Black and Muslim in America (video)

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

“Lazy” or “thugs” are just a few stereotypes that have haunted African Americans for generations. Now, being black and Muslim in America, has garnered negative national attention. In this theGrio exclusive, we sat down with two Black Muslims to explore how they cope with the negative press that they have been getting and what they can do to repair it.

Farid Rasool is the Imam or Spiritual leader at a Mosque in Chester, PA. He feels that in order to separate everyday Black Muslims from Muslim extremists, they have to lead by example and be positive examples in the community.

Rasool believes that, “What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear a thing you’re saying. [These events] force us to go to the process of action, where what we do speaks for us”.

Koty Ducket is an African American Muslim from Philadelphia. He went to Catholic school all his life but converted to Islam as a teen. He spoke out against any violence saying, “I feel no terrorist act or any type of terrorist attack is condoned by Islam”. Koty also said he feels added pressure being both Black and Muslim.

Koty and Imam Fareed expressed that Islam is a religion of peace.

President Obama shared this sentiment, as he addressed the Muslim world in Cairo, saying, “The enduring faith of over a billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of the few. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism; it’s an important part of promoting peace.”