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Structural Changes and Battling Racism Within

It can be a common misconception in our community that racism is something that others perpetrate and perpetuated, we have to look inwards to our cultural biases that have sat in the Muslim community for too long. There is no excuse for the alienation of our African American brothers and sisters in the masaajid, and when we do not speak up on issues of racism, it is all the more encouragement for that type of behavior. We get so caught up in trying to be the “model minority” that we are sacrificing our Islam. We need to go back to the roots of Islam in the U.S. and give Black Muslims their credit in the formation of Islam and in the Ummah.


Remaz AbdelGade & Karim Amin

Remaz AbdelGader

  • We need to see the implicit biases and how they are affecting and affected by the way we move through the world and how it makes us see other people #KnowYourBiases
  • We might be more forward thinking in our responses if we understand the implications of the actions we take in a moment. #EndRacism
  • Instead of addressing an issue, there is an assumption of danger that a Black body presents, that pushes people to seek termination rather than communication. #EducateYourself
  • Allah does not change a society until they change what is in themselves.
  • The way we address topics of racism is very uncomfortable because it challenges the way of being and the way of regarding that people have practiced. #HaveTheConversation
  • Abd means slave, and the context attached to the word and the recipients allows you to disregard the person and any personhood that comes after their skin color. #EndRacism
  • Dehumanization is not only detrimental, but it is one of the first steps to genocide. Creating malleability around someone’s humanity is a dangerous path that can lead to justification of all kinds of abuses, and even deaths. #EducateYourself
  • These are the narratives and stereotypes that are allowed to proliferate, and it should then not surprise us that this is the same conversation we had decades ago.
  • When someone responds to “#BlackLivesMatter” with All Lives Matter, it has gotten to the point where we have had the conversation so much that we question how much effort we want to put into explaining it again. #BlackLivesMatter
  • The solution is to have the conversation in the home so that the victims do not have to explain to the perpetrators. #TeachTheNextGen
  • You can use identity to mobilize people. To mobilize them towards supporting the Black causes, we need to teach people the roots of Islam in America and how African American Muslims brought Islam to the U.S. during its colonization. #EducateYourself #KnowYourRoots
  • We have privilege that was built on some of the first Muslims coming as slaves and dying to protect their deen.
  • When you don’t operate on the knowledge of the sacrifices and heritage of Islam in the U.S. it is easier to make so many judgements and deem someone inelligible or lacking in faith for anything from tattoos to race. #EducateYourself
  • Being exposed to different cultures expands our empathy, and our understanding of the world and its many opportunities to share the benefits of diversity.
  • It is a part of our faith to know each other and connect with each other, because isolation and racial superiority was a habit of the society before Islam, we should not be perpetuating that behavior.
  • If we unite as a united front, we can overcome the challenges that face the Ummah.
  • It is not about a lack of resources or education, our communities are full of intellect and brilliance and empathy, but we need to coordinate our efforts to combat the external inequalities and artificial barriers that opponents push onto us. #EndRacism
  • Your race can cause others to doubt your abilities and knowledge because you do not have the same background or family connections. #KnowYourBiases
  • We leave out the Black Sahabah and Black Muslims in both Islamic history and U.S. history, which puts us in the mindset that they were not a significant part of our history.
  • KA
  • It is disturbing that we are having the same conversation after Freddie Gray, 9/11, Rodney King, and all the way back to the riots in the 60’s. #EndRacism
  • In order to assist Black communities, we have to center it around Blackness.
  • African American Muslims were the primary founders of Islam in the U.S. but we have remained under the foot, and knees, of racism ever since. #KnowledgeIsPower
  • In the Muslim community, racism can be just as rampant, if not moreso, than in other communities, because it is not discussed.
  • Oversexualization of Black children, especially young Black girls, can drive intense racism and harassment because of the hypersexuality that has been historically ascribed to Black women to justify rape and assault.
  • We cannot debate the directness of the racism in her suicide. We lost a young Sister and that alone should be reason enough to address the systemic issues. #EducateYourself
  • We have to educate our youth about the founders of Islam, we have to normalize Blackness. #EducateYourself #KnowOurRoots
  • Stop making Blackness secondary or only seen when it is beneficial to look inclusive.
  • We show up to every cause happening overseas, but when the crisis is in Baltimore or Haiti or Miami, it is not our problem anymore? #StopRacism
  • We cannot be moral police and only choose to help those we completely agree with.
  • We placed judgement on George Floyd before his body was cold and buried.
  • After the Baltimore Protests, the circulated image of a burned CVS, widely attributed to overzealous protesters, was actually broken into and destroyed by a previously indicted police unit. But when people pointed that out, they were labeled “liars” or “emotional” #PoliceAccountability
  • We have to come together and maintain consistent coalitions.
  • We have to admit that the structures of white supremacy are alive and thriving in our communities through ideals of colorism and racism. #ColonizedMindset
  • Praying at other Masajid and acknowleging the Black Brothers and Sisters that were the founders of Islam in the country
  • Actively reach out to African American communities. Not just when it will give you publicity or in an emergency.
  • Don’t go in to give them a hand out, give them a hand up. The hand up is praying with each other.
  • Do not speak out only when it is comfortable, do so when it is uncomfortable to speak out.
  • AA
  • Provocateurs and opportunists destroy the communities that are affected by the tragedy the most.
  • We may not be explicit in our racism, but maybe we use harmful language, maybe we have biases that go unconfronted because we do not take action to address them. #KnowYourBiases
  • We do not connect with the amazing people that are doing important work because communities are so divided. #ConnectToProsper
  • HZ
  • We only focus on an issue as long as there is some discomfort. When things come down, or if we go back to being comfortable, we go back to ignoring the problem.
  • Unfortunately, we have had to leave Muslim community engagement groups to work on issues of race and inequality
  • We normalized this behavior after 9/11 by trying to be the model minority and not stirring up any “trouble” that could put the target more on our backs.
  • We are a colonized nation and we still worship the white ideal and chasing white approval.
  • Being represented within law enforcement is not as good of a photo opportunity as going up to the police station with a petition for them to change their ways. This is promoting performative activism rather than going into the system and being the change we want to see.
  • Our elders are an important part of our communities and they are often the exemplars of Islamic
  • We may pat ourselves on the back for not actively participating in systems of racial inequality, but when we choose not to actively take steps to even lessen the gap, we choose to side with “our own” in terms of race and religion.
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