Discrimination is Nothing New to America's Black Muslim Communities

November 14, 2003

Source: Orlando Sentinel


On November 14, 2003 Orlando Sentinel published an article on the challenges of being black and Muslim in America today, a situation considered a "double-whammy" in a nation both with a history of racial prejudice, and currently experiencing a wave of anti-Islamic sentiment in the wake of September 11. Despite stereotypes, black Muslims as a group defy easy categories, and in many way they differ from immigrant Muslims in America. The article notes that "predominantly African-American mosques tend to be urban and working class. In the Sun Belt, mosques where immigrants are in the majority are more likely to be middle-class and suburban. They include "a young generation raised as Muslims, children of parents who were introduced to the faith through the Nation of Islam and ultimately moved to more traditional practice. Another difference is that African-American Muslims have largely escaped the post-Sept. 11 wave of prejudice aimed at their foreign-born co-religionists. On the other hand, black Americans of all religions are accustomed to centuries of racial discrimination. 'All of us were in the same boat -- feeling the pain of the unjust hate-crime attacks,' says Imam Hamidullah."