The problem with racism: An Islamic perspective

Project produced by Emma Olson, NewsNetNebraska

The Muslim Student Association hosted Abu Idris Yusuf Wells on Nov. 3 to speak about racism today through the eyes of a Muslim.

Wells leads the Nebraska Ahlus Sunnah Study Group, which focuses on teaching Islam to Muslims and people of other faiths. Wells was born in Lincoln and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln but graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Wells now lives in Omaha.

In his talk, Wells referenced the Emancipation Proclamation, Malcolm X, the bombings in Oklahoma City, and the shootings of black men by police. Wells said that even in this day and age racism hasn’t gone away like some people think it has.

“Racism is a learned habit,” Wells said.

Wells said that racism stems from the idea of pride in one’s tribe and one’s people but has come to mean something completely different.

Wells said he believes that all religions could coexist peacefully but people can’t require Muslims to change their love of their faith.

At the end of his talk, before a question and answer period, Wells addressed the recent terrorist attack in New York City. He said that the Muslims sitting in the room tonight have nothing to do with the extremist groups like ISIS. Islam gets a bad reputation from individuals that don’t represent the religion as a whole, Wells said.

  • Abu Idris Yusuf Wells begins his talk to the Muslim Student Association at UNL on Nov. 3
  • Students, faculty, staff and the public attended the talk on Friday
  • Wells is a member of the Nebraska Ahlus Sunnah Study Group
  • The crowd included a diverse group of people

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