The Mecca Center is appalled and outraged by the horrific killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota and calls for justice to be served to the fullest degree of the law.

We express our sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of George Floyd and the increasing number of African Americans murdered by law enforcement and racist vigilantes across the United States.

All human life is valued in Islam, as the Quran states, “Whoever kills a soul – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely.” [5:32].

In his Farewell Sermon, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “A white person has no superiority over a black person, nor does a black person have any superiority over a white person – except by piety and good action.”

The Quran also calls on us to be purveyors of justice: “Be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” [4:135].

For these reasons, we pray that justice is served in the George Floyd case and that the pain our society is enduring serves as a catalyst for positive change in our nation.

Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, racism was law across the United States. However, it was African Americans and civic leaders that led us to the most important moment of equality in our nation’s history with the civil rights movement.

The American Muslim community has thrived due to the sacrifices African Americans and civic leaders have made to enact civil rights, including having our religious freedom and diversity legally protected. African American Muslims, like Malcolm X, were on the front lines of these civil and human rights movements that secured the freedoms we enjoy today.

While we share the disappointment and dismay many people are currently feeling at this time, we must uphold our cherished value of freedom of expression while exercising self-restraint and respecting personal property. As the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, plunder is not lawful.”

We stand with our African American brothers and sisters and all communities facing persecution, oppression, and injustice, regardless who it is committed by or against. It is only with justice that people can live in peace.

Healing for our country begins when we as Americans earnestly strive to provide equal opportunities for ALL, as our founding fathers intended it to be.

Artwork by @shirien.creates