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Racial Inequality Angers US Muslims

Published: 16/08/2014 03:47:52 PM GMT
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CAIRO – A week after the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, US Muslims have shared mass condemnations for the incident as a continuation of police profiling, brutality and violence against African Americans. “Despite progress in race relations over the past decades, our nation still has a long way to go to live up to the...(more)

CAIRO – A week after the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, US Muslims have shared mass condemnations for the incident as a continuation of police profiling, brutality and violence against African Americans.

“Despite progress in race relations over the past decades, our nation still has a long way to go to live up to the true American values of equality and justice for all,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.

“We need a serious and deep national conversation about how to heal these wounds, starting with all of us as individuals, family members and community leaders.”

Anger across the American society raged after the fatal shooting of Brown last Saturday in Missouri by police.

According to media reports, St. Louis County police claimed the unarmed Brown had struggled for an officer’s gun in a patrol car before he was killed.

Witnesses said Brown, who is African-American, had his hands up when he was shot. Brown’s death triggered angry demonstrations and calls by several civil rights organizations for the US Justice Department to investigate the shooting.

A recent study by the American Psychological Association has shown that African American boys are typically perceived by police as guilty and face police violence if accused of a crime.

Condemning the incident, CAIR asked Imams to devote their sermons on Friday prayer to racial equality in response to Missouri police shooting.

In this sermon, imams were urged to remind worshippers that “law enforcement authorities have the highest standard to preserve human life and the dignity of those they “protect and serve.””

It also added that, “Muslims have the responsibility to stand for those who are marginalized or suffer injustice” and that “American Muslims should get more involved in broad social justice issues and present Islam’s progressive position for civil rights and against racism.”

Seeking Justice

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has also expressed concerns over the fatal shooting, welcoming the US Justice Department’s decision to investigate the incident.

“Our condolences go out to the Brown family on this terrible tragedy. We are deeply alarmed by the continuation of police brutality and violence against minorities, in particular African Americans,” ISNA president Imam Mohamed Magid said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.

“We hope that the federal investigation will independently determine the facts and take appropriate action.  ISNA and the American Muslim community joins with others who seek justice in this troubling incident.

“Until this problem is addressed on the national level, these incidents will continue to erode the public’s confidence in law enforcement and the justice system,” he added.

Since 9/11, Muslims, estimated between six to seven million, have become sensitized to an erosion of their civil rights, with a prevailing belief that America was stigmatizing their faith.

Muslims’ anger has grown against the New York police following revelations in 2011 by the Associated Press that the NYPD used undercover agents to spy on Muslim communities.

A report by the AP said that the NYPD sent out undercover officers into ethnic communities to track daily life and monitor mosques as well as Muslim student organizations.

Police intimidation was not limited to Muslims.

More than four million New Yorkers, mainly black and Latino, were stopped and interrogated under NYPD's "stop-and-frisk" policy from 2002 to 2010, according to police data.

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here

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