The King is Dead

Michael Jackson remembered

MJ_special_images_6

The headline this morning on the DC Metro paper “Express” said it all:  “The King is Dead”.

When the texts came rolling in at first yesterday I wondered why people were playing such a horrible joke.  It wasn’t until I turned the TV to CNN that I realized the truth.  It’s so surreal that words escape me right now.

I like many others across the world are shocked and dare I say devastated.  I have been feeling a range of emotions.  To me, Michael Jackson was to music and popular culture what Leonardo Da Vinci was to art.  It wasn’t until yesterday that I finally understood all the Elvis fans who even today celebrate his birthday, impersonate him, and visit Graceland.

I’m not going to say I’m Michael Jackson’s biggest fan or anything like that, but like many of my generation as well as the generation before and after me, Michael Jackson was a part of my life in some shape or form.  As my mother recalls the first time I heard “Billy Jean” I was in pampers trying to imitate his moves.  I remember the first time I saw the “Thriller” video, I remember how MJ videos were like movie premiers that everyone tuned to MTV to see.  Who could forget Wesley Snipes in the “Bad” video, or Iman, Eddie Murphey, and Magic Johnson in the “Remember The Time” video?  Remember the Pepsi commercials, everyone wearing the MJ jackets, hairstyle, and even some with the glove?

I remarked to many yesterday how this whole “thing” was like an election night gone wrong, kinda like when Gore lost, I just kept starring at the screen watching the same tickers over and over with some of the same commentary, just saying to myself and aloud how surreal the entire thing was.  The irony of the entire thing was just the night before, I was talking about MJ as I got a very good likeness of him for my Sims 3 game, and when the first text came through I was in my iTunes catalogue cleaning out duplicates and had just listened to a MJ song and was then listening to Janet Jackson…

Michael will be remembered for many things, some bad, but many more good.  He was a Historic figure as Rev. Al Sharpton put it yesterday, but more importantly he was human.  He was a human with many flaws, sides, joys, and pains.  More than anything, this death along with those of Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon (Semper Fidelis), and many others should be a constant reminder that our time here is short.  Every breath we take is a blessing from Our Creator and we should not only be thankful of them, but mindful of them as well.  With every breath is a choice and an opportunity.

As Jermaine Jackson summed it up yesterday “May Allah be with him”….


إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا أَخَذَ، وَلَهُ مَا أَعْطَى وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ عِنْدَهُ بِأَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى فَلْتَصْبِرْ وَلْتَحْتَسِبْ

Inna-lillahi ma akhatha walahu ma’a’ta. Wakkullu shaiy’in indahu bi ajalim-musamma faltasbir waltahtasib

Due is to Allah that which He has taken away and His is whatever He has Given. With Him, every-thing has an appointed term; so have patience and seek reward from Him
[Sahih al-Bukhari 2:80, Muslim 2:636]


اَللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لَهُ وَارْحَمْهُ وَعَافِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنْهُ، وَأَكْرِمْ نُزُلَهُ، وَوَسِّعْ مَدْخَلَهُ، وَاغْسِلْهُ بِالْمَاءِ وَالثَّلْجِ وَالْبَرَدِ، وَنَقِّهِ مِنَ الْخَطَايَا كَمَا نَقَّيْتَ الثَّوْبَ اْلأَبْيَضَ مِنَ الدَّنَسِ، وَأَبْدِلْهُ دَارًا خَيْرًا مِنْ دَارِهِ، وَأَهْلاً خَيْرًا مِنْ أَهْلِهِ، وَزَوْجًا خَيْرًا مِنْ زَوْجِهِ، وَأَدْخِلْهُ الْجَنَّةَ، وَأَعِذْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ [وَعَذَابِ النَّارِ]

Allahhum maghfirlahu warhamhu wa’fu ‘anhu wa ‘afihee wa-akrim nuzuluhu wa was-si’ mudkhalahu, waghsilhu bil maee wath thalji wal bardi, wa naq-qihi minal ‘khataya Kama yunaq- qath thawbul abyadu minad danasi, wa abdilhu daran Khayram min darihi, wa ahlan Khayram min ahlihi wa zawjan khayrum min-zawjihi, wa adkhil hul jan-nata, waqihi fitnatal qabri wa ‘Azaban nar

O Allah! Forgive him and have Mercy on him and give him strength and pardon him. Be generous to him and cause his entrace to be wide and wash him with water and snow and hail.
Cleanse him of his transgressions as white cloth is cleansed of stains. Give him an abode better than his home, and a family better than his family and a wife better than his wife. Take him into Paradise and protect him from the punishment of the grave (and of the fire)
[Muslim; 2:663]

Celebrity reaction to Jackson’s death pours in

Some of my favorites….

“Michael Jackson will always be remembered as one of the greatest performers in the history of popular music.  As a child of the 80’s, I feel as though his music and his videos have been an inseparable part of my life and that of an entire generation.  And the powerful thing about great music is that it will always live on.  He was and always will be an icon.  My heart goes out to his family, friends and countless fans for their tragic loss.”- John Legend

”I don’t know what to say. I loved him. Not just his music but “him” his idealism and openness and humanitarian heart, his understanding of the human family as one, the high spiritual nature of him and to juxtapose THAT, with a great worldy impact and success,….. He was TRULY a special soul. As a person in the music industry, I’ve seen a glimpse of how rewarding but also how hurtful it can be , especially for sensitive souls.  I actually think he was too special and fragile for the world he was in.  My heart goes out to every member of his family.” With love- India Arie


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What does Robert Salaam Read, Watch, Play, etc. and why should you care?

Let me answer the last part upfront, you shouldn’t care! 🙂  I just feel like sharing today and maybe just maybe, I can network with individuals on other levels outside of my general “American Muslim” ramblings.

True Blood Season 2:

I just finished watching the entire first season last week and just finished watching the first two episodes of season 2.  So far so good, well actually I think it’s great!  I have read every book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries, and count me among one of the Sookie Stackhouse fans.  Now in order to truly enjoy the show, I had to let go of my purist leanings, because the show doesn’t only change a few things, but in some parts go in completely different directions.  I was dismayed at first about some of these changes, but it seems that they are at least in keeping with the spirit of the books and the twists in the show are actually pretty good.  As long as they follow some of the main plots of the books, I believe this show will be a hit for years to come.  Two thumbs up HBO!

24 Season 7:

I have had the season finale in my DVR for months now and finally got around to finishing it a couple of days ago.  Awesome, simply awesome, season.  I happen to be a huge Jack Baur fan and think that 24 is a great show even with all the “controversy”.  I even enjoyed the Muslim angle this season with the wise Imam.  Maybe Fox was apologizing with that little tidbit, who knows, eitherway, I will be back next season as always, and watch Jack be Jack.  The only think that’s driving me crazy is how some plot holes are often left wide open from season to season, or maybe I’m just not paying attention, but what ever happened to president Logan, his wife, and president Palmer?  Why did we only get a glimpse of Regina King, only for her character to disappear?  And speaking of Regina King, can we please get a new season of the Boondocks!

Books!!!!!

I have to admit, that I have been abusing audiobooks!  Every since I got my first audiobook on iTunes for my iPhone, I have been hooked!  So much so that I have read/listened to 33 books since the end of December!  They include:

The Entire Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (12 books) well 2 aren’t technically the Vampire Chronicles….

The Entire Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (9 books) haven’t read the “in between” books yet.

The Entire Twilight Series by Stephanie Myers (4 books)

The Host by Stephenie Myer

The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King, I’m wrapping up book 4 of 7

Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions by Christian Lander

Buddha by Karen Armstrong

Rogue Squadron by Michael A. Stackpole

I immensely enjoyed all of these books and highly recommend them.  I don’t want people to think I have abandoned physical reading because I haven’t, as I have previously mentioned on my blog, I have read and reviewed Mother of the Believers by Kamran Pasha, The Imperfect Enjoyment by Dewan Gibson, and I’m working on a review of both The 7 Great Prayers: For a Lifetime of Hope and Blessings by Paul and Tracey McManus, which by the way is a very well written and inspirational book that I recommend for any spiritual library and Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton, which is a compelling, inspiring page turner.

Let’s just say that I’m reading more now, than I have in a long time.

Moving right along,

Movies…..

After watching and thoroughly enjoying the Friday the 13th remake and boycotting X-Men Origins: Wolverine because Hollywood refuses to make an X-Men movie true to decades worth of comics and material.  It’s been pretty dry for me, most likely due to the fact that movies cost way too much these days.  The only summer movie I have seen so far is Star Trek and that one got a standing ovation!  Yes, it was that good.  Sunday I’m going to see Transformers: Revenge of the fallen and I don’t expect much other than good CGI and special effects, I grew up on the cartoon, so I can’t help but being a little cynical about the movie, which by the way, make me leery of going to see the GI Joe movie, I mean what’s next Thundercats, another He-Man disaster or worse?  I just wish that when Hollywood decides to bring a cartoon, comic, or video game to the big screen that they would actually read and study the present material.  Don’t they understand that the fans don’t care to see anything new story wise?  We would just like to see the images we grew up viewing rendered in live-action with special effects.  Hollywood could literally copy a comic scene for scene and flesh out the dialogue a little to account for being a movie and even though we know the entire plot and conclusion people fans will pay for a dedicated reproduction.  I mean we are not stupid, we expect some changes, but come on Hollywood Venom dying in Spiderman 3, Deadpool with no mask and insane powers among other foolishness in X-Men Origins, and countless other blunders when it comes to translations such as the Street Fighter w/ Chun Li movie…….there should just be massive boycotts until Hollywood learns to make quality movies with such successes as Iron Man, Hulk, The Dark Knight, among others.  Oh and lay off the books if your going to churn out horrible movies like Twilight!!!!! that are so horrible compared to the books it’s not even right!

Enough of that rant….

In other “news” I just completed Resident Evil 5 on the Xbox 360, remain the king of fighters in Street Fighter IV (email me for xbox live info if you think you stand a chance) and I am looking forward to buying Fight Night Round 4 this weekend.

I love video games, which is something I don’t think I have brought on the blog before today.  I have owned every gaming system since the Atari 2600 with the exception of all Sony systems (I’m still bitter that they ran Sega out of the console business for the most part) and the Nintendo Wii (I’m just too busy with my 360)  I have never been into handhelds, outside of the original Gameboy, I haven’t gone near them.  Some of my recent favorites are:

The Sims 3 (I love the updates from the awesome Sims 2)

Resident Evil 5 (My only issue is you can’t run and gun like Halo)

Halo 3 (speaks for itself)

Street Fighter IV (I haven’t been really beat since the arcade days of the Street Fighter II, I can be beat just not that often. 🙂 )

Mass Effect (Can’t wait for part II)

City of Heroes (good for a while but finally got old)

1 vs 100 (beta) when this game actually launches it’s going to be a hit.  The beta on Xbox live has been one of the best ideas and games I have played in almost my entire life.

and too many others to name.  I really can’t wait for Knights of the Old Republic, the trailer alone!!!!! wow, just wow,….

And I own many good games like Ninja Gaiden II, Fight Night 3, Assassins Creed (part 2 will be good), Marvel Ultimate Allaince (cant wait for MUA2), Forza 2 (the next one is going to be good) among others like Halo 3, Fable II, Superman (which I happened to like) and a host of other Xbox 360 and PC games.

What many may not know is that there is a lot more to “The American Muslim” than religious and political commentary.

I’m a video game, book, and movie junkie.  Who especially likes RPG’s, MMORPG’s, Vampire books, and Horror Movies.  I’m also, into building computers, and I’m a car junkie and am really into the tuner scene.

Last and certainly not least,

I finally decided to get back into Marine shape and ordered P90X.  Let me tell you, it’s not for the faint of heart and I don’t even recall some of my PT sessions in the Marine Corps being this intense!  I have been doing this program for about 24 days now and have taken pictures and measurements and all that good stuff, however, I will not reveal any of this info until the end of August so stand by for that!  I recommend this exercise regime for anyone who is serious about getting themselves in shape, however, if you were never in shape, it may be a little too difficult for you.  But check it out, it works!

That’s all for now, I will return to regularly scheduled programing soon.  For instance, I have been noticeably silent about what’s going on in Iran…..

My next car Insha’Allah (God Willing)

I need to stay off of Drudge….Gay Exorcism?

Have  you ever read something that just made you go slack-jawed?  Well, for those who read my blog, this probably happens to you often, but this isn’t about me today….

So I clicked on a link to this article and after watching the video clip, I just went slack-jawed.  Not because I have never seen stuff like this before (you wouldn’t believe some of the Churches I have been to!) but do to the controversial nature of the video and the topic in general.

Several thoughts rampaged through my mind over and over some I have been pondering for over a decade.  For instance, I have seen many a preacher “lay hands” on people to cast out demons, and similar scenes I have witnessed.  Now I never speak or discuss these things as far as the validity there of, but I have always wondered is it just an act or is “something” actually going on?  I mean take this video for instance, let’s take the whole “gay demon” thing out of the equation, I have seen this done for many a “demon” or “unclean” spirit done in the past, with similar results, and I wonder if it is an act, shouldn’t these people get Oscars?  I mean look at this kid in the video, he’s twisting, turning, and vomiting like nobody’s business…  I have seen little old ladies do similar things, and I can tell you, if you want to get your kids in line, let them witness something like this at a Church, talk about scarred straight! 🙂

Now in all seriousness, one has to wonder about the allegation of abuse.  I mean granted, this is a very freaky and weird video (but I’ve seen worse) but the question begs, did this individual (teen or not who knows?) volunteer for this “exorcism”?  I mean if they did, then in my opinion, can we really get mad at this weird ritual?

Now I get why people are mad.  It’s common sense.  Basically, what’s being stated is that homosexuality is really just a demon or unclean spirit that can be exorcised.  For many homosexuals, that infers that somehow who they are isn’t real, they are just possessed by Satan.  For many, their sexuality is just as much a part of them as their skin color, so I get that.

Now Christians will ask, well did it work?  I have to admit having read commentary from Christians on the issue, my morbid curiosity has me wondering as well.  I mean, if it’s a scam (and that’s where I leaning on the issue, although grandad would wash my mouth out with soap) then Gay Rights groups need to get a hold of this young man and expose this church.

Personally, I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but it’s definitely interesting to watch from the sidelines.  The only thing that really got under my skin outside of the general sideshow antics of the video in general, is this idea that the minister involved is calling himself a Prophet.  I have to admit and this is totally off topic, but why do Christian ministers have the need to call themselves a Prophet?  Granted as a Muslim, I automatically think that anyone calling themselves such after Prophet Muhammad (saw), is either arrogant or mad, but just for the sake of the argument, I would like to see these “Prophets” part the Red Sea, Walk on Water, or Produce new scriptures that produce a billion adherents.  Other than that, stop with the isanity.

On another off topic tangent, why is that Christians have the enterprise on exorcism?  I never see or have heard of other religions doing such.  Now I could give a serious response to my own question, but in jest, I have to admit that I wonder what I need to do if one of my children wake up one day like Linda Blair in the exorcist?  Maybe an Imam can answer that one, because my first response will be unless told otherwise,… “The power of Christ compels you….” :)….

Related Article:

Conn. church creates stir with gay exorcism video

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) – A Connecticut church has outraged gay rights advocates by posting a video of members performing an apparent exorcism of a teen’s “homosexual demons.”The 20-minute video was posted on YouTube before it was taken down.

Gay youth advocate Robin McHaelen (mih-KAY’-lehn) says the video appears to show abuse. She says she plans to report it to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

//

The boy confirms he is 16 but otherwise has declined to comment.

The Rev. Patricia McKinney of Manifested Glory Ministries in Bridgeport says he is 18 and came to the church on his own seeking help.

She denies the church is prejudiced and says it took care of the youth.

French Burqa Ban….

I have been out of the loop recently at least as it relates to blogging, but I received this article in an email today and I must admit that the first thing I did was laugh, then shake my head.

Some things just never cease to amaze me.  What will such a ban accomplish if not only to score cheap political points?  You can tell by the remarks of the French President and the reporting of the journalist that they continue the stereotype that non-Muslims are just clueless as it relates to Muslims.

First of all a Hijab is not a Niqab or a Burqa and vice versa.  Most Muslim women wear a Hijab, fewer wear a Niqab, and even fewer wear a Burqa.  Of all these different styles and or forms of dress, the only one universally considered “Islamic” is the Hijab.  The jury is still out on the Niqab and the Burqa is cultural, being relegated primarily to Afghanistan.

Considering these facts, one has to “wonder” why the writer and the French President can’t seem to understand how minuscule this is on the “Islamic” radar.  To the writers credit, they did mention that in France out of about 5 million Muslims those who wear Burqa’s is barely numbered in the hundreds, and this is why I have to question the intent of the French President.

However, given the way things are done in the media and in politics concerning Muslims, anything representing the “fringe” minority of Muslims must be reported on or made in to political debate concerning all Muslims.  Maybe that’s why this is so “important” to the French President, I mean we have to police those hundred Muslim women who wear a Burqa right?

I haven’t checked and I won’t because I don’t want to throw up today, but I’m certain this issue and story is all over Fox “News” and associated websites and “Conservative” blogs and message boards.  They are probably exited and think that they are on to something.

Muslims, let’s not indulge them with anything other than the truth, which is that many Muslims would love to see the Burqa go away too!

So Much for shock and awe…..

The Speech Heard Around the World: The Audacity to Hope for Peace

Transcript:  Remarks By The President On A New Beginning

Obama In Egypt Reaces out to the Muslim World

(courtesy CNN)

President Obama delivered his long-awaited and wide-ranging speech Thursday on American and Muslim relations, offering a hand of friendship to Islam and addressing an array of quandaries and conflicts dividing the two cultures.

“I know there are many — Muslim and non-Muslim — who question whether we can forge this new beginning,” Obama said, emphasizing that “it is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward, to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share.”

“In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam.

“We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women and children. And it is my first duty as president to protect the American people.”

“They endure the daily humiliations — large and small — that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity and a state of their own.”

“Resistance through violence and killing is wrong, and it does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation,” he said. “It was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding.”

Yesterday I was a critic.  I wondered if it was a good thing for President Obama to give a speech to the Muslim world.  I wondered if it was necessary and if so, why Cairo.  I wondered many things, mostly in the negative, but today I am a believer.

I have not heard the full speech yet, but I heard some great excerpts on XM Radio’s POTUS, and from what I heard, plus having heard the President in the past, I have to say that I’m not only truly impressed, but very proud.  Proud to be an American with this President, and proud to be a Muslim American.

President Obama for me, said all those things that needed to be said.  I believe he touched on every point from recognizing Israel, to Human Rights, to Women Rights and he did it all in a rational way and wasn’t afraid to invoke our religion the entire time.

What I pray is that these words that were spoken have the same effect in the East as they had in the West during his campaign and motivated young people to get involved and seek change.

Many critics may state that words mean little, I happen to believe that words have power.  I believe words have the power to call things into existence.  I believe that these words have the ability and if it be the will of God, will manifest and plant the seeds of change.

President Obama Thank You,

As Salaam Alaikum

Obama: U.S. ‘not at war with Islam’

President Obama spoke Thursday of the tensions between the United States and Muslims, saying “the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.”

“Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile,” said Obama, delivering what the White House billed as a major speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt.

The president reiterated a point he made in an April speech in Turkey: “In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security.

“Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women and children.”

Commentary: Amen, Mr. President

What's an American Muslim to do about terrorists who are converts?

Paramedics transport a soldier on a gurney Monday after the shooting in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Suspect arrested in Arkansas recruiting center shooting

Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad — a 24-year-old Little Rock resident formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe — faces a first-degree murder charge and 15 counts of engaging in a terrorist act, Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas said. The terrorist counts stem from the shots fired at an occupied building.

While authorities continued to investigate a motive, Thomas said Muhammad is a Muslim convert and, based on preliminary interviews with him, investigators believe there were “political and religious motives” in the shooting.

Here we go again!  Same stuff another day.  I was actually in good spirits tonight (well morning now) until I checked my CNN iPhone App and read this headline!  I will blog later about my P90x workout and 1 vs 100 on Xbox Live late, because yet another idiot has caught my attention.  Now I use the term idiot to refrain from profanity, but the best this guy could ever hope to be called is fuel for the hellfire and that’s the lightest thing I can come up with without being vulgar.

As veteran my heart and prayers go out to these two soldiers and their families.  It seems like yesterday when I swore the very same oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. It seems just like yesterday when I too took advantage of the recruiters assistance program after basic training and stayed home a little longer before going off to my next training.  I remember the pride and joy I felt coming home in my uniform exited to help share my experience with my peers and others wanting to join.  I remember the pride my family had in me.  So I can only imagine the pain that these families are going through and the agony one must feel after knowing that their loved ones were attacked not abroad from a foreign enemy but here at home in their very community where it’s supposed to be safe.  As a fellow American, as a Marine, and as a Muslim, I send these families my deepest condolences and share the very same desire they must have to see that justice be served as swift as possible against this murderer.

Now I know I’m breaking yet again a cardinal blogging rule of mine which is wait at least 72 hours on the “Muslim” stories, but I felt compelled yet again to write immediately, because of this dangerous trend that is either truly emerging or due to our sensationalist media appearing to be such.  Either way, real or perceived, the emotions said acts promote are not good for all parties involved.

As a Black, Muslim Convert, and Military Veteran I am so appalled that words can’t even begin to describe my anger and frustration.

To be blunt, I wish we had immediate capital punishment in this Country.  I know it’s not PC to state that for a myriad of reasons, but to be perfectly honest, what other punishment is worthy of pond scum and afterbirth who feel that it’s their duty to murder innocents based on an ideology of hate?

For the life of me I cannot ascertain what could be in the mind of an American Muslim Convert who would want to do this.  In a Country blessed with so much and the ability to learn and practice Islam freely, how can one adopt such a narrow and foreign ideology that goes against not only Islamic teachings and principles, but also the basic principles of decency that many in this Country share?  While I do not know this guy personally or the 4 idiots from a week or two ago who Praise God were caught before they could cause harm, I’m certain they probably had a similar family background common amongst many blacks at least in my age group and older.  I bring this up, not to make this a race issue, but an understanding issue.  Many black converts have little to no family issues when they convert.  Our families tend to be very familiar with Islam even our ultra-Christian family (isn’ t that every black family?) I couldn’t imagine how one could readily adopt such an isolated, extreme, ideology, when openly accepted as many of us are.  Outside of a joke here or there about pork or prison (more on that later), our families love us the same and isn’t it love that is the basis and solution to our problems?  I’m not trying to make excuses here for black converts or trying to cover our butts in case something else happens, but it’s merely an open musing about my confusion as to why this is happening.  It was easy to write off John Allen Muhammad, you know the DC area sniper years ago, as he was easily proven to be nuts, and truth be told, so are these guys, but the issue with the latter (4 idiots and now this 5th) is unlike Muhammad, these guys appeared to be the real deal.

These guys actually appear to know a thing or two about Islam, at least that’s how the media is presenting it.  Now I could easily write these guys off as knowing little about Islam as evidenced by their actions, but would that change anything in the court of public opinion?  What’s more likely, non-Muslims reading my blog or others like mine for information on American Muslims or Islam in general, or reading the headlines on their favorite cable news shows and websites whose current stream of  articles could be collected to develop a new hit reality TV series entitled “When Muslims Attack 2: Homegrown Terrorists”?

I’m not trying to make light of the situation because this is serious.  My title question points to the very real problem in the American Muslim community and broader Muslim world as a whole.  What can we do, what should we do, and what have we done, to deal with those who murder in the name of our faith?

Granted, I am not one of the delusional who feel that somehow 1.5 billion people should be held responsible for the actions of those of us who murder and commit other crimes against humanity, but American Muslims have to be a part of the solution because doing nothing allows the media to continue to portray us through the lens of these murderers actions and display us as part of the problem.

I believe we have a good example in the most recent religious themed madness from this past weekend.  Certainly, many have heard about the abortion doctor’s murder by a Christianist, radical extremist Christian, Christian terrorist, etc. (don’t like when it’s your religion huh?) this weekend where an abortion doctor was killed in the church and a fellow Christian of the same sect murdered him because of differing ideologies.  What then followed is the example that I believe American Muslims and Muslims worldwide should follow.  Not only did the church, congregation, and family denounce this murderer, but also and this part is very important, so did those who also believe abortion to be a detestable act and have many of the same ideological leanings as the murderer!

Now the Lutherans involved, could have just made a statement about the tragic events, you know something official by the clergy and left it at that.  Or no one had to say anything at all, I mean considering this is America a 75% Christian nation and it’s pretty much an unwritten rule that incidents like this are not the norm for Christians, no one really had the pressure to state anything, but they did anyway.  Anti-abortionists went out of their way to condemn this scum and state in principle that while they share some of the ideals of the murderer, they do not in any way support terrorist actions like he committed.

So why couldn’t we do the same thing?  I mean we have way more to lose.  Look at the dance that’s about to continue over this report.  I got it very late since it was posted, but I’m certain every anti-Muslim site, blog, media outlet, etc. has been on this like flies on well you know….and where is our rapid response?  Where is our prevention?  Why is it that we just can’t seem to get the message out there?  The one who controls the message controls the debate and right now as stock in the American-ness of black Muslim converts plummet, there are none to set the record straight.

Now I know some may say that I’m criticizing the media too much, but I’m actually criticizing Muslims, because we allow the media to have the ability to report the sensationalism that defines who we are to the American public.

Realistically, we cannot do much more that what we are currently doing to prevent idiots like these.  Nor has any solutions from our critics come up.  In fact, many of them wouldn’t be happy no matter what we do or say unless we left our faith.  At best, we need to ramp up our education efforts in the Mosques and be more like a true brotherhood and sisterhood to ensure our ranks are not being infiltrated by murders.   Our lack of committment to one another allows others to destroy us from within.  Since we are but one community, I believe it to be our personal duty to do what we can to avoid the spread of this sick ideology that plagues the minds of so many.  That’s about all we can truly do.  A sick and twisted murderer and of course a terrorist has no religion.  Ask the neighbors of Ted Bundy and Jeffery Daumer for instance, and they would tell you that those guys were model citizens.  I mean seriously, sometimes you just don’t, can’t, or will know.

BUT, that doesn’t mean we can’t at least try!  An ounce of prevention pays dividends in the long run.  If we did more as a community to ensure Islam in America was taught properly in every Mosque by weeding out the radicals and those who want to teach isolationist messages, if we did more to support one another through community events, socializing, networking, and yes counseling, if we did more to ensure that the tools and infrastructure were in place to control the message, maybe just maybe we would have this “problem” of converts who are so easily led to believe that it’s OK to commit such anti-Islamic crimes about society and humanity under control or eliminated.  Whether you were born into a Muslim family or converted to Islam, one thing that remains constant as it applies to these murderers, is that they all were taught what they believe and taught that how they act is acceptable in Islam.  Someone had to teach them this madness at some point.  These learned behaviors and ideas had to come from someplace.

We have to do more in the way of education as we are taught in our faith that we should seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave right? Who can be more blessed than the one who helps the seeker acquire that knowledge?

So we have to seriously look in the mirror as an American Muslim community as well as a worldwide community and ask the one reflecting in the mirror “what have you done today in the cause of Islam?”  Do we not understand that doing all that we can to promote and enjoin good and doing all that we can to deny and forbid evil is a direct command from The Almighty for Muslims?

Stating that it’s not your responsibility is not enough today.

I’m convinced that we still have not realized that if we remain silent we only hasten our persecution.  We have not realized that by allowing others to define us do to our silence puts us in a position where we could be attacked for actions we have not committed.  Do we not realize that our  families are at risk every time a headline like this hits the airwaves?  How long before our mothers, wives, and daughters are attacked because they are readily identified as Muslims?

We have a solemn duty and we have to take a solemn pledge to educate both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.  We have to control the message and get the truth out there.  We cannot allow ourselves and our religion to be hijacked from the outside as well as from within and the only one who can stop that is the one reflected in the mirror.

Whats an American Muslim to do about terrorists who are converts?

Paramedics transport a soldier on a gurney Monday after the shooting in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Suspect arrested in Arkansas recruiting center shooting

Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad — a 24-year-old Little Rock resident formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe — faces a first-degree murder charge and 15 counts of engaging in a terrorist act, Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas said. The terrorist counts stem from the shots fired at an occupied building. While authorities continued to investigate a motive, Thomas said Muhammad is a Muslim convert and, based on preliminary interviews with him, investigators believe there were "political and religious motives" in the shooting.

Here we go again!  Same stuff another day.  I was actually in good spirits tonight (well morning now) until I checked my CNN iPhone App and read this headline!  I will blog later about my P90x workout and 1 vs 100 on Xbox Live late, because yet another idiot has caught my attention.  Now I use the term idiot to refrain from profanity, but the best this guy could ever hope to be called is fuel for the hellfire and that's the lightest thing I can come up with without being vulgar. As veteran my heart and prayers go out to these two soldiers and their families.  It seems like yesterday when I to swore the very same oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. It seems just like yesterday when I too took advantage of the recruiters assistance program after basic training and stayed home a little longer before going off to my next training.  I remember the pride and joy I felt coming home in my uniform exited to help share my experience with my peers and others wanting to join.  I remember the pride my family had in me.  So I can only imagine the pain that these families are going through and the agony one must feel after knowing that their loved ones were attacked not abroad from a foreign enemy but here at home in their very community where it's supposed to be safe.  As a fellow American, as a Marine, and as a Muslim, I send these families my deepest condolences and share the very same desire they must have to see that justice be served as swift as possible against this murderer. Now I know I'm breaking yet again a cardinal blogging rule of mine which is wait at least 72 hours on the "Muslim" stories, but I felt compelled yet again to write immediately, because of this dangerous trend that is either truly emerging or due to our sensationalist media appearing to be such.  Either way, real or perceived, the emotions said acts promote are not good for all parties involved. As a Black, Muslim Convert, and Military Veteran I am so appalled that words can't even begin to describe my anger and frustration. To be blunt, I wish we had immediate capital punishment in this Country.  I know it's not PC to state that for a myriad of reasons, but to be perfectly honest, what other punishment is worthy of pond scum and afterbirth who feel that it's their duty to murder innocents based on an ideology of hate? For the life of me I cannot ascertain what could be in the mind of an American Muslim Convert who would want to do this.  In a Country blessed with so much and the ability to learn and practice Islam freely, how can one adopt such a narrow and foreign ideology that goes against not only Islamic teachings and principles, but also the basic principles of decency that many in this Country share?  While I do not know this guy personally or the 4 idiots from a week or two ago who Praise God were caught before they could cause harm, I'm certain they probably had a similar family background common amongst many blacks at least in my age group and older.  I bring this up, not to make this a race issue, but an understanding issue.  Many black converts have little to no family issues when they convert.  Our families tend to be very familiar with Islam even our ultra-Christian family (isn' t that every black family?) I couldn't imagine how one could readily adopt such an isolated, extreme, ideology, when openly accepted as many of us are.  Outside of a joke here or there about pork or prison (more on that later), our families love us the same and isn't it love that is the basis and solution to our problems?  I'm not trying to make excuses here for black converts or trying to cover our butts in case something else happens, but it's merely an open musing about my confusion as to why this is happening.  It was easy to write off John Allen Muhammad, you know the DC area sniper years ago, as he was easily proven to be nuts, and truth be told, so are these guys, but the issue with the latter (4 idiots and now this 5th) is unlike Muhammad, these guys appeared to be the real deal. These guys actually appear to know a thing or two about Islam, at least that's how the media is presenting it.  Now I could easily write these guys off as knowing little about Islam as evidenced by their actions, but would that change anything in the court of public opinion?  What's more likely, non-Muslims reading my blog or others like mine for information on American Muslims or Islam in general, or reading the headlines on their favorite cable news shows and websites who's current stream of  articles could be collected to develop a new hit reality TV series entitled "When Muslims Attack 2: Homegrown Terrorists"? I'm not trying to make light of the situation because this is serious.  My title question points to the very real problem in the American Muslim community and broader Muslim world as a whole.  What can we do, what should we do, and what have we done, to deal with those who murder in the name of our faith? Granted, I am not one of the delusional who feel that somehow 1.5 billion people should be held responsible for the actions of those of us who murder and commit other crimes against humanity, but American Muslims have to be a part of the solution because doing nothing allows the media to continue to portray us through the lens of these murderers actions and display us as part of the problem. I believe we have a good example in the most recent religious themed madness from this past weekend.  Certainly, many have heard about the abortion doctor's murder by a Christianist, radical extremist Christian, Christian terrorist, etc. (don't like when it's your religion huh?) this weekend where an abortion doctor was killed in the church and a fellow Christian of the same sect murdered him because of differing ideologies.  What then followed is the example that I believe American Muslims and Muslims worldwide should follow.  Not only did the church, congregation, and family denounce this murderer, but also and this part is very important, so did those who also believe abortion to be a detestable act and have many of the same ideological leanings as the murderer! Now the Lutherans involved, could have just made a statement about the tragic events, you know something official by the clergy and left it at that.  Or no one had to say anything at all, I mean considering this is America a 75% Christian nation and it's pretty much an unwritten rule that incidents like this are not the norm for Christians, no one really had the pressure to state anything, but they did anyway.  Anti-abortionists went out of their way to condemn this scum and state in principle that while they share some of the ideals of the murderer, they do not in anyway support terrorist actions like he committed. So why couldn't we do the same thing?  I mean we have way more to lose.  Look at the dance that's about to continue over this report.  I got it very late since it was posted, but I'm certain every anti-Muslim site, blog, media outlet, etc. has been on this like flies on well you know….and where is our rapid response?  Where is our prevention?  Why is it that we just can't seem to get the message out there?  The one who controls the message controls the debate and right now as stock in the American-ness of black Muslim converts plummet, there are none to set the record straight. Now I know some may say that I'm criticizing the media too much, but I'm actually criticizing Muslims, because we allow the media to have the ability to report the sensationalism that defines who we are to the American public. Realistically, we cannot do much more that what we are currently doing to prevent idiots like these.  Nor has any solutions from our critics come up.  In fact, many of them wouldn't be happy no matter what we do or say unless we left our faith.  At
best, we need to ramp up our education efforts in the Mosques and be more like a true brotherhood and sisterhood to ensure our ranks are not being infiltrated by murders.   Our lack of committment to one another allows others to destroy us from within.  Since we are but one community, I believe it to be our personal duty to do what we can to avoid the spread of this sick ideology that plagues the minds of so many.  That's about all we can truly do.  A sick and twisted murderer and of course a terrorist has no religion.  Ask the neighbors of Ted Bundy and Jeffery Daumer for instance, and they would tell you that those guys were model citizens.  I mean seriously, sometimes you just don't, can't, or will know. BUT, that doesn't mean we can't at least try!  An once of prevention pays dividends in the long run.  If we did more as a community to ensure Islam in America was taught properly in every Mosque by weeding out the radicals and those who want to teach isolationist messages, if we did more to support one another through community events, socializing, networking, and yes counseling, if we did more to ensure that the tools and infrastructure were in place to control the message, maybe just maybe we would have this "problem" of converts who are so easily led to believe that it's OK to commit such anti-Islamic crimes about society and humanity under control or eliminated.  Whether you were born into a Muslim family or converted to Islam, one thing that remains constant as it applies to these murderers, is that they all were taught what they believe and taught that how they act is acceptable in Islam.  Someone had to teach them this madness at some point.  These learned behaviors and ideas had to come from someplace. We have to do more in the way of education as we are taught in our faith that we should seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave right? Who can be more blessed than the one who helps the seeker acquire that knowledge? So we have to seriously look in the mirror as an American Muslim community as well as a worldwide community and ask the one reflecting in the mirror "what have you done today in the cause of Islam?"  Do we not understand that doing all that we can to promote and enjoin good and doing all that we can to deny and forbid evil is a direct command from The Almighty for Muslims? Stating that it's not your responsibility is not enough today. I'm convinced that we still have not realized that if we remain silent we only hasten our persecution.  We have not realized that by allowing others to define us do to our silence puts us in a position where we could be attacked for actions we have not committed.  Do we not realize that our  families are at risk every time a headline like this hits the airwaves?  How long before our mothers, wives, and daughters are attacked because they are readily identified as Muslims? We have a solemn duty and we have to take a solemn pledge to educate both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.  We have to control the message and get the truth out there.  We cannot allow ourselves and our religion to be hijacked from the outside as well as from within and the only one who can stop that is the one reflected in the mirror.