08 Jul Police Respectability & Police Brutality
Asslamu Alaykum / Peace be upon you
When the Redmond Police Chief was at MAPS earlier this week, she remarked that there are parallels between the Muslim community and the police force: a few bad apples do not represent the beliefs and acts of the majority. Today, I wrote to the Police Chief assuring her that we clearly understand this difference: those Muslims engaging in terror and those police officers engaging in brutality do not represent the rest of us.
Just as terrorism rots our nation though, police brutality and racism are cancerous to our society. The shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are deeply troubling. Muslim Americans often are a minority group within another minority group. 23% of Muslim Americans are of African origins and the vast majority of us belong to one or another ethnic group. Police brutality and racism touch our raw nerves and send shudders down our spines. We feel extremely perturbed. As President Obama said in light of these tragic events, “all Americans should recognize the anger, frustration, and grief that so many Americans are feeling.”
The shooting of the Dallas police officers is equally disturbing. The Qur’an tells us in 41:34, “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” The police officers who lost their lives were innocent persons protecting a peaceful protest. Responding to terror with terror is evil.
Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of the shootings in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and Dallas. In the coming days, we will reach out to other faith groups and explore what little we can do as responsible citizens to bring peace and calm to our nation.