(RNS) — It began, as so many social justice movements these days do, on Twitter.
Namira Islam, a Bangladeshi-American lawyer living in Detroit, had noticed that many of the ongoing conversations about Muslims online showed ignorance of the faith group’s racial demographics.
Black Muslims were often presumed to be converts or activists. Black Muslims discussing their experiences with racism would receive messages saying that promoting separatism is un-Islamic. Non-Muslims as well as many prominent Muslims seemed to equate the faith with being Arab or South Asian. And the slur “abeed” — Arabic for “slave” — was commonplace.
As Black History Month approached in 2014, she rallied a crew of about 20 activists and scholars to launch a new hashtag: #BeingBlackAndMuslim.
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