“Do not call for black, white or green power. Call for brain power.” –Barbara Jordan (an American politician and a leader of the Civil Rights movement. She was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate).
Till today most of our peers and acquaintances feel its far-fetched to have taken “Equality” as our main driving force, at some point it does feel like we cant make an impact as vast as we expected, we cant touch as many lives as we hoped to, but it starts somewhere, the ills of stereotype and classification based on color or religion still plagues us till today, its not gone away and it doesn’t seem like it will soon. But, since we approached it through apparel (since fashion trends cut across dividing lines) that appeals to the age group we intend to enlighten, its a much wiser approach to a problem that seems to stem from parenting and influences.
A vivid reminder is the murder of drummer Lee Rigby, in broad daylight in the busy Woolwich area of London. The 2 men that committed the murder felt it was justified “under their own version of the Islamic religion” to kill. One said “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying by British soldiers every day.” , But there are British soldiers as well losing their lives in efforts to restore peace in these areas, and still reinforcements get called in and casualties keep piling up. Who avenges these murders then?.
“An eye for an eye” he said after he had committed the murder, In acknowledgement that he had avenged on behalf of the Muslim religion but Khaled M. Abou El Fadl (the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law ) asserts that “There is not a single verse in the Quran that calls for an unmitigated, unqualified, or unreserved obligation to fight the unbelievers.” According to Esposito and Mogahed, the Quran balances permission to fight the enemy with a strong mandate for making peace: “If your enemy inclines toward peace, then you too should seek peace and put your trust in God” (Quran 8:61).
Further, Muslims are commanded not to be aggressive: “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors” (2:190) In addition, when the enemy inclines toward peace, Muslims are commanded to cease hostilities: “But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace” (8:61). The guiding principle of Islam with respect to non-Muslims is one of tolerance and mutual respect, plain and simple: “God does not forbid you from dealing kindly and justly with those who do not fight you for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes: for God loveth those who are just.” (60:8)
“We must call for brain power” to understand that at the days end we really are just a grain of sand on a seashore, a live lost is a live lost, Christian, Muslim or Hindu, to someone, that’s a brother/sister/son/dad/husband or wife they’ll never meet again. “We must call for brain power” to understand that at the days end we really are all … equal.