The student looks up to the man behind the counter in despair. “But I am first on my class. What more do you want?” The student says. “I am going to tell you this for the last time. You do not qualify for this occupation just by being first on your class.” The man replies tersely. “You just have to find another thing to do, maybe become a lawyer.”
And once again, a hopeful human being endured what people witness and ignore every day. What scorching pain do people feel when they are told that they are worthless! What terrible sentiment do people feel when they’re informed that they are not accepted, not valued!
Interestingly, it is widely claimed that we- the people of the 21st century- live in unprecedented levels of social and economic equity. But I am afraid that the truth is not even close; the reality is much, much bitter. We cannot simply admit, on the basis of some recent social and economic improvements, that the world is experiencing a satisfactory, even improving state of equality, while denying that people experience unimaginable circumstances that seethe with inequality even in relatively peaceful or advanced societies.
So let’s get down to the facts. In 1982, the highest-earning 1% of U.S. families received 10.8% of all pre-tax income, while the bottom 90% received 64.7%, according to research by UC-Berkeley professor Emmanuel Saez. Three decades later, according to Saez’ estimates for 2012, the top 1% received 22.5% of pre-tax income, while the bottom 90%’s share had fallen to 49.6%. A report by the Social Market Foundation says geographical inequality in education has grown over the last 30 years in England and Great Britain; while 70% of pupils in London now achieve five A*-C GCSEs, 63% manage the same in Yorkshire and Humber. It seems that the world is following a particular trend: Tell me where you live, how you live, and who gave you life, and I will tell you what I will give or deny from you. We are tethered by a society that separates us into upper-class, middle class, and lower-class; first-world countries, second-world countries, and third-world countries; first-class people, second-class people, and third-class people, and it seems that resources are allotted like-wise.
Let us go back to the story of the student. That scenario is inspired from a situation a couple of years ago. After persevering for four years, a modest student in a Law school in Cairo, Egypt waited eagerly for his final senior results to come out. And indeed they did; he was first on his class. Then the student applied to formally train to be a judge, and he was rejected. Later the Egyptian Minister of “Justice” publicly claimed that that graduate was unfit to become a judge because his father was a waste collector. He stated on a T.V. show: “The son of a “garbage man” is unfit to become a judge. If the poor son of a “garbage man” worked as a judge, he will not tolerate the conditions of Judges. A “Judge” has his status and prestige, and he is “supposed” to be raised in a suitable, decent environment, both financially and morally.”
A minister of “Justice” said these abominable, sick words live on TV. I am truly speechless, unable describe what happened; the surreal level of “injustice”, inequality, and brazen, shameless denial of any sort of equality, morality, and encouragement is simply astounding.
Have you ever been rejected? I bet you have in school, by a person, or in an interview. Now double that feeling of rejection a thousand times, a million times, and you will know how inequality is the reality of hundreds of millions of people around the world, in every street or home, because of their parents, their colour, their nationality, or their race.
In the name of Allåh, the Beneﬁcent, the Merciful.
[49:14] O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.
These words of guidance are directed to mankind, to you and to me, and I intend to work by them throughout my entire life. Yes. Yes, the situation is bad, but one thing I have learned is that if we continue to whine about things we don’t have control over, we will never get anywhere; however, if we even try to change the things we do have influence on, I am positive that the outcome would be better than the result of hopeless negativity.
Earlier this year, Nike, the $27 Billion, multinational company, started a campaign with a revolutionary product, the Nike Hijab Pro. But why did Nike embark on such an ambitious project? Over the past few years, more Muslim hijabi women were engaging and excelling in more sports; the likes of the fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad and Manal Rostom, a runner and triathlete were definitely catalysts for Nike and other less-known brands, but just being there isn’t enough. In 2014, Ms. Rostom witnessed what she calls the Anti-Hijab plague, and in response to the oppression she faced for her believes even from her friends, she started a social media support group called Surviving Hijab. In November, 2014, Rostom contacted Nike and asked them a dangerous question, ignoring the risk to be called a terrorist, or maniac: Why doesn’t Nike feature Muslim women who wore Hijab in its campaigns? Can one email change the marketing strategy of Nike? Yes, it can. She became the first hijabi Arab to appear in a Nike advertisement, and in 2015, she was invited to the Nike Headquarters, possibly becoming the first Arab to do so.
Nike broke the trend and went one step in the right direction to end inequality, and so can you. Yes, JUST DO IT.