In the midst of a movement demanding change and reform, the Black community fights for justice once again as they are reminded of the loss of Muhammad Muhaymin Jr.
Muhaymin died in custody of the Phoenix Police on January 4, 2017 after he tried to take his emotional support dog into a public restroom with him at a community center. Muhaymin is reported to have suffered from schizophrenia, anxiety and intermittent homelessness.
The manager present at the center prevented Muhaymin from entering the restroom and asked him to leave his dog outside, which resulted in an argument between the two. The manager then directed an employee to call 911, and in minutes several Phoenix police officers arrived at the scene.
They attempted to alleviate the situation by allowing Muhaymin to use the restroom only to tackle him to the ground minutes later after a background check was done on Muhaymin and a warrant for his arrest was found on his record due to his failure to appear in court over a misdemeanor charge for possession of a marijuana pipe.
Muhaymin was tackled to the ground outside the facility with four officers on top of him.
Muhaymin was tackled to the ground outside the facility with four officers on top of him. In his last eight minutes before he took his final breath, body-cam footage shows Muhaymin crying out “Please Allah” and one of the officers who was trying to place him in cuffs responding, “Allah? He’s not going to help you now, just relax.”
Muhaymin’s shrieks and utterances became groans. His body went limp, and moments later, an officer can be heard saying “He’s dead.”
The circumstances of the deaths of George Floyd and Muhammad Muhaymin are similar. However, while the four officers involved in Floyd’s death were terminated and are now facing criminal charges, in Muhaymin’s case, none of the officers who responded to the call faced any discipline or consequences for their actions.
CNN reports that all of them remain on the force and one is now a detective.
2020 continues to be a year of exposed injustice, racism and heartache, to name a few of the major themes of this year.
We are now halfway through the year, with 2020 being an absolute world wind of events.
At times it’s hard to feel hopeful for the future when our people suffer so much heartache and pain. The little justice left in the world is quickly slipping away as powerful governments continue to secretly abuse innocents.
It’s in troublesome times like these that we must turn back to our main source of comfort, happiness and joy: the Quran. After all, isn’t it the solution to everything? Our religion and Prophet teach us to serve justice in the absolute way – behind all of the hashtags, protests and, we must be just in our way of thinking.
Here are 5 verses from the Qur’an which clearly condemn unjust acts, and teach us to what justice really means:
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (4:135)
This ayah I find particularly applies to the hidden racism from the older generation towards our Black brothers and sisters within the Muslim community. It’s important to remember that the same way our beloved Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) did not stay quiet when someone was being wronged, we must also raise our voices and follow in his footsteps
Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. (16:90)
Always keep in mind that whatever injustice is going on today was condemned by our religion first, before all of the laws and movements. The Quran came at a time when injustice was rife in the Arabian society; with daughters being buried alive.
That is for what your hands have put forth and because Allah is not ever unjust to [His] servants. (22:10)
Never forget, while people may be unjust to one another, Allah is never unjust. His plan may not be as you expected, and He may take a different route than you were hoping, but always remember his Divine wisdom supersedes man’s limited perspective. We have a pixel, Allah has the picture.
And among those We created is a community which guides by truth and thereby establishes justice. (7:181)
As the Ummah of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) we are expected to continue his legacy and display his values of putting your brother’s needs before your own. Stand up for those who are being wronged, whether that’s publicly or behind closed doors.
Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom’s weight; while if there is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward. (4:40)
While it’s sometimes difficult to comprehend why there is so much suffering and injustice in this temporary world, know that serving justice isn’t only the right thing to do, but also something you will be rewarded for from your Lord in abundance.
The last bit of inspiration I leave you with is a Hadith from our Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) who said: “O my slaves, I have forbidden injustice for myself and forbade it for you also. So avoid being unjust to one another.’ (Muslim)
The crisis in Yemen, while only recently trending, has been ongoing for years now, and comedian Hasan Minhaj has not shied away from it. As he does with most issues, Minhaj vocalized his concerns for the country on his show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, as a sub point during his episode covering Saudi Arabia, as the episode’s named.
Minhaj gave a comprehensive run-down on the situation in Yemen, highlighting how the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman, commonly known as MBS, escalated the tensions in the country to its current boiling point.
Now, the entire episode can be found on Netflix (in volume 2 of the show), but let’s talk about why it’s so important. Minhaj’s look into Saudi Arabia, and the atrocities it so commonly commits, is an incredibly lacking take in Western media, when considering the fact that it’s coming from a Muslim man. It’s accepted in the West, and America especially, that Saudi Arabia isn’t a friendly state to human rights, but what is most often overlooked is how destructive Saudi is to its own community.
As Minhaj points out in the episode, the relationship that most Muslims across the world have with Saudi is a confusing one. We accept it as the hub of our religion, yet most of us are vocal of our opposition towards the country. Minhaj detailing the latter fact is incredibly important on a platform like Netflix, whose main audience is Western countries, given that much of the Western world’s perception of Islam and it’s followers is borne out of Saudi’s actions.
By creating a space where Muslims can openly converse about their feelings towards a country that’s meant to serve as the center for their religion, Minhaj offers a chance to flip an outdated and largely untrue script. The one that says that most Muslims stand with Saudi Arabia in its oppression.
In truth, most Muslims claim to Saudi extends as far as it being the country that houses Mecca, and we tend to be as outraged at Saudi’s actions as the rest of the world.
What’s more, Minhaj’s show offers a reliable source to center the conversation about Yemen around. He truthfully depicts the major roles of, not just Saudi Arabia, but Iran and America in the crisis.
The attention that’s been surrounding Yemen on social media lately, while important, is largely incomplete. Yemen isn’t just starving, it’s being starved. The conditions are born out of three major conflicts, propagated by three major countries who are all comfortable destroying Yemen as long as it continues to promise benefit for them. Minhaj’s show addresses these faults head on, laying the groundwork for genuine advocacy for Yemen to take place. If you haven’t already seen it, take a look because, believe me, it’s worth your time.