‘To my future son or daughter’: Muslim doctor raps for human rights
(CNN) — By night, Umar Malik is a doctor in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
By day, he’s earning his 15 minutes of fame — as a rapper.
It all started last month when the young resident — yes, he works the night shift — made a rap video and posted it to Facebook. Titled “Letter to the Future,” it features Malik gently rapping a message of hope and inspiration to his future children.
See there’s fear inside my heart as I’m walking these streets
I’ve seen the product of intolerance and racist regimes
Make us out to be like criminals that’ll never succeed
And so I’m writing to you hoping that you’ll never concede
‘Cause you are made of something beautiful, not something obscene.
Malik, whose parents emigrated from Pakistan, said he got the idea for the song while he and a friend were watching the results of the 2016 presidential election.
“Both of us first-generation Muslims that were born and raised here in New Mexico,” he told CNN. “We both for the first time felt we didn’t belong (in the US).”
His friend asked a question that stuck with him: Is this the country we want to raise our kids in?
Malik said he’s worried about the current political climate and whether President Trump is breeding intolerance of Muslims and foreign-born Americans.
“We are not free until all are free, and I really believe that,” he said.
In the three-minute video Malik preaches compassion and equal rights for all while addressing poverty, social justice, tolerance for the disabled and other issues. The result is a lyrical letter that urges his future kids to be the creators of the world he wants for them.
So far Malik’s video has been viewed more than 20,000 times and he’s received a flurry of positive feedback. People can pay a nominal fee to download a high-res version of the video, with all proceeds going to the ACLU.
“I really appreciate all the positive comments and things that have come from it,” he said. “I really wanted it to be an impetus for change as well for the people that were mentioned in the song.”
So what’s next for Malik? Since he is in residency, his time is sparse. But he hopes to continue working on creative projects to benefit a wider array of social and health issues like homelessness and teen pregnancy.
So who knows? We may be seeing another rap video soon.