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One of Atlanta’s most distinguished and prominent leaders, Imam Plemon El-Amin, has been appointed as a member of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) Board. MPAC is a renowned public agency, leading the modern civil rights movement for American Muslims. Their goal is to create and maintain a sincere and positive relation between Americans and American Muslims, without race, gender, or ethnicity acting as a barrier to this relationship.
In an interview directed by Muslim News Magazine, Imam Plemon discussed the deep roots of the relations amongst the African American community as well as the immigrant Muslim community. Through years of assimilation of language, culture, and a total reinvention of heritage, many American Muslim youth view their identity as only American, despite their family’s history of immigration.
However, the relationship between African American immigrants and older generations of minorities who came to the U.S. either by force or in search for the American Dream is not as glorified as it may seem. Slavery, racism, and anti-blackness stemmed from years of oppression that may never be forgotten. However, younger American Muslims have not experienced the rotten history their ancestors may have lived through, therefore allowing them to see America only in the light of open mindedness and diversity.
Another topic targeted by Imam Plemon is the relationship between African American Muslim communities, based mainly on youth involvement, and the older generation of immigrants. Despite both sides’ belief that each community must give something up to receive the benefits of a sincere group of people whose roots derive from the same history, it should be understood that each community contains its own share of a unique past. Partnerships may be built by sharing capabilities with one another, further benefiting the entire American Muslim community, rather than constantly looking for something in return.
In one of his final closing responses, Imam Plemon discussed the important and frightening topic of the African American Muslim experience. Although labels and stereotypes sometimes force some Muslims to overlook the African American Muslim community, their incredible contributions to Islamic society are impossible to disregard. Through calling the Adhan out loud, pushing citizens to vote, becoming members of our Congress, and expanding our Masajid to both men and women, the remarkable positives initiated by this community are why it is so astoundingly important to highlight the similarities among them, further allowing all American Muslim communities to bond.
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