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Atlanta Muslims React to Tamir Rice

Atlanta Muslims React to Tamir Rice

Author Atlanta Muslim Community by

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In November 2014, two officers in Cleveland, Ohio shot down 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was playing with a toy gun on a playground. The officers fired at Rice two seconds after arriving on the scene and didn’t attempt to administer first aid after shooting.

Earlier this week, the judge on the case decided that neither officer would face criminal charges. This lack of indictment has caused a national outrage at the U.S.’s justice system.

Here is what members of the Atlanta Muslim community had to say about the judge’s decision:

Asma Elhuni

Asma Elhuni is a local activist and junior at Georgia State University. She majors in Political Science and Women’s Studies.

I am sorry Tamir Rice; we have failed you. I learned that our nation holds no one accountable for the death of a child who merely wanted to throw snow and shoot imaginary bad guys because he was black and was considered one himself. I remind myself of a day we shall all stand before our Lord and will be asked if we did what was in our power to call out and stop racism in our nation. If not, know that we too are responsible for this child's death. Responsible for allowing a system to continuously target and discriminate against a people because of the notions our society discreetly and sometimes not so discreetly sends about those with greater melanin. We are all travelers. Some will get there sooner than others. Rest in Peace Tamir Rice. May your death be an awakening for many.

Ahmed Salim

There's a reason this is happening: because the law is too permissive of the police's use of force. There are a number of ways we can remedy this situation: - Look up the laws in your locality. If they don't make sense, push for them to be changed.

- Look at the training of your local police force. Do they teach de-escalation tactics? Cultural sensitivity training?

 - Look at the policies and procedures on investigating the lethal use of force and police misconduct. Do they only permit internal investigation or external/independent review? Is the investigation subject to a grand jury where the prosecutor presenting the facts is local and has an established relationship with the police?

- Look at the consequences. How do the police get reprimanded for violations? Paid leave during investigation? If found guilty, do they simply get fired or charged with a crime? Would the charge be equitable?

America will crumble only once there are people permanently above the law. If the law is fair and applied equally to everyone, whether rich or poor, powerful or weak, then America still has hope.


M. Khurram Baig

The Baig Firm, which is a top-rated Law Firm, specializing in Litigation with an emphasis in helping small and mid-sized businesses.

While it wouldn't undo the sheer tragedy of what happened to Tamir Rice, there is a way to honor him: We need federal legislation that would establish new training requirements and national standards for all law enforcement officers. Specifically, the legislation needs to emphasize training in the use of non-lethal weapons while simultaneously redefining the circumstances that can give rise to and justify the use of deadly force. Importantly, the legislation should make assignment of a Special Federal Prosecutor mandatory in all officer involved shooting cases so that local D.A. offices are not required to criminally review the officers they work with on a daily basis. Such legislation would go a long way towards making sure Tamir's life was not lost in vain. R.I.P. Tamir.

Ameerah A Rahman
By the token of time they stole a life..
2 minutes on the playground
2 minutes safe and sound
2 minutes to play and wave your toy gun around
2 minutes to play on the swing, hum and sing
2 minute for a phone to ring
2 minutes He snatched away his life
2 minutes a child paid and ugly price
If you just took to minutes to see, there was nothing to fear from me
2 minutes to simply say put it down
2 minutes to say young boy turn around
2 minutes to say lay the gun on the ground
2 minutes to ask his name
2 minutes to see he was only playing a game.
2 minutes to see it was just a toy
2 minutes to steal away a child’s joy
2 minutes he was stolen away from family and friends
2 minutes a mother will never hold her child again
2 minutes He paid a price that no child should pay, when goes out to play on a snowy but clear day
A society desensitized to human life an innocent child paid the price.
TAMIR RICE Gone but not forgotten

Kelly Crosby

Local writer and artist

While I’m saddened by the outcome I cannot say that I am surprised. Unfortunately America has a long history of injustices towards people of color, particularly African Americans, and this is just another extension of that. I pray and hope that this will be rectified in the future and that Tamir Rice and his family can be exonerated and that we do not have cases like this ever again.

Najwa Ahmed

Najwa is the Owner of Atlanta's Exclusive Women's Only Fitness Studio EmPower Dance and Fitness. Her passion lies in helping women reach their fitness goals by providing an encouraging environment and workouts that produce real results.

Heartbreak would sum up the emotion. As a mother of an 11-year-old son, I can only try to relate to what Tamir’s mother must feel. While an indictment would not have brought Tamir back, it would have at the very least held someone responsible. The feeling of no justice, on top of the loss of a child must be immense. However, justice is always served. God is the best of judges. My prayer is that He bestows his Mercy upon this family. May he bring peace into their hearts when there is seemingly none to be found. May we as a people stand up to injustice as if it were our very own at the receiving end. And truly Tamir Rice is our own, in human kind.

Jaasmeen Hamed

There is an excerpt in this poem that describes the current matter of our society that has bred a type of thinking, actions, and laws that create matters like that of Tamir Rice.

"...this is all i know how to do, carry loss around until i begin to resemble every bad memory, every terrible fear, every nightmare anyone has ever had..." - From: The Unbearable Weight of Staying, Warsan Shire

This young man's death is the manifestation of every nightmare any parent, child, or any family member will have, but will not have the power to wake from or prevent from occurring. This society will continue to lose until there is nothing left to lose. May God have mercy on the soul of this young man, and the society that we live in. Ameen.


Imam Mansoor Sabree

Imam Mansoor Sabree is the Regional Community Organizer for I.M.A.N Central- the Inner-city Muslim Action Network. Imam Sabree is the former Resident Imam of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam.

Personally I am outraged. There is nothing reasonable about shooting a 12 year old in a park and no one is responsible. If we don't treat the lives of our children as sacred then our collective humanity is on life support.

Shahidah Sharif

Shahidah Sharif serves on the board of Sisters United in Human Service, Interfaith Children's Movement of Atlanta, is the Communications Director of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam, and is co-founder and COO of Professional Hajj and Umrah Guides, LLC.

My initial state of disbelief quickly dwindled into disappointment and disintegrated into disgust at the non-indictment outcome. I say our because like many other mothers of African-American young males, I view him as my own. His innocent face is forever imprinted on my mind and heart in anguish for what his mother, Samaria Rice, felt but could not express in response to the verdict. In the Islamic faith, Muslims are encouraged to command good and forbid evil through our actions, words, and at the least by dispelling it in their heart and praying about it. At this point in our history, it is incumbent upon us to enact all three measures because in isolation they may be effective, but together they can accomplish more. While my heart and prayers are with the family of Tamir Rice, I want my words to reach them and know that the African American Muslim community is behind them and will not merely pray for justice but will speak and act.

“Whoever kills a person [innocent person] it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Quran, Al Maidah: 5:32)


Mansa Bilal Mark King

Mansa Bilal Mark King, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Morehouse College. His scholarship has covered indigenous Muslim minorities in the USA and in Ghana; racial reconciliation processes; Afro-American father-figure involvement; and racial inequalities in American schools. He seeks to balance his academic endeavors with activism and a healthy family life. 

I never have thoughts particular to a single case. For me, it is about the overall societal pattern. In some cases, agents of the US justice system commit gross and blatant acts that further entrench racial inequality. In other cases, agents commit covert acts under the cover of more plausible justifications. But in light of the overall pattern, one sees that they are still further entrenching racial inequality. In very few cases, agents of the system collaborate in producing a just outcome from the moment a police office gets involved until the moment a judge proclaims the case to be closed.

I look at everything that is happening and just gauge where we are in relation to where we need to be heading. In very rare moments, God grants me a useful insight on what I can do to help move us towards the goal.


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