In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate Most Merciful
The public murder of the African American, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota by a white police officer, on May 25, 2020 sent shock waves all around the world. Floyd was pinned to the ground after being handcuffed and killed while people begged for his life. This wanton disregard for human life is part of a 400-year-old legacy of slavery, lynching, brutality, discrimination and genocide that African Americans have been subjected to since the inception of the United States of America. Floyd’s last words “I can’t breathe” have become the rallying cry for demonstrations and civil disobedience throughout the USA and around the world.
The Islamic Institute of Toronto openly condemns this heinous act and the Structural Racism that continues to perpetuate atrocities against Black American communities. We call for the police officers involved to be punished to the fullest extent of the law and that a system of checks and balances be set up to put an end to Systemic Racism in policing and the criminal justice system of America.
At the same time, we call for calm in the streets and that the justifiable frustration and outrage be channeled into constructive ways to bring about change.
We also call upon the Muslims of the Americas to unite with the Black community to bring about a just society. This is an essential part of the mission of the Last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and a consistent message throughout the Blessed Qur’an.
Almighty Allah tells us in the Quran 49:13:
O People! Surely, We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Truly, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the best in piety and conduct. Surely Allah is the Best Knower and the Most Aware.
We are aware that unfortunately racism also exists in Canada – in public institutions, in communities, institutions and neighbourhoods across this great country. We call upon all Muslims to stand up for justice, to understand the roots of racial prejudice and to work diligently for positive change in our society, our masaajid, our schools and institutions.
May Allah give comfort to the family of George Floyd and the families of many victims of police brutality and enable us all to establish justice and peace.
Dr Abdullah Hakim Quick
Historian, Lecturer, Consultant