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Want to Understand Black Lives Matter and Black Muslims in The UK? These Six Pages Can Get You Started

Want to Understand Black Lives Matter and Black Muslims in The UK? These Six Pages Can Get You Started

Since May, the world has been shaken by the Black Lives Matter protests against police violence and systemic racism. The UK has been no exception, with the country witnessing a number of watershed moments such as the toppling of the statue of the slave trader, Edward Colston. Much has been said about these protests, what they hope to accomplish and how they can be achieved.

Through it all, Black Muslims have grown increasingly vocal about the specific cases of racism they face from their fellow Muslims. From individual activists to well-recognised Imams and scholar, Black British Muslims had plenty of examples to give about the racism they faced.

The debates anti-Black racism among Muslims have certainly highlighted the need to not only examine our own behaviour, but also to better listen to Black Muslim voices who can often be overshadowed.

Here, we present six individual activists or groups who can get you started.

The Black Muslim Forum

Found on @blkmuslimforum Site: https://blackmuslimforum.org/

The main goal of the Black Muslim Forum is to combat anti-Black racism in Muslim society. It describes itself as being committed to fostering black unity, black empowerment and combating anti-blackness and structural disadvantage for Black Africans and diasporic Africans within Muslim society. It engages in projects to raise awareness about injustices Black people face worldwide; fosters unity in Black communities through projects and services; does welfare projects to those in need; and conducts research on matters relating to anti-Black racism.

The group amplifies the voices of prominent Black activists, both Muslim and non-Muslim, as well as shedding light on vital moments of Black history.

With their fingers on the pulse of UK’s Black Muslim community, the group was ahead of the curve when it published its report about the racism experienced by Black Muslims at the hands of other Muslims back in April 2020.

The SalamProject UK

Found on @TheSalamProject Site: https://thesalamproject.org.uk/

Founded by prominent Black Muslim activist, Ismael Lea South, the Salam Project works to bring activists together to discuss issues, constructive solutions through workshops and webinars. Many individual Black Muslim activists who would not have had reach have found a voice thanks to the project whose Twitter page voices the concerns and achievements of both the Black and the Muslim community.

Other social-justice-related topics such as women’s rights are also discussed in their webinars which are known to be unafraid of having difficult conversations.

Muneera Pilgrim

Found on @MuniPilgrim

Muneera Pilgrim is an activist, Poet and Cultural Producer who co-founded the Hip-Hop, Reggae, and Spoken Word project Poetic Pilgrimage (@PoeticPilgrim).

Muneera Pilgrim works to show de-stigmatise the idea that Black culture, music and performance is somehow anathema to being Muslim, her work showing that the two can coexist in arts. Her art engages many of the troubles that Black people and Black Muslims in particular, face.

Rakin Niass

Found in @RakinNiass

Teacher, Life Coach and Poet, Rakin Niass has had numerous books published, including his most recent book of poetry, Third Eye Open, which was published earlier this week.

Like other artists, Niass’ work focuses on how Islam, art and activism interact, with an emphasis on Islam as a path to self-betterment. He has been especially vocal on a number of issues impacting the UK’s Black community such as the Windrush scandal and, of course, Black Lives Matter.

BMB Project

Found in @BMBProject YouTube: BMB Project

The Black and Muslim in Britain Project was initiated in October 2016 and consists of a series of videos raising awareness of the specific challenges Black Muslims face. The project was started in the face of the lack of faith representation during the UK’s Black History month and, so far, consists of 15 videos that have been released every few months, involving discussions on life experiences, common challenges and stereotyping their experience.

Outside its own films, the BMB’s Twitter page boosts the voices of other Black Muslim filmmakers and discusses topics that relate to the portrayal of Black people in UK cinema and television.

Saraiya Bah

Found in @SaraiyaBah

Co-Founder of BMB Project and a member of the spoken work and poetry collective, :: nana :: (@nanacollective), Saraiya Bah speaks about both personal experiences and anecdotes and systems of injustices that impact the lives of Black and non-Black Muslims, as well as Muslim and non-Muslim Blacks.

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