As pundits, political strategists and talking heads debate Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, there is one group of individuals still left out of the conversation.
African American Muslims are reacting to the statements of the GOP front-runner from a different set of lenses; lenses that not only involve their religious identity, but also their racial identity — realities often overlooked and neglected in such conversations.
It is a sentiment shared by many within the African American Muslim community, Kameelah Rashad points out. For a very long time, she says, the public imagination of what is Muslim has excluded Black Muslims.
“Part of the reason is because people want Islam to be foreign to them – outside,” she told NBCBLK. “But my ancestors built this country. I usually lead with, ‘Hi, I am a descendent of enslaved Africans brought to this country by your people.'”