Racism, Muslims, and Me

EWI News:

from Shane's Muslim Connect

How are you dealing with George Floyd’s murder? With the tragedy, the fallout and response, but also with the likelihood that U.S. society (and beyond) is plagued in ways that lead to his and others’ untimely deaths?

I hope God is giving you grace for the appropriate deep reflection. I know I’ve been troubled by this, trying to figure out how to think, what to feel, what to read or listen to, and what to ignore. I’m wondering how God might be calling me to change. 

The fall out of the Floyd murder and subsequent protests and riots hit close to home a few days ago when the son of a friend was shot by police in Minneapolis. He’ll lose an eye, but not his life. 

And I’ve wondered about Muslims in light of this. Are there common sentiments among diverse Muslim communities? Are there particular forms of racism that many Muslims exhibit? It was, after all, an Arab American Muslims who initially called the police on George. He’s now pledged not to do so outside of violent situations. 

Almost always when I’ve written about Muslims and racism, it’s had to do with bias against Muslims. Without doubt, Muslims have been attacked, abused, and marginalized for their color and religion. 

But many (most? all?) also wrestle with racism emanating from their own hearts. MuslimARC is an organization whose purpose includes education regarding “[m]icro-aggressions that make mosques and Muslim spaces hostile for members of non-dominant groups,” as well as “[d]iscriminatory practices relating to leadership, including against non-Arab or non-South Asian imams, board members, and/or professional staff.”

Muhammad taught against racism. Jesus did before him. For all I know, so did Buddha and the early Hindu teachers. 

In the vast ocean of what I don’t know and have not experienced, these few drops are pretty certain: I dare not be cavalier in regard to the presence of racial sin in my own heart. And I’d be wise to consider what God wants to do in me and with me to counter this societal sin.