Oh You Who Believe!

“…There are people who say, “We believe in God and the Last Day,” but they don’t really believe. They go about trying to fool the believers and would even try to deceive God if they could. They don’t perceive it, but they aren’t deceiving anyone but themselves. In their hearts is disease and God allows their disease spread, because of their persistent lying. A grievous suffering awaits them because of this. When they are told, “Do not spread corruption on Earth,” they answer “We are improving things!” This is a lie regardless of what they say. They are the ones spreading corruption and are blind to this truth…” – Qur’an 2:8-12

I used to want to be an important Islamic thinker and scholar. One who would write, lecture, etc. on Islam and important American Muslim issues. I started a blog, had podcast, appeared on various radio and television programs, etc. all in the name of being a contributor and voice in the defense of Muslims. Then one day after a very contentious debate with a leading anti-Muslim propagandist, I realized my time and energy would be better served doing other things. This did not mean that my activist spirit was completely silenced however. Occasionally I’ll write and share articles written by others on issues that I’m really passionate about.

What has caught my attention this time is a video that is being spread on Facebook that is so chock full of lies, that although my initial response was to ignore it and laugh at the sheer ridiculousness, after seeing it pop up several more times and after reading the God awful comments, I felt that if nothing more than to calm my nerves, I had to write some sort of rebuttal.

It wasn’t the video that bothered me per se, but the comments that followed and the fact that so many people were sharing it. The video is scary because the person in it makes a lot of false claims, even citing chapters and verses in the Qur’an that are so inaccurate that you don’t even have to know anything about Islam to disprove them, all you need is Google and yet, many have readily accepted it as accurate, praised it as a true testimony, and are using it as quality evangelism of their own faith and religion. It’s the latter that concerns me. I don’t expect any non-Muslim to believe a word I write, but at a minimum, I hope people agree that the best way to promote the value of your belief or religion, should not rely on the disparaging of others, especially to the point of spreading misinformation and outright lies. Doing so, belittles the person behind the lying as well as all those who eagerly accept them, and unfortunately makes the religion look bad as well, because the outsider could say, why would I want to be part of a religion and a people who don’t value truth and honor over lies?

My intent is to give a point by point response to the most glaringly obvious lies presented in the video below. I used Google and Islamicity/Quransearch for all my research. All Qur’an references come from the Muhammad Assad translation as he uses a modern form of English, provides more context, and provides notes and commentary on the Arabic.

In the very beginning of the video the speaker states that he believed that Allah was God and while as a Muslim, I don’t have a problem with that statement obviously, it becomes clear as he continues, that this is meant as a foolish concept. For the record, I want to offer that Allah, al (the) illah (god), literally means nothing more than The God in English. It’s not some crazy personal Muslim name for God, it’s simple Arabic for the word God in English. Religiously speaking, the term Allah is used to denote that while people may have and believe in many illah’s (gods) there is only One Supreme illah, which is al (the) illah (god), or Allah. If you live in a region of the world that speaks Arabic, you most likely call God Allah regardless of the religion you follow, just like in English speaking countries, regardless of religion we call The Supreme Being God.

What follows is a dizzying array of lie after lie that by the end of the rubbish, one is left shaking their head and feeling sorry for the guy and all those who believe his tales.

Below is a list of his claims followed by the correct answers.

1: The Qur’an has 6666 verses. This is an allusion to the popular 666 mark of the devil which doesn’t even actually mean that either if one studies Christian texts, but I digress. Basically, this is his opening Islam is evil and false claim which ironically is supposed to prove all his other claims, because if the book, Qur’an is has the obvious mark of the beast, then we should readily believe what he says right?

Let’s imagine if his claim was true, it is not, the Qur’an by most estimates has about 6236 verses, logically speaking, if the book by it’s very nature is false because it supposedly has the mark of the beast on it, why quote it later in the video to prove your point that Islam is false and that’s why you became a Christian? My head hurt on that one too.

2. We’re then told that Jesus is mentioned more times in the Qur’an than Muhammad. Even if that were true, and it actually is, what we’re supposed to get from this “revelation” is that this is proof that Jesus is superior than Muhammad according to the Qur’an right?

Let’s assume for a minute that according to his claim that how many times someone is mentioned in the Qur’an signifies their importance in Islam and whether or not you should accept them as superior. Does that mean that the following are superior to Jesus because they were mentioned the same or more times than Jesus who was mentioned 25 times?

Adam 25

Lot 27

Joseph 27

Mary 34

Noah 43

Israel 43

Abraham 69

Moses 136

3. Another lie told is that the Qur’an doesn’t mention any women except Mary.

Not true. Eve, Noah’s wife, Lot’s wife and daughters, Sarah, Moses’ wife and mother, the Queen of Sheba, Muhammad’s wife and daughters, Pharoah’s wife, and Jesus’ grandmother are all mentioned in the Qur’an in most of the following verses: 20:17, 66:10, 11:79, 15:71, 11:71-72, 28:7, 28: 23, 26-27 10, 12-13.

4. The speaker points out that Chapter 19 of the Qur’an truthfully titled Mary is significant because it’s named after the mother of Jesus. This of course is to further the claim of Jesus’ overall all importance because a chapter of the Qur’an is named after his mother.

If we followed the thinking that the name of the chapter signifies importance in Islam as it relates to people. What can be said of the following chapters:

Chapter 10 Jonah
Chapter 12 Joseph
Chapter 14 Abraham
Chapter 34 Sheba
Chapter 47 Muhammad
Chapter 71 Noah
 
5: At other times, the speaker really goes too far. It’s one thing to make broad, sweeping claims, it’s another to cite specific verses in support of your claims. When one does that, it’s to promote authority on a subject, but it also means that one can open themselves up to criticism. Several times this is done. The first time, we are told that 3:34 of the Qur’an says:
 
When it actually says: “in one line of descent. And God was all-hearing, all-knowing” and ironically, in context says: “On the Day when every human being will find himself faced with all the good that he has done, and with all the evil that he has done, [many a one] will wish that there were a long span of time between himself and that [Day]. Hence, God warns you to beware of Him; but God is most compassionate towards His creatures. Say [O Prophet]: “If you love God, follow me, [and] God will love you and forgive you your sins; for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.Say: “Pay heed unto God and the Apostle.” And if they turn away – verely, God does not love those who deny the truth.BEHOLD, God raised Adam, and Noah, and the House of Abraham, and the House of `Imran above all mankind, in one line of descent. And God was all-hearing, all-knowing.” 3:30-35
 
6: The speaker makes a claim about Mary saying the Qur’an says that she was without original sin.
 
This is deceptive for two reasons. First all, the Qur’an says that she was never deviated from the truth (5:75) and chaste (21:91), for example. Which isn’t the same as saying she never sinned, though most Muslims accept that she was upright and didn’t sin. The point the speaker is trying to make, is to say that Mary is infallible which is part of his own doctrine about Mary apparently as the Qur’an makes clear again in (5:75) that Mary was a mortal like anyone else. Secondly, there is no concept of original sin in Islam. This is solely a Christian doctrine. In fact, concerning Adam and Eve’s story, where this doctrine originated in Christianity, the Qur’an says that although Adam and Eve both disobeyed God, they were forgiven (7:19-25, 20:121-122). The Qur’an further refutes the idea that sin can be inherited by stated that no one is responsible for another’s sin (53:38-53:42). 
 
7: The speaker again allegedly quotes the Qur’an this time 50:23 in support of his claim
 

But 50:23 actually says: “And one part of him will say: “This it is that has been ever-present with me!” and in context: “and [in the end] the trumpet [of resurrection] will be blown: that will be the Day of a warning fulfilled.

And every human being will come forward with [his erstwhile] inner urges and [his] conscious mind [and will be told:] “Indeed, unmindful hast thou been of this [Day of Judgment]; but now We have lifted from thee thy veil, and sharp is thy sight today!”And one part of him will say: “This it is that has been ever-present with me!”
[Whereupon God will command:] “Cast, cast into hell every [such] stubborn enemy of the truth, [every] withholder of good [and] sinful aggressor [and] fomentor of distrust [between man and man – everyone] who has set up another deity beside God: cast him, then, cast him into suffering severe!” Qur’an 50:20-26
 
8: Misquoting and attributing to the Qur’an again, the speaker alleges that Jesus is said to have physically ascended to heaven according to the Qur’an among other ordinarily Christian beliefs.
 
The Qur’an 3:45-55 says: “Lo! The angels said: “O Mary! Behold, God sends thee the glad tiding, through a word from Him, [of a son] who shall become known as the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, of great honour in this world and in the life to come, and [shall be] of those who are drawn near unto God. And he shall speak unto men in his cradle, and as a grown man, and shall be of the righteous.” Said she: “O my Sustainer! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?” [The angel] answered: “Thus it is: God creates what He wills when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, ‘Be’ – and it is. And he will impart unto thy son revelation, and wisdom, and the Torah, and the Gospel, and [will make him] an apostle unto the children of Israel .” “I HAVE COME unto you with a message from your Sustainer. I shall create for you out of clay, as it were, the shape of [your] destiny, and then breathe into it, so that it might become [your] destiny by God’s leave; and I shall heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead back to life by God’s leave; and I shall let you know what you may eat and what you should store up in your houses. Behold, in all this there is indeed a message for you, if you are [truly] believers. “And [I have come] to confirm the truth of whatever there still remains of the Torah, and to make lawful unto you some of the things which [aforetime] were forbidden to you. And I have come unto you with a message from your Sustainer; remain, then, conscious of God, and pay heed unto me. “Verily, God is my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer; so worship Him [alone]: this is a straight way.” And when Jesus became aware of their refusal to acknowledge the truth, he asked: “Who will be my helpers in God’s cause?” The white-garbed ones replied: “We shall be [thy] helpers [in the cause] of God! We believe in God: and bear thou witness that we have surrendered ourselves unto Him! O our Sustainer! We believe in what Thou hast bestowed from on high, and we follow this Apostle; make us one, then, with all who bear witness [to the truth]!” And the unbelievers schemed [against Jesus];but God brought their scheming to nought: for God is above all schemers. Lo! God said: “O Jesus! Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shall exalt thee unto Me, and cleanse thee of [the presence of] those who are bent on denying the truth; and I shall place those who follow thee [far] above those who are bent on denying the truth, unto the Day of Resurrection. In the end, unto Me you all must return, and I shall judge between you with regard to all on which you were wont to differ.
 
I’m not seeing why he would point to any of this as evidence of his claims…
 
9: The speaker then makes goes on to categorically state that the Qur’an makes 10 statements about Jesus that should in so many words, seal the deal and prove that Jesus is not only greater than Muhammad, but is really God and should be worshipped.
 
Never mind that the speaker is using the “false” “mark of the beast” Qur’an to support his claims. Instead of his 10 claims. I’ve decided to raise him 10 more and give a list of 20 things the Qur’an says about Jesus, Christians, and Himself. 
 
Jesus is a symbol of God’s grace like Moses 23:50
Nothing but a human being a servant blessed by God and an example for the children of Israel 43:59
Strengthened Jesus with holy inspiration not (ruh al-qudus) not holy spirit 2:87
God does what He wills and gives prophets different messages, purposes, etc. 2:253
Emphasized that anything that Jesus did was only because God made it possible and allowed it. 5:110
Says Jesus is a word from Him and will be called anointed al-masih or messiah. 3:45
Tells Mary that God creates what He wills 3:47
God will make Jesus an apostle to Israel and perform miracles with God’s permission. 3:49
Jesus says to worship God alone 3:51
Jesus’ birth is a symbol to mankind and proof of God’s grace 19:21
Jesus called himself a prophet and foretold the coming of Muhammad 61:6
Those who called Jesus God deny the truth 5:17
God will deny those who call Jesus God paradise 5:72
Calling anyone God including Jesus is an invention and a lie invented by man 9:30 – 9:31
Jesus is no more special than Adam, God said be and he was 3:59
God tells Christians to speak the truth and stop calling Jesus God. He was an anointed prophet, there is no trinity, God has no son, and God alone is worthy of worship. 4:171
Jesus was like other prophets, Mary always told the truth, both were nothing but mortals who ate food, went to the bathroom, etc. like other mortals. 5:75
God exalted Jesus above lies and says that Jesus died. 3:55, 4:158
All Prophets including Jesus preached Islam as the true faith and deny any who claim that one of them shares any divinity with God 42:13
God asks Jesus did he tell anyone to worship him or his mother, Jesus will say he did not as he had no right to say such a thing. Jesus will say that he taught them to worship God alone. 5:116-5:118
Jesus was not killed by his enemies or crucified. It’s an invented tale that people follow. 4:157
 
10. Finally, in what I’m calling the lightening round, the speaker makes several claims that he ascribes to the Qur’an, but are clearly of Christian doctrine in origin if one pays close attention. Plus he again plays the my prophet is bigger than yours game by claiming that since Jesus performed miracles and Muhammad didn’t so he says, that this along with other outlandish claims proves once and for all that Jesus is lord and that’s why he’s no longer a Muslim, that is of course assuming that he ever was. He also claims that Jesus is the word of God aka John 1:1, was filled with the holy spirit, is the Christ, etc. etc. etc.
 
Every one of these claims is either outright false or truth mixed with falsehood. For instance, God calls Jesus a word from Him i.e. a message from Him as previously pointed out, God calls Jesus and his mother a sign, and does state that Jesus performed miracles. However, when you read the Qur’an it becomes clear that God states that none of those things Jesus could do of his own will but only because of the will and permission of God. Furthermore, this idea of “word” is significant because the theological context given in John concerning the original Greek Logos is important in the Johanine texts in Christianity. The speaker hanging on this concept of “word” is trying to tie the Qur’an to his belief in John 1:1. In other words, if he can prove that the Qur’an calls Jesus the word of God and that the universe was created with a word, then the Qur’an would somehow prove or support John 1:1. Again as previously mention, the Qur’an does not call Jesus THE word, but states that he’s A word from God. Furthermore, the Qur’an is more in line with the Big Bang Theory, when it comes to the creation of the universe, when it states that the universe was a solid entity before it was “exploded” and spread out (21:30). There is no God spoke the universe into existence in the Qur’an as it is in the Bible.
 
Now concerning miracles. Although most Muslims will agree that Muhammad didn’t directly perform miracles though he did ascend to heaven after traveling to Jerusalem from Medina in and back in a single night, recited the Qur’an from the angel Gabriel even though he was illiterate, and was able to defeat an army ten times greater than his with the help of angels fighting beside him, in Islam, we don’t consider the number of miracles significant of anything. Miracles in Islam are nothing more than signs that God gives some of His prophets. There’s no measurement of greatness involved. Is parting the Red Sea more significant than helping the blind see? According to Islam, no. Apparently to the speaker. However, it should be noted that in the Bible, both prophets Elisha and Elijah are believed to have performed some of the same or similar miracles as Jesus if one cares to look it up. 
 
In the end, it’s up to the viewer to decide what they want to believe about Islam. One thing should be certain at this point however, regardless of what you feel about Islam or the Qur’an, the speaker in this video makes false claims. If his “conversion” to Christianity is significant, then is should not be based on false information. It should be enough to state that he converted and is happy, but apparently he wants to evangelize by spreading lies in the hopes that the viewer will blindly accept his claims. Somehow, he must hope that people don’t have Google. If one has to lie in order to promote their religion, what does that say about them? What should a non-believer think about a religion who’s adherents feel the need to try and tear down another religion with misinformation in order to make their’s look good?
 

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Why Aren’t Celebrities Speaking Out Against Injustice In Palestine?

15-rihanna-free-palestine.w529.h352.2xIf it were left up to our Western media we would all believe that everything is right in the world. All we’d be allowed to know is that a plane crashed somewhere near Russia, Israel is defending itself against an enemy more dangerous than Godzilla, and Lebron James is going back to Cleveland. Thank God for the internet and in particular social media! The reality is that we can not rely on our media as a valuable source of information. We’ve known this for quite some time in politics and most other issues, but it’s becoming even more painfully obvious when it comes to coverage of Palestine. Although this is not a new phenomenon as our media has always ignored Palestinian suffering in favor of Israeli government talking points, it’s nothing short of amazing that mainstream media persists today knowing that the internet bears witness against their false narratives. Unless you’re a person who cares more about human suffering in the world instead of what this or that Kardashian is doing and instead seek out unbiased information, how would you know about the apartheid going on under your nose?

Imagine a society where in times like these, people whom we elevate to near god-like status as we fill their pockets, actually did something worthwhile outside of entertaining? Imagine if Beyoncé paused between shaking her booty on the stage and encouraged her audience to get involved? Imagine if Kanye West stopped mid-rant about this or that beef of the day, and spoke out against the bombs being dropped on civilians in Gaza? I mean think about it and I’m not singling out any particular celebrities here, but time and time again, we the consumer go out and make people rich and famous, and though many give back in charitable ways that rarely if ever get promoted, when it comes to the global issues they are silent. This isn’t just about Gaza either. They rarely have a word to say when it comes to politics and barely when it comes to domestic issues as well.

So what should one make of the crickets coming from the privileged sector of our society? Should they even feel the need to use their platform to make their fans and followers aware of human tragedy? Some may argue that it’s not their duty and I’d have to agree. Yes, when I spend hundreds of dollars on entertainment essentially funding our decadence, I’m not asking actors, musicians, etc. to preach to me about social ills. However, what does it say about a person if they know they have the ability to effect change but instead do nothing? We already know politicians long ago sold their souls and though it’s heart wrenching to see our President repeat the tired old talking points reminding us who really runs the country, it should be expected. Truth is a foreign concept in US politic. So expecting more from our politicians is a worthless endeavor. However, should a platform necessitate a need to be used in order to address issues that the average joe cannot? Should celebrity be used in a meaningful way to promote change? Should those who have the ability to reach millions in a single tweet selfishly guard expressing how they feel on real world issues?

Obviously, one can somewhat excuse the cowardice of up and coming celebrities fearing their words could ruin their careers, but what about well established personalities? What’s their problem? Recently, Rihanna for instance, attempted to lead on this front and tweeted #freepalestine a courageous gesture that could have been celebrated and possibly encourage others to do the same, but unfortunately, moments later, she deleted the tweet and lied that it was an accident. In other words, Rihanna like Dwight Howard before her, accidentally advocated an end to Palestinian suffering.

What kind of world do we live in when speaking out against the oppression and slaughter of a people is considered an accident? It’s sickening to know that the mere mention of Palestine has Voldermort-esque properties, making even those who have no fear in posting nude pics of themselves, using sex tapes to fuel their careers, or leaking all manner of details about their hookups public, afraid to go on record stating that they believe the slaughter of women and children is wrong. I’m curious to know how one sleeps at night knowing that with all their influence they remain silent on the cause of our time. How will history judge this period when the world did nothing and even after the lessons of Nazi Germany and Apartheid in a South Africa, we turned a blind eye to the similar conditions in Palestine? How will history view those who had the power to ease that suffering but refused to speak out because they feared the loss of an album sale or an appearance in a a summer blockbuster? What’s left of our humanity, when we fear the mere acknowledgement of senseless violence and destruction against Palestine?

Cause and Effect: The Lies Being Told About The Israeli War

Israel has been occupying Palestine for over 4 decades. Israel controls Palestinian movement, utility, economy, and does not respect Palestinian self-determination or freedom. Palestinians are often arrested and held without charge, harassed, beaten, and denied human dignity regardless of gender or age. Palestinians particularly in Gaza, live in imposed ghettos isolated on every border. Israel has bulldozed homes, raised farmland, orchards, built walls and barriers to claim more and more Palestinian territory with illegal settlement activity. These settlers are often religious extremists who attack Palestinians at will and though their claims to the land is internationally disputed, Israel encourages their settlement through government subsidies and aid. Palestinians live under the thumb of a brutal occupying regime which has no regard for international law, human rights, or Palestinian sovereignty. The Israeli government in essence, is imposing the very same conditions on the Palestinians as Blacks in South Africa under Apartheid or the Jewish people themselves in Europe under the Nazis and their allies.

The question often asked, even by our US President, is what country would stand for rockets flying into their country? This question, which is hypocritical on the premise, ignores the Palestinian people entirely and considers them invalid, subhuman, and not worthy of the same human rights as Israelis or any other people on the planet. Palestine has suffered for decades with no support from any country, whereas their brutal occupier is backed by the entire Western world. The Palestinian oppressor is given billions of aid each year and political backing to cover their crimes. Saddam Hussein, whom then President of the United States George W. Bush routinely reminded had violated scores UN Resolutions, did not violate nearly as many as the State of Israel. Yet, where is Saddam now? This point is poignant when you consider Israel is allowed to do whatever it likes to the Palestinian people and government and their UN violations are never a rallying cry for removal, preemptive war, or regime change. No one ever asks the question, what country would allow such oppression for so long without trying to defend itself, because to do so would be an admission that Palestine has a legitimate right to fight back against the tyranny they suffer. What country would sit back while their lands are stolen from them, their homes destroyed, their people abused, and their rights ignored? What country would sit back as their suffering is ignored by the world, their oppressors are rewarded for their crimes, and their basic liberties discarded at will? The answer from America, the West, and the world, is no country but Palestine.

Palestine is expected to suffer these indignities until Israel decides to stop. Palestinian suffering is at the whim of an occupying force and it’s resolution or final solution will be decided solely by Israel.

Hamas, no matter the level of oppression levied against their people, is wrong. Targeting innocent civilians is wrong. There is no justification for it no matter who the culprit is. However, one has to ask the serious question of whether Hamas exists in a vacuum? People act as if Hamas woke up one day for no reason, decided firing rockets that are ineffective and not even close to the level of a threat as perpetrated by the biased media outlets. But, Hamas nonetheless, is being blamed for Israel’s brutal assault against Gaza, where once again a few Israeli lives and a few days of terror must equal hundreds of Palestine lives and more decades of terror for the Palestinian people, because after all, it should be clear to the world by now that one Israeli life is worth at least 100 Palestine lives. One Hamas rocket in Israel, is worth thousands of tons of bombs and artillery in Palestine right?

What of the West Bank? What of the so-called Palestinian President? They haven’t fired any rockets or killed any illegal Israeli settlers, so why are they still surrounded, cut off from the world, and have their movements restricted and sovereignty ignored? I guess a Hamas rocket has special powers too broad to comprehend.

The sad truth in all this Israeli aggression and criminal, inhumane treatment against the Palestinians, is that it does not reflect the Jewish people or the Jewish faith. The government of Israel enacts a policy that is morally bankrupt, unconscionable by human standards, and evil by most measures. This behavior hurts the Jewish people as well. Israel has successfully used the evil of the Holocaust as political means to guilt the world into allowing them the ability to commit crimes against humanity. They are becoming more and more like Nazi Germany themselves and just as it was when Hitler began his atrocities against the Jews, the world again turns a blind eye to the atrocities committed against the Palestinian people.

What will it take for the world to stop these crimes against humanity this time? Have we not learned the lessons of the Holocaust, Apartheid, and Rwanda? How many more Palestinians must suffer and die before the world says emphatically that enough is enough? How similar must Israel’s abuse mimic Nazi Germany before Jews of conscious retake the banner and take back up the call of never again? Or does none of this apply to Palestinians as they aren’t as human as Israelis?

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Woman Booted From Hair School For Wearing Religious Headwear?

Originally posted on News One:

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Dalisha Barnett (pictured) enrolled at  Pro Way Hair School, but when she refused to remove her religious headwear and not conform to their requested standards, she claims school officials scoffed and decided to not allow her to attend classes. Now the Muslim woman is upset that the Stone Mountain, Ga., school reportedly violated her rights to manifest her religion along with her right to an education. Now, Barnett and the Dekalb Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) have teamed up to defend her religious rights, according to Fox 5.

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Barnett wears a religious hijab that has, since the World Trade 9/11 tragedy, taken on a negative connotation even when worn by African-American women. The terrorist stereotypes of Arabs have been thrust upon women who wear hijabs, and in many instances, they have even been attacked for wearing them in public. Therefore, African-American women who are Muslims reportedly have to face both racism

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The Muslim Responses To Boko Haram

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I’m glad many Muslims are writing about the news story of the moment concerning Boko Haram and clarifying the record more or less about Islam. However, to what end? Will this make them or any other so-called Islamist group change their ways? Will the hashtags, op-eds, media coverage, etc. resolve the matter? In my more extremist days I proposed a real on the ground solution: raise a Muslim army and go after these criminals like Marines storming Iwo Jima, but that was in my extremist days…

That said, while I admire our attempts to stay relevant and attempt to convince non-Muslims that we aren’t like “those people” I will continue to wonder the end game. As a character in a favorite novel series of mine always says “words are wind”. Maybe it’s time to be more hands on…or we can continue writing our hearts out, talking on TV and Radio, and hoping groups like Boko Haram will ever care, realize the error of their ways, and cease and desist, because we keep asking so fervently.

My Arabic isn’t so good (think kindergarten student trying to read) but my English translation of the Qur’an says something to the effect of: “Had I not raised men to repel other men, the world would be overrun with injustice.” I’m no scholar, but I don’t think Allah meant repelling with op-eds and media interviews, but I could be wrong.

Meanwhile, the media is now wondering if Boko Haram is a threat to the US….we should all know where that question leads and the implication behind putting the thought out there in the first place…

I eagerly await the day the sleeping giant arises from it’s slumber.

Disturbing Video: Happy British Muslims! (Halal Version)

When the original version of this video came out, I was excited, overjoyed, and yes Happy. I was proud to see Muslims standing up, and in a peaceful, non-confrontational way, show the world that we aren’t so different from any other human on the planet. Many people agreed and the video went viral. I was delighted seeing the praise from all corners of the internet from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, who were excited seeing Muslims behave in a way never seen in the media. So naturally, since many people loved it, there should be no surprise that backlash from Muslims who just couldn’t stand the sight of Muslim women being Happy on video for the whole world to see was soon to follow!

It would have been better to ignore the Muslim element who seem hell bent on validating every Muslim stereotype that exists, which ironically this video brilliantly helped begin to break down, but what’s disheartening and disturbing is that someone felt the need to create a so-called “Halal Version”. I’m taken back to over a decade ago when I accepted Islam after the tragic events of 9/11 and the conviction I had in knowing that deep down this beautiful religion couldn’t possibly be responsible for the atrocities committed that day. I remember the rose-colored glasses I wore for many years thereafter, writing off those who would make any and everything Haram that most shrugged their shoulders at. I remember almost pleading with myself that the haters were a figment of my imagination. However, this video and the “reason” behind it’s creation, makes me further understand why I smashed those glasses so long ago. 

Watching the video, it doesn’t take long to see what is wrong with this version. One barely has to reach the 30 second mark to ask themselves “are there no women in Islam?” or better yet, “are there no Happy women in Islam?” After watching this video, I can conclude that the answer is yes in both cases, at least in the eyes and minds of those who were offended by the original version of this video. To those sad individuals, women do not exist, they’re only a sub-species to males that are used for specific purposes and whether or not they are happy is irrelevant. Then again, when you look at the prayer areas in many mosques set-up for women, those beliefs are obvious. Maybe I’m having difficultly seeing the original version of the video as Haram because I live in a society where women are considered equal. Maybe I’m having difficulty seeing the original version of the video as Haram because I come from a Black American culture, where women play important and dominant roles. Maybe it’s just me.

However, I offer up a solution to all those holier than thou types who made created this crap: Maybe you should ask for a country of your own devoid of women. Don’t have internet, television, or any outside communication with the world whatsoever and leave us Kuffar to be Happy in our sin!  لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ

Fort Hood Déjà Vu

5 years ago I was stuck in traffic, trying to get home to my wife and children after a long day in the office, when I heard on the radio that there had been a mass shooting in Ft. Hood. I remember my initial reaction that I later regretted as selfish, was “please God don’t don’t let the killer be Muslim”. Now 5 years later, I find myself in the same awkward position as I was then. Though I despise myself for the thought, I still find myself filled with anxiety, pleading with God to not let the killer turn out to be a Muslim this time.

As self serving as it may seem, I know I am not alone in this request. Many American Muslims are wondering either aloud or deep within themselves what tomorrow will bring if it is revealed that a Muslim is behind yet another tragic shooting in Ft. Hood. We worry about our personal safety and that of our children, we wonder about the potential harassment or worse at school, or the odd stares and whispers at work, and we wonder most of all, if tomorrow our status as Americans will have been reduced to nothing more than potential terrorists. Already we have Right-Wing media personalities like Patrick Dollard, threatening and encouraging others to slaughter every Muslim in America if the shooter turns out to be a Muslim.

These thoughts and fears are real, and yet I still can’t help but despise my initial thoughts and even the butterflies that currently war within my stomach. As an American and a veteran who’s served this nation in one capacity or another since the age of 17, it’s a really big pill to swallow knowing that more than any other group, the safety of me and my family, could seriously be compromised, merely because we happen to claim the same religion as a killer. As a parent, I wonder what do I tell my children who still remember the profound sadness dad felt after a grueling day filled with interviews explaining our faith to skeptics in November 2009.

How do I share with them now that they are older and some near college age, that their father, who still has his Marine Dress Blues hanging in the closet, is afraid of what his fellow Americans might do to others who share our faith? It’s a perplexing suite of emotions that currently flow through my veins and the sad part is the one emotion that should be at the forefront of my mind as well as many other Americans is not. While we all anticipate the verdict of whether or not this Soldier, this killer, is or isn’t a Muslim, there are people grieving in Texas right now, who’ve lost loved ones, are praying for recovery, and thanking God for life right now. Heroes and their families have had to endure an evening of terror and pain that will not go away anytime soon, and unfortunately in the comfort of my DC area home, while I send my prayers and condolences to the victims and their families, the ugliness behind the Muslim question persists…