Race has no importance in Islam
Stabroek News
December 19, 2001

Dear Editor,

Once again Mr. Nkofi has resumed his attacks on Islam.His hatred for Islam is even greater than that of Mike Singh, a local Zionist 'want to be'. Like Singh, his letters are replete with misinformation but I would like to clear up a few points in his letter captioned " Islam is not the ancestral religion of Africans".

Nkofi claims that Arab Muslims from the time of the prophet Mohamed (OWBP) initiated the slave trade. His first mistake is that he doesn't know the difference between an Arab and a Muslim. The pre Islamic Arabs like the Egyptians and all other empires at that time were slave traders. With the coming of Islam the slaves in Arabia were quickly freed and many of them accepted Islam, the religion that brought their emancipation.

Many Arabs who did not accept Islam continued the trade and Mr. Nkofi claimed that they introduced the trade to Europeans. Note that he deliberately uses the word Europeans and not the word Christian. It was the Christians who would enslave the Africans for the next four hundred years and who made them change from the worship of one God to the ultimate irony, taking a White man to be their god.

Mr. Nkofi then states that slavery still occurs in Saudi Arabia and a few other countries. This is not true.

He goes on to say that Muslim slavery is worse than Western slavery (note again that he does not use the word Christian)and gives the example of the first African slave Bilal (RA) who accepted Islam and was punished by non muslims for his conversion. How can he claim that Islam was responsible? Bilal's (RA) freedom was bought by the Muslims and he was given one of the most important jobs of that time to become the Muazzin of the Prophet(OWBP).

Mr.Nkofi then speaks of the Black Christian King of Ethiopia and his Christian subjects who helped the Muslims when they were under attack. What he fails to mention is that most of his subjects accepted Islam after hearing portions of the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet(OWBP).

He writes about African religions which indeed were highly philosophical, as many Africans believed in a God who was not human and certainly did not have blonde hair and blue eyes.

Mr. Nkofi fails to write about the forceful conversion to Christianity of African slaves and the almost total destruction of African culture at the hands of their Christian masters. I could go on and on about the mistakes and false accusations in his letter but in the end he will still refuse to acknowledge the fact that Islam has protected and upheld the rights of Africans. Race has no importance in Islam.

Yours faithfully,

Nazil Bashk