Why Ferguson is Our Issue: A Letter to Muslim America

by Khaled A. Beydoun

Dear Muslim America:

Ferguson is your issue.   Ferguson is our issue.  For a range of reasons that go well beyond passive commitment to civil rights or symbolic solidarity, Muslim-Americans are bound to Ferguson – and the shrill demand calling for an end to state-sponsored and structural violence against Black America – that reverberates from its embattled streets.

Ferguson is a Muslim-American issue because we frequently appropriate Black imagery and ideas with no history of aligning ourselves with Black struggle.  We quote Malcolm X to counter government surveillance of our mosques, and cite Martin Luther King, Jr. to relate the struggle of Syrians to an American audience.

During the siege on Gaza months ago, we raised banners of Black Civil Rights activists ravaged by police dogs, and posted pictures of Black Civil Rights protestors violently water-hosed.  Ideas and images displaced form their original Black context, and pasted to a foreign framework in order to pronounce the plight of Palestinians…

READ THE FULL LETTER HERE: http://www.theislamicmonthly.com/why-ferguson-is-our-issue-a-letter-to-muslim-america/

(Khaled A. Beydoun is a law professor and a native of Detroit. Follow him on twitter @khaledbeydoun)

 

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