As Black Muslims, we are calling for an end to terrorism and extremist ideologies. We have grown weary of heinous actions being committed by fanatics which take the lives of innocent human beings. This has propelled us to demand that more moderates take the initiative to step up and vehemently denounce, reject, and actively work against radicalizing ideologies.
In light of this, where are the “moderate white” Americans in the media to highlight how European colonialism led to the direct destruction of several Black Muslim societies, such as the Sokoto Caliphate, Kingdom of Jolof, Bornu Sultanate, Sultanate of Damagaram, and Zeila?
Where are the #notinmyname campaigns by white citizens to disassociate themselves from European colonists?
Where are the “moderate white people” in the media to challenge the grotesque misrepresentations of Islam as a violent religion perhaps by highlighting how even before Gandhi and Dr. King, that Black Muslim Amadou Bamba led his followers to a non-violent struggle against French colonialism that consisted of fasting and praying, and that his over three million peaceful followers today completely surpasses that of modern day extremist groups who use the banner of Islam?
Where are the “moderate white people” in the media to challenge the inaccurate image of Islam in the media as a uniquely patriarchal and misogynistic religion by highlighting the work of Nana Asmau, a black, Muslim, woman, who is revered as the precursor to African Feminism, and who was a scholar and politician, who worked to spread literacy to women throughout west Africa and who cited the wives of the Prophet of Islam, as influence for her educational campaigns?
Where are the “moderate white people” to promote the narratives of Black Muslim women such as Safiya Bukhari to balance the exorbitant attention that the narrative of Ayaan Hirsi Ali has garnered? As a Black Panther, Safiya Bukhari describes her conversion to Islam as something which empowered her to challenge the structural racism of the United States,“In dealing with the government of the United States of America, I was very clear that they were just men and women, while Allah was God. Him alone should I fear.”
While Ali’s anti-islam polemic Infidel has garnered mass media attention and has been held up on a pedestal as proof of Islam’s inherent patriarchy and the superiority of western liberalism, Bukhari’s The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther reveals the patriarchy inherent in western Liberalism and for her Islam as a means of women’s empowerment within it.
Where are the “moderate white people” to repudiate government programs such as COINTELLPRO that targeted Black Muslim leaders such as Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan and Muhammad Ali, and that made an effort to destroy Black Muslim organizations, as unjust and immoral?
Where are the “moderate white people” to speak out against mainstream theories of international relations such as the hegemonic stability theory which justifies white supremacy by arguing that the non-white anarchic world can become “stabilized” if there is a global police cop in the form of a white nation-state to ensure order and enforce rules?
Who in the white community will speak out against extremist activities such as the war on drugs, redlining, blockbusting, gerrymandering, and the litany of other nefarious tools utilized to keep black communities impoverished and subject to structural violence?
Where are the moderate white Americans to work against the anti-black extremist institution of the prison industrial complex that has grown so large that now one in three black men will be behind bars at some point in their lives?
More broadly, where are the moderate white American to speak out and acknowledge that these aforementioned crimes against humanity are not “isolated incidents” but stem from a global political system of white supremacy that systematically radicalizes politicians in white- controlled nation-states and encourages them to continuously militarily invade, economically exploit, and commit other tyrannical acts of violence against people of color?
Black Muslim Issues not on the Radar for Discussion
Black Muslims continuously discover that issues impacting their communities are ignored and not even on the radar for discussion. The debates over extremism have primarily centered upon white fears and paranoia surrounding Islam.
Islamophobia has led to sensationalist media headlines constantly broadcasting jihadist threats, think tanks warning of the dangers of radical Islam, and Muslim populations consistently being surveilled and criminalized. There are debates in the media that center upon whether the Quran promotes violence, and Islam is examined critically under a microscope as pundits question whether the religion needs to be reformed.
Islamophobia, which seeks to make Islam synonymous with violence, barbarity and depravity, is also damaging to the Black liberation struggle in America. In seeking to create a hyperbolic threat out of Islam, it obfuscates the very real, systemic crimes of White supremacy and criminalizes Black Muslims who utilize Islam to resist the structural violence inflicted upon them by a White supremacist society.
When Black Lives Matter in America, there would will be think tanks, presidential debates, media discourse that would will focus on “White supremacist extremist” and discuss addressing and solving white supremacist terrorism with as much or actually even greater urgency and persistence as is currently given to proposing solutions for “Islamic extremism.”