How to Be an Ally to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement: Advice From Imam Qareeb Bashir

Imam Qareeb Bashir is The Imam of the Islamic Center of Ewing, and the president of the Islamic Council of Greater Trenton.

How can the youth get involved in helping to support the movement?

Imam Bashir said,“Contact not only Black Lives Matter chapters but also other civil rights groups, including NAACP, etc.” 

What is something protestors or allies should keep in mind when they are supporting the Black community? How can they be more respectful and actually help support the movement?

Imam Bashir said, “To support, (understand that) you can not fully realize what it is like to be Black.  Take a human approach to these issues. Also, do not take the lead, but (lend your) support.”

As a Black Imam, what resources would you recommend others should use to educate themselves and support the Black community to make an actual difference?

Imam Bashir stated, “Study history, civil rights movements, etc. Become knowledgeable of current events. The Prophet (peace be upon him) explains to us that we must enjoin the right and forbid the wrong with our actions with our voice and the very least is to feel bad about it in your heart. Allah (S.W.T.) loves justice and we have an obligation to stand up for justice (not only) as Muslims, but also as human beings too. Many Muslims stood by as African Americans were being discriminated against. It was only after 9/11 that some of the Muslim communities began to realize that we must stand together to fight against injustice.”

Do you have any other advice that you’re willing to share that wasn’t mentioned in the previous questions?

Imam Bashir replied, “Talk to African Americans to get a realistic concept of what we go through every day. As Muslims, we need to first take a really close look at ourselves because although we do not like to admit it, there is quite a bit of racism and stereotypes that exist in our Islamic communities.”

The journey to becoming anti-racist starts at home. It begins with acknowledging the priveleges we have as non-Black Muslims and understanding what we can do to help.