In a Viral Speech, US Muslims Urged to Speak Up against Racism

Alhassan Umar moved from Ghana at the age of two when 23-year-old Amadou Diallo was killed by the police in Bronx, New York.

Twenty-two years later, George Floyd was murdered by police. Now, Umar, a 23-year-old Bronxite himself, couldn’t take the brutality against black people in his community anymore.

In a riveting and powerful talk session held at the Muslims Against Police Brutality Protest outside of the Barclays Center, Alhassan Umar offered a powerful statement.

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“So many of us Muslims in this country are immigrants. We benefit, I repeat we benefit, from the fight that our forefathers and our foremothers in this country fought… If the previous Black leaders, if the previous colored leaders, did not stand up for their rights, we would not be able to congregate peacefully like we are doing right now,” he said.

This is Taboo

A video of Al-Hirz Student Alhassan Umar speaking at a #blackivesmatter protest last week went viral online, where he called on the Muslim community to do more in the fight against racism.MEE talked to Alhassan about his experience and why he believes Muslims should show solidarity with the Black community.Alhassan's Instagram: @ally_deenFollow the Institute:Facebook: @AlHirzInstituteInstagram: @alhirzinstitute Twitter: @alhirzlegacy Contact us!: www.alhirz.org/contact

Posted by Al-Hirz Institute – Shaykh Okasha Kameny on Sunday, 14 June 2020

“My message to the Muslim community is, stop looking at this like it’s an African-American problem. This is a problem of humanity.”

“If those who we have entrusted power with to take care of us are capable of ending my life because of the color of skin, then you will not be safe from it because you are also different from them,” he said.

“To my Muslim brothers and sisters, speak up. Do your part. Do not be silent. Every voice counts. Every action counts.”

His famous speech has gone viral and attracted the attention and support of people from all over the world, especially from icons, such as Selena Gomez. 

Leading the Way

Alhassan Umar is a young college student studying psychology at Hunter College. He aims to become a therapist and help rid his community of trauma. He plans to continue to engage the young and call people to the beauty of Islam. 

The dichotomy of being from Africa and navigating the American black experience is deeply challenging for many African immigrants. However, for young Umar it is simple. He’s a Black Muslim and it is his job to stand up against all forms of oppression. 

According to an article written in Bklyner, “For the longest time, Umar felt as if he never fit in. Growing up in America, he said the people never fully accepted him as a Black person because he was from an African household. And in Africa, people never fully accepted him as an African because he was from America.”

“None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself,” Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). 

Young brothers like Alhassan Umar is an inspiration for many, as he embodies the principles of our Islamic faith in his struggle for justice.  

About Sabria Mills
Sabria Mills is the Co-founder and Executive Director of MACE - Muslims Advocates of Children with Exceptionalities. She is an Educational Leader and Social Advocate, who partners with educators, community leaders, and activists to advocate for inclusive spaces for people of all abilities. After spending nearly a decade working in education and addressing the needs of non-profit organizations, Sabria knows what truly drives social reform, equality, and education—and it’s not mastering the social advocacy flavor of the week. It’s how well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and communicate your understanding back to them.