For Muslim People

An Aboriginal flag is hanging outside the Lakemba Mosque, brought by activists in solidarity with Muslim people. All thanks to Nessa Turnbull-Roberts for use of the picture.

I cannot understand how some in this vast and overprotective country, which has had a forced hand in the real destruction of life in Afghanistan and Iraq, can see Muslims only through the lens of their own western civilisation’s supposed loss. Why is it repeatedly about the Muslim as a fictional threat and not the concrete reversal?

Yassir Morsi

In the wake of the horrific massacre of 50 Muslim people, mainly South Asian and Black, in Christchurch, Aotearoa on Friday March 15, it is abundantly clear that despite the grief, shock and genuine concern of many people across the world, that there has been a wholesale failure to take the threat of Islamophobia – racism against Muslim people – seriously. And indeed, that it has been actively promoted and expanded by governments, the media, academics and the public across the west.

As critical race scholars committed to the centering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty and race critical thinking in our work, the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association stands with Muslim people everywhere.

Specifically, we stand with our members, including our Muslim executive committee members past and present. We stand with Muslim colleagues, scholars and students living in the virulently Islamophobic climate of Australian public life and working within an academic culture that often participates in constructing the stereotypes that damage Muslim people.

We let academics research our children to find the genetic code for ‘becoming terrorist’. We focused on ‘social cohesion’, ‘community resilience’, ‘Australian values’. 

Randa Abdel-Fattah

We stand with Muslim scholars who have been marginalised within and purposefully excluded from the same academy that offers millions of dollars to researchers conducting what are often harmful studies on Muslim people in the epistemically racist aim of finding out why Muslim people are ‘violent’ or why they fail to ‘integrate’. We recognise that while studies are often conducted in the aim of furthering Muslim people’s ‘resilience’ and even their capacity for ‘resistance’ against racism and social exclusion, that the terms of reference often deny the significance of race as a technology of power and not just racism as the attitude of some in the community.

We recognise that Islamophobia in Australia cannot be fought without grounding it in a relational understanding of the racial-colonial that sets specific forms of racial rule within the context of the persistent negative impact of colonisation on First Nations people. We applaud the solidarity actions by First Nations people with Muslim people, while recognising that there are many Muslim people who are also Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

ACRAWSA notes that, as educators, writers and researchers we have a responsibility to add to the fight against white supremacy – which is not, despite the addition of the expression to the media’s lexicon in recent days, only far right extremism. The maintenance of white supremacy is the purpose of racial rule.

In any way we can, we wish to open and hold a space for continued investigation into the operations of race in a way that will increase our common possibility for freedom, prosperity and peace.

With respect and honour for the 50 lives lost, for their families, friends, communities and for Muslims, Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

ACRAWSA would like to thanks Nessa Turnbull-Roberts for kindly permitting us to use the above photo which was taken when a group of Aboriginal people visited the Lakemba Mosque in Sydney to show solidarity with the Muslim community on March 16 2019.

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