We at the Central Illinois Mosque & Islamic Center (CIMIC) issue this statement of solidarity and action as a response to the loss of life and other indignities suffered by Black communities nationwide. The on-going incidents of police brutality committed by those sworn to uphold the law are inhumane and inexcusable. The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer while his colleagues were indifferently watching is unacceptable. As a community, we cannot tolerate behavior that fails to recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every human soul.

There is an opportunity for reflection and improvement in this moment of crisis. As Muslims, we know from the teachings of Prophet Muhammad that the virtue of a person is in their piety and God-consciousness, reflected by their actions, and not in the color of their skin. In the Qur’an, God further implores us, “O you who believe! Be steadfast maintainers of justice, witnesses for God, though it be against yourselves, or your parents and kinsfolk. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you may act justly- if you ignore or distort justice, God is fully aware of what you do (Quran 4:135). It is our duty to stand with and assist those who are treated unjustly and oppressed.

As a nation, we can do better. It is time to firmly commit to taking a stand against systemic racism. As a part of our commitment to justice, we will work with local organizations and communities of faith to ensure that racism is not tolerated in our community.