Native-born American Muslims

Creating an Islamic-American Culture

Margari Hill on Black Muslim Americans and Islamophobia

12027357_973597256037306_5188045815425532434_oMuslim ARC co-founder, Margari Hill writes a poignant article in Huffington Post on Black American Muslim erasure and its detriment in resisting against Islamophobia in the United States.

Twenty years ago, I stood nervously in front of a group of reporters. The bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma killed 168 people, including 19 children, shook the entire nation. Our local chapter of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) took the lead in pushing back against the Islamophobia in media coverage and organized the press conference. The Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) had only been established a year before in Washington and their advocacy work had not reached our community in Northern California. In the decades that followed, CAIR has expanded across the country, as Muslim led initiatives have taken the reigns in combatting Islamophobia through political advocacy, interfaith outreach, and education.

And during this time, it has become increasingly rare to see Black American Muslims, and even rarer to see Black American Muslim women, in media or in decision-making capacity in these national efforts. The erasure of Black American Muslims undermines efforts towards developing a unified front in the face of our greatest threat. Groups working in the field must take into account the ways in which their anti-islamophobia work alienates Black American Muslims.

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About Layla Abdullah-Poulos

Layla Abdullah-Poulos is an alumna of SUNY Empire State College with a Bachelor of Arts in Historical Studies and Literature and is presently a student in the School for Graduate Studies. She expects to complete her studies and receive a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and Advance Certificates in Women and Gender Studies and American Studies by 2016. An aspiring academic, Abdullah-Poulos uses her knowledge not only to develop her own scholarship but also that of other SUNY Empire State College students. A proponent for the enrichment of higher education through diversity, she plans to continue her work as an educator who conveys to students an ethnically diverse historical awareness and furnish them with the skills necessary to acquire political proficiency and constructively affect societal change.

One comment on “Margari Hill on Black Muslim Americans and Islamophobia

  1. urbanhijab
    January 5, 2016

    Excellent article, mashAllaah.

    Like

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This entry was posted on January 4, 2016 by in African-American Muslims, Race/Ethnicity.

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