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…