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Minnesota Uprising, Water Crisis in Flint, MI & Towards Sacred Activism

We discuss with Imam Dawud Walid, the hardships that African Americans face both in society and even in our Islamic communities. He describes the consequences of practicing racism in the Masajid on our brothers and sisters, especially the youth, and what we need to do to keep prejudice out of the Mosque.

Guest:

Dawud Walid is currently the Executive Director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), member of the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC) Imams Committee and a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary based in New York.

Dawud Walid

Discusses the imperative of activism as a part of Islam

We have social media and cameras to get the evidence of the crimes committed against minorities, but the abuse has always been there.This is a very american phenomenon because institutionalization of racism in the U.S. has been part of the culture since slavery Institutionalized racism expresses itself in many ways such as access to healthcare, how communities are policed, turning a blind eye to health and water crises in government, quality of education, and the implicit and false ideal of white supremacy.

The New Jim Crow by Professor Michelle Alexander, which speaks on historical context of mass incarceration, and Race Matters by Dr. Cornell West. The U.S. was built on a racial hierarchy, and that is shown in the current racial biases of today.

The term “People of Color” can be misleading because there is a hierarchy within the non-white category. Even whiteness has had levels of power as Irish and other Europeans were considered separate and inferior.

Different Immigrant groups were able to come to the U.S. after the Immigration Act from different places the American Dream boiled down to: proximity to and imitation of whiteness was the ultimate determiner of success for immigrants.

Islamophobia has taken the experiences of Black and Native people in the U.S. and placed it wholesale on the neck of the Muslim community. This has the added side effect of allowing media and public attention to dismiss the same oppressions happening to other racial minorities.

It is about more than Mr. George Floyd, it is about incidents on how black police officers get punished immediately and severely for violence while white police get drawn out trials, if they are punished at all.

The historical arc is on the white officer’s side.

Even if the person is following the law, Blackness and black bodies are criminalized. Donald Trump called Minnesota protestors “thugs” distinction needs to be made between #BlackLivesMatter and Black Lives Matter the 501(c)(3)

The hashtag was a response to Treyvon Martin’s murder by a vigilante. The group was not backed or funded by Black People, and it focused on a lot of other leftist and political agendas that its followers may not know about. BLM as a mantra is something to follow, but there are other grassroots organizations that are more focused towards directly addressing issues facing minorities.

Before giving support to a Muslim organization, make sure you check their history. People will try to leverage and confuse the community for their own ends. Even if you cannot benefit or support something, at least do not facilitate more harm. Racism, or arrogance around immutable characteristics, is the sin that Iblees was guilty of. As Muslims, we cannot stay silent when we see racist acts, especially within the community.

We have to address the inward issues in our communities before we can properly address the societal issues. There is a difference between what one has the right to do, and what one should do.

If we are contributing to the slow death of the community, as Muslims we need to analyze where we are and how we are making our income, and if we are making the lives of those we serve better or worse.

Hena Zuberi

We want to fight injustice everywhere but our own backyards. To disagree with something is the very least that we can do to make a difference.When we allow the purest places to be defiled by prejudice and racism, the youth, looking for places to belong.

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