As he pleaded for his life, “I can’t breathe”, another innocent Black life was taken. The murder of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers is yet another tragedy, symptomatic of a widespread disease, far more lethal than the COVID-19 pandemic.
Northern California Islamic Council (NCIC) expresses steadfast solidarity with the family of George Floyd and the broader Black community in the US, and offers deepest condolences to the loved ones of all such innocent victims of brutal police violence. We are all connected through the long, painful, and constant historical struggle for justice, fairness and equality for all. Let’s be clear, State violence against Black Americans has gone on for far too long and without any accountability; the time to end it is NOW and calls for our urgent attention.
At this critical moment, the NCIC is unequivocally clear: We deem institutional racism and White Supremacy a serious threat and the primary sources for the suffering, pain and actual death of Blacks, and other minorities in our society. Institutional racism, police violence, anti-Black racism, systemic indifference and demonization cascaded all at once in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020, and murdered an unarmed innocent George Floyd in broad daylight and caught on video for the whole world to watch. The issue is not about one or four bad apples in one or more of the police departments across the country; rather it is political, social, economic, cultural, media and religious structures that result in e the conditions ending up with innocent dead, maimed and imprisoned Black community members.
Racism regulates and shapes everything in America and across the world, nothing escapes its clutches. NCIC members, mosques and leaders feel the pain with the families of Ahmaud Arbery, who was also killed by two white men while jogging in Georgia; Breonna Taylor, a health worker, was killed by the police in her home; Philando Castile, who was murdered in Minnesota in front of his 4-year-old daughter by the police; and before them Eric Garner, murdered by police for selling a box of cigars outside a store. And now we sadly see yet another soul lost in George Floyd. The list of Black Americans killed by the police and White Supremacy is so extensive that it would need volumes to include them all but behind each name is a lost life, dashed dreams, deep pain and an empty hole in family gatherings and celebrations that can never be filled. A Black American walking, running, driving, playing video games at home, setting in the school, or just bird watching risks being either dead or maimed in jail, or racially harassed on a daily basis. Expressions of solidarity are a step in the right direction, but clearly not enough in the face of unfair incarceration, police violence, economic impoverishment, environmental destruction, and gentrification! What we need, and what NCIC calls for, is a real and substantive inner soul searching for brotherhood and sisterhood to bring about transformation in every aspect in our society.
As Muslims and followers of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), the solidarity of brotherhood and sisterhood that the Prophet built between the Ansar (residents) and Muhajiroon (migrants), what befell one affected every member of the society equally. NCIC is guided by the teachings of the Qur’an that states, O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, though it may be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor…(The Holy Qur’an 4:135), and Hadith (Sayings of Prophet Muhammad) that stated, The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.
NCIC seeks to embody, in spirit and deeds, the meaning of the Qur’anic verse and Hadith and will undertake all the needed steps to support the initiatives that are led and originated by leaders of the Black American and Black Muslim community here in California and across the country. Furthermore, NCIC will work to hold ourselves, and institutions that we work in and with to accountability in effecting and implanting transformative change that will address all facets of institutional anti-Black racism. Lastly, we will rally all community members to hold all those public officials accountable for the continual and increasing atrocities being committed by law enforcement against the Black American community. NCIC is fully prepared and ready to actively support the leadership of our Black Muslim Brothers and Sisters in exposing and eradicating the systemic oppression, racism, and abuse being perpetrated and perpetuated across this country in their communities. We extend our collective hand in partnership and solidarity with the nation.
Call to Action:
- Muslim organizations, masjids and Islamic Centers are urged to participate in the Day of Outrage on Friday, June 5. Masjids are urged to dedicate their Friday talks in condemnation of anti-Blackness and police brutality.
- Muslim organizations, masjids and Islamic Centers to commit internally to addressing anti-Blackness within their locality through education, dialogue, courageous conversations and a firm commitment to accountability. They should also make an external commitment to work with Black communities in their local cities as allies to address anti-Blackness within their community and congregation, publicly recogizing that this is a priority issue within the Muslim community.
- Call the District Attorney Mike Freeman at (612) 348-5550 demanding that all four police officers who were on site during the murder of George Floyd be held accountable, and be immediately charged and investigated.
- Participate in July 4th “Ride Out”: Join local efforts to uplift justice and equity for the Black community including calls to actions and protests etc.