Black Panther has taken the world by storm, experiencing box office success across North America, Europe, Africa and, to many in Hollywood’s surprise given a long history of rejecting films with Black leads, Asia.
Furthermore, a Blockbuster Hollywood film that centralizes Black characters and their narratives in authentic ways both in front of and behind the camera, and that also weaves in discussions about colonialism and slavery, is groundbreaking within the current socio-political context; it’s also deeply needed.
Despite this, online comments about Black Panther have been accusing it of Islamophobia, with some even going as far as to tell Muslims to boycott the film.
Somali Canadian student Sahra Jama lives in Vancouver and is new to organizing demonstrations. But when she learned about the exploitation of African migrants in Libya she felt she had to act. With the support of Black Lives Matter Vancouver, she was able to mobilize around 100 supporters for a demonstration in solidarity with African migrants in Libya which took place on December 16th in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Muslim Link interviewed Sahra about her initiative, the African migrant crisis, and why she hopes more Muslim Canadians will speak out about what is happening to African migrants in Libya.
Somali Canadian Yasmine Mo is pursuing a Master’s in sociology at the Université de Montréal. Her thesis explores the social realities of Black Muslim women living in Montreal, the contributions of these women to Quebec society. The intersection of anti-Black racism, sexism and Islamophobia are at the centre of her studies.
Yasmine Mo spoke at a demonstration organized on November 18th by African Canadians in Montreal in the wake of recent reports that have hit mainstream media about the abuse, exploitaiton and in some cases enslavement experienced by African migrants in Libya, as situation that Amnesty International has described as "horrific".
It will also be an opportunity to meet award-winning Somali Canadian journalist Eman Idil Bare, who has recently moved to Ottawa to work as a producer on CBC's Power and Politics. Eman has been outspoken in calling attention to the issue of anti-Black racism within Muslim communties. Read Eman's CBC article about what self-identifying as Black means for young Torontonians here.
Muslim Link interviewed Ginella about becoming a role model for so many Muslim women and how her experience as an “outsider” within Muslim Canadian communities is an advantage when it comes to doing a better job of covering new stories that explore the complexity of the Muslim Canadian experience.
Problem: The lack of awareness both within and outside the Muslim community in Canada regarding the reality of Black Muslim lives and its consequence for the ongoing struggle against anti-black racism and Islamophobia.
This is the response of Samiya Ahmed, a Toronto-based Somali Canadian community activist, who is highly involved in a variety of Muslim community spaces, including spaces that do not have much Black Muslim presence.
She co-presented the workshop “On Being Black and Muslim: Hard Truths and Healing” at this year’s Being ME-Muslimah Empowered Toronto Conference in May 2017.