FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2020
Muslim Reform Movement
480 225 7473
At this time of unrest in the United States of America, the Muslim Reform Movement calls for racial justice and rule of law, critical elements of a democracy and free society.
The Muslim Reform Movement condemns the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old man who died at the knee of then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, “Don’t kill me” and “Mama” among Mr. Floyd’s last words. The fact that George Floyd was black and Derek Chauvin is white has naturally turned this appalling incident into renewed calls for concern over endemic racism. The recent history of similar unjustified killings of black men by white police officers and civilians remains vivid in the minds of most Americans. The belated arrest of Mr. Chauvin inflamed passions across the country. Protesters appropriately demand that the other three officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s killing be charged for their role in the crime.
Unfortunately, peaceful protests, a critical part of any civilized democratic society, have been hijacked by widespread looting, vandalism and arson, deflecting attention from the genuine concerns of many Americans. We stand opposed to anyone who seeks to exploit this tragedy and incite violence.
Our Muslim Reform Movement forcefully condemns the excessive use of force by the police against Mr. Floyd and also condemns the wanton lawlessness that has followed. We stand with those who seek to peacefully protest and raise awareness of concerns over racism. We believe the right to peaceful protests is a fundamental human right enshrined in our U.S. Constitution.
While protests and expressions of need for change are welcome, we caution against the divisiveness of identity politics. Racism can and will be defeated in America. We have confidence that the vast majority of Americans are people of conscience who condemn the actions of former Officer Chauvin and believe in working together to root out racism and the inappropriate use of force by law enforcement. We applaud law enforcement officials who stand in solidarity with these calls for reform. The issue of anti-black racism within the Muslim community remains a major concern and one that this tragedy reminds us requires action!
We at the Muslim Reform Movement call for unity from the left to the right, across all religious and political spectrums in the United States, against police brutality and all forms of racism and bigotry. We call for immediate and concrete steps to reverse the discrimination and systematic racism that remains prevalent in our society. Prosecutors must ensure that swift and meaningful justice be brought to the four individuals involved in Mr. Floyd’s killing.
This is an opportunity to promote unity by fostering better understanding and promoting human rights rather than increasing divide and polarization by fueling rage.
We are inspired by the protestors who follow the principles of nonviolence, pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, leaders who stood forcefully against mighty governments and successfully brought about monumental improvements in race relations and justice.
Join us in uniting the American spirit.
The Muslim Reform Movement
Usama Hasan – Research Consultant, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, London, UK
Arif Humayun – Author, Activist, Founder, Circle of Peace, Vancouver, WA
M. Zuhdi Jasser – President & Founder, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Phoenix, AZ
Courtney Lonergan – Applied Cultural Anthropologist & Strategic Facilitator, Phoenix, AZ
Asra Nomani – Journalist & Communications Consultant, Washington, DC
Muhammad Fraser-Rahim – Executive Director, Quilliam USA. Washington, DC
Raheel Raza – President, Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Toronto, Canada