Anti-black Racism and colorism within the Muslim community is a reality we cannot ignore. If you are a non-black Muslim, like us, it’s not about whether you are ‘racist’, but how truly ‘anti-racist’ are you? In what capacity do we individually push against systemic racism – which for sure is a thing.
We published this post four years ago and the tragedy lies in the fact that it could have been written again and again word for word every year before then and since then:
“This past week, with all its happiness and celebrations of Eid, has also been one of great sadness and anger as we once again are forced to remind the world that Black Lives Matter.”
So many of us want to stand in solidarity, show our allyship and be present for our brothers, sisters and children in the Black community. Outrage is fine, being ‘Not Okay’ is fine, anger is acceptable, but silence is no longer an option. Here are some things you can DO right now to educate yourself, support Black Communities, speak up and take steps toward being an Anti-Racist Muslim.
Read ~ (Adult Non-fiction) So You Want To Talk About Race, Ijeoma Olou
For younger readers ; Stamped, Jason Reynolds, Ibram x. Kendi, adapted from the Adult version titled ‘Stamped From The Begining’.
YA Novel; The Hate U Give Angie Thomas,
Middle Grade – Ghost Boys Jewell Parker Rhodes
Watch ~ 13th , When They See Us , Just Mercy , True Justice
Listen ~ Podcast ‘Behind The Seen‘
Recognize your own racial biases. Are you an Anti-racist? What does that mean? And how to be one?
Here are some great initiatives and organisations that are doing good work in their communities:
Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative
Sign this petition
Call the Minneapolis district attorney to demand criminal charges be pressed against the 4 officers 612-348-5550 , or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Charge Officers With Murder of George Floyd
Hello, I am an [ educator/ and] mother heartbroken at the toxic stress that systemic racism is imposing on our country’s African American children and adults. I am horrified that so many African American men and women are murdered due to senseless police brutality, vigilante “justice,” and implicit bias. I ask you to do your part to fight against police brutality, systemic racism, and bias and charge the 4 officers with the murder of George Floyd.
You could use anything relevant you identify with – your profession/racial/ethnic background/etc.
In the spirit of the Islamic tradition of fighting oppression through sacred justice – take this pledge to #resistracism ( open to people of all backgrounds)
Donate here for the Minnesota freedom fund to help with bail for protestors arrested protesting George Floyd’s murder
Donate here for the official George Floyd Memorial Fund organised by his sister Philonise Floyd.
Buy this Excellent History of Social Justice Calendar ~ from our friends at Equal Justice Initiative mentioned above
You can also support the many organisations linked above with donations.
Don’t Do Any Of These
Think your child ‘can’t see color’ (They can.)
Be silent about that racist joke at a family gathering.
Let people praise your child for having a ‘fair’ complexion or ‘straight’ hair.
Do All Of These
Advocate that history is taught correctly in your local school.
Seek out diverse groups of friends.
Find the most diverse mosques you can, where you can nurture authentic sisterhood and your children can see muslims of all colours praying together.
Buy books that feature protagonists of color by own voice authors for all children in your life no matter their own shade.
Know that this is not a one-time thing.
Commit to being an anti-racist Muslim – which really should be the only kind.
If you would like to contribute any other points of actions please do so in comments. We would love to learn and share and will continue to update this post.
Picture Credit ~ Zarina Teli
Thank you for the timely reminder. I am listening to an excellent podcast called Behind the Seen (https://wonymedia.com/). It has great conversations that has helped me understand my biases. It’s available on the usual podcasting platforms. I also watched Just Mercy with my 15-year old daughter this week and it made us both cry. She would recommend the book The Hate You Give. May Allah increase our love and mercy for all mankind.
Thank you for your contribution brother Zahid, I shall add the podcast you recommend to the post. The Hate You Give is an excellent YA novel and it has reminded me of another important one ‘Ghost Boys’ by Jewell Parker Rhodes. I shall add them both to the list. Ameen to your dua.
Thank you for this. Please can you clarify what you meant by “dont think your child can’t see colour”?
Thanks for this question Asma – have clarified by hyperlinking to an evidence based article that explains it more, but essentially what we were alluding to there is this false idea that young children are “colorblind” or don’t notice race. people use this to justify the well meaning but harmful concept of children as “blank slates” who cannot develop racial prejudices until they are explicitly taught to do so. Research suggests otherwise and we now know that by the age of 7 we can set the foundations for either a racist or an anti-racist worldview in a child. You might also like this link from Conscious Kids https://www.instagram.com/p/CAvmPPspkyd/?igshid=16ru2via87j98
Great suggestions, thanks for sharing! May we all do our best to take action.
Thank you for posting very simple and straight to the point which is helpful. May Allah reward you for your efforts.