Oh woops, got a bit out of order here….I wrote this one before the one about Eid (duh!)
The Shades of Grey, the Sharpness of Black and White
By Eugenia Flynn
Ramadan is a time for reflection on one’s imaan and a large part of this is the giving of charity and the related gratitude for one’s blessings in life.
For example, I try to thank Allah every day for my blessings and then I try to give charity every day through the work that I do with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Not because my people are a problem to be fixed, nor because my people are unable to help themselves, but because supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is the right thing to do.
More than the simple fact that it is the right thing to do, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s struggle for freedom is fundamental to the legitimacy of Muslim residency in Australia. Whilst for many this statement may hit a grey area, for me it is undoubtedly true and cuts to the heart of the matter.
Discussing with a friend recently, it is obvious that in Islam we must strive for justice in our lives and enjoin what is right in that regard. However, when this call for justice is placed within an Australian context, there is no real definitive directive for Muslims to assist in the work towards justice for Indigenous Australians.
Defining the grey area until it turns to black and white, I cannot impress enough how important such a directive could potentially be for change within this country. If Muslims are unhappy with Australian levels of discrimination based on religion, ethnicity or race then Muslims must seek to cut to the heart of discrimination, ignorance and racism within Australia. Until the deep-seated racism towards Indigenous Australians is shifted, Muslims can have no hope of peace within Australia and on a larger-scale Australia cannot move forward as a country.
It is with this in mind that I ask Muslims, especially now that Ramadan is upon us, to really think about what it means to live in Australia – on stolen land – and what contribution the Ummah can make, no matter how small it may seem. It is with these parting words that I wish you all blessed Ramadan; let us all make the most of it this year.