The Birmingham-based preacher, Abu Ibraheem Hussnayn, has issued a second apology to the Black Muslim community after a video clip of him telling Asian youth in Birmingham on Eid to “stop talking like you’re black” caused an uproar on social media.
Abu Ibraheem advised predominantly Asian Muslim youth on Ladypool Road in Birmingham on Eid night to stop taking drugs, drinking alcohol, engaging in extramarital relationships, committing fraud, and instead pray and practice Islam.
During the 14 minute address, the preacher was filmed saying: “Brothers we’re not black. Let’s stop talking like we’re black. Let’s talk in a decent way with decent manners.”
Within 24 hours, the snippet of his anti-black statements went viral and it had sparked a huge uproar on social media in the days following Eid al-Fitr.
However, Abu Ibraheem caused further controversy when he posted a video “apology” and “clarification” on Facebook where he concluded by saying that he rejects the “victim mentality” of Black Muslims who think they are the only victims of racism.
As hundreds of Muslims engaged in very heated and divisive debates on Facebook, a number of prominent figures issued videos and articles addressing Abu Ibraheem’s initial comments and his subsequent apology:
- The well-known Manchester based Muslim missionary, John Fontain, released a video defending Abu Ibraheem’s apology whilst providing his own context to what he believed the preacher meant by “black”.
- The prominent Birmingham-based scholar, Abu Usamah at-Thahabi, released a video voicing his disappointment and shock at Abu Ibraheem’s statements, whilst stating that he does not believe the preacher is a racist due to their personal engagements and relationship.
- AJ+ produced a viral video which has been received more than 651,000 views entitled ‘Anti-black Preaching on Eid’.
- The counter-extremism advocate and former chairman of Brixton Mosque, Abdul Haqq Baker, published an article entitled, ‘Brothers, we’re not Asian – Let’s stop acting like we’re Asian (and grooming young impressionable white girls)!’ where he addressed Abu Ibraheem’s problematic “clarification”.
- The notable British aid worker, Tauqir “Tox” Sharif, who is currently based in Idlib released a video calling for calm and unity, whilst slamming both Asian and black racists and social media provocateurs.
As the furore enters its sixth day, Abu Ibraheem issued a second apology on Facebook yesterday where he said:
“I am not unaware of the waves that my poorly judged, irresponsible and unintended statements have caused. I am also aware of the upset that our black community has felt and fully recognise that they feel my apology was “half-baked”.
So I would like to apologise again, UNRESTRICTEDLY and with no “buts” to any and everyone who was offended.
I also ask that the arguments that I have seen between communities are brought to an end and we unite as brothers – ultimately this bond is stronger than any skin colour, tribe or nationality.
There is a lot that can be learnt – by myself more than anyone else from this entire saga and I hope that I, more than anyone else, can learn and improve from it.
Once again I apologise to any and all who were offended because that was not my intention. Racism is awful in all of its forms and I ask Allah to save us all from it and allow us to move forward from here.”