How did Islam solve the problem of racism?
Racism is one of the severe diseases of human society in this age. When God’s Messenger was raised as a Prophet, one kind of racism, under the name of tribalism, was prevalent in Makka.
The Quraysh considered themselves in particular, and Arabs in general, superior to all the other peoples of the world. God’s Messenger came with the Divine Message and proclaimed that no Arab is superior over a non-Arab, and no white is superior over black  and superiority is by righteousness and God-fearing alone (sura al-Hujurat, 49.13).
He also declared that even if an Abyssinian black Muslim were to rule over Muslims, he should be obeyed .
God’s Messenger eradicated the problem of racial or colour discrimination so successfully that, for example, ‘Umar once said of Bilal:
"Bilal is our master, and was emancipated by our master Abu Bakr" . Zayd ibn Haritha was a black slave. God’s Messenger emancipated him and adopted him. He married him to Zaynab bint Jahsh, one of the noblest women of the Muslim community. After all these honors he conferred on him, he also appointed him as a commander over the Muslim army he sent against the Byzantine Empire and which included the leading figures of the Companions such as Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and others . The Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, appointed Zayd’s son, Usama, to command the army he formed just before his passing away.
During his Caliphate, ‘Umar paid a higher salary to Usama than to his own son, ‘Abd Allah, who asked why. ‘Umar answered:
"My son, I do so, because I know well that God’s Messenger loved Usama’s father more than yours and Usama himself more than you" .
Zayd ibn Haritha commanded an army in which the noblest of the Quraysh, like Ja’far ibn Abu Talib, the cousin of God’s Messenger, and Khalid ibn Walid, the invincible general of the age, were present. The army commanded by Usama, Zayd’s son, included leading figures among the Companions such as Khalid, Abu ‘Ubayda, Talha, Zubayr and others. This established in the hearts and minds that superiority is not by birth or colour or blood, but by God-fearing and righteousness.
1. I. Hanbal, 5.441.
2. Muslim, “ ‘Imara,” 37.
3. I. Hajar, al-Isaba, 1.165.
4. Muslim, “Fada’il al-Sahaba,” 63.
5. Ibn Sa‘d, 4 :70; Ibn Hajar, 1 :564.
Myth: Islam is a religion only for Arabs
The fastest way to prove that this is completely false is to state the fact that only about 15% to 20% of the Muslims in the world are Arabs. There are more Indian Muslims than Arab Muslims, and more Indonesian Muslims than Indian Muslims!
Believing that Islam is only a religion for Arabs is a myth that was spread by the enemies of Islam early in its history. This mistaken assumption is possibly based on the fact that most of the first generation of Muslims were Arabs, the Qur'an is in Arabic and the Prophet Muhammad was an Arab. However, both the teachings of Islam and the history of its spread show that the early Muslims made every effort to spread their message of Truth to all nations, races and peoples.
Furthermore, it should be clarified that not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. An Arab can be a Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist - or of any other religion or ideology.
Also, many countries that some people consider to be "Arab" are not "Arab" at all -- such as Turkey and Iran (Persia). The people who live in these countries speak languages other than Arabic as their native tongues and are of a different ethnic heritage than the Arabs. It is important to realize that from the very beginning of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, his followers came from a wide spectrum of individuals -- there was Bilal, the African slave; Suhaib, the Byzantine Roman; Ibn Sailam, the Jewish Rabbi; and Salman, the Persian.
Since religious truth is eternal and unchanging, and mankind is one universal brotherhood, Islam teaches that Almighty God's revelations to mankind have always been consistent, clear and universal. The Truth of Islam is meant for all people regardless of race, nationality or linguistic background.
Taking a look at the Muslim World, from Nigeria to Bosnia and from Malaysia to Afghanistan is enough to prove that Islam is a Universal message for all of mankind --- not to mention the fact that significant numbers of Europeans and Americans of all races and ethnic backgrounds are coming into Islam.
Heres another good article:
ISLAM'S ANSWER TO THE RACIAL PROBLEM