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Sunday, January 22, 2012

My thoughts on `Asabiyyyah (Bias):

Author’s note:`Asabiyyah, in the Arabic-Language, represents an unwarranted bias, either for or against someone, generally based upon things which a person has no control over (like family-ties, ethnicity, national-origin, gender, etc.). There are also other manifestations of `Asabiyyah as well (like cultural, religious, inter-religious or social discrimination, etc.). This new poem that I’ve written will be based mostly upon the ethnic & cultural & inter-religious manifestations of `Asabiyyah.


What if…
…my skin had no color, that Muslims viewed me exclusively as their true brother?
…people looked past my blackness, and saw only my heart, not my outer cover?

What if…
…people never gave me a dirty-look, for coming into a Mosque in Jeans and a Graphic-Tee?
…people could just let me be alone, leave me be to practice my Islam, as a man who is free?

What if…
…I were not deemed a Muslim social-outcast, just because I don’t look like a desert Sheik?
…why must I forfeit all that I am, as a Black man, just to conform & wear a robe and sheet?

What if…
…people judged me only by my actions, instead of just my physical, mortal shell?
…they did not deem me as “Un-Islamic”, because of what I wear, headed for hell?

What if…
…people just saw me, as opposed to my natural, genetic topography?
…the Muslims did not care whether I was Sunni, Sufi, Shi`i, or Salafi?

What if…
…people respected & appreciated my differences that Allah granted me, instead of curse them?
…people did not label me as the “bad-guy”, for defending myself, against blatant, harsh racism?

What if…
…we were just unified as one, putting ethnicity, color, culture, dress & pride aside?

If “What if” were a reality…
...then, this world of ours would be such a peaceful, and awesome place to reside!!!

Gareth Bryant/2012

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