Statement: Black Lives Matter

Statement: Black Lives Matter

MEDIA STATEMENT

07 JUNE 2020

CMRM Affirms Our Solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter Movement

Guided by our belief in Islam and our commitment to intersectional social justice, the Claremont Main Road Mosque affirms its solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Further, we amplify the call to challenge and dismantle racism, all forms of oppression and exploitation, and white supremacy. In this we are guided by the proclamation by Allah, the Lord of Justice, in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah al-Nisa’, chapter 4, ayah/verse 135:

 

Believers! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah alone, even if it means testifying against our own selves, or your parents and relatives. Whether it is against the rich or the poor, Allah is nearer to all of them in compassion. Do not follow your own desires lest you distort or decline to do justice. If you twist or turn away, Allah is all aware of what you do (Q.4:135)

The sustained protests across the United States and across the world is in response to the murder of George Floyd and the killing of numerous named (and unnamed) Black people by the police in that country. They have lost their lives due to racism — institutional, structural, systemic, and implicit. The local and global indignation and moral outrage directed at these deaths is justified and we pray that this moment of energised focus is an inflection point in the long slow arc towards justice and equality in that setting.

 

Racism, prejudice and state-sanctioned violence is the lived daily experience of Black people in South Africa. Whilst we turn outward and express solidarity with Black Lives Matter USA, we must turn inward and face the reality of racism, prejudice and police brutality within our own communities. Beyond moral outrage and indignation, we must challenge and dismantle anti-Blackness through confronting it in the spaces we inhabit (family, homes, masjids, work places) and in the institutions we work through or with.

With the above in mind, CMRM denounces the killing of Collins Khosa, Petrus Miggels, Sibusiso Amos, Adane Emmanuel, Ntando Sigasa and at least six others by police and military personnel during lockdown. We mourn their deaths and demand an independent inquiry into the circumstances and the actions that led to them.

 

The victims of police brutality in South Africa are invariably poor, working-class and Black. This reflects both the historical and current reality of state violence against Black people by the police and others. Thus, the struggle for justice in South Africa and the United States is connected insofar as state violence is not incidental, but ingrained. It is at the core of these different democracies. We align ourselves with organisations calling on the South African government to address long overdue and wilfully neglected engagement in reform and re-structuring of the police services.

 

Further, we note the undertone of racism as well as overt racism evident in commentary via social media posts critical of government’s strict, evolving, and imperfect, lockdown regulations. Similarly, the High Court challenge of government Covid-19 regulations by the self-identified white supremacist organisation, Liberty Fighters Network, highlights the reactionary racist response to a Black-majority government attempting to shape a cohesive national response to the pandemic. These are examples of the ongoing local challenge of entrenched anti-Black racism and point to the critical work that has yet to be completed in this country.

The Covid-19 pandemic has deepened the structural and systemic inequalities in societies across the world. We have shared lockdown as an urgent and necessary measure in the interest of public health and safety. Racism and police brutality are public health issues. It is vital that we recognise that health is intersectional and a common struggle. Collectively speaking out against anti-Black racism is a matter of necessity and doing the work is not optional.

 

There are different strands to the experience of grief, despair and pain that people across this country and the world are expressing. It is our sincerest prayer that these protests act as an opening to revitalise the personal and collective intent to plot, plan, strategise, organise and mobilise for the dismantling of anti-Black structures of oppression.

 

ISSUED BY 

CLARMEMONT MAIN ROAD MASJID BOARD OF GOVERNORS

MEDIA STATEMENT

07 JUNE 2020

CMRM Affirms Our Solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter Movement

 

Guided by our belief in Islam and our commitment to intersectional social justice, the Claremont Main Road Mosque affirms its solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Further, we amplify the call to challenge and dismantle racism, all forms of oppression and exploitation, and white supremacy. In this we are guided by the proclamation by Allah, the Lord of Justice, in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah al-Nisa’, chapter 4, ayah/verse 135:

 

Believers! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah alone, even if it means testifying against our own selves, or your parents and relatives. Whether it is against the rich or the poor, Allah is nearer to all of them in compassion. Do not follow your own desires lest you distort or decline to do justice. If you twist or turn away, Allah is all aware of what you do (Q.4:135)

The sustained protests across the United States and across the world is in response to the murder of George Floyd and the killing of numerous named (and unnamed) Black people by the police in that country. They have lost their lives due to racism — institutional, structural, systemic, and implicit. The local and global indignation and moral outrage directed at these deaths is justified and we pray that this moment of energised focus is an inflection point in the long slow arc towards justice and equality in that setting.

 

Racism, prejudice and state-sanctioned violence is the lived daily experience of Black people in South Africa. Whilst we turn outward and express solidarity with Black Lives Matter USA, we must turn inward and face the reality of racism, prejudice and police brutality within our own communities. Beyond moral outrage and indignation, we must challenge and dismantle anti-Blackness through confronting it in the spaces we inhabit (family, homes, masjids, work places) and in the institutions we work through or with.

With the above in mind, CMRM denounces the killing of Collins Khosa, Petrus Miggels, Sibusiso Amos, Adane Emmanuel, Ntando Sigasa and at least six others by police and military personnel during lockdown. We mourn their deaths and demand an independent inquiry into the circumstances and the actions that led to them.

 

The victims of police brutality in South Africa are invariably poor, working-class and Black. This reflects both the historical and current reality of state violence against Black people by the police and others. Thus, the struggle for justice in South Africa and the United States is connected insofar as state violence is not incidental, but ingrained. It is at the core of these different democracies. We align ourselves with organisations calling on the South African government to address long overdue and wilfully neglected engagement in reform and re-structuring of the police services.

 

Further, we note the undertone of racism as well as overt racism evident in commentary via social media posts critical of government’s strict, evolving, and imperfect, lockdown regulations. Similarly, the High Court challenge of government Covid-19 regulations by the self-identified white supremacist organisation, Liberty Fighters Network, highlights the reactionary racist response to a Black-majority government attempting to shape a cohesive national response to the pandemic. These are examples of the ongoing local challenge of entrenched anti-Black racism and point to the critical work that has yet to be completed in this country.

The Covid-19 pandemic has deepened the structural and systemic inequalities in societies across the world. We have shared lockdown as an urgent and necessary measure in the interest of public health and safety. Racism and police brutality are public health issues. It is vital that we recognise that health is intersectional and a common struggle. Collectively speaking out against anti-Black racism is a matter of necessity and doing the work is not optional.

 

There are different strands to the experience of grief, despair and pain that people across this country and the world are expressing. It is our sincerest prayer that these protests act as an opening to revitalise the personal and collective intent to plot, plan, strategise, organise and mobilise for the dismantling of anti-Black structures of oppression.

 

ISSUED BY 

CLARMEMONT MAIN ROAD MASJID BOARD OF GOVERNORS

 

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