The Crescent Report

September 3, 2010

African-American Muslim Leaders Hold National Press CoAfrican-American Muslim Leaders Hold National Press Conference in Support of Civil Rights and Religious Freedom in America

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 9:49 am

Muslims have always been in the United States, even before there was a United States. They came as explorers, adventurers, and packed like animals in the bellies of slave ships as part of the brutal transatlantic slave trade. Yesterday, the sons and daughters of these Muslims made their voice heard in a response to the rising tide of Islamophobia and the attack on Islam and Muslims. Check out the piece below and click here to see the webcast of this historical event.

-Imam Mahdi Bray

Quote of the day:  Oh freedom. Oh freedom. Oh freedom over me. But before I’d be a slave I’d be buried in my grave and go home to live with Allah.

African-American Muslim Leaders Hold National Press Conference in Support of Civil Rights and Religious Freedom in America

In a display of principled unity and determination, a broad spectrum of African American leaders from the diverse Muslim community in America held a historic press conference at the Washington, DC National Press Club on September 2nd, 2010, (click here to see press conference) to denounce the rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Muslim violence in the country and affirm unwavering support for the right of Muslims to build mosques and community centers freely in America.

The new group, called the Coalition of African American Muslims, represented leaders  from academia, civil rights, direct human services, and other organizations in the African-American Muslim community, which constitutes the single largest ethnic group of Muslims in the United States.  This leadership group also included Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, Imam Siraj Wahaj of Brooklyn, New York, Sister Asma Hanif of the Council of Muslim Organizations , Imam Zayd Shaker of the Zaytuna Institute, Imam Abdul Malik, and Imam Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society Freedom (MAS Freedom).

Imam Bray presented the large audience of press and community members with an overview of the disturbing national trend that witnesses organized attempts by some forces to block the establishment or expansion of Muslim mosques and community centers, and even to physically desecrate mosques and attack persons thought to be Muslims.  Despite these actions, however, Bray declared that “it is right that we take our place, as Muslims, in a new America.”  He further noted that, while major corporate media did not cover many stories involving these acts of hostility directed against Muslims, “we are covered by something much greater than the corporate media, and that is Allah.”

He also called for the passage of a House of Representatives bill that would create medical coverage for the first responders to the September 11, 2001 attacks, calling the failure of Congress to pass this appropriation a “disgrace.”

Sister Asma Hanif, President of the Council of Muslim Organizations in the greater Washington, DC-Baltimore area, then addressed the audiences about her experiences as a Muslim woman and an African-American, noting that she experiences no oppression as a Muslim, but “experiences real oppression growing up as a Black person in North Carolina.”  Imam Abdul Malik, the organizer of the Muslim Prayer Day on Capitol Hill, noted that “the greatness of America is in its people”, and that “Islam is a path of true salvation for America.”

The concluding remarks by Minister Farrakhan summed up the sentiments of all the previous speakers.  He said that Islam is on trial in America, and that “America must become more than a great nation.  It must become a righteous nation, and there are consequences when any nation violates moral law.”  He then noted that there are a great many good people in America among the Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Agnostics of the nation.

When asked about the impact of the furor over the so-called “Ground Zero” community center and mosque project in Manhattan, Imam Siraj stated that this issue has brought Muslims from all over New York City together as never before.  There are some 200 mosques and 55 religious schools serving the estimated 800,000 Muslims in the New York area, and the community is resolute in protecting the constitutional rights and religious freedoms of the community.

-Ibrahim Ramey

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: