This week saw the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. A modern-day remarkable visionary who promoted civil rights through nonviolence and who, along with others including Malcolm X, virtually changed the course of history for America and had an indelible impact on the West overall.
Yet, 50 years on, the question regarding race throughout Western societies remains prominent. Whilst the civil rights movement in the US addressed the issue of colour, many societies who might even reflect favourably upon that legacy, are accused of overlooking the symbolism of that struggle in addressing today’s question of ‘the other’.
MAB President Anas Altikriti stated: “Not only racism, but various types of discrimination, including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Xenophobia along with the rise of popularism and far-right extremism, continue to loom large. Moreover, these manifestations on the levels of narrative as well as policy, not only linger in remote corners of society, but have entered the fray of governments and mainstream establishments, affording them the facade of respectability and acceptability.”
Indeed, the whole debate on migrants and refugees that has overwhelmed the political debates in Europe and the Americas over the past few years has been alarming to say the very least, and indicative that the struggle of MLK, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, James Baldwin and countless others, is far from complete.
However, MAB continues to draw inspiration from one of Martin Luther King Jr’s most famous quotes: “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
Muslim Association of Britain
6th April 2018