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.

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