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This is Why Non-Black Muslims Need to Support #BlackLivesMatter

Black lives matter.

This is a simple, nonnegotiable statement that shouldn’t require further explanation or spark debate.  Unfortunately, it does, and the current reality is that Black lives don’t seem to matter.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement launched in August of 2014 after the unjust death of 18 year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This movement is centered around one of the largest on-going injustices in America today — police brutality — in response to the hundreds of deaths before and after Brown, including Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, and now Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. These are not just names, but lives that have been lost at the hands of police officers or neighborhood watchmen.

These are not just names, but lives that have been lost at the hands of police officers or neighborhood watchmen.   tweet

There is a legitimate problem centered around Black men and women being gunned down by the people who take oaths to protect and serve them, in a nation that claims to believe in the principles of due process, presumption of the innocent, and trial by jury. And as though to spit in the faces of the victims’ families, those police officers walk away with little to no consequences.

Every time we defend or even ignore this lack of justice and due process, it sends a strong message that the victim was undeserving of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. That person just didn’t matter enough. Too often, Black lives don’t matter enough.

But they do in Islam.

Every time we defend or even ignore this lack of justice and due process, it sends a strong message that the victim was undeserving of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. That person just didn’t matter enough. Too often, Black lives don’t matter enough.  But they do in Islam. tweet

Despite this clear reality of racial injustice plaguing our nation, some in the American Muslim community will reluctantly ask why must we support #BlackLivesMatter.

Black lives matter because since the founding of Islam, our Lord demands they do.

We must stand up for their justice because our Lord commands us to when he calls on believers to “stand firmly for justice,” [4:135] and against senseless violence. Our Prophet (pbuh) condemned racism as he stressed in his farewell sermon, “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.” He dedicated his life to serving those treated unjustly, regardless of their race or religion.

Our Prophet (pbuh) condemned racism as he stressed in his farewell sermon, “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.” tweet

As Muslims, it’s our duty to always, always, stand on the the side of the oppressed. We are charged with continuing the legacy of our Prophet (pbuh), and that duty manifests when we stand against injustice; thus, it is imperative that American Muslims support #BlackLivesMatter. Frankly, the systematic abuse of a people is a hideous crime that should not be tolerated by all walks of life, regardless of race, color, or religion, but especially so in Islam.

The reality of America today is that simply existing as a Black man or woman is an act of courage. No one should have to live in fear of another man or woman. Especially when our faith mandates that we fear no one except God.

The reality of America today is that simply existing as a Black man or woman is an act of courage.  tweet

Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the idea of meeting your Creator, and saying that you did nothing to fight this plague of racial injustice, having witnessed police brutality and racial inequality experienced daily by the Black community. What a dreadful image.

As non-Black people in America, our role is to acknowledge the depth of the hurt and anger, acknowledge the on-going racial injustice, and then ask, “How can we help?”

May God give us courage, strength, and patience to fulfill this role through noble means, and stand up against all frames of injustice, because #BlackLivesMatter.

Written by Nouha Zaabab

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