Now that I am home I get to adopt cooking as a hobby. The other day I was telling my son I would make him Caramel Apple Tart and Mixed Berry Crisp when he comes home for Thanksgiving. He said he gets enough of white people desserts at college and only wants me to make Gajar ka Halwa and Ras Malai for him. I guess I will make that too but in the midst of racism, Apple Tart is my best attempt to be as white as possible. See this is my sincere effort to live in the America that is Trumped. I can’t change my skin color; I will not change my religion but I can definitely bake Apple Tarts. Oh wait I can also try a daily dose of “Fair and Lovely”. For those who don’t know it’s a skin creme that promises to make you ten shades whiter….only on the outside though!
But seriously speaking can we really eliminate racism? We all stick to our clans, don’t we? The Quran talks about how God created people in tribes so they can be known and recognized as such (Verse 49-13). It was for the purpose of differentiation but we took it one step further.
By default, we are more comfortable with the people we know and can relate to and this applies to all population groups and races. Today Muslims are fighting racism in America but aren’t we Muslims racists among ourselves. When you talk to White people they argue that more Blacks are killed by Blacks than Whites. I don’t have the statistics to prove this but I will take my White friends’ word on it. One thing though; any time I got a traffic violation ticket and went to pay it to the city courts most offenders in the line were POCs (our new favorite term People of Color). This is just my personal observation or may be it happened only on that day when I went there.
Since I am of Pakistani origin I mostly know examples of my culture. Outside Pakistan we are all known as Pakistanis but among ourselves we are Deobandi, Barelvi, Wahabi, Shia, Mahajir, Panjabi, Memon, Sindhi and many other things. There are sub categories to Muhajirs as to whose parents were born in North India and whose in South and Central India before migrating to Pakistan. People, I am not making it up and you know it. Even the Hyderabadis of India and Pakistan differentiate among each other and so do the Panjabis based on their origin from Lahore, Sialkot, or Gujranwala. I am not trying to issue verdicts whether its right or wrong but it happens.
By no means I am promoting racism but I just want us to open our eyes and while we are fighting hard to eliminate racism against us also do something about racism within us…. for that is more in our control than anything else. If we accept our differences in religion and stop killing each other we will probably be better positioned to fight racism with Non-Muslims. Isn’t it an irony that only Non-Muslims see us all as Muslims. Among ourselves we are always trying to point fingers as to who is a kafir or mushrik for not following the cadre and sect of our own choice? Haven’t we set the precedence of declaring religion on National Identity Cards? And isn’t it also true that the Arab supremacists discriminate against the non-Arab Muslims?
Ah an article that started out light is quickly turning bleak and grim. I should stop right here before it gets too ugly.