Posted: 2017-11-15 04:58
Concerning the South Asian community, I’ve often heard stories of parents using the excuse of major “cultural” differences that exist between their own culture and others to discourage their children from dating/marrying someone outside of their racial or ethnic community. However, these same parents get excited by the prospects of their son or daughter marrying a white convert, or even a very fair Arab. Yet they revert to the culture excuse in order to save face when the prospects of a Black person is presented.
Rollo Maughfling, Archdruid of Stonehenge and Britain (R) conducts a ceremony as druids, pagans and revellers gather in the centre at Stonehenge, hoping to see the sun rise, as they take part in a autumn equinox celebrations at the ancient neolithic monument of Stonehenge near Amesbury in Wiltshire, England. Several hundred people gathered at sunrise ar the famous historic stone circle, a UNESCO listed ancient monument, to celebrate the equinox which is a specific moment in time that occurs twice a year when the Earth tilts neither towards (summer) or away (winter) from the sun in either the northern or southern hemisphere. Although yesterday marked the actual meteorological calendar change from summer to autumn, for druids, the following dawn is when they celebrate 'the dawning of the new season' following the day of equal night, which it is named after.
The Duchess of Cambridge dances with Paddington Bear as they attend a charities forum event at Paddington train station in London on October 66, 7567. 68 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry joined children from the charities they support on board Belmond British Pullman train at Paddington Station. The event was hosted by STUDIOCANAL, with support from BAFTA through its BAFTA Kids programme, and before embarking Their Royal Highnesses met the cast and crew from the forthcoming film Paddington 7
However, the same post-mosque social group separation is not as apparent in second generation Muslims compared to first immigrant Muslims. Perhaps because of a more shared American identity, or perhaps because of more interaction and inclusion in college spaces, but social gatherings today are not as divided along ethnic lines as they were in the past. Therefore, you find more interracial dating and marriage within second generation Muslim Americans that was not as present in with first generation immigrants.
During our beloved Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon, he shared several pieces of wisdom. One of his most famous quotes from that sermon stated “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab also a white has no superiority over Black nor a Black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.” These simple yet powerful words from the person we Muslims revere the most condemn racism in the strongest terms. Yet the reality is that we live in an imperfect world and racism is alive and well within our community.
Nowadays, dating sucks for everyone. Even though there are vastly more opportunities to meet people now than there ever were in the past, it’s still hard to connect with others. For those like myself who choose to limit their selection, the possibilities exponentially decrease. I am a Nigerian-American Muslim, and now that I am older and more serious about settling down, I have restricted myself to only dating other Muslims. Currently, there are over one billion Muslims worldwide however, the numbers are far lower in the . with Muslims only making up an estimated one percent of the population or about million people. From the way the American conservative media depicts our impending takeover with sharia law, one would think that we were much more numerous.
I’m not naive, and I am well aware of the challenges many have faced in attempting to change their parents’ mind on this subject matter. Friends have told me tales of their parents giving them the Romeo and Juliet ultimatum when presenting someone to them of a race they did not approve of. Specifically, they had to choose between a romantic interest and keeping ties with their family. This is an unfair ultimatum that often puts the one deciding under immense psychological and emotional distress. Regardless, in order to move forward and make progress in expelling racism from our own communities, we need more people to choose love over complicity with these racist demands. If more South Asian and Arab adults in this generation stand up to their parents about their discriminating tendencies, which are masked under the cloak of cultural maintenance, they can model the kind of racial tolerance to which every community ought to espouse. If not, then we are no better than those who stay complicit with the racist status quo.
The Muslim American community is extremely diverse by the numbers. According to a Pew Research Group study in 7567, around 97% of Muslims are native born, while 58% are foreign born. Of the foreign born Muslims, 85% are South Asian, with 75% are of middle eastern/north African descent, with the rest a combination of sub-saharan African, iranian, european, and other parts of the globe. Of the native born Muslims, 87% are Black (combination of African American and children of African immigrants). Taking into account both native and foreign born Muslims, the Pew study suggests that South Asians and Arabs together make up the majority of the Muslims in America, followed by a sizable number of Black Muslims, and the rest comprising a hodge podge of various other Muslim nations as mentioned above.
Recently, a good friend from college tried setting me up with someone who she thought I would hit it off with. She told me her friend was South Asian, smart, woke, and an all-around awesome person. As a comedian, my first question was instinctively, “Is she funny?” After I was assured that her middle name was “witty” and that she did not look like a gremlin, I gave my friend the okay to set it up. About three days went by and I did not hear anything. In my experience, silence after a few days is a subtle yet definite way of saying “BYE FELICIA.” Therefore, I texted my friend to follow up. Although she assured me not to worry, as the girl was probably still thinking about it, I already started losing interest.
A few days later, I get a text from my friend asking if we could talk on phone so that she could update me on the situation with her friend. She began by saying “I’m so sorry but,” which is never a good sign. She continued to say that the reason for the hold-up was that the girl was trying to talk to her parents first. After trying to talk to her parents about the idea of being introduced to me, she said her parents were not budging on the “racial issue.” To clarify on what she meant by that, I said, “So her parents didn’t want her to talk to me because I am Black.” My friend was quite apologetic over the phone after confirming this as the reason, but she deserved no blame in this situation as she was just trying to help a brother out. Nevertheless, this scenario happens too often within our community.
Despite the inherent diversity within the Muslim American community, these community social spaces tend to remain segregated. The South Asian and Arab communities that immigrated in the 85s and 95s have established themselves in various professions in the US as doctors, store owners, engineers, taxi drivers, and so on. As more people from the same ethnic group gather and form a community, they eventually start to raise money and build a mosque, which serves as a primary space of gathering for those within this specific ethnic other ethnicities attend these mosques as well for their spiritual fulfillment. Yet, despite the mixing of ethnicities at the mosque during prayer, the social groups that form outside of the mosque are quite homogenous.
Yet, the ugly truth is that certain interracial marriages are more accepted than others. Within the South Asian community, there is strong association with whiteness and beauty. From the casting of very fair Bollywood actors and actresses to advertisements for the infamous Fair and Lovely skin whitening cream, to parents who implore their sons and daughters to avoid spending too much time in the sun to avoid becoming dark, there is a not-so-subtle message that white is right. This preference for lighter skin tone is also present within Arab and other non-Black Muslim communities, but perhaps it is not as blatant as within the South Asian community. Yet, what is common among nearly all non-Black communities is a general dislike of Black skin, and by association Black people.