“I’m Black. I was born into being hated … There are people who dedicate hours of their day to try and ruin mine. But they never succeeded.”
On this week’s TMV Podcast, Salim sits down with Nabil Abdulrashid to talk about his recent success in making it to the semi-finals on Britain’s Got Talent, racism within the Muslim community and beyond, and how he feels about dealing with haters and trolls online.
Nabil will also be on Britain’s Got Talent this Saturday the 10th for the finale, be sure to download the app (on iOS App Store/Apple here and Play Store/Android here) and vote for Nabil – his win would be an incredible victory and celebration for us all!
Nabil, although coming from an 11-year career and history in comedy and social activism, has recently gained widespread attention for his incredibly successful performance on Britain’s Got Talent, in which he was awarded the Golden Buzzer by judge Alesha Dixon. His comedy sketch included a wide variety of topics, including Islamophobia and what it’s like being a Black Muslim.
His most recent success at the semi-finals, in which he addressed topics such as police discrimination and racism, was also highly praised by the judges, who sent him through into the finals. Despite (or because of) his success, however, Nabil has received an onslaught of online abuse, hatred, and even death threats.
Speaking to Salim, Nabil explains that the racism and hatred he has received recently is not, in fact, something new. Being a Black man and a Muslim makes him the target of not only hatred from people both inside and outside the Muslim community, but systematically from government and media as well.
I’m Black. I was born into being hated … There are people who dedicate hours of their day to try and ruin mine. But they never succeeded.”
But despite the double standards and the pressures, Nabil explains that he has tried to never shy away from speaking out on important issues such as systematic racism and anti-Blackness, within the Muslim community as well.
If I’m talking to millions of people, it’s my responsibility to talk about social issues. If you’re given an ability or a talent, you don’t have the right to quit. Quiting is not an option.”
When asked whether or not he feels frightened or worried from the numerous death threats he has received, Nabil jokingly responds with, “I’m flattered! I mean, if you don’t get death threats then are you even relevant?”
On a more serious note, however, Nabil reflects on what it means to have death threats or attacks simply because of the color of his skin, or what he was standing up for. It means, at the end of the day, that at least he is being attacked for doing something good – and important – and speaking out on the topics that so desperately need to be addressed in our society today. “If I lost my life because I stood on stage and proudly said Allahu Akbar,” Nabil says, “then Allahu Akbar!”
The need to have someone so unabashedly themselves – Black, African, and Muslim – is more important than ever. With the rise in right-right extremism, blatant Islamophobia, and xenophobic governments across the globe, it becomes imperative on our part as a community to help support and magnify voices like Nabil’s, who work so hard to bring forth justice, equality, and yes, laughter.
I would rather fail being myself than succeed being someone else.”
To listen to the rest of this fascinating podcast, click below:
And don’t forget to download the app (on iOS App Store/Apple here and Play Store/Android here) and vote for Nabil this Saturday the 10th – his win would be an incredible victory for all who have ever been made to feel inferior to the majority.
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