Hasbara-Taking a swing at integrity and missing!


Buried deep in the pages of a CNN report about a CNN sponsored poll is this

Once again, last week’s question garnered a huge response. And the question was: Are there any political heroes left in this country or anywhere else around the world?

One rule we stated at the outset was that you were not allowed to vote for President Obama. The rule upset a few of you, some of you because you thought it was presumptuous of me to assume you would write in Obama, some because you couldn’t think of anyone else.

Two members of the U.S. Senate were essentially tied for third place, Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy and Republican Senator Arlen Specter. Both have many years under their belt in the Capitol. Both are seasoned political warriors. And both, coincidentally, are fighting battles against cancer.

Specter was often named by you viewers along with fellow Republicans Olympia Snow and Susan Collins for being the only members of their party to vote for the fiscal stimulus.

In second place, an answer we originally thought might get the gold medal, the answer “no one.”

The winner, President Jimmy Carter, edging out all other presidents, congresspeople, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and lots more.

Carter has been at odds with the lobby for some time, especially since the publication of his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” and his remarks about the Jewish lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy.  Former colleagues in his administration have turned against him as well as the average man in the street but that hasn’t stopped Carter from making his case and being well received, even if not at home.  In other words the attempted mud slinging didn’t stick and people have valued Carter’s contribution to the discourse about Israel and Palestine.

Now Bill Moyers is caught in the cross hairs of the mudslingers for his views on the latest Israeli attempt at controlled genocide in Gaza.  Since his rebuke of Israeli policy he has been attacked in no less than three separate publications for his past indiscretions 40 years ago. Of course this was all meant to blunt the impact of Moyers’ rebuke, discredit him and hope the force of his indignation will not be as well received.  However, taking a page from the Carter notebook, Moyers should press on, write a book about how the lobby tries to silence members of the press by using other members of the press to write dirt about its opponents,  and he should make that a central theme on his PBS show for as long as he has that platform from which to speak.  He should shout out for all to hear and see that free speech and especially responsible free speech is a cherished American tradition that won’t be cowed by innuendo and intimidation or the treat of diminished popularity.  I hope he has the nerve, the chutzpah to do and say that.  I wish him luck.

Advertisements

Here we go again….


A Charlotte, NC credit union wants to discriminate against its customers who wear scarves, hats, sunglasses, et.al.  Of course the move is aimed against Muslim women who wear the hijab as a part of their wardrobe when out in public; all the other folks mentioned in the news report can easily doff their offending clothes item.

The credit union says it’s their way of protecting their employees from bank robbers. (I really wonder how many banks have been held up by women wearing hijab?) but Rose Hamid has it right…it’s simply the bank’s way of taking an offensive jab at Muslims in America and humiliate those Muslim women who are its patrons. No one should pay anyone else to subjugate them to second class citizen status, so, here’s a shout out to the Muslims in the Charlotte area…psssst.  Take your business elsewhere.

American Muslims carving their own niche


muslimsIslam has always been in America; it’s almost as American as apple pie, just like its sister religions, Judaism and Christianity.  However, with it has come the historical baggage of these three great monotheistic religions, each taking its turn on the sacrificial altar of distrust and dislike against the other two.  Since Islam in America is a homegrown phenomenon, its adherents have had the luxury of defining themselves and what they think their mission is, yet that definition has sometimes been at odds with what other Muslims not native to America have had in mind, and the result is the two groups have butt heads a time or two.  I ran across this letter that speaks to that confrontation and the resulting frustration that has arisen as a result. Hat tip to Muslim Matters!

So Very Tired

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, and specifically you in North America who will understand this best.

I have a problem.

I know where I came from, I know who I am, and I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go.

But I am tired.

Tired of the Muslim Identity Crisis Conferences.  Tired of Muslims in America conferences.  You’re a human being that was created for the sole purpose of worshipping the One who created you.  Get over it and move on.

Tired of confused pseudo-intellectuals who keep trying to legitimize their deepest, darkest insecurities under the cover of academic acceptance.  Women can’t lead men in prayer, and homosexuality will never be acceptable.

Tired of the explicit condemnation of Muslim terrorists that comes without the explicit condemnation of all terrorism, particularly against Muslims.  Can the Ummah of Muhammad please unite, the Ummah of the likes of Umar ibn al Khatab, Khalid ibn Waleed, Sad ibn abi Waqqas, and Hamza please find the necessary pieces of spine required to call George Bush et al what they are?

Speaking of which, I’m tired of the games Muslim politicians and political organizations play to put a position forward that deludes no one except yourselves for believing they’d believe you.

Tired of victim-culture fatwas that turn every situation into a necessity, and that coddles our ummah into weakness for the sake of ease and some overarching goal of dawah that never seems to be properly articulated in simple, coherent language.

Tired of Islamic teachers of any calibre who complain about the adab and khuluq of people and are badly in need of it themselves, in all forms of communication.

Tired of all the acronymed organizations and their leadership, and their inability to establish an agreed upon method for moonsighting.  Really.  All the opinions are correct, so please, just put them all in a hat, draw one out, and if you all unite on it, we’ll follow it.  Even me.  I promise.

Tired of the word Islamophobia.  Who came up with this ridiculous word?  Whoever it was, they need to be shot…with a super soaker.  I want to curl myself up in the fetal position every time I hear that word.

Tired of you telling me we need fiqh of minorities, and that we should combine prayers in the work place.  This isn’t Muslim Spain, we have rights that can be exercised – please stop cowering in the corner, or at least stop trying to get us to join you there.

Tired at your exasperation over Barack Obama not wanting to talk to you during the election.  Who would want to talk to a pack of sniveling lackeys who have no respect for themselves and act as though they are embarassed at the religion they profess to follow?

And I’m tired of you acting like Obama’s theMahdi incarnate.  We only rooted for him because we wanted to stick it to GWB, not because we like his politics of homosexuality, late term abortions, and worst of all, restarting the war in afghanistan.

I’m so, so very tired of it all.  And if you looked at the list above, you may be tired of it as well.  But you know what?  I’m tired of you too.

Tired of you sitting behind your computer, writing in a style that makes you sound like ranting and raving lunatic.

Tired of you complaining about everything and doing absolutely nothing.

Tired of the online chickenhawk hate brigade who hates everything about America and happily pay their taxes after clicking “Submit” on their latest online rant against it.

Tired of people who call for Hijrah and never go, citing the reasons of the people who are against hijrah – “But dude, there are no ANSAR on the other end, otherwise, like, I’m sooo there!”  It’s called planning, genius, see lessons of the Prophet’s (SAW) escape from Makkah for a primer on how to plan AHEAD.

Tired of your open hatred of all nonMuslims / kafirs in the name of al wala w’al bara.  Yes, I said kafirs.  Does that make you feel better?  Then I’m also tired of your pettiness.

Tired of your delusions of mind and intention reading.  Don’t you see the potential aqida problems here?

Tired of your PDF refutations.  I have absolutely no idea who the author of the document is, or his credentials to say and interpret as he has.  Please tell me what you understand, or don’t bother.

Tired of you taking every fiqh issue and making it an aqeedah issue such that if it’s not in accordance with what the scholar du jour spoonfed you yesterday, that person must most certainly either be off the manhaj, a sell-out, or both.

And I’m tired of you not knowing anything about the fundamentals of Islam, like, for example, the Seerah!

Tired, tired, tired.

Did you like the list above?  Really?  I’m tired of you too.

Tired of you expecting everyone to follow you blindly and stupidly.

Tired of you looking down your nose at people who are far more qualified to deal with logic, analogy, and argumentation and telling them, “But you don’t know Arabic.”  Yeah, I don’t know latin either, but if I have a medical condition, my doctor will still explain it to me, and if he’s any good, he’ll tell me to get a second opinion if I have doubts.

Tired of your partisanship, and tired of you calling it a mercy.  Really?  Coulda fooled me.  Visit my community on the first and last day of Ramadan, I’ll show you mercy.

Tired of you expecting me to disconnect my mind on fiqh, believe the most ridiculously esoteric ideas about God, and then strive for spiritual ecstacy.  Are you kidding me?

But I’m not done yet, oh no – I’m tired of you too.

Tired of you prioritizing your career, your family, and all your weaknesses over the worship of Allah.

Tired of you complaining to scholars about what a victim you are.

Tired of you saying you need to live in a house.  You liar.  You can rent a house – you just don’t want to lose money.  Admit it.

Tired of you looking for easy fatwas rather than picking yourselves up by the bootstraps and working at being a Muslim, and struggling with the challenges.

Tired of your back home mentality that keeps the child you think is fair from marrying an African American.  The only thing black here is your heart.

Tired of you believing your donations entitle you to run the masjid.

Tired of the way you run the masjid.  It stinks, figuratively and literally.

Tired of you complaining about the poor ethics of Muslim governments, while you have the same ethics, the only thing separating you and them is the scale of the violation.

Tired, tired, tired, so very tired.

The ironic thing of all this is that despite all that, I still love you for the sake of Allah.  As I said to begin this letter, you are my dear brothers and sisters in Islam.  I have my flaws, I have my weaknesses, and I am by no means perfect.  At any point in my life, I could have fit into multiple categories in that complaint list.

But do you know why I’m tired?  I’m tired because we have so many issues, and I feel obligated to do something about all of it.  I want to fix it.  I want to make it right.  You probably do too.

In the end, we are here to worship Allah.  I don’t know a lot, but I know that much.  All I can do is ask Allah to guide us all to come together, to be the people whom He Loves, to be people whom He will be pleased with.

A Horrific crime of domestic abuse-That’s All!


muzzammil-hassanI am always amazed at people who see signs in everything when there’s nothing much to see. In today’s age, every act of any Muslim is examined for signs of association or affiliation with al-Qaida or any other such organization deemed by the Western press as terrorist. The recent crime of Muzzammil Hassan, who murdered his wife in the most brutal way in upstate New York is another example of the divining of random acts of humanity with Islam. Aasiyah Zubair Hassan was killed by Muzzammil Hassan, after filing for divorce from him yet the Islamopundits the likes of Daniel Pipes who claims her death was an “honor killing” for her attempts at escape from a torturous marriage and opines Muzzammil was a secret Wahhabi insurgent in collusion with other Wahhabis to do destroy the American way of life have turned this tragedy into their hatefilled lust.

Yet the reality is Hassan was no more than an abuser, a predator against women, and not just this last victim he killed.  Most news accounts allude to his marriage with Aasiya as his third but not many tell of his previous marriages and how his former wives suffered at his hands as well.  Check out this description from a former in-law of what Hassan’s marriages were like

It’s been five days now that my family along with the whole American Muslim community has been in shock. The fact that Muzzammil was married to my first cousin before marrying the victim still horrifies us. Ms. Zubair was his third wife. Both of his earlier wives filed divorce on the same grounds of severe domestic violence and abuses.

My cousin lived with him for only a year. Yet, it took her several years to get rid of the fear of living with a man in marriage. He was known as violent and abusive in the community. He had nothing to do with Islam. He had changed his name from Syed Muzzammil Hassan to Mo Steve Hassan. He had no background of community service or involvement in the Mosque or in any other organization. Neither his character and nor his faith were sound. In addition, he had no background or expertise in TV production or media.

But it did not matter. Even with this bad reputation, horrible background and lack of experience in media market, he still got the stage at the most reputable American Muslim conventions. Our leaders and established organizations did not bother to vet him. No questions or flags were raised about him. He was introduced at these conventions with huge respect and the Muslim community was told to give him generous funds for Bridges TV.

The crime of negligence was committed by the greater society, American as well as Muslim and all who were silent are conspirators in the tragic death of Ms. Zubair, but Islam was as irrelevant  to this woman’s death as football was to the death of Nicole Simpson at the hands of her husband. Until we separate the evil that men do from the divinely inspired theology they may embrace that really has nothing at all to do with their evil, we show our prejudices  and bigotry which  gets us nowhere.