structural racism of America by briefly exploring the deeply rooted history of housing discrimination that has particularly subjugated and isolated our African American communities, as detailed by Richard Rothstein in his book The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. Given how housing discrimination is integral in perpetuating the larger system of racism, my final point is a reflection on how we as individuals, even with good intentions, can inadvertently become the agents that help expand this system and the oppression tied to it when we do “other” those who are different than us and fail to see the larger history at play. I have witnessed this first hand at a town hall our office convened in the affluent Central Park South area, where parts of the community voiced sentiments with strong racial undertones in response to a homeless shelter that is scheduled to open in their neighborhood.

Full article:  https://themuslimvibe.com/social-issues/community/connecting-prophe...

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