Our hearts are heavy as we offer our deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd and so many others who were and are attacked at the hands of police officers every day. We hear your cries. We support your cause.
Black Lives Do Matter and we cannot stay silent any longer. Hussain ibn Ali (as) stated, “Those who are silent when others are oppressed are guilty of oppression themselves.”
“I can’t breathe” was the cry heard around the world by George Floyd on May 25, 2020 when police officer, Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department pressed his knee on George’s neck for 8 minutes and 42 seconds. Officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng applied pressure to his body with their knees, while officer Tou Thao stood silently by allowing it to continue.
Although the Holy Quran (49:13) teaches us that skin color has no inherent value in the following verse: “People, We have created you all male and female and have made you nations and tribes so that you would recognize each other. The most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most pious of you. God is All-knowing and All-aware” Our Muslim communities are still plagued by the Anti-Black prejudice prevalent in the larger society. Our religion is replete with individuals of African heritage who were close companions of the Immaculate Masumeen (Imams, Holy Prophet, and Lady Fatima). What is more, several of the Imams themselves are also from an African background. Hence, it is our duty to understand systemic racism in order to steward a better society for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It is also our responsibility to act equitably with each other at all times regardless of ethnicity or race. If we can live in accordance to the just teachings of Islam, then we will be able to create an environment of harmony with all people which can be a model for the greater community as well.