Random Current Events that I just couldn't ignore

I haven’t been blogging regularly, no surprises there, nor have I been hosting my weekly online podcast either, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t follow current events and don’t have opinions about them.  In the past before I became super busy with my personal life, I would use this blog or my show as outlets to vent that frustration.  However, these days I keep it to myself or post it on my Facebook wall.  But sometimes, event’s pile up and I feel like a volcano about to burst and have to vent my thoughts, so here we are today.

The Passing of Dorothy Height

I was in the gym the day Dorothy Height died.  I remember looking up at the television monitor and just shaking my head.  I wondered how she would be mourned and I wondered why only local news were covering it and even they only gave a few seconds to this news.  I paused and posted a quick note on my FB lamenting her passing.  What ended up getting under my skin was the fact that outside of that early morning mention, that was it.  It was like no one cared.  I can’t decide who I’m more disappointed with, the major media, or black people in general.  On one hand, I feel like if anything this would be a major event in the black community, Dorothy Height was a major figure in the Civil Rights movement and was a pioneer in the struggle for womens rights.  I guess our lack of concern, produced lack of concern in the media, but then again, often the media tell us what they consider is important and news, and I guess the passing of an Civil Rights icon wasn’t “news” to them.  If nothing else, this should give alarm and bear witness that the state of black America is not looking good and well we already know that major media isn’t much better than the tabloids in the supermarkets these days.  The question is where do average Americans get their news?  Who’s there to inform them?  What can we do about it?

The Regulation Reform Bill

This is just plain crazy.  It’s just unsettling and unnerving that there are Americans who support the Republican party.  Far be it from me to have an issue with Conservatism, but the games being played in Washington have gone too far.  Instead of passing legislature, introducing proposals, or attempting to do anything to help Americans, the Republican Party’s accolades as of late that they pat themselves on the back for is by being able to vote uniformly against every major legislation Democrats introduce.  So what if a bill is brought forward to help Americans who don’t have access to health care get it?  So what if a bill is introduced to regulate against the criminal practices on Wall Street that helped put us in this mess?  None of that doesn’t seem to matter with these guys and their supporters.  The only thing that matters is being able to have every Republican vote no.  It’s just outrageous.  Of course these bills aren’t perfect.  None are.  There are always going to be some groups interests being underrepresented.  But, these bills are SOMETHING.  Their a start in the right direction.  What happened to working toward a more perfect union?  I guess if your a Republican today, that means nothing.  It’s either their way or no way.  Republican legislators are acting like toddlers with their arms folded refusing to do anything until they get their way.  Pathetic.  Earn your taxpayer paid salary and stop refusing to work because Obama won.  Get over it already.

The ADL and General Jones

First of all, why is the media calling the General an “adviser” as if that’s all he’s ever accomplished in his life?  James Jones is a highly decorated Marine and former Commandant of the Marine Corps.  Nevertheless, General Jones is in trouble for daring to make a stupid joke involving Jews.  Oh the humanity!!!!  Dear God in Heaven, how dare he make a joke about Jews, which btw, wasn’t even that funny.  However, now they have him in the national media having to apologize.  What utter and total crap.  Goes to show you who really has power when a Jewish lobby can force a well respected and decorated Marine General to have to apologize for a joke he made harmlessly at a JEWISH EVENT!!!!!  If he meant any harm, if he was trying to make fun of Jews in any negative way, I would think that the last place he would tell the joke would be in front of a mainly Jewish audience.  Instead of apologizing the General being the Marine and Warrior that he is, should have told them to quit whining.  But let’s be honest for a moment, this is about power plain and simple.  The Jewish Lobby is angry at Obama, for daring to call for Justice in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  Obama has dared to challenge Israel and the Jewish lobby, therefore, they are doing everything in their power to show him who’s boss and who really has juice in America.  If General Jones a Republican btw, had been in the Bush Administration and made this same joke, we wouldn’t have even known about it.  But this was an opportunity to publicly challenge Obama’s Administration and they ran with it, even if it meant throwing a Marine General and American Hero under the bus.

Jerusalem Mayor challenging Obama in Congress

This is further proof of who has real power in American politics.  Let’s remove the facts for a second.  Let’s pretend that Obama isn’t the President and the Mayor was not from Israel.  When has it ever been OK, or even loosely supported, that a mayor from a foreign country could address our Congress to assail our President?  Imagine the outrage had this not been Obama and Israel?  But since it is, it’s somehow OK now?  Give me a break, this is totally disrespectful and insulting and what do we as a nation do about it?  Support Israel of course.  They can do no wrong, they are without flaw or error.  We are the problem, our President is the problem, never Israel.  This is really scary if your an American citizen as it implies exactly what is shows, that Israel has more influence and power over our elected officials and politicians than American citizens.  No one really gives it a second thought because it’s Israel and of course due to a myriad of reasons we are supposed to turn a blind eye to their every move.  But imagine if the mayor was Russian, Chinese, Egyptian, etc.?  Would he even make it to the Capital Building?

South Park creators getting death threats

Some Muslims are just ignorant plain and simple.  It baffles the mind how hypocritical we are at times.  How can we truly ever get angry at any cartoon called “Muhammad” if we don’t even know what the Prophet (saw) actually looked like?  It’s just stupid that we would get offended as if a cartoon actually held any power over the Messenger of God (saw) or Allah (swt).  Is or faith that weak that we believe we have to go defending Allah (swt) and the Prophets (saw) honor everytime someone draws an image or uses the name?  We are hypocrites for a myriad of reasons on this issue.  For one thing, if we were to actually get angry we are supposed to get angry at the depiction of ALL Prophets and Messengers, peace and blessings be upon them, of God.  So where is our “outrage” when Jesus (as) or Moses (as), etc. are depicted?  I know, I know, crickets….  Furthermore, don’t we have more important things to be angry about?  You know like the suffering and oppression of Muslims in so-called Muslim lands, carried out by so-called fellow Muslims?  You know where Muslim women are routinely raped in Darfur, child brides bleed to death in Yemen from forced intercourse, and people are routinely killed, harassed, etc. all over?  Have we become so perverted that we would give death threats to cartoonists and ignore suffering under our noses.  Why not use all that zealotry to fix our lands and truly make them a place where Muslims feel safe and secure and lands in which our neighbors feel safe.  You know as the Prophet (saw) actually ordered us to.  Do we really think the Prophet (saw) would prefer us threaten cartoonists over providing and defending the orphan, woman, weak, wayfarer, and fellow believers in our own lands?  We are a terribly misguided Ummah!  Leave these people alone.  Allah (swt) will chastise whom HE wills in this life and the hereafter.  Surely the Creator of the Universe has the power to deal with a cartoon if He chose to.  Maybe it’s just me, but we have more important things to be “outraged” about.

The Arizona Immigration Bill

Now I’m certain I’m going to be labeled anti-immigrant or something like that and it wouldn’t be the first time.  However, I find it a little odd that people are all up in arms about this bill.  I happen to believe the word illegal means against the law.  If I am speeding, park in a no parking zone, commit a crime or in any other way break a law, it is illegal and I am fined, incarcerated, or face some other sort of punitive measure.  Yet, when people come to this country illegally, breaking our immigration and citizenship laws, we are now told that we should be angry whenever legislation is written to penalize an illegal behavior?  Have we lost our minds?  Now some will tell you that it’s about racial profiling and trust me as a young black man born and raised in the inner city, I completely understand, however what’s the alternative?  We all have to show identification when we are suspected, stopped, or in some other way alleged to have committed some crime or violation.  What’s wrong with adding another form of ID to the mix?  Maybe if we had a national ID standard we wouldn’t have this debate, but that’s another issue entirely.  My point is, we would be lying to ourselves if we ignored the fact that our country has a major illegal immigrant problem and in the worst cases especially in Arizona many crimes are committed by those who should have not been in the country anyway.  We could also talk about economic impact illegal immigration has had on this country and could go on for years in that arena.  But for me, it’s pretty simple:  Illegal actions, crimes, etc. should be penalized regardless of who’s committing the crime and no matter what the crime is.  Otherwise it shouldn’t be considered illegal.  If a certain demographic doesn’t like the fact that a portion of that demographic is the main offender, than offer an alternative.  It’s like when young black kids stand on the corner in the hood at 1am in the morning.  If police question them and ask for ID and they are found out to be innocent, some would argue racial profiling and how jacked up the system is.  Nevermind that a bunch of young kids who just happen to fit a certain profile are on the corner 1am in the morning!

We have to stop kidding ourselves, yes profiling is jacked up in many situations, but there is also a case that could be made for it as well.  It’s not a perfect system, but it is what it is.  It’s just doesn’t seem reasonable to ignore statistics because we don’t want to offend this or that demographic.  If the majority of illegal immigrants just happen to be from Mexico and a law is passed to curb illegal immigration, should law enforcement be suspicious of white people?  If a good sizable amount of crime in certain inner city neighborhoods are committed by young black males, should law enforcement be suspicious of Asian people?  I could go on and on.  I no more like flying while Muslim, driving while black, etc. etc. than the next guy.

But at the same time, if our goal is to actually enforce laws, then instead of attacking what could happen, or play to people’s emotions, we should look for ways and controls to ensure that certain tactics and techniques have safeguards that won’t abuse the general public.  We can do this if we stopped playing politics, and we have to be honest about profiling as a tactic, it’s absolutely necessary in this age of terrorism and lawlessness.

Franklin Graham being booted from the Pentagon

Franklin Graham…what can truly be said about a guy who says some of the vilest things about a group of people based on their religious affiliation and then out the other side of their mouth spew “Jesus is Love”?   Granted, in America we have the freedom of speech and it’s a great thing to have.  But talk about the raw nerve that some people have, when they think that Franklin Graham was somehow wronged by being uninvited to the National Day of Prayer event at the Pentagon.  Now calls are being made to have him withdrawn from the Congressional event as well and rightfully so.  What good is a NATIONAL Day of Prayer, if we are only going to recognize one group of Americans and spit at all others?  What should the thousands of Muslim employees, servicemen and women, congressional aids and staff, etc. think when this guy comes to their organization smiling and “praying for America” all the while calling them evil and wicked people right along with their religion?  Give me a break!  You want to invite Graham, then invite Farrakhan too!  The difference though is that I have yet to hear ONE MUSLIM LEADER IN AMERICA say anything close about Christianity and Christians to that which Graham and his ilk have said about Islam and Muslims.  Yet we are the intolerant hateful ones?

Just observe the madness that comes out his mouth:

“Graham refused to back down, saying on Fox News that Muslims were “enslaved” by their beliefs.”

And what exactly is he?  I mean we keep saying one thing about OUR religion and he keeps telling us his opinion no matter what we say.

Graham thanked “the many thousands of believers” who have offered support since he was ousted from the Pentagon event, saying, “Recent events have demonstrated just how desperately our nation needs to turn to God.”

Read in between the lines.  What he meant was that only those in this country who believe like him believe in God, the rest of us… well not so much!

I hope Congress follows the Pentagon’s example.  Either we are going to be a nation that respects everyone’s right to believe or not without advocating one over another or we are not.  Allowing people like Graham who feel that Muslims who serve daily at the Pentagon and Congress are evil, would go against everything we stand for as a nation.

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Show Your Religion

We live in a world that is dominated by those who believe in a deity of some form or another.  The Abrahamic traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) alone account for the largest share of humanity that believes in a Supreme Being.  However, along with this common concept of belief comes the inevitable differences between religions and even within religious communities. These differences alone account for much of the violence and indifference toward humanity today.  History bears witness that some of mankind’s greatest atrocities and horrors have been committed by those who say “I believe”.  The question of what these individuals, groups, sects, and entire religions believe can often be answered and summarized in a paragraph or two.  One need not look further than official websites, Goggle, Wikipedia, etc. for examples of these declarations.

However, the most interesting thing to me is how universal the messages are.  Most if not all of the worlds religions especially those of the Abrahamic faith proudly boast and declare that their religion promotes peace.  Which is very interesting when one looks at the current state of humanity today.  One should not be surprised when atheists or other non-believers mock those of us who believe as those who believe in fairy tales especially when one looks at the results of our beliefs.

It is my firm belief that a great majority of us are hypocrites.  We pronounce one thing with our lips, but our actions show something entirely different.  If we were sincere in our beliefs collectively regardless of spiritual tradition, then how do we account for the decline of humanity in our world.  Surely the easy thing would be to blame others and maybe even blame Satan, but that is a weak position for a believer to take.  First of all, believers are supposed to produce change in their environment not the other way around.  Secondly, while the Satan may be able to whisper or suggest sin, it still takes the power of choice for us to engage in it.

So what is it that we are doing?  We hear terms like “Christian Nation”, “Muslim World”, or “Jewish State” yet are we seriously willing to call any of the countries in which these terms are attributed these names sincerely?  Which country on Earth would Jesus (as) readily claim represents his teachings, instruction, and will?  Which country on Earth would Moses (as) readily claim represents his clear instruction and adherence to the Law?  Which country on Earth would Muhammad (saw) readily claim represents his example, guidance, and recitation?

Yet we cling to these terms and slander the servants and messengers of God, peace and blessings be upon all of them, when we dare attribute these countries and nations with their righteous examples.

It is pure arrogance on our part to do so and great hypocrisy when we claim that which we are not actually doing.

However, those of us who proudly proclaim that ours is the right guidance or the true religion, sit back and do nothing to produce examples of that which we profess where it really counts.  We have not the courage or strength of character to do whatever it takes to realize these teachings and guidance universally.

We love to point the finger at one another, we love to claim how much better we are than others, but while we talk humanity suffers.  While we build ornaments to commemorate our arrogance, the least of the people, the poor, the orphan, the wayfarer, suffer.  Who are we that we will readily claim adherence to the guidance of God and given through His servants, yet not vigorously fight to realize what He has given us?

Why do we spend so much time trifling over one another’s experience looking for new and ingenious ways to discredit that which many hold so dear?

I humbly submit that we become the people of God we so eagerly claim to be by producing ACTIONS that magnify and testify to our claims.

Let’s not just be a people who talk, but be a people who do.

Certainly, each group, sect, religion, etc. that theirs is the correct path.  The fallibility of our flesh bears witness to our need to feel more important than the next human being in the sight of God.  We fill the internet, libraries, and lecture halls with volumes of articles, literature, and debate on this very topic.  We love to determine ourselves who is or is not Christian, Jewish, or Muslim enough.  It’s almost our most favorite and profitable pastime and hobby.

While this has as history of providing nothing but ill will and violence amongst mankind, it also has the history of providing much needed dialogue amongst groups, which is fine.  Personally, I don’t feel that there is nothing particularly wrong with claiming to adhere to the right guidance, would we be who we were if we did not have that belief?

But wouldn’t it be a great and wonderful thing if the people of religion, actually showed us why they have the right guidance?

I don’t claim to be an expert, but I feel pretty certain that the messengers of God (pbut) did not intend for our examples of their just guidance to be that which we see today.  Every type of excess, cruelty, and sin is exhibited daily in the lands in which these servants of God walked and in those lands that claim to have heard the message.  From the church to the mosque and to the synagogue they all stand as stale monuments and edifices that produce good feelings within and pitiful results outside.

We should be angry and outraged at ourselves when even in the lands that we call holy violence, injustice, and evil are the law of the land.  Women, children, the elderly, the destitute, the different, and the other, can not seek shelter, aid, or comfort in the places where the “believers” reside.  What should the non-believers believe with such shining examples of our supposed hearing the message?  Why would they want to seek out the truth we boastfully proclaim we alone have?

If our actions don’t produce that which we profess then can one really be counted amongst those who believe?  If we accept a world in which peace is nothing but a dream, where the free exercise and God given right to the pursuit of happiness is only available to a privileged few but denied to the masses, can we truly be labeled as a believer?

Who are we, that we will take the name of our Greatest God in vain to make ourselves look and sound good?

I humbly ask those among the believers to show your religion.  The world has heard enough words already.  What humanity needs now is the ACTIONS of the believers.  What we need to see is not how much the adherents can tear down physically and emotionally, but how much the adherents can build.  Or are we too ignorant to understand that evil is best fought against with that which is better?  Do we claim to know more than God?

To my dear Muslim Ummah, we are supposed to be the best example for mankind, ours is supposed to be a place of security and peace for all of humanity, but how many of us are willing to state this is the case?  If this is not so, then is it not our duty to ensure that it becomes the reality?  Have we truly become that which we claim to be the worst of creation, due to our inability to follow the criterion revealed to us?  If our religion is what we profess, then there should be no doubt in the minds of mankind, as our actions should reflect that which we affirm Islam to be.  Our inaction and unwillingness to do so makes us nothing more than cowards and unworthy to have the mercy of Allah (swt) and He it would be just if we were replaced with another people as were the communities who came before us.

To my dear Christian brethren, how can many extol the Good News of the Christ (as), yet allow a world to exist in which his very enemies are allowed to prosper?  The money changers, the rich and powerful rule and dominate with their feet on the neck of the least of the people, while many of you idly watch and do nothing.  Jesus (as) the One foretold who would usher the kingdom of God and who called the peacemakers the beloved of God would never side with a politic, agenda, or indoctrination that called for the destruction of others because of their differences, or would encourage the turning away of the downtrodden.

To my dear Jewish brothers and sisters, you have been the beloved of God.  He has sent messenger after messenger to you and have blessed you tremendously with guidance.  However, does that guidance make you any more or less superior than any other people?  Does your blessing mean that you are not to take part in the universal brotherhood of all mankind?  The essence of the law is not that one should be identified by rigorous adherence to ritual, but one realize that the Mercy of God in our submitting to His Will.  His Will and Mercy extends to all, the Earth is the Lords and the Fullness thereof, as active participants in the world that belongs solely to Him, we must remember to not value His land over the lives and justice of His people.  We would all be wise to remember this.

I pray for a day when the Children of Abraham (as) can be forces of action that produce change for all people.  I pray for a day when our actions reflect our words and the messages that we claim to adhere to.  I pray for a day when God’s Word will reign Supreme and our arrogance will fade in His Glory.

Ameen.