—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
NEW YORK, NY (June 9, 2020) – We at the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) are deeply saddened by the state of structural racism and police brutality in our country.
As an organization that was founded over half a century ago on the Islamic foundation of justice and compassion for all, we have been working tirelessly in reaching out to the most underprivileged segments of our society. Today it brings us unmeasurable pain as we witness the suffering of our communities from racist ideologies and practices of those in authority.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) set the gold standard of equality and justice as he preached and practiced the principle that “All people have been created equal”. He said, “There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a non-Arab over an Arab. Neither is the white superior over the black, nor is the black superior over the white – except by piety.”
We at ICNA, are committed to these principles of equality and justice for all. What we are witnessing around us is a manifestation of systemic racist practices that have been left unchecked for too long. It’s time that our society comes together and puts an end to these suppressive policies that dehumanizes Blacks disproportionately and work towards building a just and equitable society that works for all.
Today, we stand in solidarity with our Black sisters and brothers, and demand justice for all those who have been wronged. It’s time our lawmakers to apply these golden principles of equality and justice to our entire judicial system and to public policy in America. People of this country have peacefully exercised their right to protest and speak openly against these injustices. History will not judge us fairly if we failed to rise to this occasion and work towards instituting laws and policies consistent with these principles.
We call upon people of all faith and conscience to uphold these principles of equality and justice in all walks of life. This is the only way to hope for God’s mercy and a hopeful future for our future.
The people of this country have had enough, and with the murder of George Floyd, an entire global movement had sprung up to demand justice for black lives and accountability for those in power.
American Muslims demand changes at the local, state and federal governments to provide for equal and just opportunities and respect for Blacks.
1) that schools include a more in-depth curriculum on black history that discusses slavery, oppression, civil rights and racial discrimination. This is not limited to Lincoln and MLK. We can only do better as a community when we are adequately educated and informed.
2) that there be a systematic overhaul of our judicial system. For too long, our judiciary has not held law enforcement officers accountable for their racist actions and oppression of Blacks. Hence, we demand our lawmakers introduce legislation that prevents police officers from not only committing crimes against Blacks, but also prevents them from walking free of accountability.
3) a thorough change in police activity and in their dealing with Blacks. There must be a complete reconstruction of police policies that are oppressive and being harmful towards Blacks.
4) that our local and state officials increase public investment in minority communities and help build better schools in these communities.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It serves as both a reminder of one of the most traumatizing occurrences to unfold on American soil and as a testimony to the resilience of every community living here in America.