The events now unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri that resulted from the murder of Michael Brown, an eighteen year-old unarmed black youth by white police officer Darren Wilson, causes me to reflect on the reasons why I accepted Islam in the first place. In those days, Islam was presented not as some mere religious creed, but indeed a revolutionary program that promised to deliver social and economic justice to the suffering black people of America. My series of articles entitled Why Black Americans Don’t Stand for Justice was an attempt to explain the reasons why those early, ideal aspirations were ultimately thwarted by the immigrant Muslim establishment. Through sheer numbers and deep pockets, immigrant Muslim organizations were able to co-opt the best and the brightest of our Black Muslim leadership, a trend that continues to this day.
And even then this was not the whole story, for there has always been a strain of criminality in black Islam which further crippled the movement for racial justice and sadly, constituted an internal weakness which in the end proved deadly .
Nevertheless, I’m watching events in Ferguson and find myself asking “where are the Muslims?” or again, “where is the clarion voice of Malcolm?” This used to be our field of work, so just when did we forsake our mission to bring Islam to our people, and struggle to make their lot better in this racist country called America?
If we remember, this is what the Muslim Alliance of North America (M.A.N.A) was suppose to be created for, but lack of clear vision and goals, ineptitude, a top-down dictatorial leadership style, lack of commitment, slavish reliance on immigrant money, and a disturbing alliance with N.O.I types, profoundly limited its impact.
That said, it is now time for a M.A.N.A type organization (if not a reorganized M.A.N.A itself) to rise up and meet the challenges of the hour, make the call to Allah’s Oneness, and fight like hell the vicious onslaught of murder against our people.