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Finding Love in Ramadan, Part 2

Through Ramadan and the company of the righteous, the believer will grow near after being distant and be able to see with his heart after it was blind.

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Click to read: Finding Love in Ramadan, Part 1

Five steps to Finding Love in Ramadan

These five steps are all statements made by the messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Equally, they are typified in conduct by all those who were sent by Allah to lead humanity from darkness into light.

Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) life story, in particular, is highlighted by Imam Ibnul Jawzi in Bustan al-Wa’idhin wa Riyad as-Sami’in, as typifying the spirit of the month of Ramadan. Just like Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was the most beloved of the twelve sons to Ya’qub 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), Ramadan is likewise the most beloved month to Allah from the twelve months.

  1. The best of people is he who is best to his family

Begin the month of Ramadan with a determined covenant of love for your spouse. Remember the du‘ā’ that was made for you on the day of your union. We congratulate a newly-wedded couple with this supplication:

May Allah place barakah (in your spouse) and give you barakah and may He unite both of you in goodness.”

The marital union is a blessed one that is governed by our obedience to Allah. Your union as husband and wife fulfills half of your religion. What blessing can be found in fasting from food and drink when your heart is turned away from the one who sits across from you at the time of breaking your fast?

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) teaches,

A believing man should not hate a believing woman (wife).  If he dislikes something in her character, he should be pleased with some other trait of hers.”

  1. Show compassion to others and Allah will provide you with His mercy

Begin with those nearest to you in relation. Exert yourself to righteousness towards your in-laws, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles. Your neighbors have a right over you – be they Muslim or not.

Remember, that a believer loves for others what they love for themselves. The food of one is enough for two and that of three is enough for many.

Remember, that the one who feeds others receives the reward of their fasting, while those fasting lose nothing of their own reward.

Remember, that faithfulness is not complete unless you honor the elders and show compassion to the young and weakest in society.

Remember, always that Allah is gentle and loves gentleness.

Remember, that we will not enter paradise until we have faith; and we will not complete our faith, until we love one another.

Remember, that excellence is to gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the oppressed.

Remember, that kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever has not kindness has not faith.

Remember, that Allah is not merciful to him who is not so to mankind.

Remember, to deal gently with humanity, and be not harsh; cheer them and condemn them not.

Yusuf [alyahis] had the mercy and compassion to say to those who kidnapped him and placed him in harm’s way,

There is no reproach in blame for you (my brothers) today (for what you did to me in the past)…” [12:92]

Ramadan, which exceeds that of all the other months, is likewise the month of mercy, blessing, goodness, salvation from the Fire, and forgiveness.

  1. Remain in the service of others and Allah will be in your service

The best of believers is the one who is in the service of others. The one who meets the needs of others, Allah will meet their need and the one who shelters others, Allah will shelter them. Seek to serve the visitors to the masjid, volunteer to help in the car park, organize ifṭār functions, and provide water for those praying tarāwīḥ. Search for ways to benefit your community and neighbors.

Serve others with your du‘ā’ for them and remember their previous good when you see recent error. Humble yourself to those who are not normally a part of your circle of association. Strip back the racial, ethnic and linguistic barriers the bar you from righteous association.

Yusuf’s brothers came to rely on him when they were in need of sustenance and, eventually, to purify their mistakes. He 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) met them with compassion, service, and assistance. Even before they recognized him and his position of status he fed them, honored them, and instructed his servants:

Carry their belongings with you so that they don’t lose them.”

One person fulfilled the needs of eleven others, and the month of Ramadan is likewise one month that expunges the mistakes that span the other eleven months.

  1. Reconnect with the one who cut you off

Take the first step, regardless of how much time has passed since you have seen a family member or whatever transgression has made you keep your distance, use this blessed and opportune time to reach out to those who have been estranged from you.

It’s as easy as picking up the phone and inviting him or her to your home for iftar.

The worst that can happen is that they turn you down or hang up the phone. The action is not for their sake but for Allah the Almighty.  Fulfill your obligation of maintaining family ties and re-establishing past friendships.

There is no need to rehash the past once your estranged family member is in your presence. Forgiveness is the key to re-establishing your bond.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

Forgive him who wrongs you; reconnect the one who cuts you off; do good to him who does evil to you; and speak the truth even if it be against yourself.”

A perfect example can be found in Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. Word came to him that his very own cousin, to whom he had been giving much financial support, had publicly slandered his beloved daughter Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, immediately stopped giving him charity. Allah Almighty then revealed the celebrated verse (which means):

And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [24:22]

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

Whoever would like his rizq (provision) to be increased and his life to be extended, should uphold the ties of kinship.’ (Bukhari and Muslim) 

Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) reconnected his brothers and invited his family to migrate to him, although they had committed the greatest of atrocities to him.

  1. Seek the company of the righteous

The believer to the believer is like a solid building, one part supporting the other.

Content yourself with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His approval, and do not let your eyes turn away from them out of desire for the attractions of this worldly life, and do not yield to those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our remembrance, those who follow their own low desires, those whose ways are unbridled.” (18:28)

Ya‘qūb 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), upon the loss of his pious son Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and the knowledge that his sons were responsible, wept in complaint to Allah until his eyesight was lost. It was not until the scent of his pious son Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) arrived to him that his sight would return. He became strong after weakness, and began seeing after he was blind.

Likewise, if the sinner takes advantage of the season of Ramadan, sits with those who remind him of Allah, recites the Qur’an, befriends on the condition of faithfulness and uprightness, and avoids backbiting and vain talk in sinful company, he will become whole and strong after the infirmness of sin. Through Ramadan and the company of the righteous, he will grow near after being distant and be able to see with his heart after it was blind.

Ya Allah reform our hearts and increase our love for one another.

Ya Allah make light our burden, rejuvenate our energy, quell our fear, silence our gossipers, purge our hearts of hate and forgive us our trespasses.

Ya Allah suffice us when others turn away, grace us when hope wains, shelter us from envious eyes, contemptuous tongues, and sinful passion.

Ya Allah use us in the service of others, let the righteous love us and the sinful repent upon our hands, let the young learn, the elders advise, and grant us love of the ākhirah.

Ya Allah only you honor and with your allowance are some humbled, elevate us with the Qur’an & bless us with the sunnah of the best of man ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

Ya Allah accept our fasting, standing in prayer by night, and bless us with a sincere repentance.

Ameen.

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Ustadh Yahya Ibrahim is Canadian by birth & education, Egyptian through a rich ancestry, Turkish via the blessing of marriage to Songul and Australian by Choice of residence and migration.Since his early teens, in the 90's, Ustadh Yahya has been talking about Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims. He was blessed with numerous opportunities to meet, translate, study and teach alongside some of the Islamic worlds top scholars.Ustadh Yahya is blessed now to be living in Perth, Western Australia with his wife and three wonderful children – Shireen, Omar and Adam. He is a regular lecturer to Muslim and non-Muslim audiences their and around the world. Recently, Ustadh Yahya was awarded by the West Australian State Government the "Individual Excellence in Community Service Award."Ustadh Yahya is a passionate educator with a decades experience in school leadership as an Asst. Principal & registered Teacher.He, also, serves the Muslim community at Curtin University and the University of Western Australia as the Islamic Chaplain and teaches Islamic Ethics & Theology,internationally, with al-Kauthar Institute www.alkauthar.org .

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fritz

    July 27, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    MashaAllah, beautifully written!

  2. Pingback: FINDING LOVE IN RAMADAN, PART 2 | PASS THE KNOWLEDGE (LIGHT & LIFE)

  3. Avatar

    Maryam

    August 7, 2014 at 3:39 AM

    I loved both parts of these articles. Excellently written and practicalmashAllah. Jazakum Allahu khayr!

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Civil Rights

Podcast: Lessons from the Life of Malcolm X | Abdul-Malik Ryan

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One of the things that happens with historical figures who continue to remain well-known and influential years after they can continue to speak for themselves is that others seek to speak for them.  Attempts are made to co-opt their legacy, either in sincere efforts for good or in selfish efforts for ideological or even commercial gain.  This is especially true of Malcolm X, who is not only a historical and political icon but in many ways a “celebrity” remembered by many primarily for his style and attitude.

The only real and meaningful tribute we can pay to Malcolm X is to follow his example. Click To Tweet

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Podcast: We Are All Slaves of Allah | Hakeemah Cummings

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Once, while in class at college, an Arab girl I was sitting next to said quite loudly to another, “Hey, give this paper to the ‘abdah” referring to a black girl in the class. I wondered if she was even aware of what she was saying in English. Did she think that ‘abdah translates to “black girl” and never thought of its true meaning? Did she think that I didn’t understand?

 

Read by Zeba Khan, originally posted here on Muslimmatters.org.

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#Current Affairs

When Racism Goes Viral: The Coronavirus And Modern Muslim Orientalism

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Lumping an entire people together for collective punishment, reveling in their suffering, and sniggering at their food choices isn’t an exercise in science, Sunnah, or compassion. It’s good, old-fashioned orientalism.

In the eight weeks since it was identified, the 2019 novel coronavirus has infected nearly 12,000 people in China alone, 200 of whom did not survive. Symptoms are flu-like in nature, and global side effects include acute, apparently contagious… racism.

Online, in Muslim as well as non-Muslim spaces, social media feeds are sniggering “Eww, you eat gross things! Of course you’ll get gross diseases!” In the midst of this human tragedy, orientalist tropes about the Chinese are being sloppily repackaged as health concerns over the coronavirus, and served with a side of bat soup.

Yes, bat soup.

The coronavirus in question is found in bats, and thanks to the scientific expertise of social media, videos of Chinese people consuming anything from bat soup to baby mice and rats are popping up as “proof” of the disease’s cause.

However the coronavirus made the jump from bats to humans, the initial source of the outbreak seems to have originated from the Wuhan Seafood market, where a number of employees and a few shoppers were the first casualties to the infection. The 2019-nCoV is moving from person to person the same way the flu does, and what a person eats – or doesn’t eat – has no bearing on whether they contract the virus or not.

In an article titled, No, Coronavirus Was Not Caused by ‘Bat Soup’–But Here’s What Researchers Think May Be to Blame, Health.com writes:

“Coronaviruses in general are large family of viruses that can affect many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In rare cases, those viruses are also zoonotic, which means they can pass between humans and animals—as was the case with Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory system (SARS), two severe coronaviruses in people.

Initially, this novel coronavirus was believed to have started in a large seafood or wet market, suggesting animal-to-person spread, according to the CDC. But a large number of people diagnosed with the virus reportedly didn’t have exposure to the wet markets, indicating that person-to-person spread of the virus is also occurring. However, it’s still possible that the novel coronavirus began with an infected animal at the market—and then went on to person-to-person transmission once people were infected.”

Being uncomfortable with things you’ve never considered edible before isn’t necessarily a racist reaction. When my husband told me he ate a chocolate-covered cricket once, I hid my toothbrush for a week, but that’s not what’s happening right now. There is a deadly virus threatening a group of people, and the internet sees fit to make fun of them. Why? Because orientalism.

Orientalism is the “intellectual” framework through which Western societies create a clear and permanent line between Western superiority and “Oriental” inferiority. If orientalism were an Instagram filter, it would take any picture of any person, event, or thing, and distort its appearance to be “other,” and in some way inferior.

Orientalism is the “intellectual” framework through which Western societies create a clear and permanent line between Western superiority and “Oriental” inferiority. If orientalism were an Instagram filter, it would take any picture of any person, event, or thing, and distort its appearance to be “other,” and in some way inferior.Click To Tweet

The inferiorizing feature is step one, because in order to position yourself as a winner, the other guy has to be a loser in some way.

The otherizing is the step 2, and both steps are important because if you say that your little brother is a loser, in the end you’re still family and you’ve got his back. This would be inferiorizing, but not otherizing.

But if you say that other kind of guy is a loser, then you have no common ground. And when the other kind of guy is in trouble, you need only gloat and make nasty comments on Twitter. That’s inferiorizing with otherizing. Orientalism can be loosely translated as US vs THEM, normal versus weird, and local versus invasive foreign, or exotic.

The otherizing of orientalism is so subconsciously embedded in people that it even creates auditory illusions to maintain the “otherization” of the subject being viewed. As crazy as that sounds, everyone has their own experience. Mine for just last month played out as follows. A homeless man approached my window and said “Ma’am, do you have two dollars?”

I smiled and responded to him, “I have exactly two dollars!”

As I dug around for my wallet, he cocked his head and said, “Your accent. There’s something different about it. Something… foreign, exotic?”

“It’s Chicago,” I said, handing him two dollars.

He blinked a few times. “What’s Chicago?”

“My accent. It’s Chicagoan. English is my first language. My accent is from Chicago.”

He narrowed his eyes at me suspiciously, this gatekeeper of Chicagoness. “What part of Chicago?”

“North side, Lincolnwood area,” I said. “I grew up on Devon Ave.”

“Pulaski Park!” he beamed, pointing to himself. “I’m from Chicago too!”

We smiled at each other, basking for a moment in our mutual Chicagoness. Then I waved and drove away, adding his insistence of my  exotic“otherness” to the dozens of other peoples’ who have heard my perfectly flat, perfectly blandly midwestern accent and perceived something foreign. I call that one “hearing with your eyes.”

I have lost track of people who have tried to insist that I have an accent. One woman even went so far as to imply that I was lying about being a native English speaker, that I must have some other first language, because there’s “Something else in there, I can hear something foreign! But you’re very articulate though.”

(To form your own opinion on my exotic accent or the lack thereof, visit the MuslimMatters podcast here!)

Compliments like “You’re so articulate!” or “You’re so different!” give you partial credit for your exceptionality, while still discrediting every other member of your general race, religion, region, or hemisphere. The left-handed compliment has a long history, and follows a predictable pattern. Take, for example, this excerpt from The Talisman, a crusade-genre fiction published in 1825.

In this scene, our gallant, invading knight finds himself unable to defeat the enemy “Saracen,” aka – Muslim defender of the Holy Land. In grudging admiration, the knight concedes:

“I well thought…that your blinded race had their descent from the foul fiend, without whose aid you would never have been able to maintain this blessed land of Palestine against so many valiant soldiers of God. I speak not thus of thee in particular, Saracen, but generally of thy people and religion. Strange it is to me, however, not that you should have the descent from the Evil One, but that you should boast of it.”

Translation: “Your people and your religion are the spawn of satan, but not you. I speak not thus of thee in particular. You’re so cool for Muslim!” Spoiler alert: turns out it’s Salahuddin.

From the crusades to colonialism to America’s chronic invasion of Muslim lands, the misrepresentation of people from Over There is both a cause and effect of policy decisions. Orientalism creates the “bad guys” necessary to justify the “good guy” response by “proving” the bad guys to be so weird, inferior, and intrinsically bad that it becomes necessary to call for the good guy cavalry. That gives the good guys permission to take over the resources that the bad guys are too incompetent to manage anyway, and overthrow the governments they’re too stupid to run, and free the women that they’re too barbaric to appreciate.

One excellent reference on this is Dr. Jack Shaheen’s brilliant documentary Reel Bad Arabs, which summarizes a hundred years of Hollywood’s orientalist portrayal of “Arab Land,” a mythical, exotic, treacherous, incompetent, and seductive place, whose capital city is apparently Agrabah which, in 2015, a public policy poll found that 30% of GOP voters were in favor of bombing.

Another side effect of orientalism is the refusal to allow for individual accountability and the insistence on collective blame. “Western” men who harm and oppress women are rightly labeled as jerks and abusers who don’t represent Western morals, ethics, or ideals through their individual actions. Same for white racists, extremists, and criminals in general.

However, Muslims jerks who do the same are awarded representative status of the entire Muslim population (1.9 billion) and Islamic tradition (1441 years). The perception as all Muslim men based on only the worst of them seems ludicrous on paper, and such generalizations are no longer acceptable to make about race, but are still perfectly popular to make about minority religious groups.

Orientalism enables the belief that Muslims are terrible terrorists who are terrible to their women. If they say otherwise, it’s because their religion is terrible and lying about it is part of the religion too. They don’t deserve their own lands or resources, they’ll just use them for more terribleness. We should go in there and save them from themselves! And also, make lots of predictable, idiotic romance novels and movies in which a poor, beautiful Oriental Female is rescued through the power of Love and Freedom. Because just as violence is the natural state of the Muslim man, oppression is the natural state of the Muslim woman. Miskeena. Habibti.

Human beings can be horrible to each other. No ethnic, religious, or racial group is any exception. The problem arises when individual horribleness is elevated to collective attribution, and that collective attribution is used to justify collective punishment, as well as collective suffering.

When millions of Americans get sick from the flu, and tens of thousands die every year, why aren’t we making fun of the weird things that white people eat? Like Rocky Mountain Oysters (which are bull testicles) and sweetbreads (which are bits of an animal’s pancreas and thymus glands)?Click To Tweet

When millions of Americans get sick from the flu, and tens of thousands die every year, why aren’t we making fun of the weird things that white people eat? Like Rocky Mountain Oysters (which are bull testicles) and sweetbreads (which are bits of an animal’s pancreas and thymus glands)? What about snails, frog legs, crawfish, chocolate covered ants, and those tequila-inspired lollipops with an actual worm candied in the center?

The filtering effect of orientalism means that our weird foods – be it maghz masala and katakat– are quirky and fun, but their weird foods are disgusting and totally cause to celebrate infectious disease.

If the tables were turned and a deadly coronavirus originated from say, Saudi Arabia, would it be alright to ridicule Muslims for what they ate, or how they lived? What if that specific coronavirus actually originated in camels.

Yes, camels. The Islamophobic internet would have a field day with that one. Yes, we ride camels and prize camels and even eat camels – and they’re delicious I might add – but if a deadly virus originated from camels, found its way into humans in the Middle East, and from there caused death and destruction in other countries- would it be our fault? Would we deserve scorn? Would the suffering and death of our people be justified by how “gross” it is that we eat camels, even if only a few us actually do, and the rest of us prefer shawarma?

Pause for dramatic emphasis. Open the Lancet. Read.

“Human coronavirus is one of the main pathogens of respiratory infection. The two highly pathogenic viruses, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, cause severe respiratory syndrome in humans and four other human coronaviruses induce mild upper respiratory disease. The major SARS-CoV outbreak involving 8422 patients occurred during 2002–03 and spread to 29 countries globally.

MERS-CoV emerged in Middle Eastern countries in 2012 but was imported into China.

The sequence of 2019-nCoV is relatively different from the six other coronavirus subtypes but can be classified as betacoronavirus. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV can be transmitted directly to humans from civets and dromedary camels, respectively, and both viruses originate in bats, but the origin of 2019-nCoV needs further investigation.

The mortality of SARS-CoV has been reported as more than 10% and MERS-CoV at more than 35%.”

MERS-CoV, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome –Coronavirus emerged in 2012, traveling from bats to camels to humans, killing 35% of the people who contracted it. It originated in Saudi Arabia and found its way across the continent all the way to China. So could the Chinese internet have been justified in ridiculing our deaths because we ate camels?

Could they legitimize posting “gross” videos of whole, pit-roasted camels? Could they say it was science, not racism, as they moved on to our other “gross” foods, like locusts and the dhab lizard?

Read more about the Sunnah of the Dhab Lizard.

Locusts and lizards have as much to do with MERS-CoV as mice and rats have to do with 2019 novel coronavirus, but doesn’t our grossness in general mean we deserve our fate?

No, it doesn’t. Making fun of what people eat isn’t science, epidemiology, or the sunnah. It’s racism, and it is hugely disappointing to see Muslims hurt others with to the same tropes that are used to hurt us.

No, it doesn’t. Making fun of what people eat isn’t science, epidemiology, or the sunnah. It’s racism, and it is hugely disappointing to see Muslims hurt others with to the same tropes that are used to hurt us.Click To Tweet

Orientalism is alive and kicking both of our communities in the teeth — Chinese and Muslim – but to further complicate the matter, there’s the ongoing genocide of the Uighur Muslims in China, and that’s rooted in orientalism too.

The Chinese government has imprisoned 3 million Muslims in concentration camps, a number equal to the entire Muslim population in America. It is not unexpected that some people wishfully assume the 2019 novel coronavirus epidemic to be the comeuppance that the Chinese government deserves for its cruelty, but that’s sad and wrong on many, many levels.

People cheering the coronavirus on fail to understand a few very big, very important things about the situation. I will list them, because the internet is no place for subtlety and these points have to stand out for those who would sail over the entire article so they can trash it in the comments. They are as follows:


  1. The entire population of China is no more responsible for the actions of its government than you are for yours. If you hate Donald Trump, his border wall, the separation of families, the Muslim Ban, cuts to medical benefits, and corruption in general but STILL live in America, then you understand that a great, frustrated, and powerless mass of citizens can have little to no effect on its government’s choices. Such is politics. Such is life. Such is China too.

    This guy is all our fault specifically. So I hope we all die of the flu.

  2. The coronavirus’s lethality is exponentially higher in people with poor health and weak immune systems. Like the flu, the coronavirus is overwhelmingly most lethal to children and elderly. The coronavirus is not targeted at, nor limited to the Chinese leadership for its crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, that is not how epidemics work.
  3.  The spread of Coronavirus – like all respiratory infections – is greatly accelerated through close living quarters as well as poor sanitation and hygiene. The 3 million Uighur Muslims interred by the Chinese government are imprisoned in distressingly cruel, cramped, and unhygienic conditions. Their close proximity as well as population density mean that if the virus makes it into the captive population, hundreds of thousands – if not millions of Muslims – would die. Don’t root for the coronavirus. It does not discriminate based on religion or race, even if you do.

And now we come full circle. When Muslims ridicule the Chinese for “being gross,” they are simply echoing the same racist, Orientalist talking points that labeled the Chinese – and later the Japanese – as the “Yellow Peril,” a filthy, faceless, monolithic mass deserving all of our scorn and none of the individual considerations that we insist on for ourselves.

Given the abuse that Muslims have been subject to by orientalist tropes, it should make us all the more aware of its dangerous cultural impact. We know what it’s like to be looked down on, laughed at, and blamed for our own suffering. We know what it feels like to have our foods gagged at, our accents mocked, and our cultural clothing turned into Halloween costumes.

Worse still, we know, very painfully and very currently, what it looks like for an entire people to be treated as a disease in and of themselves. China has declared Islam to be a contagious disease, an “ideological illness,” and on this very basis is it holding 3 million Muslims hostage. In an official statement loaded with situational irony, the Chinese Community Party officially stated,

“Members of the public who have been chosen for reeducation have been infected by an ideological illness. They have been infected with religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology, and therefore they must seek treatment from a hospital as an inpatient.

… There is always a risk that the illness will manifest itself at any moment, which would cause serious harm to the public. That is why they must be admitted to a reeducation hospital in time to treat and cleanse the virus from their brain and restore their normal mind … Being infected by religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology and not seeking treatment is like being infected by a disease that has not been treated in time, or like taking toxic drugs … There is no guarantee that it will not trigger and affect you in the future.” – source

The dangers of racism and orientalism are real, and the victims number the millions. Knowing how much damage orientalism causes in our community, we must commit to never, ever stooping to the same ideologies that are used to justify our own oppression. No matter how many bats people eat, or how evil their government can be, people are individual people. We stand on equal footing, equally deserving of respect, compassion, and acknowledgement of our humanity.



The Orientalist mindset that diminishes and distances us from each other strips us of our dignity, whether we are its victim, or its the perpetrator. Such racism is antithetical to the Prophetic compassion and mercy that Islam demands from us as Muslims. When Muslims celebrate the suffering of innocent people as some sort of epidemiological revenge for the suffering of innocent people, that’s not Islam.

That’s prejudice.

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