Immigrant Islam as we know it today would not have existed had it not been for the civil rights movement. By 1965, the Immigration Act was introduced and abolished the then racist quotas and allowed, for the first time, immigration from Asia and Africa.
You must know that part of history… if you are an immigrant or a son of an immigrant, you must stand up and say oh Allah I am so grateful for the sacrifices of the people who struggled hard during the civil rights movement for me to be able to now be here as a Muslim in America.
In Islam we are taught to accept all people and disregard color, nationality or ethnicity.
Our Muslim community is a global community of diversity, variety and color.
Sadly though, black Muslim Americans face racism from our brothers and sisters in Islam.
Embracing Black Muslims
How can we as Muslims address this shameful problem?
This video by Dr. Altaf Husain addresses this heavy topic offering 5 practical solutions:
1. A sincere apology for years of alienating black Muslims is necessary.
2. Do not consider black Muslims as the other.
3. Recognize their contributions. Black Muslims contributions are much more than the legacy of Malcolm X and Mohamed Ali.
4. Meaningful collaboration; this should start on the individual level.
5. We need to start twinning programs between mosques and Muslim organizations.
Anytime you begin to feel a little bit arrogant about who you are as immigrants and where you have come from, always remind yourself that you may not even have been in this country had it not been that a slave, either a man or a woman, who was Muslim ran into the fields of somewhere in Mississippi or Alabama or Georgia or Florida scared that the master was going to beat them to death for being a Muslim and for practicing Islam.
They raised their hands in the middle of the night in the fields and said o Allah even if I can’t practice Islam, even if I can’t continue to be a Muslim, o Allah replace me with people who will come in this land and practice this religion. That may be the only reason any of us are here today.