#BeingBlackAndMuslim highlights the struggles of a group marginalized on all fronts

Published February 16th, 2017 - 07:24 GMT
Ibtihaj Muhammad, a black Muslim woman, represented the US in last year's Olympics (Flickr)
Ibtihaj Muhammad, a black Muslim woman, represented the US in last year's Olympics (Flickr)

It is no secret that Muslims have faced a rising wave of hatred in recent times. Islamophobia has become mainstream, as US President Donald Trump has implemented his “Muslim ban” and right-wing candidates have won popularity across Europe.

Well-known, too, is the racism facing the black community in America and other Western nations; the #BlackLivesMatter movement has done much to bring race issues to the fore.

At the intersection of these two forms of prejudice and discrimination are a largely ignored group: those who are both black and Muslim.

For three years, one hashtag has been giving a voice to this marginalized and forgotten identity. “Being black and Muslim” was launched on Twitter in February 2014 by the US-based Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, which characterizes itself as a faith-based educational organization promoting racial justice.

This year the trend has been bigger than ever, and it is not hard to know why. The new American President has already managed to stir up racially and religiously motivated hatred like no other before him. Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration last month suspended visas to two Muslim-majority black African nations: Somalia and Sudan.

Let’s take a look at some of the best tweets about #BeingBlackAndMuslim:

One particular issue the trend has shed light on is so-called “Arab supremacy”. While the majority of Muslims are non-Arabs, the Middle East still dominates the conversation about Islam.

Black Muslims are fed up of Africa being erased from any discussion about their faith.

In fact, many have suggested that racism is as bad within the Muslim community as outside of it.

It is not just in the West that black Muslims face racist attitudes. Many Arab countries have high levels of intolerance with regard to people of different ethnic origins, including black African migrants. In fact, the Middle East has its very own history of selling Africans into slavery.


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