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Here’s CAIR Executive Director Dawud Walid’s Advice on How Non-Black Muslims Can Be an Ally to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

Here’s CAIR Executive Director Dawud Walid’s Advice on How Non-Black Muslims Can Be an Ally to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

As Muslims should know, our deen teaches us to stand up for injustice, and to be allies of those who are oppressed. Since there are so many ways to get involved — protesting, sending letters to Congress, advocating for policy change, donating to organizations — it may seem overwhelming for those who are new to activism with where to begin. But there’s a much more simple approach that truly starts with us as non-Black Muslims at home, in our personal lives, and in the masjids, and addressing the pervasive anti-Blackness in those spaces.

Dawud Walid is the Executive Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Michigan chapter, also known as CAIR-MI. MuslimGirl.com had a brief conversation with Walid via Facebook messenger about how non-Black Muslims can be good allies and get involved with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

One of our writers reached out to Walid, who offered this: “I think that Muslims who are not Black should first seek to establish meaningful relationships with African American Muslims in their locale rather than jumping over Black folks in their own faith community in what some may perceive to be the urgency of now. I have always viewed it as disrespectful for Muslims who aren’t Black to claim solidarity with Black folks in times like this without having first established real relationships with African American Muslims. Once those relationships are established, the ways of being true allies will be known organically.”

“I have always viewed it as disrespectful for Muslims who aren’t Black to claim solidarity with Black folks in times like this without having first established real relationships with African American Muslims. Once those relationships are established, the ways of being true allies will be known organically.”

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Think about your reasons for getting involved. Examine your own circle of friends and acquaintances — do you tokenize your relationships with Black Muslims in an attempt to prove your anti-Blackness? Reach out to the Black community as Walid has advised, get to know Black Muslims, and you will see how you can best serve as an ally. Don’t place the labor of your education on Black Muslims. Educate yourselves. Walid makes the valid point that having a relationship with the community you are trying to ally with will make your efforts come organically.

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