Black Muslim communities constitute about 10% of British Muslim communities according to the 2011 census, and they face a combination of of racism and Islamophobia, both within Muslim communities and in wider society.
MCB Responds to #BlackLivesMatter Protests Across the World
In May 2020, news of yet another injustice, the taking of brother George Floyd’s life, has shaken us. To his family, and the families of all whose names we don’t know, we convey our deepest condolences. Your pain is our pain.
We stand in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters in the United States, UK and beyond, wherever anti-Black racism manifests. We recognise that anti-Black racism must be stamped out wherever it may manifest, for a failure to do so will continue to result in the taking and ruining of precious life.
Our full statement can be read here.
Proudly Muslim and Black
The Muslim Council of Britain, in collaboration with Everyday Muslims, SOAS and several other partners, held the first ever ‘Proudly Muslim & Black’ symposium and exhibition at SOAS, University of London on 9th February 2019. Entitled: ‘Exploring Black Muslim History and Heritage in Britain and Beyond’, the event explored issues facing Black Muslim communities in Britain, as well as highlighting important contributions made to Islamic civilization and British society by prominent Black Muslims.
To mark Black History Month 2019, the Muslim Council of Britain held an event at the House of Parliament on 29 October 2019 hosted by Naz Shah MP, exploring the intersections of faith and race entitled ‘Being Black, British and Muslim Today’. Chaired by Bilkis Savage, a magistrate and veteran campaigner, the evening’s discussion addressed the important often under-reported subject of anti-black racism within Muslim communities, and how both racism and Islamophobia within the wider community impact lived experience of Black Muslims in Britain today.
The project wishes to expand its works by launching an online web platform for the initiative, showcasing the work and reports produced in 2019, with the aim of holding a youth conference in October 2020 to coincide with Black History Month.
The MCB strives to act as a hub for resources and materials on this subject area and bring together academics and practitioners to highlight the key areas that need to be addressed in relation to history, social impact, youth and community cohesion. We aim to collate information through surveys, existing research and a series of focus groups, culminating in a report which details the standing and circumstance of the Black British community today. Given the current climate, we are also aiming to launch a research piece on the disproportionate impact on BAME communities by COVID 19. We hope that these research pieces will prove a useful tool for those looking to build initiatives to address the issues impacting Black British Muslims, whilst also showcasing the amazing work that is already being done and highlight the contributions.
Proudly Muslim and Black is led by a member of the MCB Executive Committee, Rashidat Adeyinka Hassan and is entirely reliant upon a small team of volunteer researchers and project assistants. We’d like to finally build our dedicated online portal of resources, hire a dedicated Project Officer to assist in the organisation and delivery of research works we’ve undertaken and execute our Proudly Muslim and Black Youth conference as planned.
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A follow-up event, Being Black, British and Muslim Today, was held at short notice in the Houses of Parliament to mark Black History Month on 29 October 2019 – click here to view the photos!
More events are planned for 2020 as well as publication of a report.
Watch this space for more information!
- Everyday Muslim has a great initiative documenting Black Muslims’ experiences: Exploring the Diversity of Black British Muslim Heritage.
- ”What does it mean to be Black & Muslim in Britain?”. BMB Project has produced an award winning series of videos exploring stories & dialogue around being Black & Muslim in Britain today.
- Black Muslim Forum’s report on anti-black racism in the British Muslim community.
- A wealth of resources available to non-black Muslims in their pursuit of greater understanding, compiled by Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan.
- #BlackIslamSyllabus, curated by Kayla Renee Wheeler, is an incredible resource that collates scholarly works on a wide range of topics.
The symposium brought together academics, scholars and community leaders to discuss important issues around the way Black Muslims are perceived and treated. It included discussions on issues such as; Black Muslims and their role in Institutions and Communities, Black Muslims – Identity Formation, The role of Muslim women in African and Afro-Caribbean Communities.
The afternoon session included inspirational short talks, spoken words and poetry presentation, African and Afro-Caribbean fashion exhibition, as well as short presentations on selected African and Afro-Caribbean led Mosques and Muslim organisations in Britain today.
Everyday Muslims, a heritage and historical documentation initiative, featured some of their special collections on Black Muslims culture and heritage in an exhibition at the event.
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