Teach your children that neither Islam nor Christianity is a race. A mosque is not a cultural social centre for a particular ethnic group. It is a place of worship for all people, be they black or white, Asian, African, European or American.

There is a real problem in society with racial understandings of religion. Unfortunately knowledge or lack of knowledge doesn’t come into it. I’ve personally sat through a lecture during which the learned sheikh used gora interchangeably for non-Muslim throughout. I had to complain at the end, where the mistake was acknowledged, but nevertheless excused as force of habit.

These little habits may not amount to much, but they have a tendency to coalesce into a collective attitude which builds walls instead of bridges. Hence they should be challenged.

Take the time to sit down with your children today to explain to them that Islam is a religion for all people, no matter their background or where they are from. And let us put an end to these ridiculous false racist constructs which divide us.

Out there

Always get out into the real world to meet and speak to people, and take both media reports and stories on social media with a healthy dose of perspective and sceptism.

There are people across the political spectrum and of every belief who have vested interests in sowing the seeds of discord.

Sometimes the one you think is your friend is in fact a foe, taking advantage of your naivety to forward their own agenda. Sometimes the one you’re told is your enemy will turn out to be your advocate and protector.

Get out of the echo chamber and go out into the world. It will make all the difference.

Halal Holidays

These “Halal Holidays” sound great, but look, if you’re going as a family, the last thing you want is your wife disappearing off to the ladies-only beach and pool for the whole week, while you sit on your lonesome pretending to be Islamic. Let him, her and the kids go to the beach together, for some quality family time. Like, um, you would in real life.

Viral vigilantes

Is it ethical to share on social media a photo of an alleged attacker without first verifying the facts?

And is this habit Shariah-compliant with regards to the manners of bearing witness, taking evidence and judging equitably?

It seems that in these troubled times, the politics of identity have completely replaced the moral framework which underpins our faith.

What if, after the photo has been shared 30,000 times, it turns out that the alleged attacker was innocent?

Does anyone have regrets and repent, or do we just write it off as a case of collateral damage? Mere fallout of the new vigilante religion we have made?

Pray tell.