Article Op-Ed

Do Black Lives Matter to the Muslim Community?

Do Black Lives Matter to the Muslim Community?

Author Smera Zafar by

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Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

Black lives matter. All lives matter. Yes. But do we question that white lives matter, that brown lives matter? I don’t think so. It’s not necessary to state the obvious. The sun is yellow. The grass is green. But “black lives matter”? Yes, we do have to state that, yell that. Put it on billboards, shout it from the rooftops. Because the sad history of our great country is that black lives have not mattered enough. Black blood has been treated as cheaper than oil. When oil companies had to spill oil because of excess supply, it made headlines. But we as a society spill black blood regularly, unjustly, and unashamedly.

Is there not racism in the rest of the world? Yes, there is. But for over 250 years, we have claimed “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, and that promise has held true for most, except one glaring exception. One race has been disproportionately excluded from that contract.

Are we Muslims a racist ummah? Yes, we are. No one has a monopoly on racism. But we can’t afford to remove it completely from our neighborhoods before getting involved in the greater community we live in.

It’s time our communities reached out to the NAACP, ACLU, and other organizations and joined peaceful protests. We need to come out of our comfortable suburbs and put our own voice, our resources and our collective weight behind the movement that seeks justice for not just George Floyd, but every African American young man who has to plead “I just want to live”. Now is the time. We can help maintain the momentum that can contribute to watershed accountability. So black lives matter will become a matter of fact like the blue sky, not just a slogan anymore.

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