Wednesday, 02 December 2020

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I Islamophobia

In Solidarity with Our African-American Sisters and Brothers

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Dear Community Members and Friends,
 
Assalamu Alaykum,
 
On behalf of the entire  CAIR-FLORIDA  family, we write to express love for, solidarity with, and commitment to our African-American brothers and sisters; especially Black families who have lost loved ones to state-sanctioned violence.
 
We are heartbroken over the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Steven Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Yassin Mohamed. They are simply the latest in a long line of Black men and women struck down by police officers who were sworn to serve and protect them.
 
As a Muslim civil rights organization dedicated to harnessing our values in service to our society, CAIR-FL recognizes that justice for all people in America cannot come to fruition without an unwavering and unapologetic commitment to achieving justice for Black Americans. That includes an honest acknowledgment of entrenched anti-Blackness within our society.
 
To that end, CAIR-FL condemns all forms of anti-Black violence, whether the culprits are police officers like Derek Chauvin in Minnesota or civilians like Gregory and Travis McMichael in Georgia. We also unequivocally condemn the dehumanization of Blackness, whether it occurs inside or outside our community.
 
However, we must do more than condemn. We must take concrete action. 
 
As a first step, we urge mosques and Muslim organizations to learn more about anti-racism initiatives by partnering with organizations like the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative. We further uplift the following demands that we have heard from our Black Muslim leaders:
 
  1. Public Statement: Muslim organizations, mosques, and community centers should publish letters of solidarity with the Black members of their community, and in particular with Black families whose loved ones have been taken and impacted by police violence.
  2. Join Events: Muslim individuals and organizations should support or participate in safe and peaceful local events condemning anti-Black racism and police brutality.
  3. Community Education and Empowerment: Muslim organizations, mosques and community centers should commit to learning about and addressing anti-Blackness in our society and even within our own community. For example, we can: 
  • arrange events featuring Black elders and youth inside and outside the Muslim community, including Black scholars and imams, Black civil rights leaders, and Black activists
  • engage in more courageous conversations across lines of race and culture that move us towards deepened partnerships, and
  • ensure that the leadership and membership of our organizations reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the American Muslim community.
 
We know that our faith is incompatible with systems of racial hierarchy, but we should do more to put this knowledge into action. We should redouble our efforts to do what our Prophet Muhammad (may peace, prayers and blessings be upon him) taught us to do: recognize, expose and reject racism, particularly the scourge of anti-Blackness.
 
Thank you for your support. Please feel free to reach out to us with additional ideas, and please reach out to us if we can assist your community in pursuing these efforts.
 
Onward, God willing. Jazakum Allahu khairan.
 
In love and solidarity,
 
Your CAIR-FL Extended Family