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Why Do Arab Muslims Feel Superior to Non-Arab Muslims?

25 July, 2019
Q Why is it that Arab Muslims feel superior to non-Arab Muslims? Why are they so "rude" to non-Arab Muslims? Anyone can see how non-Muslim countries give citizenship to people irrespective of different nationalities and religion, but many Arab countries have no such provision, even for Muslim brethren. The ease of visa facilities in some Western countries is a big contrast to many Arab countries where, unless you have a sponsor, you can never get a visa. These countries even have lenient visa policies towards American and British citizens rather than easing visa restrictions for their Muslim brethren from Asia and Africa. Please clarify, thank you.


Short answer: We cannot know the true intentions behind someone else’s actions. As far as discrimination of Arab countries against non-Arabs, these countries are generally disorganized and don’t welcome one another, even, into their countries. This is a question of politics, not religion.

Salam Dear Aijaz,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

It is true, of course, as you know, that Muslims are supposed to treat one another equally, no matter their language or race, social or economic status, or whether they were raised Muslim or reverted from another religion.

Allah tells us:

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O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most pious of you. Indeed God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Quran 49:13)

In his address, during the Farewell Pilgrimage, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) clearly stated to Muslims that there was no superiority of the Arab over the non-Arab.

Your question is why do Arabs treat non-Arabs badly?

But be reasonable: That is like asking why some Muslims drink alcohol or commit other sins.

No one can answer why someone sins.

Is it because the person is ignorant of Allah’s commands? Is it because he has misinterpreted something? Is he just arrogant or too concerned with worldly pleasures?

How Should We Handle It?

Thus, we should always remind those who think their nation is superior to another that this is not the way Muslims should think.

They need to remember that while some are much richer, others are struggling to keep their faith in the face of cultural threats and challenges… etc.

Many of us – reverts to Islam – have felt slighted or rudely treated by our Arabic speaking brothers and sisters, especially in our homelands in America and Europe.

It seems that some Arabs think that just because they can speak and read Arabic, this makes them better

But, again you come across many others, who are good, devoted advocates of Islam and prominent scholars too. So, you should never generalize.

History of Why

You should know that it is not only African and Asian brethren who have trouble getting work-permits visas to some rich gulf countries, but even Arabs from other countries have trouble getting them to some other Arab countries!

Also, let us not ignore the impact of colonization on some of the issues, relevant to your question.

British and American citizens enjoy special treatment, regarding visas for historical, as well as economical reasons.

Historically, these privileges were part of legal arrangements during independence, to guarantee influence and power.

As for the economic level, these countries have the upper capitalist hand in the transactions and relations with such Arab countries.

So, you would expect their citizens to receive special treatment.

In fact, the issue has got structural and political-economical aspects as well.

This is a Question of Politics, Not Religion

Remember that work visas are a matter of policies, international or bilateral agreements and treaties.

It is also related to the wider context of respect of human rights and political freedom domestically, which is absent in many Arab countries!

The situation will not change unless the citizens of such countries have a say in their own concerns and destiny.

How are they supposed to protect other peoples’ rights and call for equality, if they do not enjoy them fully themselves, as citizens of their own country – even the fairly rich ones?

If we Muslims – Arabs and non-Arabs – lived as one nation, or at least opened our borders to free movement of goods and people, then Muslims could move to those regions, where there are adequate resources and job opportunities.

If we truly shared our resources and were one nation, we could be much stronger and show more solidarity towards each other – on the individual, as well as the collective level.

I hope this helps answer your question.

(From AboutIslam’s archives)

Read more…

Are Arabs Nobler Than Non-Arabs?

Poison in our Mosques

No Place for Racism in Islam

About AElfwine Mischler
AElfwine Mischler is an American convert to Islam. She has undergraduate degrees in physics and English, and a master's degree in linguistics and teaching English as a foreign language.