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From the Editor's Desk – Continuing to Address Racism for the Long Haul
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Posted on Jun 03, 2020
Dilshad Ali

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As salaamu alaikum and hello everyone!

Dilshad Ali

As I sit here and write this from my parents' home, a few hours away in the neighborhoods near my home, protests are happening against structural racism, police brutality, and the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many before them.

They are one of thousands of daily protests happening across the country and around the world, as weeks of sheltering-in-place due to the COVID-19 global pandemic (which has disproportionately affected Black people) has laid bare the inequities, abject racism and discriminatory policies that marginalized communities have faced for decades.

We all have to confront this – as individuals, organizations, communities and businesses, not just in what we say publicly, but what we believe and do behind closed doors. These are discussions we are having on the regular at Haute Hijab, during company hours on Slack and on Zoom and continued into the late nights on texting chains, as we listen and learn from our communities, educate ourselves and try and figure out how best to offer support and solidarity.

Islam teaches that no race is superior over another race. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:

"The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of their limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever." (Al Bukhari and Muslim)

In my own life, when I've experienced deep pain or hurt, those who have given me space to express my pain, who have sat in the pain with me  that meant something. As I've reached out to friends and loved ones in my circles who are deeply hurting, that is what I've tried to remember. 

My fellow HH team member and friend Noor Suleiman wrote earlier this week, "When any one part of humanity is hurting, we ALL feel it. Fighting racism is the work of ALL of us, not just our Black brothers and sisters."

What I want myself and my HH family to remember the most is that this is a marathon. We all are reeling right now. So many of us are plugged in, posting, donating, reading, listening, protesting, confronting biases within ourselves and our communities. But our work cannot wane as time passes. Racial injustice is not new in America, and it didn't happen in a vacuum. There are hundreds of years of slavery, subjugation, inequities, brutalities, systemic racism and explicit and implicit biases that have brought us to where we are.

Black Lives Matter

Image source: National Catholic Reporter

We simply cannot and should not return to "business as usual" in a week or two. What does that mean for us at Haute Hijab? As your blog editor, it means my team and I will continue to cover these stories from our communities and uplift narratives we all need to be hearing. It means we just don't talk about the experience of Black Muslims during Black History Month in February, but year-round. It means we listen to and grow from whatever criticism and suggestions come our way and build on that.

Normally in my top-of-the-month column, I talk about what's to come on the blog. We will continue to write about current events and how our communities are responding and supporting the fight against racism. We'll also be talking about what is happening in our communities as states begin to open up while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Beyond that, in regards to HH-related news and modest fashion, we'll have to figure out what feels right and appropriate. 

We have hard work ahead of us, work that some of us have been doing all along while others are getting started. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said"Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart –and that is the weakest of faith." [Muslim]

May our faith and our hands be strong in this work. May we support our Black sisters and brothers in authentic ways that does not hurt them any further. May we confront our own hearts. May we good choices and say Bismillah-hir-rahman-nir-raheem.

Editorially yours,
Dilshad


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