Dear CAIR Supporters,
On behalf of the entire CAIR family, I write to express strong support for, solidarity with, and commitment to our African-American brothers and sisters, especially to families who have lost loved ones to police violence.
At CAIR, we are heartbroken over the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Steven Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Yassin Mohamed. They are simply the latest in a long line of Black men and women struck down by police officers who were sworn to serve and protect them.
As a diverse Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization dedicated to harnessing our values in service to our society, CAIR recognizes that justice for all in America cannot come to fruition without an unwavering commitment to achieving justice for Black Americans.
“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even though it be against yourselves…” The Holy Quran, 4:135
To that end, CAIR condemns all forms of anti-Black violence, whether the culprits are police officers like Derek Chauvin in Minnesota or rogue individuals like Gregory and Travis McMichael in Georgia. We also unequivocally condemn all other manifestations of anti-Black racism, whether seen in our government, our society or even our communities.
However, we must do more than condemn. We must take concrete action.
That is why we at CAIR are establishing a special task force to help support, advance and amplify the policy reforms sought by Black American leaders and organizations.
As for what you and the broader community can do to help, we first urge individuals, mosques and Muslim organizations to learn more about anti-racism initiatives by partnering and training with organizations like the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, the Muslim Wellness Foundation and others.
We also urge everyone to join and watch the Muslim Alliance of North America’s (MANA) online event, “Finding the Prophetic Voice in Times of Crisis,” which is scheduled for tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET.
We further uplift the following demands that we have heard from Black Muslim leaders inside and outside of CAIR:
1. Public Statement: Muslim organizations, mosques and community centers should consider publishing letters of solidarity with the Black members of their community and in particular with Black families whose loved ones have been taken and impacted by police violence.
2. Joint Events: Muslim individuals and organizations should support or participate in safe and peaceful local events condemning anti-Black racism and police brutality.
3. Community Education and Empowerment: Muslim organizations, mosques and community centers should commit to learning about and addressing anti-Black racism in our society, and even within our own communities.
For example, we can:
• arrange events featuring Black elders and youth inside and outside the Muslim community, including Black scholars and imams, Black civil rights leaders, and Black activists
• engage in more courageous conversations across lines of race and culture that move us towards deepened partnerships, and
• ensure that the leadership of our organizations reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the American Muslim community.
We know that our faith is incompatible with systems of racial hierarchy and we should all do more to put this knowledge into action.
We should redouble our efforts to do what our Prophet Muhammad (may peace, prayers and blessings be upon him) taught us to do: recognize, expose and reject racism, particularly the scourge of anti-Blackness.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim)
Thank you for your support. Please feel free to reach out to us with additional ideas, and please reach out to us if we can assist your community in pursuing these efforts.
May Allah SWT guide and protect all of us.
National Executive Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)