The second edition of the Proudly Muslim and Black Conference organised by the MCB in Collaboration with other Muslim communities, grassroot and national organisations was marked online this year in line with the ongoing government guidelines to tackle Covid19 Pandemic. Some of the delivery organisations for this year conference are Black Muslim Forum, Everyday Muslim, Civil Service Muslim Network, Trust Building Forum and a host of other Black Muslim Led organisations and Mosques.
The 2020 PM&B Virtual Conference themed ‘Islam and Racial Justice’ saw scholars, communities workers and campaigners as well as young Black Muslims across age range, even as young as age 10, talk and discuss various topic addressing issues of racial inequalities within the Muslim communities as well as the general UK society with the objective of acknowledging the age-long inequality suffered by Black African and Afro-Caribbean Communities while seeking to Foster conversations and actions to eradicate this within the Muslim communities specifically and within the UK generally.
The Conference Panelists made presentations which looked at the Islamic injunctions on race and equality of man, highlighting the significant role of Black people within Islam and the Muslim Communities both in history and in recent times. The speakers on the first day called on all other non-black Muslims and general public to not only acknowledge the racism, discrimination and Unconscious Bias being suffered by Black Muslims especially from their fellow non-black Muslims, but to actually start addressing the issues by taking concrete actions.
Speakers called on big Muslim organisations, including the MCB to look inward and start with themselves in addressing these issues while they work with the larger communities to bring about education, reorientation and appropriate change.
The second day of the conference which was youth focused, saw young black Muslims , Black Youth Workers and communities stakeholders share their lived-experiences of Racial inequality, highlight the contribution and excellent achievements of young black people as opposed to the negative stereotypes and narratives commonly found about young black Muslims within the Muslim Communities and the wider communities.
The young people shared and gave clear examples of how Unconscious Bias, Micro-Aggressions and other forms of discriminations are affecting young black Muslims in schools, Madrassa, Muslim charity sectors and other general Muslim and non-Muslim spaces that are meant to be places of refuge and common value for all, including young people regardless of their skin colours and any other differences.
The Conference also saw the soft launch of a report compiling close to 40 contributions on the Black African and Afro-Caribbean Muslim lived-experience in the UK. The MCB Secretary General speaking on the soft launch talked about the importance of engaging and understanding the issues as well as fostering mutual understanding, adequate representations and unity.
Some Contributors to the different sections of the report gave insight into the issues covered in the report. They discussed how reports such as this can help tackle the problem of Racial inequalities as well as provide important information to stakeholders both within and outside the Muslim Communities on different aspects of life from the perspective of the Black African and Afro-Caribbean Communities. The speakers also added that this is long overdue and is only a basic starting point in the amount of work that needed to be done in this area.
It was indicated at the conference that the report which has been worked on for about 2 years in collaboration with the Everyday Muslims and other partner organisations within the communities covers sectors such as Criminal Justice, Media, Education, Arts & Heritage, Sport, Religion, Politics, Employment and the reflections on the recent Black Lives Matter campaign will be fully launched later in the year. Contributors cut across different segments of the BAACC as academics, users and professionals
It was also announced at the conference that the MCB, in collaboration with the Black Muslim Forum and other partners including the ones mentioned earlier will be launching a series of Racial Justice Workshops aimed at educating the non-Black Muslim Communities and the general public on the issues of Racial Equality. The workshops would aim at working with every section of our society to tackle anti-blackness and bring about mutual love, respect and communities cohesion.