This toolkit on policing and police brutality calls for American Muslims leaders to join MuslimARC in taking a stand, becoming more visible, and playing a more active part in addressing structural racism, and, in particular, police brutality.
State-sanctioned violence against Black bodies, over-policing, and over-incarceration of Black Americans are emblematic of the institutional racism that is embedded in legal codes and structures in our society. The clear racial disparities and devastating effects of the prison-industrial complex on Black/African American Muslim communities demand a response from our leaders and organizers. Systemic racism not only deprives individuals of opportunities, but undermines our dignity as a people. The Black American Muslim community is not immune, as some youth are lost to the street or all but abandon their faith.
Understanding the context of the Black Lives Matter movement is important. In response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman of the murder of Trayvon Martin in July 2013, queer Black women activists Patrisse Fullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza created the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter as a call to action. When Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown (#HandsUpDontShoot) in the summer of 2014, the hashtag went viral. The movement expanded exponentially when Daniel Pantaleo was not indicted for killing Eric Garner (#ICantBreathe) with a choke hold. Law enforcement killing of Black continues to draw national attention and the list continues. Protests have spread across the country and a recent UN report.
Our goal is to draw upon our Islamic traditions and historical legacy of Black upliftment and empowerment. We intend to not only raise consciousness, but to affect change in our communities. At the turn of the 21st century, we must think about the legacy we are leaving for our youth, as well as the opportunities that we need to create in order to demonstrate that Islam is relevant in their spiritual, social, and emotional lives.
View the full toolkit below.
Trouble viewing this document? Read it here: MuslimARC #BlackLivesMatter Toolkit