This racial inequality is at the root of what drives the tension we see in the streets. In addition to police brutality, racial inequity exists in almost every sector of our society, be it education, real estate, the justice system or health care, among many other institutions.
Islam teaches that all people regardless of their skin color, race, language, ethnic background and gender, stand at the top of Allah’s creation including angels. What an honor. “We have honored the children of Adam and carried them by land and sea; We have provided good sustenance for them and We have preferred them greatly over many of those We have created.” (al-Isra, 17:70)
The #BlackLivesMatter movement must remain peaceful and never resort to violence. The non-violent approach of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. must be adopted while addressing the crisis of police brutality.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement is a Muslim issue. The issue of racism does not only affect blacks. It affects all minorities, Muslims among them.
There is much to learn from the Black Muslim community as they have suffered injustice after injustice and know and understand the system. In this political climate of fear and uncertainty, we must stand together and gain strength in numbers.
Finally, in order to break down the barriers of racial biases and prejudices we must make a conscious effort to get to know our black neighbor. Take the time to get to know and genuinely befriend your black brother and sister. Know and understand the injustices the African American community face; the disadvantages they endure be it education, healthcare, voting rights, law enforcement and workplace discrimination, and so on. Understanding these issues will allow you to empathize rather than victimize.