بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
Holly Quran Chapter Al-Ma’idah 5:32
“…أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْفَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا ۚ …”
“…whoever kills a soul … it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely…”
Bilal Community Center vehemently condemns the brutal, inhumane and senseless murder of George Floyd by the racist Minneapolis police officers and calls for a speedy and commensurate justice against the four savage officers. We are extremely saddened and aggrieved by this loss of another unarmed sacred human life as a result of continuing systemic racism against people of color. We, as African-American Muslims of Ethiopian origin, are extremely heartbroken by this senseless murder and mourn yet again the loss of another one of our own to the enduring racism and bias against people of color in America. As adherents of Islam and its ingrained sanctity of life, we demand swift and proportional justice be served in manner that sends a resounding message to any police officer or government agent harboring potential racist bias against people of color.
As Muslims, we firmly believe every human being is created equal. To that effect, Allah SW says in the Holly Quran chapter 49:13 Surah Hujirat.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
O mankind! Indeed, we created you from a male and a female and We made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, (the) most noble of you near Allah (is the) most righteous of you Indeed, Allah (is) All-Knower, All-Aware. (Surah Hujirat 49:13)
This Islamic foundation of equality of human beings was articulated by the the prophet Muhammad SAW in his address of his companions in one of the last sermons on mount Arafat when he said “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over non-Arab nor non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white man has no superiority over black nor a black man has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.” Islam as a religion has set the platform for universal equality by the decree of Almighty Allah SW that human life is sacred and human beings have inviolable universal rights that were bestowed by our creator, Allah SW. As Allah SW stated in the above verse, the variation in our appearances and categorizations as different ethnicity, nations, tribes etc. are only needed for the purpose of knowing and recognizing one another.
Human history, unfortunately, is full of documented violations of the universal decree of Almighty Allah SW stemming from disbelief in the Creator, arrogance, hunger for power, deceit, greed, ignorance and disregard for basic human rights and dignity. The shameful legacy of slavery here in America has been one of the worst forms of injustice in modern history through the denial of basic human rights and human dignity for millions of African Americans throughout time. Slavery subjugated black people in America as property of white men for hundreds of years, stripped them of their identity and self knowledge, denied them of their human rights and completely disconnected them from their ancestral religious (mainly Islam), linguistic and cultural traditions of Africa. The saddest thing of all, black people were not only stripped of their religious practice, but they were also forced to adapt their master’s religion that openly declared black people as inferior to whites and justified the horrors against black slaves.
Even after slavery was formally abolished, black people in America have continued to be victims of open and tacit racism and have been subjected to a seemingly unending struggle for their God-given and constitutionally affirmed basic rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. More than 150 years after slavery was formally abolished, black people in America still live in the shadow of constant fear for their lives and are still fighting for their right to live and be respected as a human being while also fighting for equal opportunity in sharing wealth and resources of this land, the right for good education, the right to vote and most importantly the right to have equal protection of the law.
Black people in America continue to pay the ultimate price for far too long to bring about justice and equality in this country. African-Americans and all peace loving Americans still live with the memory of the civil rights movement during which peaceful demonstrators were time and again treated by brutal government and law enforcement agents with bullets, fierce dogs and fire hoses for demanding their basic rights. Police brutality against people of color is not a new phenomena; it has a deep-rooted foundation in the criminal justice system of America. The countless lynching of black people in the south has been carried out by racists including uniformed officers with badges. Racists in America still want to hold black people subservient to the old white racist bigotry.
The plight of Black people ever since they set foot in this country never stopped, four hundred years later black people are still crying and dying for freedom, justice and equality that white Americans enjoy and take for granted every day. Today a new form of lynching by law enforcement agents who kills unarmed black men is regularly taking place in broad daylight while cameras are rolling. Such reprehensible actions continue with the shootings, chocking and strangling of people of color for mere suspicions or inadequate petty crimes with no excuse . This kind of savage killing has become an often too familiar and recurrent occurrence across all major cities of the United States. In the last 10 years, brutal police shootings in this country have been increasing at an alarming rate. According to the LA times, police shooting has become the second leading cause of death among African men (https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2019-08-15/police-shootings-are-a-leading-cause-of-death-for-black-men)
About 400 black and hispanic people were shot to death by police officers in America in each of the past three years (https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/). As witnessed time and again, some of them were young unarmed black men whose lives prematurely ended before they even had a chance to find their place in the world. Young African-Americans frequently become targets of police brutality for petty crimes or the mere suspicion of crime that should never have been allowed to reach such an epidemic level. The utter disregard of elected officials throughout American history to effectively address this problem is equally to blame for the continued slaughter of black lives. The brutal and rogue elements of racist police continue to enjoy immunity from persecution under the veil of ‘perceived threat’ while unarmed black lives continue to perish in their hands every time.
Here are some of the unarmed young black lives that were brutally and prematurely ended by police officers; some of whom were gunned down in the sanctity of their own homes where they sought safety and security from the cruelty prevalent in the world and the ‘misfortune’ of being born as a person of color.
When is this violence against people of color going to end? When are the systemic racism and brutal police killing of the black men and women going to end? When is the long overdue criminal justice reform going to happen in this nation that is disproportionately sending young black youth to the ground or prison?
When are these young black men and women brutally gunned down by police are going to find justice? When would elected officials at the federal, state and local levels truly open their eyes and see the plight of people of color and take measures to permanently weed out racist people hiding behind their with uniform and badges?
How long must our children live in unending fear of hate and racism disguised in uniforms and badges? What would it take for the violence being committed against young black men and women in this country to an end?
Islam teaches us that all lives matter; in order for this universal decree to have true meaning, BLACK LIVES SHOULD MATTER TO EVERYONE! Every human being matters! The destruction of black lives must come to an end; justice can not be delayed. As the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied. The brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN is yet another abhorrent crime against innocent unarmed black man; it is an atrocity perpetrated against all of humanity. The officers that took away George Floyd’s life while he gasped and begged to breath must answer and pay of their actions. George Floyd’s last moments of immeasurable inhumanity and cruelty must never be allowed to happen to another human being ever again. Those moments so devoid of humanity must be the last straw! The State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis must make an example of these savage police officers send a resounding message to the rest of America that racism, cruelty and inhumanity have no place in our country. Now more than ever we, as blacks and other people of color, call on all humans to put an end to the racism. We should always remember it matters not how we came to this world but only how we choose to live our lives and meet our creator!
We, at Bilal Community Center of DFW, Texas, are heartened by the quick actions of the the Minneapolis Police Department in firing and subsequent arrest of the murderous officers and the actions taken so far by Governor Tim Waltz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and the other local and state officials. We, along with every concerned human being in the world, demand justice for George Floyd. We also demand that our elected officials at every level of government in America immediately enact and implement measures to effectively end blatant and systemic racism against people of color. Justice must be served. The cry for justice must be heard. The daily demonstration riots and cry for justice can not be ignored and the people’s voice can not be silenced anymore! Criminal and social justice is the only solution to the problem of racial inequality in our country. It is time that all Americans (white, black, hispanic, asian etc.) stand together in solidarity to denounce and condemn unjust police killings of any human being and demand a true reform to the criminal justice system currently responsible for the loss of thousands lives and millions of incarcerations.
At a local level, Bilal Community Center would like to urge everyone to:
- pray to our Creator for guidance and softness of heart towards all human beings,
- participate in every possible peaceful means of expressing sadness and anger at the continuing loss of unarmed black lives at the hands of law enforcement agents,
- continue educating our children the dangers posed by racism against people of color and our unfortunate reality,
- actively engage local elected officials to foster equal application of the rule of law, accountability and humanity to everyone including law enforcement agents, and
- actively participate in local elections to start addressing systemic racism at the grass-root level.
We will never forget our brothers and sisters that perished to these senseless murders by racists and will never let up our struggle for and pursuit of equality for all human beings in America. We will never stop raising our collective voices against injustice, racism and discrimination against people of color.
We ask Allah SW to give solace to everyone currently grieving, strength to all attempting to bring about change in our social and criminal justice system, wisdom and humbleness to our elected leaders to recognize the will of the people and act accordingly, and peace to all corners of the world.