New online campaign urges American Muslims to ‘drop the A-word’

Campaign calls on U.S.-based Arabs to stop using the words ‘abeed’ and ‘abed’ to describe African Americans

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A new Muslim-American group has launched a social media campaign urging Arabs not to use Arabic racial slurs against African Americans, the U.S. daily news website The Desert Sun reported on Wednesday.

The group, which goes by the name of “Drop the A-Word,” calls on Arabs living in America to stop using the words “abeed” and “abed” to describe African Americans.

In Arabic, the world “abed” and its plural form “abeed” mean “slave” or “servant.”

“We should stop using ‘abeed’ to describe or reference people of African descent,” said Majed Moughni, a Dearborn-based supporter of the group.

“It’s being used in a racial sense, and that’s derogatory,” Moughni added.

Demanding respect

Supporters of the campaign took to social networking site Twitter to show their support for the initiative.

Responding to the group’s hashtag, #DropTheAWord, one Twitter user, joshdunwithu wrote “no one deserves to be referred to in such a derogatory manner, especially by their brothers and sisters in Islam,” while another, Austinyoshino said, “we need to #DropTheAWord and a few other words as a community. We must demand respect from ourselves as well as others. And offer it too.”

@Emanans wrote: “It is not enough to claim that Islam is against racism; we Muslims have to prove it in our actions, too. #DropTheAWord”

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