Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative

Black History Month Kick Off: Our Birth Story. By Margari Aziza Hill

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  1. Inspired by the work of Dawud Walid, a group of Muslim activists, students, community leaders, and scholars came together to discuss how to address anti-Blackness and racism in the Muslim community. Thanks to the efforts of 20 individuals, lending their support, thoughts, and direction, something happened. On February February 9, 2014 the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC) launched. Here are snippets of our birth story. 
  2. After reading some racist comments about an incident in Detroit, Dawud Walid decided he wasn't having it.  
  3. He then  penned an Op-Ed to the Arab American News  on September 19, 2013 in response writing:
    "I was prompted to write this after a recent Facebook discussion, which I weighed in on, when the term “abeed” (slaves) was used in a thread, in reference to a news story about an African American woman, who flashed an Arab American businessman in Detroit, during a verbal dispute. What was disturbing about the initial thread, before further discussion, was not simply the racist comments that were used about the unruly woman, but that some showed a profound lack of empathy when I mentioned that the term “abeed” is a hurtful word."
     You can read the entire article here: 
  4. These have been my thoughts on Dawud's work: 
  5. On November 24, Dawud Walid posted two articles that helped frame the discussion. The first was on the often vile responses to those who addressed racism. 
  6. But some were confused and still insisted that using #abeed  or n-word was not offensive. 
  7. This led to a lot of twitter debates and heated exchanges that often left many of us a bit demoralized and disillusioned. At the same time, the racist vitriol displayed on social media was undeniable. Dawud Walid and others continued the important discussion on how to address racism. 
  8. On November 27, 2013, 900 WURD hosted a program with Linda Sarsour and Dawud Walid discussing intraMuslim racism. 
  9. Youssef Chouhoud penned a piece for MuslimMatters, commending Dawud Walid's work.  
  10. His article generated a healthy discussion and a response: 
  11. With the New Year, it still seemed that people on social media were resolute in using ethnic slurs and expressing racist views. Dawud Walid wrote another thought provoking piece. 
  12. Throughout this time, on Twitter the discussion continued. Dream Hampton noted her experience of being called abeed while traveling in Palestine. 
  13. Arab AntiBlack Racism continued to inform people about the derogatory nature of the A-word.