STATEMENT OF THE ISLAMIC SHURA COUNCIL OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ON POLICE VIOLENCE, ANTI BLACKNESS, AND RACISM

STATEMENT OF THE ISLAMIC SHURA COUNCIL OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ON POLICE VIOLENCE, ANTI BLACKNESS, AND RACISM

June 1, 2020

To God we belong and to Him we shall return

On Monday, May 25, 2020, we heard the words reverberate through the world, “I can’t breathe,” as another beautiful soul was lost to senseless violence. The Islamic Shura Council of Southern California extends our deepest condolences to the friends and families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all of the innocent victims of police brutality and white supremacy. During this time, as a community, we take a step back to reflect on the ongoing subjugation that has been committed on our black brothers and sisters since the inception of our nation. The Islamic Shura Council condemns this unabated systemic violence and stands in solidarity with the communities who have known this oppression for too long.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “None of you fully believes until you love for your fellow (human) brother/sister what you love for yourself” and “Spread peace and you will receive peace.” Our nation is in desperate need of respect, justice, peace, and love. It is clear that this violence is not simply the work of a few but is deeply rooted. Structural oppression and institutional racism are threats to our community and the soul of our society, impeding our nation from living up to its ideals. Shura Council clearly and explicitly stands against all forms of racism, specifically anti-black racism and oppression, both structural and social.

With the most recent senseless killing of George Floyd, we witnessed institutional racism manifest itself in police violence, police indifference, and dehumanization. Whether we recognize it or not, our community is connected to this oppression as we are all parties to the political, social, and economic systems that enable white supremacy and anti-black brutality. As a community, we need to commit to standing firm against anti-black oppression and opening our hearts to learning and growth.

To our black brothers and sisters in the community, we know we need to do better. We know that there is a lot of work to do that you have been bearing the brunt of alone for far too long. We hear you and we are committing ourselves to change and growth, exemplified by our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). We must also sincerely come to terms with the reality that there are various types of racism deeply embedded in our community. We must commit to working with relevant organizations and utilizing resources to equip our members with the tools to combat anti-blackness, whether overt or inadvertent.

Shura Council calls on organizations to reflect on this critical juncture and take concrete steps to translate God-given teachings into real-world action. We urge organizational leadership to commit to the following:

Education

Participate in the Day of Outrage this Friday, June 5th, 2020. We call organizations and Masjid leaders to dedicate their Jumuah Khutbahs or post recorded messages condemning anti-blackness, police brutality, and racism against marginalized communities. Some Jumuah Khutbah pointers can be found here and guiding information is here. Continuously host events in your community around the history of police brutality and current movements combating systemic violence.

Direct Action

Publish a Statement of Solidarity with the Black community, specifically the Black families who have lost loved ones to police violence. We urge organizations to post it on their websites and send it out in their newsletter as a public commitment to your constituents. Participate in the Day of Outrage this Friday by joining ISLAH LA’s online program and phone banking session. Participate in the Cali Muslim Ride Out on July 4, 2020. More details for this event to come.

Prophetic Community Building

Utilize resources to train your organization’s leadership. It is necessary moving forward to have critical conversations within our community spaces around combating anti-black racism both internally and externally. Please see the “Actions Muslims Should Take In Response to Police Brutality” MuslimARC toolkit resource for examples and ideas. Evaluate your organization’s relationship and engagement with law enforcement. We urge community leaders to assess their existing relationships with local police departments and make sure that they are being held accountable when there is misconduct. Additionally, ensure that all community members are and feel safe when law enforcement is present in community spaces. Uplift existing black Muslim institutions through financial support, resource exchange, and collaboration. Join local efforts in your city or county to uplift justice and equality for the Black community.

In Solidarity, Board and Staff of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.## A New Post