The Case for Including Many Voices

The issue of inclusiveness is an extremely important one. Diversity within the classroom and society is a reality, and as educators it is our job to education all of our students. Obviously, we cannot eliminate every struggle that our students have that make it difficult for them to learn. However, Claude M. Steele in Whistling Vivaldi makes a strong case that there are many things we can do to reduce one type of struggle: stereotype threat, which many of our students may suffer from.It is interesting and convenient that many of the things he mentions as being effective against stereotype threat are good teaching practices in general, such as having “positive relationships with students,” and “child-centered teaching.” I also found it very helpful to hear about some of the ways our TA’s and professor for Contemporary Pedagogy reach out to students to assure them that their class will be an inclusive space.

In addition to how we interact with students and manage our classrooms, we can also emphasize inclusiveness through our course material itself, at last in some disciplines. Steele mentions including class material that reflects the experiences of different identity groups as a possible remedy to stereotype threat. This may not be very relevant in some classes, but I am in a social science field (applied economics) and I can see how economic theory may turn some students off due to its rigidity and lack of multiple viewpoints. Economic theory has a tendency to emphasize rational decision making, efficiency, and individual actions over all else. For a student who has experienced discrimination or comes from a low-income family background or simply sees the many ways in which our lives are dominated by factors outside of our own personal actions, it may be difficult to reconcile his or her experiences with this view of the world.

In reality, the field of economics is evolving and a lot of economic research examines discrimination, inequality, and other issues that all types of students may find interesting and relevant. But, students rarely learn any of this until upper-level undergraduate courses, at least. I think it would be better for earlier students of economics to hear criticisms of theory, varied applications of economic tools, and ways social institutions can be included in economic models to make them more realistic and relevant to all students’ lives. They should also be exposed to research and theories by people of different genders, race, religion, etc. Currently the only names anyone hears in at least the first five semesters of econ are of dead British guys.

I believe that this is important for several reasons. Many students take one or two econ courses as freshmen. Many of these students will hate economics based on these classes, or see its many faults without seeing its usefulness. By teaching in a more inclusive way and opening up discussions to differing viewpoints and criticisms, more students will take an interest in economics. This could lead to greater diversity within the field, which would mean better and broader research and theories because they would reflect a greater range of experiences and interests. It would also broaden the minds of even the students that never take another econ class.

This brings us back to many other themes we have explored in this class and that I have explored in my blog. Emphasizing inclusiveness in our classroom is not only morally the right thing to do (in my opinion), it gives our students a better education and helps address the question “What is the purpose of education?”  Is the purpose of school to teach you to do well in the workplace? Well, workplaces are becoming more diverse so students need to be able to work with diverse groups of people. Is the purpose of school to enrich your life? Well, exposure to more perspectives offers better opportunities for this. Is the purpose of school to teach the future generation how to fix the world’s problems?  It seems to me that,  in order to fix the world’s problems, we need everyone on board. As teachers, it’s part of our job to make that happen.  It does our students, and our society, a disservice to include only a few voices in our classroom.


Queerer things are yet to come

The main way I encounter issues of inclusive pedagogy in my teaching is in gender diversity (or the lack thereof). I teach to engineers and specifically metal casting students, which is a heavily male-dominated field (even more so than engineering at large). I worked at a foundry for the past two summers which had, out of a total of around 300 employees, probably 10-15 women employed. The introductory foundry classes I helped with last semester had, out of 35 students, about seven women (which is a much higher percentage than in past years). The class I currently teach has one female student out of 11.

I’m keeping these comparisons to a purely binary perspective; I’m not counting myself in these numbers. As a masculine-presenting, male-assigned, genderqueer bisexual, I break the molds (pun intended) and assumptions that people people make about me (not to mention stereotypes about people in casting and manufacturing at large). Now, in most if not all engineering classes I’ve taken, identity is not mentioned at all, so we’ll save the discussion about me for later.

Because women are often stigmatized in engineering and metal casting, I do put specific effort into making the female students, whether at the foundry or in my class, feel welcome and that they are capable of just as much as the men are (if not more, just for that extra encouragement). I make a conscious effort to recognize the one female student in my class when she does speak up and join in the class discussions, making sure she doesn’t get talked over by the rest of the class. At the foundry, I make sure not to snub the female students for attention or assistance in favor of the male students, but to instead give appropriate levels of assistance and instruction to all of the students (within the limits of my abilities).


I know I have a lot to say about inclusion and the breaking of normative assumptions about identity (specifically about gender and sexuality, because those are the ones most applicable to me), but none of it has come into words yet, so I’ll leave it here for now.

Multicultural Experience during Higher Education

I believe that cultural activities should be added in the syllabuses of undergraduate courses. As an international student, I was impressed to observe several cultures and diversities during my Ph.D. at Virginia Tech. Graduate School at Virginia Tech consists of the students from several nationalities, therefore it creates an active atmosphere for the students to learn from other cultures. One of the reasons that I preferred to go abroad for my higher education was that I could learn more about other cultures and understand their school of thoughts.

I remember when I participated in Grad 5104 course, I was impressed that the class included several majors, for example, Art, Engineering, humanities and etc. The students also talked about their country briefly in two sessions and it was another interesting issue. Because it was great to gather students from more than eight different nations.

Now in pedagogy class, I have the same experience and it seems that the courses those are presented by Graduate School have been designed for this purpose. But, I think that we may use this opportunity better. For example, we may ask the students to present their experience of their culture related to pedagogy rules and methods. I watched an interesting video related to inclusive pedagogy and diversity. The instructor from Ball Sate University experimented a case by some students. In this video, the students explained their experience in this experiment.

It was so nice that the students learned several issues during that study. I believe that this type of classes has some advantages:

  • The students learn from their peers and can be familiar with other cultures and religions.
  • They share their ideas and it helps them to amend their style of life if they think that it is not perfect.
  • As an international student, I saw some misunderstanding related to my culture and religion in the past two years since my enrollment at Virginia Tech. So, by this method, the students understand each other better and it helps them to solve some misconceptions between different cultures and religions.

Consequently, inclusive pedagogy has a significant effect on the students’ life and may serve the students to learn more things in their life beyond their academic education.



Inclusive Teaching- My Experience

I got my undergrad and master degrees in my country. We do not have international students and number of women are more than men in universities. Also, all people have almost the same cultural background and are from the same race. Therefore, as a person lived in a Middle East country, I could not understand why we need inclusive pedagogy. However, my experience was different during past two years in the US and I understood why the inclusive pedagogy is so important.

One of my best friends is an African male student. He got his master degree from another university in the US.  We have passed a lot of courses together during past two years.  He always thinks that TAs give him a lower grade because of his name or race! He repeats this sentence almost every time we get our grades in some courses. I thought it is definitely wrong. However, we had a course that we could work on homework together. Although our solutions were same, sometimes he got a lower grade than me. I am not sure it was because of his name but it is really painful that somebody always thinks his grade will be lower than others because of his name or race!

In one of our seminar courses, he had this feeling that the instructor thinks his ideas in discussions are funny and worthless. I could also feel that but I was sure the instructor does not mean that consciously.  He decided to do not participate in discussions anymore. I think he was very sensitive about the instructors’ behavior. However, instructors should be more careful while discussing with students and they always should convey safe environment impressions.

These two examples were my only personal experiences. Before the last session, I never thought gender issues can result in a problem for students in classrooms.  I have learned some inclusive teaching strategies during past week. However, I think, as I have a little experience, I need to know more and more about it…

Diversity and Making Connections with the Course Material

The benefits of diversity in the classroom have been most noticeable for me during my time teaching plant material classes. Any teacher would probably agree that utilizing students’ past experiences as examples is, arguably, one of the most effective teaching tools out there. Doing so encourages active, student-engaged learning while also demonstrating the wide array of applicability of the subject matter. In my plant identification lab, this could come in the form of exploiting one student’s familiarity with a plant indigenous to his/her state or country by allowing that student to familiarize another student with the plant based on, for example, a childhood memory associated with that plant (this actually happens in some classes). Allowing one student to “teach” another student in such a way enables a classroom to embrace diversity and use it to its fullest potential.

Such diversity can also allow me, as an instructor, to learn from my students. Similar to the aforementioned situations, there may be a time in which a student can offer me new insight into a plant based on of their personal experiences. Additionally, this may give me an opportunity to utilize the various cultures represented in my classroom as a way to add value to the material being taught. For example, a certain species of a plant may seem less applicable or useful to a student until they realize the plant originated in his/her home country. Moments like this creates a connection between the student and the material that may not happen otherwise, and it provides a richer, more personal learning experience.

Therefore, even though diversity and inclusion can, at times, be challenging, they are both incredibly important in the classroom, no matter the field. Without diversity in the classroom, students lose the opportunity learn from each other in a way that instructors alone may not be able to provide. Additionally, we, as instructors, could miss out on lessons we may never otherwise learn.

When has diversity within the classroom lead to unique learning experiences in your field?

Teaching for Inclusion

I am giving you hand why don’t you accept!
I don’t care about your name, address, color, country, or location
I care for humans including those who are homeless

This was the outro of an Egyptian song entitled “Egyptian Tale”. That’s what I think each teacher should do in his class. The teacher should even stop stereotyping before entering the classroom.  What concerns the teacher is that these are students, every one is here to learn. The teacher should not have any discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.

However, with the great diversity in the universities’ community today, it became essential for teachers to learn more about their students’ needs. It is not enough to treat students equally as “Equality is not Equity”. Some students need more from their teachers rather than teaching. To address this problem, I want to mention a great book called “Teaching for Inclusion, Diversity in the College Classroom” written by  the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The book gives great examples and methodologies to deal with different types of students.

I picked up some of these guidelines which I think are very important, I grouped them by category based on my reading:


  • Treat students as individuals, not as representatives of their gender.
  • Avoid sexist language in classroom discussions, lectures, and in written materials that you distribute to the class. (Don’t use only masculine words like he/him).


  • Don’t assume that all students are from the major religion in this country.
  • Be tentative to student’s religious holidays and be flexible to accommodate students’ needs about changing or shifting deadlines/exams.
  • If you had to critique a religion or belief in your course just show respect for those who hold these beliefs.

Sexual orientation:

  • Assume that not all students in a class are heterosexual, and react firmly to homophobic remarks made in class.
  • Don’t give assignments that force students to reveal their social life.
  • Change some of your terms to be adequate to all student such as “partner” instead of “boyfriend” or “girl friend”, and use “sexual orientation”  rather than “sexual preferences”.

I did not mention physical disabilities, medical needs, and learning disabilities as I think they are well settled by universities and there are always special people to guide these students and to direct teacher in dealing with every case.

Finally, I think as  a teacher you should be easy accessible to your students. All students should feel you as an easygoing person. You should in the begging of each semester email students to feel free to tell you about any special needs they want, like preferring other names as we discussed in class. I think it also would be great if you held some of your office hours in a public place, like a cafe or restaurant at the lunch time. Students can come and discuss whatever they want with you at this time. Meeting in public helps students to say what they feel inadequate in formal offices.

“I feel like arguing with a woman”

Several months ago, on a popular entertainment science show in China called “The Strongest brain”, two people started an argument on whether or not the assessment for an challenger is reasonable. One person is a neuroscientist and a professor from Peking University, one of the top universities in China. He likes to say that “Science is the sole criterion for evaluation”.  The other person is a very famous author/businessman/editor/director/teen idol, but also a controversial person. Some people think he is shallow. And he is often teased by other people for being short and like a girl.

They argued with each other so fiercely, and suddenly the professor said:

“I can’t stand this. I feel like arguing with a woman.”

The writer was so outraged that even if the professor apologized twice, he stormed out of the scene and refused to come back to continue the recording.

This event lit up a nationwide discussion on whether or not this exact sentence is a prejudice against women. So I am a woman, and I don’t like this sentence. I argued with my male friend on this. His claiming is “The professor should not have used this sentence to attack the author. But without any context, this sentence itself is not a prejudice. Men and women are different. Women do prefer arguing and they argue more emotionally than men, who usually argue more rationally. And the sentence is just stating the difference out.”

I can’t argue with him on that because I am an emotional person. I know I don’t like it but deeply inside my heart I do feel that women are more emotional. And not just me, not just my friend, a lot of people in the society feel the same way. They wouldn’t say it out loud and they do have the same stereotype. And I feel that these stereotypes, not just those against women, but all stereotypes will exist more or less unless we enter a utopian world some day in the future. Act it out or not, say it out or not, differences exit. Don’t get me wrong on this, I am 100 percent sure that we should by no means do everything we need to eliminate discrimination, but, stereotypes are hard to eliminate, if even possible.

Now the question comes: should we do positive intervention in our education to make students not feel these stereotypes to improve their academic performance? Claude M. Steele says yes in his book “Whistling Vivaldi: how stereotypes affect us and we can do.” He thinks it is worth the risk of having these students unprepared for real world stereotypes. I like many of his ideas and appreciate his work on this. But I disagree with him on this specific question. Academic performance is only a part of one’s life. Many people will go through some type of stereotypes in his life and he/she should be prepared for this. Tell them the truth, but teach them to fight against the unfair. Knowing the evil does not mean accepting it. I would prefer that if I have a baby girl, she won’t say anything like “I feel like arguing with a woman” in the future, but she won’t be hurt too much to lose her ration by this kind of sentence either, because she is prepared, and then she can fight back.

No trespassing

 The readings this week made me think of a class discussion last semester about microaggressions. Microaggression was a new term to me, but it refers to “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” We had a list of microaggression examples to go along with the discussion. Some of the examples are clearly offensive and should be avoided in all cases. However, I was not sure if I liked the idea of a “no-no” list and found some of the microaggressions to be context-dependent or just a stretch in general. Anything can be discriminatory if said in a certain tone or context. To be fair, there is a disclaimer at the top of the document saying that you must consider the individual situation with all of the examples. But I wondered if erecting so-called “out of bounds” signs in this manner actually opposes, rather than promotes, the goals of diversity and inclusion?

For example, the first section, “Alien in One’s Own Land,” discourages asking people who appear different than the dominant group where they are from or about their ethnicity/background. It is easy to imagine how this practice can be discriminatory; for example, the teacher asks the one student of color in a large class where they are from but no one else. While we should steer clear of scenarios like this one, I feel that asking someone where they are from is an exceptionally normal activity and should not generally be considered a microaggression. Upon meeting someone, this question is usually the second one that I ask after finding out his/her name. People tie up substantial information with the surroundings they call home, and I think it is natural to want to know how others fit in with that conceptualization. As a result, people identify characteristics that differ from their own way beyond skin color, appearance, or language. I am from Georgia, and anytime I leave the South, I encounter the statement (not even a question) “you’re not from around here” based on my accent. Incidentally, I do not have a strong accent because my parents were born in the Midwest, so I actually am also told I am not from my hometown (when I was a server at a restaurant, sometimes multiple times in the same day). I do my own set of classifications: I come from a rural area, and I can classify out-of-towners by their behavior, such as people from Atlanta believing that, just because they have left the perimeter, trekking poles are needed every time you go outside.

The “where are you from?” microaggression primarily caught my attention, but there were others from the discussion that I thought were fairly context-dependent. Some people mentioned compliments that imply “it is impressive you can do this given that you are a woman/person of color/non-English speaker, etc.” Again, not hard to think of a situation where such statements are absolutely offensive. But the discussion turned to people sharing random stories along the lines of “this one time, I told someone I was doing my Ph.D., and they were impressed” (in my experience, people are usually impressed when you tell them you are doing a Ph.D.). Likewise, I assume that my advisor is not snubbing my gender when he tells me that I did a good job on my grant proposal.

I came across a few articles that also caution against too many restrictions on our interactions. One controversy last fall involved professors at Washington State University banning the use of discriminatory language in class (Washington Post article and Inside Higher Ed article). Cool, let’s not hurl racial slurs and homophobic discourse. But the syllabus prohibited terminology such as “the white man” and referring to men and women as males and females (although using “white men” and/or “white males” is okay, which I admit I don’t quite follow). I support trying to move away from this sort of language, but many people are unaware of these conventions and do not necessarily mean to cause harm when they say “white males.” Educating students on more inclusive terminology over the course of the semester seems appropriate, but the syllabus warned that such missteps could result in removal from class and a failing grade, in extreme cases. A New York Times article, “The Sheltering Campus: Why College is Not Home,” also calls for retaining “a certain degree of freedom” on college campuses. According to the authors:

While we should provide “safe spaces” within colleges for marginalized groups, we must also make it safe for all community members to express opinions and challenge majority views. Intellectual growth and flexibility are fostered by rigorous debate and questioning.

In order to embrace diversity and move towards inclusion, I think that the first step is to acknowledge that we are, indeed, different from each other! But in order to realize that diversity is not threatening or scary but actually okay (even great, essential, etc.), I feel that we have to allow an exploration of this difference. And that might include asking people where they come from. Or inquiring about their native language. I left that particular class last semester terrified to talk to anyone different from me: “well I can’t ask them about their hometown, apparently that’s bad, I also can’t compliment them on anything…I wonder if talking about the weather is a microaggression?”. Is this feeling not counterproductive to creating a more inclusive environment?

I like that the authors of the readings this week advocate an acknowledgement of diversity and courage rather than just safety. According to Shankar Vedantam in “How the Hidden Brain Does the Thinking For Us”:

The far better approach is to put race on the table, to ask [children] to unpack the associations that they are learning, to help us shape those associations in more effective ways.

Similarly, Claude Steele talks about a teacher using diversity “as a classroom resource rather than following a strict strategy of colorblindness.” While civil, considerate language is always a must (and, yes, there is some terminology and actions that we can definitively put on the “no-no” list), I fear that establishing too many “no trespassing” signs only perpetuates this fear of difference. Does this practice not create more distance and discomfort between people? How can we strike a balance between making sure everyone feels safe from harm but also safe to discuss (which might involve, like it or not, making the occasional mistake)? I guess I tend to believe that a more natural exploration of “the other” is the only way to actually understand that there is no “other.”

Cool, so now what?

Hello readers,

Though most of my posts are generalized about a given topic, today I would like to hone in on a specific piece of writing that I will, for the sake of the post, assume you have read. Dr. Claude Steele’s book Whistling Vivaldi is a wonderful read and an endless font of discussion material. In fact, while reading, I so enjoyed the sections that were assigned that I sought out the remainder of the text online. After having finished a grand majority of the work, I would like to offer up some fair criticism of the piece in hopes that a productive discussion might arise. I mean no ill will to Dr. Steele in this, but rather put it forth in the hopes that his work might inspire further change at the university level.

I would like to begin with an odd stipulation: Let us assume, for a second, that we are in complete agreement with the argument that Dr. Steele has made. We could, wasting our time, talk about how outdated his examples are, and how most of his research in Whistling Vivaldi is pulled from 40+ years ago, and that, if he were speaking about computers instead of students, he would have written a comparable book on how inefficient the Ditto machine is. But, I believe to do so would be pointless. We could spend all day nitpicking his minor arguments, and, at the end of it all, still not have hit at the heart of what troubles us with this book. So, for the time being, I would like to assume that we completely buy into everything that Dr. Steele has put forth. I do this for a multitude of reasons, foremost being that Dr. Steele is most certainly acting out of honest concern for the well-being of students, and I can fault no man for this. He has put his heart into making certain that a group of individuals, who are currently struggling, will be pushed the forefront of the educational agenda in hopes of securing them a better future. Secondly, I do not sense any ill will in the writing of Dr. Steele. He is not searching for solutions at other’s expense. He is striking at this problem with the hope of destroying it without casualties.

For these reasons, I am willing to give Dr. Steele the benefit of the doubt, and begin with complete acceptance of his argument before I begin any criticism of it. If we assume that Dr. Steele has made a correct assessment of the current state of affairs in academia, then there is really only one criticism that remains worth pursuing: a criticism of response. The fact remains that after all agreements have been furnished, Dr. Steele does not give any concrete advice towards a solution. At the end of his book, he puts forth a solution that would be considered vague at best stating:

“Still, a hope arises from this research. If we want to overcome underperformance, if we want to open the door for many stereotyped students to learn and prosper in society, we should, in addition to focusing on skill and knowledge, also focus on reducing those threats in schools, classrooms, workplaces, even basketball gyms. You should focus on making the identity less inconvenient, and this first generation of intervention studies makes a good beginning in showing you how to do it.”

But does it?

Did he really give us any practical advice towards a solution? Let’s review his advice and experiments:

He begins the book by recounting a large amount of examples and justifications for the existence of stereotype threat; here we have no issue. He then recounts his study of the women in math class and demonstrates how he helped them. However, let’s not forget that his “help” involved telling them that stereotypes did, in fact, apply and that they had created a test that accounted for the difference in the genders. I would argue that, while this proved the existence of the threat, as a teaching method, it does nothing but reinforce the assumptions. He also gives the suggestion to set high expectations and promote confidence in student achievement, but this is a tactic endorsed by the “colorblind” group that he rallies against at the beginning of the book. In the end, the only practical advice that he gives out amounts to “be aware that it happens and fix it.” This, however, is problematic as well.

In order to fix a problem ( And I think we can all agree that underperformance is a problem) one must find the source of that problem and seek to change the elements that dictate that source. According to Steele, there are two things that cause the black students of today anxiety to the point of feeling obligated to “Whistle Vivaldi”: 1) The depictions of white people in positions of wealth and power in the media and in observation, and 2) Their minority status within the campus.

Now the first of these cannot be changed by classroom professors, and I think this is where his message of awareness comes in. Professors, though powerful incubators of change hold very little sway over geopolitical economics and the media. however, this does not leave us powerless. As Steele suggests, if we provoke our students into a realization that whiteness is not a normative function, it may counterbalance some of these media portrayals. But the second issue is more of a sticking point. How does one make minority students feel safe and non-threatened, if their existence as a minority is the source of the threat? I’m not sure I have an answer, and I’m positive that Dr. Steele does not provide one. It’s a cyclical issue that cannot be resolved anytime soon, though some have tried. Diversity faculty hires exist for this very reason, as do classes in cultural studies. But the problem becomes one of separations. As Steele mentions, these programs frequently are only attended by the minority students to begin with, which only serves to separate them further on campus and strengthen the stereotype threat that they experience. If aid is given, the question quickly becomes, “how much,” and, “for how long?” with no specific answer in sight. It’s an issue that deserves a solution, but which may not have one for a long time.

In the end, I’m not faulting, Dr. Steele’s book. It’s very well written and extremely enjoyable. Quite the opposite, I’m suggesting a sequel. I need a book where he sets forth a series of guidelines to improve the quality of life for these students across a variety of campuses. We agree on the threat Dr. Steele, but now it’s time to do something about it.

As always, if my readers have any clever solutions I would love to hear them in the comments below.


I Don’t Want You In My Class!!

Yes, I know the title is shocking, but I want you to imagine that you feel this from a course instructor because of your race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, ethnicity group, or nationality. what would be your reaction?

Of course mostly you will drop the course, but with an incurable wound. We don’t want this discriminative atmosphere to prevail in higher education. All of us as students demand a diverse and inclusive atmosphere in which we can pursue our studies fairly and safely. As an instructor, you shouldn’t discriminate between your students because of anything pertaining to their beliefs or origin. All of the students should have the right to learn and interact in class without being worried about how the instructor will treat them. The same thing also holds for classmates. All the students in a class should be welcoming to and accept each other.

However, in every location in the world there are some problems hindering this diverse and inclusive atmosphere. To me the most disastrous is this “unconscious bias” as described by Shankar Vedantam. The story that he mentioned about the death of Deletha Word is really terrifying! The question that needs an urgent answer now, is why the crowd on the bridge didn’t help her get rid of that assailant. Is it because of her race? Is it because of they are cowards? I believe this to be an incarnation of the “hidden brain” or the “unconscious bias” problems. I believe a fair number of people are biased towards people who are not like them in race or religion even though they are not aware of that and this is really the major problem. They don’t know about it! In higher education, we still have this problem. a fair number of instructors and classmates are having this “unconscious bias” (or may be conscious?) towards their minority classmates. This has a very bad impact on the minorities as they are not feeling safe in their classes and accordingly, they are not able to pursue their learning in a suitable atmosphere.

I want to share with you this video of an experiment that was done to see how people respond to the harassment of a Muslim woman.

Finally I want to share with you two verses from the holly Quran and one authentic speech of Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him) about racism and discrimination.

“O Mankind, we created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into tribes and nations so that you may know each other (not that you despise each other). Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah (god) is he who is most righteous of you.” (Al-Quran, Chapter 49, Verse 13)

“And amongst his (refers to god) signs is the creation of heaven and the earth, and variation in your language and colors; Verily, in there are signs for those who know” (Al-Quran, Chapter 30, Verse 22)

“O people, your Lord is one and your father Adam is one. There is no favoritism of an Arab over a foreigner, nor a foreigner over an Arab, and neither red skin over black skin, nor black skin over red skin, except through righteousness. Have I not conveyed the message?” (prophet Mohammed PBUH)

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