Thursday, April 12, 2007

Message for Friday - Belittlement is anti-social

G'd says in the Qur'an (49:13):
O you who believe! Let not a people ridicule another people: Perhaps the [latter] are better than them [the former]: Nor let some women ridicule other women: Perhaps the [latter] are better than them [the former]: Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by [offensive] nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not repent [and desist] are of the wrong-doers [and oppressors].
As a result of radio talk show host Don Imus' extremely offensive rascists comments about the Rutger's University women's basketball team being referred to as "nappy-headed hoes," public debate has intensified in regards to such racist rhetoric, which still exists in American society. Unfortunately, Mr. Imus has a long track record of making anti-Black, anti-Jewish, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim comments.
Even more unfortunate is that such language and even worse can be heard by teens and young adults every day by their favorite rap artists, the majority of them being African-American.
In the Arab world, similiar anti-social statements can be heard against Africans and Jews by a small group of bigots just as the small group of bigots within America, who find nothing wrong with the "nappy-headed hoes" comment of Imus.
Islam's teachings regarding ridicule and belittlement are clear; these forms of speech are clearly forbidden.
Labeling a particular segment of a community using degrading statements causes enmity in societyl and has the potential effect of lowering the self-esteem of people, particularly children, within the group that is the object of debasement.
Honor lies in faith and good works, not in physical appearance or social class.
قَالَ رَسُول اللَّه صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : إِنَّ اللَّه لَا يَنْظُر إِلَى صُوَركُمْ وَأَمْوَالكُمْ وَلَكِنْ يَنْظُر إِلَى قُلُوبكُمْ وَأَعْمَالكُمْ
Prophet Muhammad said, "Surely G'd does not look to your outward appearance nor your wealth, but He looks to your hearts and your deeds."
لا يقولن أحدكم عبدي فكلكم عبيدالله
He also stated, "None of you should call anyone my slave (meaning the N-word in Arabic), for all of you are servants of G'd."
يا أيها الناس ألا إن ربكم عز وجل واحد، ألا وإن أباكم واحد، ألا لا فضل لعربي على عجمي، ألا لا فضل لأسود على أحمر إلا بالتقوى
Furthermore, he stated, "Oh humanity! Surely your Lord, mighty and sublime, is one, and surely your father [Adam] is one. There is no superior of the Arab over the non-Arab. There is no superiority of the black over the red except in regards to piety."
And surely G'd knows best.

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