The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis is speaking out against racism and pledging support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
On Sunday, the foundation placed a full-page ad in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Under the banner “Standing For Racial Justice Black Lives Matter,” the foundation decried inequality and injustice.
Many members of the Muslim community in St. Louis were dismayed by the video of a Minneapolis police officer killing George Floyd and understood the wave of protests that followed, foundation spokesperson Ghazala Hayat said.
“Everybody's life is equally important, and black lives matter for sure,” Hayat said.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, many Muslims, including foundation members, faced acts of racism and discrimination, she said.
Hayat said the foundation is committed to fighting for anyone who is a victim of racial injustice.
Foundation leaders decided to support black people during the struggle to save black lives because standing in solidarity against injustice is one of the core principle’s of the Muslim faith. The ad includes a photo of hands from people of all races and quotes from the Quran and Malcolm X.
Hayat said people who do not stand against racial injustice are complicit.
In the coming weeks, the foundation plans to speak with African American faith leaders and community members to discuss how the Muslim community can actively continue to participate in the movement.
On Saturday, the foundation, local African American Muslims and Muslims For A Greater St. Louis will support the movement by participating in a Black Lives Matter march from the Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabaah at 3843 W. Pine Mall Blvd. to the Masjid Al-Mu’minun Islamic Center at 1435 N. Grand Blvd.
“Justice for everybody is a paramount; that’s a basis for a society,” Hayat said. “If everyone is not treated equally, then society will not function.”
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