African-American Muslims Face Double Burden of Racism, Religious Discrimination

August 30, 2006

Source: Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

On August 30, 2006 Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder reported, "Nearly a third of Muslims in the United States are Black. However, 'Islam-phobia' — negative images and buzz words that produce stereotyping, physical and verbal attacks, and racial profiling of Muslims of color, including Muslims of African descent — has exploded in this country since the events of September 11, 2001. 'September 11 only heightened the misconceptions about Islam,' Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid pointed out. 'Islam-phobia has risen in the post-September 11 era among certain populations in the United States.' Walid and four other Black Muslims spoke to Black journalists on media perceptions and misperceptions on Islam during the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention in Indianapolis on August 17. Walid offered as an example a recent incident that occurred during a flight scare that CNN and others reported, which supposedly involved a Muslim woman. 'The lady was not a Muslim but a 59-year-old Caucasian... [She] had no matches or Vaseline or letters written in Arabic,' he said. 'When you mention the word "terrorists," the first thing that comes to mind will be Muslim.'The panelists were especially critical of the mainstream media. Walid points out that the 'real face' of Islam is obscured by the hate speak used by the Bush administration and is used as a polarizing tool 'that plays itself in the media,' he said, calling U.S. President George Bush 'a divisive president.'"