Now Reading
Stop Using #MuslimLivesMatter

Stop Using #MuslimLivesMatter

Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot Michael Brown, a black teenager, to death for absolutely no valid reason and suffered absolutely no legal action. Eric Garner was killed without justice. Trayvon Martin. Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Tamir Rice. Rekia Boyd. These are all Black lives that were taken for no reason other than that they were Black, and their killers walk free today. However, from their deaths rose a beautiful hashtag among black communities and allies worldwide: #BlackLivesMatter.

It’s easy to then look at the recent Chapel Hill murders of Deah Barakat, Razan Abu-Salha and Yusor Abu-Salha and come to the same conclusion. They were killed for no reason, other than the fact that they were Muslim.

But when we start using the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter to express our support, outrage, and hurt, we’re intentionally taking a tool created and used by the Black community, and appropriating it for what is really our own unique cause. #BlackLivesMatter represents an entire movement and its history. It’s not “just” a hashtag, it’s a powerful outcry born from a racial injustice felt by a people. It cannot, and should not, be molded to fit another people’s struggle. And solidarity, while important (and in fact, essential), never involves co-opting another movement.

Maybe it seems beside the point to discuss hashtags when three beautiful members of our community were just murdered in cold blood, but this is so important. With the mainstream media clearly continuing to fail us, we rely so heavily on the power and connectivity of social media to stay informed — how many of you got most of your news about this shooting from Twitter? The way we use social media needs to be taken into account, hashtags and all.

The pattern of violence against Black people — specifically Black people — is a unique one, with both history and implications that will never be comparable to the struggles of other communities of color in the United States. Institutional racism and discrimination against Black people is evident in our courts, our prisons, our entire justice system.

This is not at all to undermine or belittle the injustices that other minority groups in this country deal with every day; in fact, it is quite the opposite. Every community deserves to be able to think critically about their own positions in America, about their own challenges, about their own experiences, and in their own terms. Of course Muslim lives are under fire in our American systems. There is no question about that. However, building off the #BlackLivesMatter trend equates struggles that are, though seemingly similar, drastically different.

See Also

This also isn’t in any way meant to come off as a preachy putdown to those of us who jumped on the bandwagon. We know how popular the hashtag has been since outrage erupted over the lack of media coverage, and we know that it’s obviously well intentioned — the basic sentiment that #MuslimLivesMatter expresses is in itself is certainly appropriate. But let’s use our own language to spread awareness about a rising trend of Islamophobia that is being completely brushed under the rug by the mainstream media. The media is covering the shooting (finally), but the issue is not about coverage — it’s about selectivity. It’s about how the narrative is being framed.

There is obviously nothing inherently wrong with saying that “Muslim lives matter,” but contextually, it’s being used parallel to #BlackLivesMatter — it’s meant to evoke the same concepts, using the same kind of language. This appropriation of a movement is counterproductive and frankly unfair to both the Black and Muslim communities. We should not be blending together two complex, multifaceted issues for the sake of convenience. It’s a reductive move that simplifies both struggles, and it only contributes to erasing the very real, very dangerous implications that Islamophobia specifically holds for Muslims.

View Comments (161)
  • Hashtags are by definition memes. Organic adaptation of slogans is to be expected given the diversity of viewpoints and plurality of trending virality which need not be necessarily viewed as competing (e.g., #MuslimLivesMatter does not mean #BlackLivesDoNotMatter)

      • the goal isn’t economic output. its changing the minds/hearts of people. if you want to bring trademarks into it, think through your comment.

        blacklivesmatters conveys the message that the loss of a black life should not be taken for granted. that black people deserve justice. that black people are human beings and our humanity must extend to them as much as it does to those who arent black.

        muslimlivesmatters conveys those messages but replacing black with muslim.

        there is a common denominator in both messages, they both contribute to the end goal being sought by the other. The end goal being changing the hearts and minds of people and helping them realize that the loss of an innocent life is horrible regardless of the persons race/religion/background.
        they both obviously have other goals as well but they both contribute to one another.

        this article and the hashtag issue seems like the most childish way to diverge from the actual issues

        • #blacklivesmatter is a political movement, not just a hashtag designed to convey a message. That’s probably where the disparity in priority lies. For Black Americans, it is more than a hashtag. The assumption that this is a trendy slogan used by black americans to convey a message is incorrect. More, people made very real, physical sacrifices to make that hashtag something others want to emulate. They faced down tanks, tear gas, and rubber bullets so that three months later someone else could take the name they established, change a word, and use it to promote their agenda. If you honestly expect me to take that kind of action with a smile, you seriously underestimate my humanity.

          • Have you been paying attention to the global onslaught against Muslims? It’s not a “trendy slogan/ hashtag”. What’s happening to Muslims today is the same as what happened to the Jews in WWII except on a global scale. It is completely appropriate to use #MuslimLivesMatter as it seems Muslim lives do not matter in the West and Western imperialism is progressing. It is perfectly appropriate to highlight one of the most invisible forms of discrimination today – Islamophobia. Millions have been tortured and murdered so far.

          • I don’t know if you are purposely feigning a misunderstanding. I didn’t say that what was happening to muslims was a trendy hashtag. I said that OUR MOVEMENT (#blacklivesmatter) IS NOT A TRENDY HASHTAG. MEANING THAT ITS NOT COOL TO APPROPRIATE THE NAME FOR YOUR OWN USES. You’ve honestly got to be some type of idiot to turn that into some statement about the oppression of muslims. Give yourself a fucking break. I’m not saying #muslimlivesmatter is inappropriate as a description of the cause, but you are basically copying the name of another movement, it is appropriation. I get the feeling that muslims don’t care about solidarity with those they already deem inferior. This is really about disrespecting the #blacklivesmatter movement at this point.

          • You understand J.G that ad hominem doesn’t replace an argument? I don’t know why you think “it’s not cool” and I also don’t think you understand what “appropriating” means. Someone in this thread has explained what it means. The hastag “MuslimLivesMatter” has not been appropriated. You are making a problem where there isn’t one. Your statement “I get the feeling that muslims don’t care about solidarity with those they already deem inferior” speaks volumes about your attitudes.

          • I’m just a dumb nigger. Or Abd? Isn’t what we are called in your community? Slaves, right?

            Good point, Dougal. I must be ignorant, right?? LOL.

            Actually, I’m well aware of what an ad hominem is, and while I leveled a few disparaging assessments of your ability to grasp a simple concept, my point wasn’t centered around you, your stupidity, or any of that, so my point wasn’t an ad hominem. Sorry.

            I am well aware of what cultural appropriation is, and it is not always a negative thing. Cultural appropriation is when a a person or group replaces an element of their culture with cultural elements from outside their own community and culture. It requires that they drop or lose the cultural element being replaced. In this case, you are losing or dropping the “name” you could have used (#Justiceformuslims) and replacing it with an element from another movement (#_____livesmatter), so you are appropriating the name. That’s how I see it, pretending I’m a dumb nigger doesn’t make you right, and is essentially an ad hominem in and of itself.

            “Your statement “I get the feeling that muslims don’t care about solidarity with those they already deem inferior” speaks volumes about your attitudes.”

            That also speaks volumes about your attitude(s) and sense of entitlement. Borders on a sense of privilege. Hmmmm. Interesting.

            Solidarity isn’t something you care about. No one contacted BLM, or wrote an open letter of solidarity. So long as you stay in your own little online enclave with this, you’ll be spared from the public telling you what I already have. Go print your t-shirts, but I’m not buying them. Good luck!

  • A struggle is a struggle. If anything, these hashtags have the chance to bring our minority communities together in fighting injustice.

  • I think the point of this article isn’t saying that what happened to the three individuals isn’t a problem, it’s saying that adapting one tool used by our community to raise awareness of these injustices shouldn’t be taken and modified to fit another. It takes away from the movement. Yes we should all stand together, but that doesn’t mean we have to carry the same banners. We’re not saying that the two are competing against one another at this point. We’re saying that by treating the hashtag as something to be made to fit other movements in addition to the one it was made for takes away from it. People will begin lumping together all people of color and will fail to realize that we may all be people of color, but we need different things and we face different things. A struggle for one group isn’t the same as a struggle for another.

  • As I understand it, To culturally appropriate something is to strip something of its original significance and context, and then profit off the repackaging at the original culture’s expense (ex: hip hop, feather headdresses, kanji tattoos, bindis, “ethnic” food, etc).

    However, I’m not sure I get how the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter devalues the work of #BlackLivesMatter. Could you touch more on that subject?

    • It makes it generic, and thus less valuable. It will be #policelivesmatter #asianlivesmatter, etc. In the end, you’ve made it a generic brand and devalued it as a legitimate slogan with real meaning. The profit comes by using it to lend your movement credibility, and the reputation established by #blacklivesmatter. Now, you don’t have to march in the streets, face police in tanks, or get tear gassed, you can just substitute a word in the hashtag, and claim it with no real investment. I would think that a few minutes of contemplative thought would yield a similar conclusion. One must challenge oneself.

      • JG, what do you think Muslims all over the world have to deal with every single day of their lives. They have to deal with bombs and their entire families being slaughtered. Their Communities! Their places of worship being burned down while a Fire fighter is tweeting to block the hydrant! There is a climate of hate against Muslims that is just as appalling and terrifying as it is against Black lives. The assertion that the hastag takes away from the Blacklivesmatter movement in anyway is really reaching. You must challenge yourself and think about it further.

        • Mish Q, You’re trying to play the oppression Olympics. Muslims aren’t being killed every 28 hours in the USA.
          I am not arguing that appropriating the hashtag takes away from the #blacklivesmatter MOVEMENT (not a hashtag). What I am saying is that you dilute the significance of the slogan by making it a generic term one can insert any group into.
          You also damage the sincerity and authenticity of your own movement, by making it look like a weak, knee-jerk offshoot of what another group has done. While you sit behind your keyboard and appropriate someone else’s movement, people faced danger and incarceration to make #blacklivesmatter a hashtag you would want to take. You spit on the people of Ferguson. They put in hard work, and you, in a direct fashion, seek to claim some credit for it.

          I know you think that because you are Muslim, your perspective is the only one that matters. I also know personally, that there is a lot of racism against black people in your own community. So this appropriation isn’t taken out of context, I want to make that clear. I would suggest you challenge yourself to think about it further, actually try creating your own legitimate movement. BLM is about systemic, violent oppression. Government oppression via police and courts. Not combating lone crazies, as in the case of the Chapel Hill shootings. The interesting part is that as soon as the shooting happened, a friend of mine said “Watch, someone is gonna come out with #muslimlivesmatter”. It’s predictable, reactionary not revolutionary, and ultimately generic. If that is the character you would like to bring to your movement, that’s your choice. You aren’t taking anything away from mine, you are right about that!

          • Gitmo? Ghaza? Palestine? Iraq? Afghanistan? None of those are places where Muslims face oppression right? YOU are creating the rift by claiming that only black people have sacrificed for a movement. It’s not about starting a revolution. YOU personally didn’t face the oppression that black faced in the early years of this country so how can you claim to be a part of the movement.

          • You’re being an idiot, Walle. Seriously. Use your brain and reread my statement. I didn’t say muslims don’t face oppression. You are being stupid. What I said thaw that WE HAVE MADE SACRIFICES FOR OUR MOVEMENT. You’ve given yourself permission to take the name of our movement, and use it for yours. No, you fucking moron, I face the oppression blacks face today. My parents and grandparents endured the oppression meted out to earlier generations. What is your point? YOU obviously don’t know shit about oppression yourself. What an ignorant, privileged comment to make, you are such an asshole. You don’t know what oppression I face. My life can be taken with impunity. YOU don’t personally face ANY of the oppression Black Americans face, so please shut the fuck up. You obviously have an issue seeing black people as equal human beings.

          • That was exactly what you said dumbass. “You guys havent faced police tanks or tear gas” umm try facing BOMBS and having parts of your country LEVELED to rubble. Don’t act like an entitled prick. I’m well aware of the struggles that YOU potentially and probably do face every day. That doesnt mean it makes your struggle any more of a sacrifice than anothee groups. I’ll refer you to the Afghan and Palestinian struggles. Something which you definitely never have and, I hope, never will face. You are acting entitled to this # like you yourself struggled to claim it. It is not yours to claim. Your struggle is just as much of a struggle as theirs, as OURS. We are all being oppressed by a white majority. So stop being an entitled prick because I guarantee you both blacks and muslims have sacrificed more than YOU could imagine for this UNITED struggle.

          • You think that I am Muslim? I am not at all Religious. I do have family members that are Christian, Jewish and Muslim. You see this is what happens when people comment about another person online that they know nothing about. I have a biracial family and my oldest son is black. I am half Cherokee Native American. My husband has been and gets profiled by police all the time especially when he visits his Muslim family in Chicago. We live in the 3rd most racist state in Country and in one of the most racist counties in my state. My point in my comment that you missed completely was that we should be more focused on change and not hashtags. That you cannot devalue a movement simply because someone used a hashtag. That was my point. The enslavement, discrimination and violence that is put upon POC is a reality, one that I and my family fight against. My point is that Muslims do matter, hashtag or not, they matter just as much.

        • What’s most interesting is that the families of those who have died have come out publicly and ask that the #muslimlivesmatter hashtag NOT be used. The sense of entitlement expressed by some here (including you) lacks respect for anyone, even the dead. Good luck with that.

          • This isnt about who gets to use what hashtag or what value the hashtag has. It’s about a UNITED cause. Muslims have plenty of tags for their own cause #freepalestine #whowasmuhammad etc. The point is that it should be a united effort since it is oppression by the same group. And they face SIMILAR oppression. Black people get profiled by cops, muslims get profiled by tsa and others get sent to gitmo with NO constitutional rights. The point shouldn’t be to stand out or stand apart from each other. The point should be to stand together. Not cry about a hashtag having less value because someone else used it. This is my last comment and the last time I’ll check this stupid article. Childish.

          • Actually, that’s exactly what this article is about. The hashtag.
            Wrong on all counts. Try rereading the article.

            The family of the victims (Chapel Hill) has asked that people NOT use #muslimlivesmatter, because they feel it is disrespectful to the BLM movement.

            They have asked that people use #Justiceformuslims

            Feel free to disregard what everyone thinks and carry on in a privileged and entitled fashion. It is your constitutional right.

            The point should be to stand together with mutual respect. I don’t even think you know what that means. With the attitudes here, that isn’t possible. The bravado and sense of superiority is the elephant in the room.

      • Nobody gets to “own” social media via so-called “hash tag movements”. Its social media, for Pete’s sakes, it’s in its nature to evolve, be adapted, adopted (not be freaking owned!). Get over it.

    • Are these three victims being called “thugs”, and are people making the argument that they had it coming to them? No? Contemplate the difference in attitude if three Black Muslims had been killed. Therein lies your answer.

          • Oh, a dumbass white guy disagrees with the *SOUL CLAP*. How predictable. In stereotypical “douchebag” fashion, per tradition!

        • It’s sounds witty, but lacks substance. The media isn’t painting the victims of the Chapel Hill shootings as terrorists. You would have a decent point if that were the case. Please stop being facetious.

        • Also, realizing you’re a genius, I shouldn’t have to remind you of this, but I wasn’t asking the question, so you’re not answering me. I didn’t ask anything. You also didn’t get close to addressing the question asked. Just sayin.

          • I had not answered you because I do not spend my time waiting to reply to someone like a troll. Every single day Muslims are called terrorists, just watch the news and every single day you will hear Muslim Terrorists. Muslims are getting banned from even going into businesses in this country because they are Muslim. Muslim and Terrorist are constantly used together to describe them. That is why there is such a climate of discrimination against them all over this world. Muslims are not terrorists, terrorists are not Muslim. Islam is a religion of peace, and if you studied theology as I have you would know that. I get that you do not understand and you are trying to make a point however your point is lost because of how intolerant you sound. To answer the question, if Black Muslims had been killed there would have been protests in the streets. The media would have likely called them thugs or terrorists. Who knows, they would have called them whatever would have brought them the most viewers and sponsor dollars. There were no protests for these 3 brown Muslim students, there has been no outcry to stop the violence against Muslims in this country. There was no protest when an Indian grandfather that was taking a walk in his sons suburb and was paralyzed by a cop in Alabama for not being able to speak English. The cops were called by a neighbor stating that there was a suspicious looking person walking through the neighborhood. Why did they call, because the old man was brown and looked Muslim? Rethink how you are trying to make your point.

          • Mish I am not a troll. I simply hold an opinion you disagree with. Please do not preach to me about persecution. As a black man, I know it well. I also know about racism from muslims, and the legacy of African slavery in the muslim world. I say this because aside from fabricating outrage over incidents that have not occurred, you’re exaggerating the case. I’m not mad at you, but your emotional rant is only so valuable to me.
            Firstly, muslims are not being banned from busses. You’re lying. That makes you look dishonest.
            Secondly, that old Indian man beaten by the cops? POLICE WERE CALLED BECAUSE NEIGHBORS THOUGHT HE WAS BLACK. I double dare you to look beyond the headline. If you speak on the case again, I’ll gladly cite the article in which the 911 caller’s “strange black man” claim is quoted. You’re ranting about some shit that hit you but was aimed at us. Please get a clue.
            But the case is highly interesting. Neighbors reported a “strange black man” looking into houses, and suspected a burglar was casing their homes. Police show up, ready to beat the black person, and find a harmless old indian guy. They damn near kill him, poor man. Nothing I’ve read says he is muslim. Are you lying about that too?????

            But, once they realized the man they beat wasn’t black, but an Indian national, the officer turned himself in and was charged with a crime. WOW. That is a privilege black people of any age do not have. Count your blessings, and stop preaching to those who know far more than you have ever learned.

          • I never called it my Movement nor did I say that I was a part of that movement. You make assumptions just like you assumed I was Muslim because I was defending Muslims. I did not hear the caller, I read an early article that cited that they were called and told a strange man was walking through the neighborhood. When the cop got there, it was obvious that the old man was brown and did not speak English, of course the cop will think he is Muslim. I did not know the cop was arrested, the last article I saw was about him recovering in the hospital.I do not watch the news, if something comes across my feed I read it. The media these days is too busy creating bullshit content for the mighty dollar. I am extremely happy to hear that the cop was arrested. I did just read this “On September 11, 2015, a jury failed to reach a verdict for the federal civil rights violations charge. Federal prosecutions plan to retry Parker” That old man was subjected to the same type of violence against POC which I have not denied. My issue is that hate against Muslims is what drives the violence against them. Just because you do not read or see it in the news does not mean it is not happening. AS far as Lying, I have not. I said that Muslims are being banned from “Businesses” because they are Muslim, not “buses”. Two Gun Ranges have banned Muslims from being able to enter their business. If you read my comment again, I said “Indian Grandfather”. I did not call him Muslim. I called the 3 students Muslims. The Grandfather was likely Hindu but ignorant Americans do not know the difference when looking at a Brown man. The media has them believing that they are all Muslims and to be afraid. Look I understand what you trying to say and I never said that I was on the MuslimsLiveMatter hashtag train. I said that it is not taking away from the powerful meaning of the BLM movement. Having said that, I have never used the MLM hashtag. Good day sir and Good Luck.

          • Mish, where did I say you were muslim??
            Perhaps you are assuming I am assuming. You assumed that the cops were called because the man “looked muslim” but you were wrong about that. Totally wrong. Why is it Ok for you to make assumptions, and so wrong when others do it?
            Banning anyone from a public business on the basis of race or religion is illegal, so these gun clubs must be private clubs with a member roll. Can’t do anything about that.
            However you DID say that the 3 victims of the Chapel Hill shootings were branded as terrorists, didn’t you? Was that true?
            When everyone creates their own #______livesmatter it totally trivializes the original.
            Police agree, which is why they established a #policelivesmatter
            we have

            and you think, honestly, this doesn’t trivialize and dilute the message of the original hashtag? I honestly disagree, and bet many others do too. I’m willing to bet that’s why this hashtag went absolutely nowhere.

          • “I know you think that because you are Muslim, your perspective is the only one that matters.” In a comment below, those were your words. No, I did not say that they were called Terrorists, I said that Muslims are labeled as terrorists much like Black men are called thugs. This hashtag went nowhere because it was not supposed to. I did not say that I agreed with the hashtag I said that it did not take anything away from the BLM movement. I only use the BLM hashtag and I do not endorse any other version thereof.

          • Also, note that I said they called the cops because he was brown (which in essence they did call the cops because the man was NOT white) and then the officer acted on his own racist prejudice of the Brown Indian man more than likely assuming he was Muslim because most Americans are too ignorant to know the difference.

          • Here was my response to you assuming I am Muslim. “You think that I am Muslim? I am not at all Religious. I do have family members that are Christian, Jewish and Muslim. You see this is what happens when people comment about another person online that they know nothing about. I have a biracial family and my oldest son is black. I am half Cherokee Native American. My husband has been and gets profiled by police all the time especially when he visits his Muslim family in Chicago. We live in the 3rd most racist state in Country and in one of the most racist counties in my state. My point in my comment that you missed completely was that we should be more focused on change and not hashtags. That you cannot devalue a movement simply because someone used a hashtag. That was my point. The enslavement, discrimination and violence that is put upon POC is a reality, one that I and my family fight against. My point is that Muslims do matter, hashtag or not, they matter just as much.”

          • BTW, you contradicted yourself completely. First you say that you did not ask a question and then you say that I did not get close to addressing the question asked.

          • No, I said I wasn’t asking “the question” meaning the question originally asked (Posted by S.R.), then said you did not get close to answering that question.

            You are welcome.

          • BTW, your fake outrage is hilarious. The Chapel Hill victims haven’t ONCE been portrayed as terrorists, as you so dishonestly claimed. Stop trolling the discussion with angry lies and get a therapist.

    • I think the point is that people who aren’t black can’t divert the focus of this hashtag to Islam. Which I agree with. Blackness still constitutes a major chunk of the lives of black Muslims, and the focus of this motto still remains on their race if they use it. 🙂

    • It’s a similar tension among women of color in feminist movements….

      There is a long history of Black American Muslims in the U.S., dating back to the times of slavery, as some slaves were taken from Muslim areas of Africa.

      But to answer your question directly: Black Americans are seen as black first, unless they are wearing what Americans think is Muslim clothing. Americans confuse race with religion, culture, nationality, language all the time. They see an Arab person and equate that with Muslim, yet if they met someone from Senegal they wouldn’t think anything of it. Meanwhile, Senegal has a larger Muslim population, as a percentage, than some Arab countries. E.g. Senegal 96% vs. Lebanon 60%…and there are many others between those two.

    • Haha! You get to use both ofcourse, but I do think it’s terrifically important to note the special case of Black Muslims, thanks for this comment, when I speak or write I definitly will be keeping this in mind from now on

  • I am sorry but it is exactly this type of delineation between various struggles of oppressed people against a common oppressive system that helps in the system remaining dominant. The white supremacist system that perpetuates the murder of innocent black men in the USA is the same system that has cultivated the culture of Islamaphobia in the USA and Europe. It is the same system in which multinational corporations collude with politicians, who they have bought off, to send men off to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the same system which exploits workers in sweat shops in Asia and pollutes the environment in Africa. The struggle of all oppressed people is against a common capitalist system and unless we as Muslims recognize that humanity and unity is what matters instead of trying to divide ourselves, the world will continue to be a mess. The other point that is important to note here is the fact that in calling for what you are, you are implicitly marginalizing African-American Muslims and promoting a narrative of Islam in America which is limited to an immigrant experience.

    • It is indeed the same white supremacist system. However, what makes white supremacy powerful is that it pits people of color against each other. We have to examine the specific forms of violence that targets each community. Pretending that all people of color have the same struggle with white supremacy is not only dishonest, but harmful.

      Yes, the Chapel Hill victims were murdered because they are Muslim. Yes, the media’s rush to excuse the killer is because of Islamophobic attitudes. However, if these same Muslim victims were also Black, the media coverage would likely be more dehumanizing that what we’re seeing right now. Black Muslims in the US have historically faced demonization that non-black Muslims have not. Talking about those differences is necessary.

      • Indigenous black Americans who are also Muslim, not coming from an immigrant background from a Muslim country, are seen by these American rednecks as “traitors”. We’re supposed to pray to Jesus (Astaghferullah), and eat bacon with them. We’re not supposed to think of Hajj, with gleams in our eyes. How dare we turn our backs on the religion imposed on our ancestors by the slavemasters? That’s the extra hatred we face. “How could you? We’ve been so “nice” to you!”

    • Bravo. And thanks for saving me the trouble to type pretty much this.

      With due respect to MuslimGirl, this argumentation is what I call “moral masturbation”. Are the facts presented in the article wrong? No, not in their own vacuum. Are they good for advancing the cause? No, they’re not. Are they pertinent? No.

      If we want to appropriate a simple hashtag for one specific group of identifiable people, we are validating the premise that you can and should differentiate humans based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever strikes your fancy at that moment in history.

      Redress – big time redress — is due the American black community. But that is separate from the critical, overarching need to excise bigoted thinking from society. Segregating a hashtag to a specific group identifiable by its skin colour (in this case), affirms this thinking.

      It’s like the old canard: “Asians are smart” is not racist because we’re saying something good. But you, me and most readers here know that it is just as racist as anything, since you’re being prejudicial based on ethnicity, in this case.

      And finally, in a world where right now, “evil” is winning out over “good” at an alarmingly fast rate, we shouldn’t be wasting time and effort debating internally, so-to-speak, about minutiae and strained arguments.

  • I remember the last time a muslim was killed in a supposed “hate crime”. That was almost 3 years ago and the muslim girls name was Shaima Alawadi. She was found beaten with a tire iron and had a note that said, ” “Go back to your country, you terrorist;”right next to her. All the muslim groups rejoiced. Now they finally had proof of the islamophobia they spoke so much about. Facebook groups were formed and a hashtag was used to draw attention to the issue. Only one little problem, it turns out she was killed by another muslim (her father), in the same way that thousands of muslim women are killed every year, in an honor killing. That’s where the conversation stopped. See muslims don’t want to discuss honor killings. Just like they don’t want to discuss terrorist attacks . We live in a world where muslims are the first ones to speak out against any perceived injustice, but won’t speak out against the injustices being committed by muslims all over the world.

    • The degree of outright racism against blacks expressed in the Arab community is going to be ignored of course, while the hashtag is appropriated, and they feign solidarity using it.

    • Do you literally not have the ability to use Google Muslims have been speaking against violence committed by extremist Muslims for decades and denouncing it before it was in popular demand by people like you to do so.

      • No actually I watched a news crew recently walk around Muslim areas in France and ask for reactions to the recent terrorist attacks and almost every muslim interviewed spoke about how you shouldn’t insult the prophet muhammad. That is what they took away from the Charlie Hebdo attacks. None of them wanted to talk about terrorism, and to their defence many said killing was wrong, but the overwhelming message they had was not to insult their god.

      • I just have to tell you that I watch news outlets 24/7 closely for all these supposive Muslims denouncing extremist Islam… not seeing or hearing it. Your just simply wrong on this one.

  • If that didnt convince readers before me, how about this article, written by a man who has been heavily involved in both the Blacklivesmatter movement and efforts in the Muslim community?:

    I am glad that my nagging feeling that I may be taking something that was not mine is being validated by others. I am glad I refrained from using the hashtag. Thanks for the opinion. It was helpful :).

  • This is petty rhetoric. They are words, they don’t own a patent to the word “lives matter.” We were there for all of it, we were there for black lives matter, so honestly these arrogant jerks can go eff themselves because the ones that complain don’t give a rats ass about the Chapel Hill Shooting. They didn’t have a problem with #translivesmatter or #brownlivesmatter. Getting uppity over a hashtag and over analyzing it to death show where a person’s priorities are.

    • That’s actually inaccurate. There have been difficult – yet productive – conversations with our Latin comrades on just this very topic.

      • Ive read almost all of your comments. I disagree with you the person. I agree with your position, and it wasn’t until I saw Ira’s comment saying:

        “I think the point of this article isn’t saying that what happened to the three individuals isn’t a problem, it’s saying that adapting one tool used by our community to raise awareness of these injustices shouldn’t be taken and modified to fit another. It takes away from the movement. Yes we should all stand together, but that doesn’t mean we have to carry the same banners. We’re not saying that the two are competing against one another at this point. We’re saying that by treating the hashtag as something to be made to fit other movements in addition to the one it was made for takes away from it. People will begin lumping together all people of color and will fail to realize that we may all be people of color, but we need different things and we face different things. A struggle for one group isn’t the same as a struggle for another.”

        I just wanted to let you know that you have close to 0 communication ability. You wrote all of these comments 7 months before I typed my response today, so hopefully you have worked on that, but you seriously need to learn how to socialize with other human beings.

        • Your online psychoanalysis is highly valued. Disagreeing with me the person means a lot to me. I’ll definitely change who I am as a person so that you will agree with me. The world revolves around you, and your silly sense of importance. Thank you for the reminder!

          When you get over yourself and rejoin humanity, please update us all with an instagram post, or something! I’ll be waiting with bated breath until then!

        • I sincerely apologize for not being someone you agree with. Oh dear. I must have committed some heinous crime.

          I’ll work really really hard on being someone that some online stranger agrees with. You are that important to me.

  • I kinda disagree while simultaneously agreeing. In a way it feels like splitting hairs instead of what feels like an organically unifying hashtag. Yes, the alllivesmatter hashtag may seem to devalue the point of #blacklivesmatter. But to me, #muslimlivesmatter is more of a link rather than something that takes away, yeah? But I understand that the families have chosen their own hashtag, I think it’s #ourthreewinners. At the end of the day, I don’t think we need to take sides on this, because that’s where division and a weakening of solidarity comes in. Here’s an option: #blackandmuslimlivesmatter… Run with it

  • I actually really disagree with this, and not only because the timing of the article shows a serious lack of sensitivity. I don’t think its appropriation to say that Muslim lives, too, are targeted by white suprematist violence, and therefore must be affirmed. The same system is behind it all, though the violence often manifests differently. If anything, I imagine that many American Muslims are reflecting on the similarities between Islamophobic violence and anti-Black violence, and perhaps digging into their common roots and the hegemonies they uphold. Black Americans are used as cannon fodder in Middle East Wars. Pig Bratton assists in Zionist domination abroad while simultaneously furthering his regime of terror here at home. If anything, this is a time to deepen alliances. I define appropriation as the use of the culture of another peoples without regard to the people themselves. While there may be some anti-Black racism within non-Black Muslim communities (and there are tons of Black Muslims as well), I wouldn’t assume that people using#MuslimLivesMatter are not also standing up for Black lives. If anything, we can once again credit Black liberation movements for cultural and political innovations that have opened a path for other oppressed POC. But should the Black Panthers have snubbed the Young Lords or the Brown Berets for using similar rhetoric and aesthetics? What would be the point of that? I hate to see this as a competition. If anything, it should be a coming together.

    • The honorary president of the black panthers by the way was Dr Kwame Ture, who also sat on the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam.

      The author of this article has no understanding of history.

      • The author is not making the mistake of confusing the nation of Islam with attacks on orthodox, Arab Muslims. Lest we forget that Arabs in the USA seemed very content with their status as “Caucasian” in the “pre-9/11 era”, and are now basically appropriating a movement and slogans invented by Black Americans. The irony, so convenient.

        • And it was Malcolm X’s engagement of Orthodox Sunni Islam and his travels to an Arab country that inspired him to mature as a thinker and broaden his Black Nationalist analysis towards a more socialist and intrrnationalist position, in a way that put him deeply at odds with the conservative wing of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X consciously talked about Black Power in Vietnam, Latin America, China, and Palestine, he traveled to the UK to denounce institutionalized racism there against both Blacks and Asians. Was Malcolm committing “cultural appropriation” as well, or was he displaying his genius and commitment to principle as a leader?

          • I wouldn’t disagree with any of that, regarding Malcolm X. I’m not sure if you realize this, but your comment, while informative to those who may not know much about Malcolm, is sadly lacking relevance. Malcolm didn’t take the name of a movement in Vietnam, or Latin America, or China and use it for his activity here. Nor did he take a name for a movement here and apply it to activity overseas. You are making an illogical, baseless comparison. Not a point. Please use your brain. Thanks!

        • They’re not “appropriating it”. As John Lemieux puts it: they’re being drafted.

          As lawyer-turned-comedian Dean Obeidallah put it in late 2001: “On September 10th, I went to bed a white guy. On September 11th, I woke up an Arab.”

  • I’m a white Catholic male who has fought prejudices, racism and injustices from as long as I remember until now. Any of the horrible deaths mentioned above revolt me. Please don’t generalize, please don’t make it a fight between races or religions when the real fight is against stupidity vs tolerance.

  • I understand your point of view, it mean also the lives of muslim matter not more or better just as the other lives. I don’t see any harm using muslimlivesmatter, in fact I see it as respect to the original movement blacklivesmatter, I know many people from the black community using muslimlivesmatter. Jesuischarlie has been used by and for different reasons, that did not create any trouble to the original movement. In fact when the movement Is so powerful nothing can threaten it. Bear in mind that you have different skin color in islam, is inclusive and not exclusive.

  • I agree with Sabah. As a Black American, I feel that other minority groups are quick to appropriate elements of our movement and make them their own. At the same time, many of these groups, American Arabs and American Muslims included, perpetrate their own racist beliefs against blacks, and will not align themselves with us when our interests are at stake. I think we can build solidarity between communities without making the elements of our respective struggle generic. I think before you appropriate an element of our movement, you make sure your community isn’t part of the force hating on us.

    • As a Muslim African female I wholeheartedly agree with this. I feel for the Chapel Hill victims and have expressed my hatred for what happened to them but sadly the same outcry wouldn’t occur from our own community of these individuals were African/Black Muslims. Also I give credit to the families For saying this hashtag shouldn’t be used for their kids either. So as bystanders we should respect that.

  • Way off the mark with this article. It’s petty, over-analytical, and regressive.It feels like recreational invocation of conflict and social tension.

    • Agreed. As for how to describe it, I went with “moral masturbation”. Feels kinda nice, but you’re not getting anywhere with it.

  • makes absolutely no sense.
    too many people just read a few lines about “appropriation” and automatically think they see it or its negative consequences everywhere.
    this article seems like the result of “hipster activists” who go around collecting buzzwords and spitting them out to sound like theyre fighting for a cause. “I’m fighting against cultural appropriation, against white supremacy, against misogyny. I’m fighting for feminism. etc”
    Perhaps we should invest some time in understanding what all those words mean, understanding what those struggles stand for rather than spewing out empty words.

    Sorry for the harsh language but there is just no logic in this article.

    • My takeaway from this is “hipster activists”. I love it ! Been searching for something like this. I’ve been interested or involved in progressive causes for a good two decades, and I do NOT like what social media has done to it.

      • haha I’m glad you liked it. and glad to see people who are genuinely devoted to a cause and not just blindly following a cool trend

  • You don’t get to say yes Muslim lives matter but… Don’t bf stupid , yes a few black ppl were killed, and yes we know the history, millions of Muslims are being killed around the world , every day!!! So yes , #MuslimLivesMatter !!! Get over it dumbass !!! Btw Muslims come in all colors, they are not just white!!! Can’t believe the arrogance or the ignorance!!

    • Arabs are fighting right now to be considered something other than caucasian. Before 9/11, Arab muslims seemed fine being considered “caucasian” and hating black people like any other white supremacist. The racism in the muslim community will be addressed before a hashtag appropriation. Arab Muslims aren’t being killed by agents of the government every 28 hours. You’re obviously a racist, and don’t think black lives matter when you say “yes a few black ppl were killed”, no, roughly one a day is killed. Millions of muslims around the world are being killed by other muslims. Work on that before you hold it over my head. Use your fucking brain and come up with a legitimate name for your valuable movement, or look like a dumbass copycat who can’t do more than sit back and react. Reaction is not revolution, and #muslimlivesmatter is a reaction, not a revolution. You’re a racist asshole. Fuck you.

      • JG Fuck you and whatever cum dumpster you done crawled out. You’re a little bitch, cussing up a firestorm over what could be a civil debate. Not all immigrant Muslims are Caucasian-looking Arabs asshole. And the sufferings of many Indian Muslims and North African Muslims of all colors (yes all colors, those are multi-racial countries) is no less than the sufferings of blacks in America. Quit bitching and moaning and stop having this pissing contest about “my ancestors had it worse than yours” and “you have no idea the hardship I go through”. I assure you on the Day of Judgment, you won’t even remember what race you were. Once you see the horrors of that day all this shit about black, white, brown, slides right out the window. You’re only going to be BLACK for a couple seconds homie, that’s how long this life is compared to the next, don’t ruin your Hereafter over it.

        • Come get some.
          Aside from you being a childish idiot who can’t handle a cuss word or two (obviously the result of faulty parenting), you haven’t made a single valid point. You want your movement to lol as fake as your tough-guy online persona? GO FOR IT!
          Lol. Joke.

          • Come get what? A soft lil sistah soulja wannabee that can dish out, but sure as hell can’t take it? Only valid point I needed to make I made at the end. Your black rage ain’t gonna save you from the Hellfire cause you best believe black skin burns just as easy white and brown skin. Not that it matters, because the second you see judgment day, you’re gonna be so terrified you won’t be able remember what race you were, nor will you be able to remember any body else’s race. But its obvious you’re willing to get your ass roasted for all eternity; just so you can strut to your “black power” BS on the few measly seconds you have here on earth. Good luck with that one buddy!!!! I just hope they don’t roast you with that ugly tranny Azaelia Banks….even you don’t deserve that LOL

          • You’re talking big shit, I assumed you would be willing to go offline. You were raised in the suburbs, it’s real obvious. Privileged white boy pretending he is persecuted. Cry me a river.
            You didn’t make a valid point. Your movement is a joke, and won’t go anywhere because losers just like you are part of it. I’m not trippin, use whatever name you want for your weak ass, empty, copy-cat bullshit of a hashtag. I’m not worried about judgement day, maybe your cumdumpster mom and goat-fucking dad need to be worried about that hellfire, boy, but not me. I’m good with the creator. I don’t know about black skin burning, but I know your jaw would break before my fist does. Keep that tranny dick out your mouth and worry about Iggy Azalea when you look in the mirror and see the resemblance between you two bitches.

          • Lol you cracking me up JG with your pussy ass online threats. You and I both know you ain’t gonna do shit offline except mayb go crying to your cumdumster. You ain’t capable of doing shit, cuz your daddy never taught you how to fight a man like me. I rep for Team Link MMA homie so the only thing I gotta worry about is maybe bloodying my knuckles from pounding on your ape face. Baby you ain’t broke a jaw in your entire life, and you know that!
            I’m Hispanic, not White. We’re the guys that are making you tough talking hoodrats our personal property in prisons across the US. You ought to be very grateful to those White Prison Guards, because they’re the only reason we haven’t totally wiped your lot out. So go eat yourself a taco dick; just like all your bruthas from the hood are doing

            But yeah I’m living in suburbs. Sorry I actually pay my taxes, we can’t all grow up in the PJ’s waiting for tha 1st of da month!!!!

            But hell I finished with that racial shit once I became Muslim, because unlike you I know my race ain’t gonna mean shit in the Next Life. You never learned that though, and that’s why you’re always gonna belong to someone. Your ass will always be someone else’s personal property. You a slave in this life and the way you going you will be a slave in the HereAfter as well. Make no mistake about it homie!

          • Are you still commenting on this thread? Get a life, loser. You say something racist, then be like “I’m done with this racial shit”. You sound like a lil bitch.

            “I rep for Team Link MMA”?!?!


            (Thank you, I needed that laugh)

            You are a joke. Learn a real martial art.

            And keep your dad’s taco out your ass. You are traumatized enough as it is.

            Make no mistake about it.

          • @J.G., @Shogun1924 You both sound like a bunch of little tiny children, spoiled with overblown egos. You consider yourselves adults?

          • I’m non-black Muslim, I think aj is a jerk. But I just want to make this very clear, you shogun are a racist and a major obstacle for those of us that practice Islam.

            I am ashamed that someone that thinks they are part of my religion (you) would be so disgustingly racist.

            This is so disgusting:
            “Sorry I actually pay my taxes, we can’t all grow up in the PJ’s waiting for tha 1st of da month!!!!”
            “So go eat yourself a taco dick; just like all your bruthas from the hood are doing”
            “We’re the guys that are making you tough talking hoodrats our personal property in prisons across the US.”

            You should be ashamed of yourself. All your prayers, fasting, and zakat will not make up for your flawed character. You have to seriously work on yourself so that you never say anything so disgusting again.

            Respect is not part of the 5 pillars, but god tells us, over and over, to show people respect. Aj might be a jerk, but he does not deserve your disgusting, abusive, and unIslamic behavior.

            Please don’t tell people you are Muslim if this is the way you will behave around people.

          • I’m a human, we are primates. My humanitarianism isn’t really up for discussion, especially by an some self-righteous twerp on an anonymous comment board. Thanks anyways!

      • While I agree that MuslimLivesMatter is appropriation should not be used and Arabs and other non-Black Muslims communities that could pass as white were fine with their status pre 9/11.

        This is just ridiculous claim Western Imperialism has been killing scores of Muslims globally not just Arab Muslims. State violence is a response to state violence. It is wrong though to claim that because Muslims have internal conflicts somehow minimizes Western Imperialism which specifically targets Muslims of all colors.

  • The 1st problem is that Darren Wilson had PLENTY of reason to shoot michael Brown, why is it SO hard to understand that he was a thug? He was caught stealing from a store on video BEFORE the indecent and his death was his own fault! That was PROVEN in court with a jury and witnesses who were FROM Ferguson! This entire article is a Damn joke.

  • The racial group most disproportionately targeted by white police violence is actually Native Americans, and Latinos are gunned down by white cops at almost the same rate as African-Americans. I’m not saying this to downplay or denigrate the experience of Black oppression, but I’m saying there IS a historical, material reason why other racially oppressed groups, such as Puerto Ricans, Mexicano-Chicanos, and Native Americans, identified with the Black Power movement and consciously crafted parallels within their own communities. Since “Muslim” is a religious rather than racial, ethnic, or national identity, I feel like much of this discussion is also about racism against Arabs; as the victims of the Chapel Hill massacre were Palestinian and Syrian. It’s worth keeping in mind that African-American groups such as SNCC and the Black Panther Party were among the first in the US to declare their support for the Palestinian struggle against Zionism, and were quick to relate it to their own struggle. Anti-Arab racism doesn’t fall out of the sky, it is an idea rooted in the same capitalist-imperialist system as anti-Black racism, tracing back to European colonial subjugation of Africa, Asia, the “Middle East”, and Latin America. It is a GOOD thing when different national and ethnic groups identify with each others struggles…its the first step towards international revolution.


    • Actually the data show that per capita – indigenous and Blacks share a close murder by police rate. Latinos – while still falling victim to police terror – do not encounter it at the same rates as Afrikans in Amerika.

      • Well the subject matter is very complex. The US does not keep reliable data of police killings; in fact the federal authorities deliberately obfuscate data and omit hundreds of killings; but according to a widely cited report by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, “[t]he racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans, followed by African Americans, Latinos, Whites, and Asian Americans.” In regards to Latinos, we come into issues with how the US census categorizes people by race or ethnicity. Many Latinos, such as Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Hondurans, are racially profiled by the police due to their Black, indigenous, or “mixed-race” heritage. Others, such as white Cubans who immigrated to the US immediately after the revolution, or white Venezuelans who have recently moved to the US because they don’t like the policies of Chavez-Maduro, are more affluent, have more “white-passing privilege” (even though all Latinos are racialized to a certain extent in the US) and are most likely not getting gunned down by the police. These differences in the very broad ethnic category of “Latino” could easily skew the statistics in question.

        My point being that when we play the “Oppression Olympics” game, no one wins. In regards to New Afrikans or African-Americans, they do have a specific experience of oppression, as do Native Americans, Mexicanos, etc. But the taboo against making comparisons is in my opinion not useful. People tend to find unity when they can empathize with and relate to each other, not when they are splitting hairs about who has it better or worse. This is why for example the Black Panther Party consciously made an effort to compare their own struggles to the struggled of Puerto Ricans, Mexicanos, and even working-class whites. For example the famous quote from Fred Hampton regarding working-class whites; “the way I see it, they work y’all like *******, treat y’all like *******, and make y’all live like *******. So that makes y’all ******* in my book, and I say it’s time to get organized and deal with this shit!” I’m afraid in today’s “social justice” environment, the self-appointed “anti-oppression” experts would have made Fred Hampton sit through a 3-hour anti-racism workshop.

    • I actually really like where you are going with this.
      My only issue is…

      Did ANYONE from this new #muslimlivesmatter movement contact ANYONE from #blacklivesmatter to plan, strategize, or form a foundation of solidarity?


      Took the name, removed the “black”, put your own name in there, then started printing T-shirts, right? Isn’t that right?

      I am a member of the #blacklivesmatter movement in San Francisco. With no word or nod of respect, no sign of actual real solidarity, I saw young arab muslims out on the street trying to sell me a shirt that said #muslimlivesmatter on it. I thought about buying one, but my sense of dignity kicked in. Hate me for even speaking up on that, but this ain’t how solidarity is built. We aren’t your slaves anymore, and what we produce isn’t yours to take. Can you get with that?

      You want to form a coalition of oppressed peoples to take on the power structure, you have an ally. Hit me up. Hit any of us up. But this ain’t how you do it. IJS. Malcolm, Bobby Seale, the BPP, they went out to these communities around the world and made that connection directly. There is probably a #blacklivesmatter chapter right where you live. I am betting money that you didn’t hit them up and try to build something like a coalition in regards to #muslimlivesmatter.

      But you’re going to make the claim anyway, and it’s empty.

      • 95% of the time people selling shirts on the street or online don’t give a rats butt about what’s on them. They are not part of the movements at all, they are after the money. The scour the internet looking for the next “big” thing that will pad their pocket. And there is a very good chance that the persons who are selling ANY such items, are not the ones who actually started any of the hashtags. Those selling merchandise are there for their own reasons and not for helping spread a message (otherwise they would be sold AT COST and not for profit) — Go ahead and attack me, I’m black and used to it! #AllLivesMatter

  • When everyone and their mom was saying #TransLivesMatter (after Leelah Alcorn’s suicide, for example), was there backlash against that??? Cuz I totally missed it if there was.

  • I’m sorry I cannot disagree more. I do see where your coming from but as you said, although similar they are unique. We cannot keep as a community finding excuses to not stand up firmly for our own struggles. I don’t see how this undermines the struggles of out black beetherens

    • Here we have black americans and black muslims, and the families of those who were killed in Chapel Hill… ALL coming out and saying this is inappropriate. Then we have a bunch of privileged muslims online who don’t care. Gotcha. Let’s see how far this actually goes.

  • This is so dumb… social movements are known to evolve and concepts are borrowed. For example, in the case of “sit-ins” for black communities” it was borrowed by the gay communities to do “kiss-ins,” where at baseball games gay couples will make out when they were on camera. Social movements are not exclusive they are inclusive, the minute we start separating them problems arises. Pointing out the obvious here- the same hegemonic WHITE western media that spins stories about black lives, are the same that ignore muslim lives.
    Social movements are not about appropriation- this is not the same as wearing a bindi and not understand where it came from. It’s about the same injustice brought on to marginalized lives.

    • I agree with this, the history of social movements in America is full of examples where one movement appropriated from another. For example, the song “We Shall Overcome” is associated with the Civil Rights movement, yet it originated as a song sung by tobacco workers during the labor movement of the 1930s, and it has gone on to be used in just about every social justice movement ever (from South African apartheid to Tiennamen Square). What would have happened if a bunch of labor union folks told the civil rights protesters that they can’t use that song because it belongs to them? All these movements would have lost a powerful tool, but no one would have done that because the people who fought for labor rights and the people who fought for civil rights (and women’s rights, and gay rights, etc…) understood that they were all fighting the same fight–against hate, fear, prejudice, and inequality. A hashtag is just another tool, even if you did choose to name your “movement” after it, and it should be free to be used by whomever is fighting inequality.

  • You have brought up an interesting debate but you haven’t suggested what term or a slogan can muslims use to bring the attention of the otherwise biased media to this cause. Now that you have made a point, what do you suggest?

    • If we’re all here because we believe racism / bigotry / prejudice is wrong, then we most definitely should NOT be searching for group-specific slogans! That’s the whole problem with bigotry and bigots: this school is for that group but not this one; this job is for that other group but not that one.

      Let’s keep fighting the good fight, not waste time on this pettiness.

  • Who writes this kinds of insensitive articles. This article is pointless. Period. I do not see a point in this article rather a complaint that one minority is building its cause on the cause of another which have very similar struggle. I disagree with the position of this article. Both Muslims and people of color are minority and are facing injustice at the hand of majority, so I do not see a problem if one group mimics the foot step of another to stand up to an unjust society. I would say that rather all the minorities should work together to fight for their struggle.

  • Sorry, but I’m going to have to be mean. This is just stupid. Saying “Muslim Lives Matter” upon the death of a Muslim in no way takes away from “Black Lives Matter”. That’s like someone’s loved one dying and me saying, “I’m sorry for your loss. He was a great person.” And you running up and saying, “Yeah, but Bob and his whole family were killed in a brutal mannner. Your relative just died in a car accident!” This is just another form of the fallacy of relative privation that the internet is woefully rife with.

    • No, it just takes away from #muslimlivesmatter, and makes it look like a disingenuous reaction to a tragic event, not a real grassroots movement. By all means go for it. You aren’t taking anything away from BLM, you got that right.

      • That makes no sense. Are you under the impression that #BlackLivesMatter started as anything other than a hashtag on Twitter? It started precisely as that, a hashtag after Trayvon Martin’s killing, and then took on a life of its own after Michael Brown’s killing and people started using it in their various forms of activism beyond the real of Twitter.

        So #MuslimLivesMatter can’t have the same evolution? No other similar expression should ever be expressed in outrage towards the unjust killing of any other minority group? Says WHO? This is a type of selfish monopoly that Black leaders themselves would decry.

  • I think it should be stressed that even the families of the Chapel Hill shooting victims have come out and asked people NOT to use the hashtag #muslimlivesmatter. People arguing that they have some “right” to disrespect both the wishes of the family, and the movement started by Black Americans are probably entitled folks who have been living a privileged life anyways. You don’t know about oppression. You’re an online warrior. Go out, fight for your cause, and see how you feel when some online keyboard warriors steal the name of your cause. See if you like it. The reality is that you can use the name #muslimlives matter. Its your right. It’s also the right of others to look at your movement as a weak facsimile of the #blacklivesmatter movement, and it’s also their right to assume you have no authentic movement of your own. All you can do is copy a hashtag and change it. That’s not revolution, that is reaction. That isn’t power, it’s wasted energy. I honestly hope it makes you feel better, but I doubt anything meaningful will come of it. Are you taking away from the #blacklivesmatter movement? NO, we actually do shit offline, in the streets, for real. What you are doing is harming your own movement. Expressing a racist sense of entitlement which just exposes the racism already evident in your own community. So go for it, but just know that you aren’t being taken seriously when you make moves like this.

  • I’m afraid that I have to call out this call out.

    With due respect to MuslimGirl, this argumentation is what I call “moral masturbation”, because while it may not be wrong, it is far from being right. Are the facts presented in the article wrong? No, not in their own vacuum. Are they good for advancing the cause? No. Are they pertinent? No. Do they hinder the cause? Regrettably, yes, they do.

    If we want to appropriate a simple hashtag for one specific group of identifiable people, we are validating the premise that you can and should differentiate humans based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever strikes your fancy at that moment in history. Here, the argument says that such-and-such a hashtag is “for blacks only”. No statement should have as its second part “… for blacks only”. Because it makes it no different than “this bus is for blacks only” or “this school is for blacks only”. We affirm that it is okay to think this way.

    It’s like the old canard: “Asians are smart” is not a racist statement because we’re saying something positive. But you, me and most readers here know that it is just as racist as anything, since one is being prejudicial based on ethnicity, in this case.

    Redress – big time redress — is due the American black community. No question about it. But that is separate from the critical, overarching need to excise bigoted thinking from society. Segregating a hashtag to a specific group identifiable by its skin colour (in this case), affirms this thinking.

    And my final objection to this: in a world where, right now, “evil” is winning out over “good” at an alarmingly fast rate, we shouldn’t be wasting time and effort debating internally (so-to-speak) about minutiae and strained arguments.

    #MuslimLivesMatter as do #BlackLivesMatter, but just as importantly,#FightingTheGoodFight also matters.

  • By reading all these comments I am entirely confused as to what you are actually arguing about and what you’re trying to protect. Inventing a hashing with a slogan trying to represent rights of a specific group of people is a great idea to get as much attention as possible. When other movements are copying to achieve the same goals as you, you should be proud of what your idea has achieved and how it has spread. Why do you disagree with other minorities using the slogan? This attitude sends exactly the wrong message: I am special, it’s only about me.nobody else is allowed to get this attention or use this to gain advantage from it. When I read such slogans it makes me sad that our worldatill hasn’t become one and people still separate themselves into groups…I am wondering what reaction I would get if I would create a slogan protecting white people’s rights as a result of multiple unlawful and unfair events? Or would people then expect me to not distinguish myself from any other humanbeings and instead use a slogan targeting the injustice which happened? I am rather focused on the injustice in my human rights instead of pushing myself out there as the “poor minority” ( don’t get me wrong, it’s not belittling the recent incident but I am just trying to bring across the negative message attached to when trying to separate yourself out.almost like when fighting for women rights…you’re straight seen as a feminist with a very negative tag)

  • I think this article fails to recognize the historical struggle of black Muslims in America that has been ongoing since slavery. Maybe that’s why some people feel indifferent. I highly recommend reading the book “The New Jim Crow”. It would support this argument in a more broader context.

  • I disagree with this article.

    Those people with conscious who supported #BlackLiveMatter did because injustice to any group of people is wrong. Because a group of humans are deprived of their basic human rights and dignity, they are de-humanization and oppressed.

    African American who supported #BlackLiveMatter must standup for any injustice other minorities.

  • I disagree with this article. African American who supported #BlackLiveMatter must standup for any injustice other minorities.

    Those people with conscious who supported #BlackLiveMatter did because injustice to any group of people is wrong. Because a group of humans are deprived of their basic human rights and dignity, they are de-humanization and oppressed.

  • (Muslim here) THANK for this article, because when i first heard of the hashtag, it felt wrong. Idk why, it felt kind of like the way people took the same tag and made the #AllLivesMAtter. (Before you start arguing that #AllLivesMatter should be a thing, let me remind you that all lives aren’t being shot in the streets every 27 hours by a person of authority).

  • I’m neither black nor Muslim, but I’m curious to learn more about this. My initial reaction was that there was nothing wrong with the hashtag, but given people’s very passionate responses to it, I’m trying to understand. I feel like this article didn’t explain very well, though. There ARE a lot of similarities between the way black and Muslim people are treated. You say there are lots of differences, that both are complex, multifaceted situations. Could you explain that more? You also suggest using your own language to spread awareness about Islamophobia. What would you suggest as a replacement? I’m thinking you would have a hard time coming up with an alternative as effective as this one. Like I said, I’m trying to understand, but I feel like this article kind of just brushed the surface without explaining deeply, so I’m left unconvinced.

    (Sorry if these are stupid questions. Maybe deeper explanation isn’t necessary to regulars of this site. This is my first time here; someone posted this article in my Facebook newsfeed.)

  • no, i think you got this all wrong. On a global scale, black is not just of african descent but rather non-white. the black-lives-matter hashtag is the same as the muslim-lives-matter tag…it is about fighting the hegemony of the patriarchal white rule.

  • I’m Muslim, and I’m black, and I don’t mind, (in this case). It’s getting to the point where Muslims of any ethnicity are being treated with the same kind of gross disrespect that black people are. Muslims as a whole have a long way to go in terms of cumulative oppression, because no US population will probably ever be enslaved again, but Muslims in the Western world have officially become an oppressed people. A lot of non-Muslim American blacks wouldn’t agree, and probably a lot of other Muslims who are black, but from me, it’s all love for my Muslim people.

  • You are making problems where there isnt one. I get the impression from reading these comments the writer of this article think he or she is a Genius.
    “It’s a sad and pathetic sensationalistic attempt by some bloggers and tweeters at mere attention grabbing. They hold racial sensitivities hostage like dangling a baby over a ledge screaming, “Look at me! I’m relevant!” It’s the Muslim version of the “White Savior” but it’s the “Brown Savior” here to save the Black man. 

    Have you ever been to a South Asian and Arab majority Mosque? Have you been to a Black majority Mosque? Compare the two experiences. Enough said! Black people don’t need us to save them. They’ve got their acts together FAR better than we do. We need them to save US.

    So, for God’s sake, put a sock in it. Stop keeping score over whose death counted the most with whom. Stop fanning flames of racial sensitives for your own “likes”, retweets and web hits. Let people grieve however they see fit and let us bury the dearly departed in peace. 

    Then we can address racial issues in a more suitable context. Don’t do it standing over someone’s grave. Have some decency and respect for the deceased and their families.”

  • Maybe we should just all be hash tagging ‘non-white & non-Christian lives matter’, because quite frankly that covers the whole topic of POC segregation, Islamaphobia, murder of black ‘thugs’ ect.

  • “Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot Michael Brown, a black teenager, to death for absolutely no valid reason…”

    What an idiotic thing to write. Of course, I expect no better from a site called “Muslim Girl.”

    • That last sentence makes me think you’re anti-Muslim. In which case, you’re just creating hate, which does not solve anything. But if you want a crappy world, then go ahead, make more hate and make the world that much crappier for both yourself and everyone else in it.

  • I am not belittling the deaths of the three muslims, nor the importance of the #blacklivesmatter movement, but you are aware there is evidence that Michael Brown assaulted Darren Wilson, before Wilson shot him?

  • Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin were killed for no reason other than racism? What a lie. Hopefully you meet the same fact as the chapel hill kids

  • Hashtags are social tools. I don’t think we are ententitled to “own” a particular phrase and simply call it ours for the simple fact that a few people got together to create it. It may be considered a movement, but if the creators wanted to have ownership over this movement, it seems silly to try and own it in social media. Hashtags are public and, as such, appropriated on a daily basis. I can get the sensitivities about it in the Black community, but to try to own the tools that are social media and language is absurd, tedious and simply mistaken.

  • This is a note for blacks who decide to be lowlifes such as dealers, criminals, pimps, white bashers, etc,and other such suckers. Please join up with the islamists and you both can enjoy each other’s loser cultures. Blacks have a lot to look forward to with the islamists.

    Here is what islamists can teach you:

    Apostasy,acid attacks, appeasement needs, beheadings, bombings,brainwashing, burkas,burying alive, beastiality, clitorectomies performed with butcher knives,
    crucifying, cannibalism, child marriage, child trafficking, censoring, christianaphobia, dhimmitude, denial of all these things, destruction of historical artifacts, executions, electrocutions, fire-bombings, fatwas,garroting, genocide, hanging, infidel branding, infanticide, incivism,isolationism,illiteracy in islam, jihadist fanaticism, jizya, kaffir branding,lashing, mangling,mutilation, murdering in general, mob riots over cartoons, no-go zones, nazi sympathizing, oochlocracy, other religion phobia, pedophiles, plagiarisim of western and other inventions, polygamy, public exhibitions of sharia law, quran bipolar verses of contradiction mecca versus medina and following them as if living in the 7th century, raping, rockets, revenge killing, roof tossing of gays, stoning,slavery of non muslims, submission, starvation, sharia, subterfuge, stupid iman syndrome, taqiyya, torturing, terror cells, uterus purification, virgins 72, verses of violence, whipping, xenophobia (as in Islamic jihadist hatred for western culture), you tube (all those “workplace violence” terrorists screaming allahu akbar and all
    those wonderful other muslim moderates gone jihadist to perpetrate great deeds
    upon the world past, present and future crying “islamaphobe”),zabh(as in cutting the throat).

    Here is what lowlife blacks can teach islamists: Attitudes as in towards whitey, Black history month as in just leave out any efforts made by whites that have helped them throughout history, Cutting as in drugs, Dad as in “Never knew him.” and so no discipline makes an easy target for muslim brainwashing cult, Ego as in “Yo, I’m duh man!”, F as in “Yo, f yo ma and f yo pa. Dig?”, G as in gonorrhea from you know what, H as in “You duh homeboy.” bonding jive, I as in ignorant statements like “I’ve been trying hard to get ahead and robbed two quickie marts this year, J as in “You jiving man this is the real stuff.”, K as in Kentucky Fried (you know what), L as in LAZY and won’t get a normal job but they know how to milk the system, M as in “Mudderfudder dis and mudderfudder dat.”, N as in affectionate bonding word used to irritate whitey because we be duh man, O as in second letter in HO, P as in “peckerwood bitch” insulting term that goes under the radar, Q as in quashie a name for a caribbean black(lowlife blacks like to give nicknames as a survival tactic in case of being busted for unlawful activities), R as in redneck a term used for well you know, rednecks, S as in slam dunk, T as in towel head (a derogatory nickname for islamists until lowlife blacks go to jail and join up with jihad), U as in don’t be an Uncle Tom or a normal hard working citizen, V as in “Hit the vein right and you get duh rush. Dig?”, W as in wheelchair bound after drug deal gone bad, X as in Malcom (you know who), Y as in “Yo yo yo and more yo. Yo?, Z as in zombie (night stalker drug dealer).

    The black lowlife and the muslim islamist, what a combination!

  • as Salaam Alaikum. Great article. As a black American Muslim, fully in love with my faith and my people, I love this article. Islam trumps all. In Islam #AllLifeMatters. I appreciate your commentary, and folks shouldn’t “run through a cancer rally shouting AIDS kills people, too!” but, for me, it’s okay to use the hashtag, #MuslimLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter, because they do. I only ask that people be mindful and not dismiss or diminish the struggles and challenges of being black in America. Thank you, again for this post. May Allah, ta’ala bless your hands and heart.

  • Wait…you wrote this on February, 2015? Long after all the facts were in and the grand jury deliberated, and the department of justice made their conclusions, etc.?

    That ALL of those people died ONLY because they were black?

    You can’t be serious.

  • Intersectionality matters, loved the article but seemed to erase the experience of black muslims. You can be both black and muslim. In the article when you say things like “we” cannot co-opt “their” movement, you create an in and out group. We being Muslims, and they being blacks. This leaves no room for black muslims to exist. In fact perpetuating the idea that to be muslim is to be arab, which it is not. Other than that, loved the article and completely agree.

  • Honestly, I disagree with you. However, Instead of Muslim or black lives matter. It should be #AllLivesMatter. I am sure all races or religion have lost their loved ones in injustice tragic ways by higher authority that have been undocumented or widely broadcasted throughout the world. Sadly Muslims, black ,Lations, and color individuals have all been wrongfully shot down by police officers in America or been wrongfully accused. Last time I checked, some Latinos are white, and some black people are very light skinned but are seen as minority. Therefore, it should be #AllLivesMatter

  • I’m black and I’m Muslim. #BlackLivesMatter start out as a hashtag and became a movement. #MuslimLivesMatter can do the same, or it can just be used as people expressing the seriousness against the international war on Islam. There is room for both, both or valid. And to say that one is appropriated from another is just incorrect, for that reason alone and many others. No words or series of words belongs to any group of people. Regardless of the flaw of mankind and the needed to separate that which is different, we are all 1 human race, this Ummah is unified regardless of color. And the Quran and Sunnah warn against creating emnity based on color and racial difference. Phrases can be used described the struggle of few and many. If you truly believe the sharing of words to express the significance and seriousness of a movement takes the attention off of another you are misguided. Who is anyone to make that determination?

Leave a Reply

Scroll To Top