By Hakeem Muhammad, ESQ
The Crips, The Bloods, The Gangsta Disciples, The Black Disciples, Black Mafia Family—the list goes on. These organizations prey on vulnerable African-American youth, enticing them into lives of drug dealing, violence, and utter depravity. As if that weren’t enough, there’s a disturbing allure surrounding the street life, a cool factor that has been amplified by the influence of rap music. The glorification of street violence and hustling has become a cultural phenomenon, transforming it into an appealing lifestyle for our Black youth. But let’s be clear—this only serves to perpetuate the insidious prison industrial complex.
When a young Black man joins a gang, he believes he’s standing up to a society that has mistreated him. He thinks that by fighting his “opps” and inflicting cruelty, he’s finally becoming his own man. Yet, if we dig deeper, we realize that he’s merely following the path that white supremacy wants him to tread.
Now, let me ask you this: What does it say about the state of our Dawah, our mission to spread the message of Islam, when major gangs can effortlessly flood our communities with drugs that poison the minds of our people? Why haven’t we, as Muslims, organized ourselves on a greater level than these gangs to distribute Qur’ans, Islamic literature, and nourish the minds of our people with the enlightening knowledge of Islam?
Gangs are actively recruiting countless Black men, urging them to partake in brutal acts, shedding the blood of their fellow young Black men. And what are we doing, as Muslims, as those who are commanded by the Qur’an to promote goodness and denounce evil? If we love Allah(swt), should we be more zealous in our efforts to bring these Black youth into the folds of the Ummah, ?
Black Muslim men, it is our responsibility to lead the way and to be in the streets. Are we going to stand idly by while our communities crumble under the weight of violence and despair? Or are we going to rise up, united in purpose, and bring the light of Islam to those who need it most?