Black Lives Matter – statement of solidarity from the Muslim communities of Reading

Black Lives Matter – statement of solidarity from the Muslim Communities of Greater Reading – 9 June 2020

The brutal killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US, caught on camera, exposes yet again, the injustice and racism and discrimination still scarring the lives of black people across the world. This murder (let us call it what it is) is the result of the inhumanity perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy.

Brother George Floyd is the latest in a long list of names of black people who have been killed by police, including Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner. For the Black and Minority Ethnic communities (BAME) it is a painful reminder of the parallel systemic racism we face here in the UK.

Muslim Communities in Greater Reading (and far beyond) stand shoulder to shoulder with our black brothers and sisters in humanity and we condemn these inhumane police brutalities. We are outraged by the brazen murder, literally in broad daylight, of George Floyd. We are against all type of injustice and discrimination, irrespective of the form it takes – whether it is based on colour, race, gender, nationality, or religion. Wrong is wrong, regardless of the perpetrator.

Islam teaches us that: “A white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white; An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab, except by piety and good action”. This powerful message comes from the last sermon of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) and what could be more in line with the U.N Human Rights Charter than this message given to the entire mankind fourteen hundred years ago.

BAME communities have always been there at the hour of need. Our forefathers sacrificed their lives in millions to defend Britain in the First and Second World Wars. It is only very recently that this sacrifice has started to be given recognition. Most recently, in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 90 per cent of medical and care staff who have died from the virus so far have been from a BAME background.

Structural and institutional discrimination breeds inequalities in health, education, employment, law enforcement and judiciary, impacting the life chances of Black and Minority Ethnic Citizens. This must stop. Enough is Enough.

We stand in solidarity with the Black communities across Greater Reading, across the UK, across the US and all around the world. We demand governments and authorities take action to address the longstanding injustices faced by Black and Minority Ethnic communities in the UK. We demand action not words. We demand equality and equity, not favouritism. We demand justice and an end to institutional racism and discrimination. And we want it now.

This statement is supported by the following Muslim and sympathetic organisations and individuals

Mosques and Organisations

Abu Bakr Masjid & Islamic Centre (Oxford Road Mosque)
Aisha Masjid & Islamic Centre, Earley
Association of Sri Lankan Muslims (ASLAM) Reading
Caversham Muslim Association
Central Jamme Mosque (Waylen Street Mosque)
Community Education Trust
Cumberland Road Masjid
Integrated Network for Special And Additional Needs (INSAAN)
Jamme Masjid Ghousia, Reading Islamic Centre (South Street Mosque)
Jamme Masjid Reading (Alexandra Road Mosque)
Pakistan Community Centre
Reading Cultural Society
Reading East African Muslim Community (REAMCo)
Reading Muslim
Reading Muslim Council
Reading University Islamic Society
Sadaka
Shah Jalal Islamic Centre (Stanley Street Mosque)
Whitley Muslim Education Trust

Individuals

Abdul Naveed
Amjad Tarar
Arif Kiyani
Asghar Khan
Cllr Abdul Loyes
Cllr Mohammed Ayub
Cllr Gul Khan
Cllr Tahir Maher
Dr. Ejaz Elahi
Dr. Asif Butt
Dr. Shahid Sharif
Fasil Mushtaq
Haji Gulfraz Khan (Former Cllr)
Khalqur Rahman
Khwaja Rafiq
Lukman Harees
Manzoor Hussain
Mian Saleem
Mohammad Saood
Munir Lone
Mustafa Chaudhary
Naeem Akhtar
Raza Ahmed
Riaz Ahmad Chaudhary (Former Mayor)
Shahid Younis (Former Cllr)
Shakeel Khan (Former Cllr)
Sulayman Munir
Wazir Hussain (Former Cllr)

For further information, contact:
  • Shahid Younis (07775 655630)
  • Dr. Ejaz Elahi (07958 524746)
  • Mustafa Chaudhary (07974 707832)