About

Creating, Connecting, and Cultivating for a better world.

The MuslimARC Story

December 2017

Our Mission & Three Purposes

Our mission is to provide racial justice education and resources to advance racial justice.

Create

Create spaces for learning and developing racial equity

Connect

Connect people to foster a multi-racial network

Cultivate

Cultivate solutions to advance racial equity

Values

MuslimARC strives to work with consideration of the following values:

  1. Deep appreciation of diversity, as referred to in Surah Ar-Rum:
    And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge. [30:22]
  2. Exchange of meaningful dialogue, as expressed in Surah Al-Hujurat:
    O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. […] [49:13]
  3. Self-reflection in the fight against arrogance, in opposition to the actions of Iblees (Satan):
    [Allah] said, “O Iblees, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?” He said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.” [Allah] said, “Then get out of Paradise, for indeed, you are expelled. […].” [38:75-77]
  4. Promotion of righteousness and unity, as described in the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ Last Sermon:
    All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves. Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
  5. Belief in the applicability of theory to action, as suggested by Malcolm X in his Letter from Mecca:
    America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. [...] During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept on the same rug – while praying to the same God – with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the deeds of the white Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.

Areas of Focus

MuslimARC is an human rights education organization. Our work consists of raising awareness and training Muslim communities on issues of racial justice. In order to uproot racism, we focus on developing and delivering education on internalized, interpersonal, and institutional racism. While the majority of our members are currently in the United States, we stand in solidarity with oppressed people and incorporate global voices because our community is cosmopolitan, reflecting transnational identities with local particularities. In our trainings and workshops, MuslimARC addresses both personal and systemic racism.


Our Areas of Focus for Education

  • Internalization of racist and orientalist narratives, which leads to self contempt and embracing policies that discriminate against Muslims.
  • Colorism, which affects the values we ascribe to people based on their skin tone.
  • Addressing and interrupting implicit bias, which affects how we deal with others.

Major issues of racially discriminatory practices in Muslim communities, including:

  • Racial bullying in Islamic schools and youth programs.
  • Micro-aggressions that make mosques and Muslim spaces hostiles for members of non-dominant groups.
  • Discriminatory practices relating to leadership, including against non-Arab or non-South Asian imams, board members, and/or professional staff.
  • Mass Incarceration and Police Brutality: racial disparities and the effects of mass incarceration on Black and Latino communities, contextualizing police brutality and the over-policing of Black communities.
  • Immigrant Rights: criminalization of immigrants, human rights abuses in immigration detentions system, deportations for minor infractions, and marginalization of Latino and African immigrants.
  • Inner City Poverty: communities of color in urban spaces disproportionately affected by systems with poor education, lack of job prospects, food deserts, violence, over-policing, and poor housing.
  • Global White Supremacy: the effects of settler colonialism on indigenous populations in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia; neo-imperialism on non-European countries; and the exploitation of African, Asian, Central and South American labor and resources
  • Military Aggression: invasion of non-European countries and bolstering of settler colonialism and oppression of indigenous groups
  • Refugee Rights: the rights of displaced populations and issues of humanitarian assistance
  • Urban Development
  • Immigrant Rights
  • Economic Justice
  • Environmental Racism
  • Food Justice
  • Education Access
  • Addressing the Criminalization of Communities of Color (police brutality, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and its effects on Black Muslim communities, and mass incarceration)
  • Black Muslims, recognizing the diverse experiences of the African Diaspora that includes descendants of victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the Americas, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinos, and African immigrants.
  • Latino Muslims, recognizing the diverse identities of people from Central and South America and Spanish-speaking former colonies.
  • Muslims who are Refugees, particularly from non-Arab countries such as Cham, Bosnian, Syrian, and Somali communities, who may not have access to the same resources as other groups.
  • Muslims from other underrepresented ethnic backgrounds in North American Muslim leadership, especially where those identities intersect with class identity

Social Disparities

In addition, MuslimARC is interested in addressing social disparities and increasing access for communities that are underserved:

  • Urban Development
  • Immigrant Rights
  • Economic Justice
  • Environmental Racism
  • Food Justice
  • Education Access
  • Addressing the Criminalization of Communities of Color (police brutality, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and its effects on Black Muslim communities, and mass incarceration)

Amplifying Voices

Lastly, MuslimARC aims to amplify four groups who are marginalized in the discourse on Islam in North America:

  • Black Muslims, recognizing the diverse experiences of the African Diaspora that includes descendants of victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the Americas, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinos, and African immigrants.
  • Latino Muslims, recognizing the diverse identities of people from Central and South America and Spanish-speaking former colonies.
  • Muslims who are Refugees, particularly from non-Arab countries such as Cham, Bosnian, Syrian, and Somali communities, who may not have access to the same resources as other groups.
  • Muslims from other underrepresented ethnic backgrounds in North American Muslim leadership, especially where those identities intersect with class identity

Reports

2017 MuslimARC Year End Report

Over the past four years, the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC) has provided training and resources to address racism, xenophobia, indigenous peoples’ rights, and Islamophobia. 2017 has been a groundbreaking year for us as a human rights education organization. We literally broke new ground by acquiring an old duplex, which will become MuslimARC’s headquarters in Detroit. With the support of funders, we figuratively broke new ground and transitioned from an all-volunteer organization to hiring our first two staff members. Lastly, we refined our mission statement to reflect the core of our services and strategies.

Working towards a vision of “Education for Liberation,” MuslimARC

  • CREATES spaces for learning and advancing racial equity
  • CONNECTS people across multi-racial and multi-faith networks using digital media, dialogue, and storytelling
  • and CULTIVATES solutions for racial justice through research and curriculum development

The 2017 Year End report touches upon all that we were able to achieve together at MuslimARC. Some highlights we are celebrating including hosting 150 attendees at the Detroit Anti-Racism Training (DART) Conference, organizing the Black Atlantic Transnational Islamophobia Forum and Black Muslim Rights At Risk Convening, developing the Break the Room screenwriters room, hosting the House Gala with keynote speaker Dr. Rami Nashashibi and jazz legend Wendell Harrison, and our work with youth in Southern California and Michigan.


Read the report now:

2017 MuslimARC Year End Report

Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative