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Open Letter to End Racial Violence

The National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML) stands with other bar associations and advocates to demand an end to racialized policing against African Americans and other communities of color.

The murders of George Floyd,Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have reawakened lawyers to the great racial divide in the criminal justice system and the deadly outcomes from discriminatory policing. Lives have been lost for decades. We continue to pray for the many grieving families and communities feeling betrayed by the rule of law.

As lawyers, we have a duty to uphold the integrity of the profession, including ensuring that our criminal justice system operates with fairness. Yet, African Americans are more likely to be stopped by the police than white Americans. Once stopped, police are twice as likely to use or threaten use of force against African Americans.

ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 promotes a legal community free of harassment and discrimination. This responsibility is a fervent reminder that bias, discrimination, and harassment must be unacceptable in both the practice of law and the justice system.

The Holy Quran also reminds us of the moral obligation “to stand firmly for justice,” and our Prophet Muhammad (may peace, prayers and blessings be upon him) repeatedly denounced racism, including anti-Blackness.

With these guideposts, NAML will work to leverage the collective voices, skills, and expertise of its members to address the ongoing disparities African Americans and other communities confront. NAML members have worked to end stop-and-frisk practices, NSEER, police surveillance, 9/11 roundups, and other egregious policing practices. We encourage continued advocacy in these areas.

We recognize that silence conveys consent or at a minimum conveys apathy. NAML endorses neither. Thus, we encourage members to intensify work to end disparities that lead to police violence. That work may be supporting pro bono projects, policy reform, bail out campaigns, release of incarcerated citizens during COVID-19, or other community initiatives.

Let us continue to act in our own way to end systemic racism, safeguard the Constitution, and the protect the lives of our fellow community members.

In pursuit of justice,

The NAML Board of Directors



        

NAML (National Association of Muslim Lawyers) is a professional organization dedicated to serving American Muslim legal professionals through the following objectives:

  1. Promote professional networking and mentorship among Muslim legal professionals and law students in the United States;
  2. Support the growth of local Muslim Bar Associations; and
  3. Serve the general public through volunteerism and community service efforts.

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