A Coalition of African American Muslims (CAAM) held this press confence, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
The controversy over the Park 51 Project (Islamic Center in Lower Manhattan) is indicative of a general rise in racist bigotry towards people of color in this country. While the issue has its particular and unique distinctions, it cannot be separated from the rising violence against African Americans and Latinos, or the increasingly inflammatory rhetoric and exclusionary politics driving the national debate on immigration.
As African-American Muslims, we feel our unique perspective has been missing from an emerging national discussion. We wish to join that discussion by first of all affirming that among our forbears are Muslims who have lived peacefully and productively in this country since its inception. They, and others among our people have sacrificed too much, both in enduring the horrors and brutalities of chattel slavery, and during the long march to freedom, civil and human rights for us to silently accept a return to Jim Crow exclusionary practices and policies that relegate either ourselves or our co-religionists from other ethnic backgrounds to second-class citizenry.
To watch the press conference go to this link: http://www.noi.org/webcast/sep-02-2010/