We at EMAAN would like to affirm our support, solidarity and allyship to black communities here in Australia, in the U.S and around the world, who have suffered at the hands of systemic, anti-black racism.
We want to hold ourselves publicly accountable that #blacklivesmatter is not a passing trend, and not merely words from us but a sustained commitment to challenge racism, to uplift the oppressed and amplify their voices, and help to build a more equitable and just society through our platform and resources as a small business.
As a business, we strive to be ethical and environmentally conscious in our products and business practice. Our vision is to live in a world with emaan, a world in which our belief in Allah brings benefit to all of society. An ethical and sustainable business must, in its nature, be anti-racist. Racism is inherently an environmental issue. The modern, capitalist world that we live in today, whose very structure is violent and destructive, is built by white powers off the backs of black and brown bodies, and ravish and loot the natural resources of indigenous communities globally. We urge others in the ethical fashion space, which is still largely white-dominated, to take a more intersectional approach to their work and advocacy.
As Muslims, it is our duty is to uphold justice, even if it is against ourselves. Racism exists within the Muslim community and it’s upon all of us to address this within our families and circles of influence. This is unequivocally our responsibility and our problem to fix, and we should not leave this burden on our black sisters and brothers who are already dealing with too much, for far too long.
As Australians, we should not point our finger to problems in the U.S without looking at our own country’s appalling history. Similar to the U.S, Australia was built by killing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI) and ravaging their land and resources. Since 1991, 432 Indigenous people have died in custody and are 13 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-indigenous Australians. This is just one of many injustices this country has perpetrated against ATSI. If we really care about eliminating racism, we must acknowledge that we profit and benefit off of stolen land and do more to support ATSI communities right here.
It is great to see so much momentum against anti-black racism but don’t let this be a passing fad. The recent events in the U.S are just the latest incident in our long global history.
All of us, regardless of whether you are a business, an organisation or an individual, need to stand with black communities in this struggle against racism.
If you are unsure where to start, if you feel that you don’t know much on this issue, there are plenty of resources which we have linked here.
If you disagree or if this makes you uncomfortable, sit with your discomfort and realise that is a part of growth. Realise that it’s a privilege for us to be able to disengage and be detached, when others can’t. Realise that staying quiet in an unjust society is not being neutral. Black communities are telling us that our silence is deafening.
This is a reminder to ourselves first and to you all that we can and must do better.
Director of EMAAN
Cover image: Black Lives Matter Protest in DC, 6/2/2020. (Instagram: @koshuphotography)