Statement Against Injustices Facing the Black Community
“O you who believe! Be steadfast maintainers of justice, witnesses for God, though it be against yourselves, or your parents and kinsfolk, and whether it be someone rich or poor, for God is nearer unto both.” -Qur’an [4:135]
We at American Muslim Bar Association (AMBA) send our love to the family and loved ones of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Maurice Gordon and countless Black lives murdered by law enforcement and white supremacist violence. We are in solidarity with, and amplify the voices of, people on the ground who demand we divest from law enforcement institutions on the local, state, and federal levels. We are committed to dismantling the root causes of violence and brutality against the Black community and unwanted police presence in predominantly Black neighborhoods.
In addition, we demand the diversion and redistribution of our public resources to fund institutions and services that will safeguard and uplift the lives of Black and marginalized communities. From 1990 to 2017, the federal government provided $5.4 billion in military equipment to local police departments. In 2017 alone, American states and municipalities spent a total $115 billion on policing initiatives. That is reprehensible and unacceptable. This exorbitant funding should be diverted from ineffective and often violent policing to our educational institutions, public and mental health services, and housing and economic justice initiatives.
We also call for judicial restraint to protect those who are expressing their frustration with violence in policing. Right now, Attorney General William Barr is planning to prosecute protestors under federal domestic terrorism statutes, and granting new authority to the DEA to conduct covert surveillance and collect intelligence on protestors standing up against the injustice of George Floyd’s murder. Our vital resources are being misused to further entrench state violence by expanding the presence of the already existing 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces. Black communities, and Black Muslims in particular, have long been targets of state surveillance, the consequences of which the larger Muslim community have become intimately familiar with through the abuse of prosecution under post-9/11 terrorism statutes. In this moment, struggles are more visibly intersectional and interconnected than ever before and we can only fight these injustices with love, unity and solidarity.
At AMBA, we will take the following action steps in the spirit of the beloved family of the Prophet, the Ahlul Bayt, peace and blessings upon them, who lived lives based on love, compassion, and integrity, and pursued justice in word and action. Please join us in:
Calling for the diversion of local, state, and federal resources to educational, public health, and housing and economic justice initiatives, with an emphasis on ending institutionalized and systemic racism; and
Contacting your representatives to support the bill abolishing qualified immunity, a defense that protects police officers from being sued and allows them to violate constitutional rights with impunity.
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