The Struggles Of Being Black And Muslim

The intersection of my identities are that I am black, female and muslim. Many people usually think of muslims as Arabs first and other ethnicities and races before they think of black muslims. There is a false perception that black muslims are a minority in Islam but in reality that is completely false. The large percentage of muslims worldwide are actually black. Islam is a religion that has followers of many ethnicities and cultures. However many black muslims still face discrimination and racism in their own communities. History shows that people of with darker skin are disportionately treated unfairly and discriminated against across many cultures and countries. This is a fact that society needs to face together. The reality of racism is real and the way people who are black are treated needs to be acknowledged and fixed.

Racism is still a problem here in the United States and abroad. The anti -blackness that exists in many communities today is shameful. The skin that I wear is an important part of my identity and many other people who also identify as black. The intersection of not only being black but a black muslim is a part of who I am. The difficulty of being a visible muslim women who wears hijab is a choice I make everyday. To live my life peacefully, pray, give charity, work and go to college is my hope and life. To deal with islamophobia and this false idea that all muslims are radicals or terrorists from people who are in my community is so disheartening . The vast majority of muslims are not radicals and are having a blanket thrown over them and somehow all being represented by a tiny percentage of actual radicals who hijacked and distorted the religion of Islam and morphed into something completely different to further their own agenda and ideas. I am an unapologetic black muslim women. I believe that my culture and race as a black person should be celebrated. It should not be a reason for discrimination. I believe that I should be able to be muslim without having to be perceived as "dangerous" or "suspect".

My freedom to be a visible muslim is a choice that should not be met with comments of me being called a "terrorists". There is more to the religion of Islam then what the media chooses to show. The fear and hatred that is being shoved down people's throats on a daily basis through media outlets or racists and islamophobic people is disgusting. I do not believe we should live in fear and hatred of people because they are black or muslim. Being critical about the one sided narrative that promotes discrimination against me and other other black muslims should be stopped. The first step towards doing that is by addressing the racism in our actions, ideas and words towards people who are black. The second step would be to learn more about Islam there is a lot to learn because Islam is a religion with many teachings. Talking to muslims and learning about what Islam teaches which is about peace, balance, love etc. There are different sects that exists in Islam, schools of thought and religious leaders. Understanding that Islam and muslims are part of a larger religious community of people who are HIndu, Christian, Jew, Sikh etc. . The ability and capacity for people to coexist is real and a future we should all support. Living together with our different races and religions makes our identity and we are already doing this in many ways. Striving for a world that celebrates black people and culture as well as their muslim identities and religious freedoms of all people is a world we should collectively work towards.