She opined that the African American Muslims have pushed the Muslim community to question their understanding of justice.
“So they were the ones that turned the question around to their immigrant brothers and sisters and said wait a minute – you talk about injustice but ignore the injustices being done to us; you talk about injustice yet you ignore the fact that there are people in your own community who are contributing and participating in systems that oppress us, who are participating in economic systems in the inner-city that take advantage of poor African Americans.”
Dr. Mattson went on to tell the audience that this interaction between African American Muslims and immigrant Muslims has resulted in the discourse moving beyond identity politics to ethics.
“So I think for American Muslims, African Americans really elevated the issue of justice and generalized it and made it a universal principle and brought it out of simply identity politics – the West versus Islam,” she said “They made us look more deeply at systematic injustice and understand that justice is not about identity but it is about ethics that we should carry wherever we were and we needed to start prioritizing our issues differently.”
She then proposed that, for the Canadian Muslim community, First Nations people can be the challenging conscience for Canadian Muslims as African Americans were for U.S. Muslims.
“I think this is something that Canadians have lacked in terms of having these role models that African Americans have been for us – the challenging voice that African Americans have been for American Muslims,” she said. “But I do think there is an opportunity – I think there is a great opportunity right now and this is something that I have been saying for many years – the First Nations issues in Canada can provide for the Muslim community the kind of mirror through which we can see our own – whether our idea that Islam is just, our statement that Islam is about justice hold water, whether it is a value or ethic we embrace or whether it is simply about us and them, about identity politics.”
Dr. Ingrid Mattson then asked the audience some provocative questions, “What is the Canadian Islam that we want? What is the Canada that we are trying to be part of? What are we rooting ourselves into?”
“I think the reality is that if Canadian Muslims are trying to squeeze ourselves always into a kind of Anglo-Canadian or French-Canadian identity, justifying ourselves in those cultural terms, it would be problematic, it would always be a little bit of an awkward fit,” she proposed.
“We should examine this third founding (Aboriginal) identity, in fact the original founding identity, and I think, if we do that, we will find that there are values and practices and beliefs that are often more amenable to us as Muslims.”...You must admit that, for those who buy into the jihad/sharia agenda, aligning Muslims with Aboriginals in a common victimhood narrative is a stroke of genius.