The Coalition of Americans for Pluralism in India (C.A.P.I.) paid tribute to the Black Heroes Fallen as a result of Police Atrocities by holding a Panel Discussion regarding their sacrifices. C.A.P.I. Michigan sought to find solutions to counter the growing police violence against Black Americans. This is a resurfacing issue that has kept growing in the past few decades.
A total of five speakers from different communities and racial backgrounds came forward to speak about the issue and to propose possible solutions. The five speakers were;
- Imam Khalid Griggs? (Director, ICNA Council for Social Justice)
- Imad Hamad? (Executive Director, American Human Rights Council (AHRC))
- Mark Crain? (Executive Director, Dream of Detroit),
- Bill Meyer? ?(Executive Director, OneHamtramck LLC)
Saima Khalil ?(?Attorney? and candidate for the Macomb County Prosecutor)
Masood Rab? started the event with a statement from the Islamic holy scripture of Quran,
“We created the human race from a single male and a single female, and brought forth (from them) nations and tribes to get to know each other and live together. The sign of the successful ones among you in the sight of God Almighty is the piety in them which grows in their life-styles thru adapting the Divine Dictates.” (Chapter 49, Verse 13)
He also reminded of the saying of Prophet Mohammed(peace be upon him) “A white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white – except by piety and good action.”
Shujat Khan? then proceeded with moderating the meeting.
Imam Khalid Griggs
In his statement, Mr. Griggs targeted the structural racism that runs this country. Among the points that he raised was that opportunities are denied to individuals because of their race, religion or gender every day. This structural racism has to be opposed if change is to be brought. Another common factor that was stressed was the need to be anti-racist. ?Imam Griggs? went on to address Muslims, telling them that their teachings tell them to be anti-racist. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was known to be anti-racist, believing in equality for all. In order to bring positive change, everyone needs to come together despite differences in culture, race, gender, and religion.
The policing system was discussed next. The American policing system has racism built into every aspect. There is no national database outlining the police who have killed others because of discrimination. ?Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd, had a history of discrimination yet no one questioned it. The policing system not only overlooks police who have a history of discrimination but it protects them. Police unions are powerful enough to prevent prosecution. This has to stop. The very people who are supposed to protect civilians are the ones oppressing them. Police officers use excessive amounts of force simply because they can. Of course, not all police officers are racist or bad but when enough of them are, the public stops trusting them as a group. When police officers start to reflect their personal discriminatory feelings onto the public, that’s when the problem starts. ?Mark Crain? stressed the need to defund the police and refund the people. Anything that gives the police more money or resources is not a viable solution. Oppression should not be rewarded with more money. These funds can be redirected towards other pressing issues such as healthcare or education.