One Ummah (Poem)

One ummah is a flavoursome term,

You can scream “one ummah” all you like when you pick and when you choose,
It doesn’t change what makes it on Muslim breaking news,


“ASTAGHFIRULLAH, a hijabi twerking on the street!”


Yet you forget about “Jannah lies at her feet.”


and you forget the sister who got attacked on the bus last week because

“HOW DARE SHE, HOW COULD SHE? WE MUST INTERVENE! THESE SISTERS MAKE OUR UMMAH LOOK BAD ON THE SCREEN!”

meanwhile,
Anisa is married at thirteen
and
Soumaya’s clitoris has been sliced off with a blade
and
Sahar was raped and beaten to death
and
Jameel has seven stab wounds on his chest
and “ONE UMMAH, ONE UMMAH” shouts over the rest.

That term. That flavoursome term
seasons what it wishes and attempts to homogenise,
that term
celebrates a monolithic and non-intersectional version of “ummah.” One ummah is not black
and
One ummah is not feminist
and
One ummah doesn’t acknowledge the right to resist.

One ummah doesn’t wear salwar kameez
and
One ummah is not queer
and
One ummah is not disability
and
mental health
and
One ummah does not fear
institutional racism and unprovoked attack.

One ummah is not feminist,
One ummah is not black.

– Shazmeen خالد

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