On Sunday, May 31, 2020, over 100 Muslims who live around or hail from Atlanta gathered together virtually on a Zoom meeting to discuss how to develop solidarity within the ranks of non-Black Muslims in the city for our Black brothers and sisters.
The Black leaders who presented during the call included: - Edward Ahmed Mitchell (CAIR) - Sulaimaan Hamed (Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam) - Mansoor Sabree (IMAN Atlanta) - Zaynab Ansari (Tayseer Seminary)
We also heard from other non-Black Muslims including: - Aisha Yaqoob (Asian American Advocacy Fund) - Abdullah Jaber (CAIR Georgia) - Ibrahim Awad (The Awad Law Firm) - Dr. Abbas Barzegar (After Malcolm Project) - Jelena Naim (Al-Falah Academy)
Even though the full notes of the discussion are captured here, I’ve summarized five of my personal takeaways below.
Develop deeper, more long-term, and more meaningful relationships with our Black neighbors. We can have Masajid of different cultural backgrounds become “sister mosques” to develop more sustainable and intentional community building. We can also rotate imams at the various mosques around the city on a routine basis.
Root out anti-Black prejudice and racism in our own communities. Be brave enough to take your friend or family member aside and have uncomfortable conversations if they use inappropriate language towards race/colorism. Make public statements of support and solidarity for the plight of Black Americans, especially in our Friday khutbahs, including this Friday, June 5th on the Day of Outrage.
Engage with our local elected officials and advocate for Civilian Review Boards. Work to abolish the GILEE program, where police learn militaristic policing tactics in Israel and other countries that abuse human rights.
Petition to free Imam Jamil al-Amin from his wrongful conviction. #freeimamjamil
Learn how the true story of Islam in America has always been predominantly black. The After Malcolm project is one among many resources to center black voices and narratives in our communities.
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