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Hamza Yusuf and Black Lives Matter

Qa'im

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As a Muslim Canadian outsider, the U.S's race problem is blaring and obvious to me whenever I visit. Even in the more liberal states, whites and blacks live in separate neighbourhoods, and the black neighbouroods are poorer and not looked after by the city. Whites and blacks have very different jobs and roles in society.

After over 300 years of slavery, 99 years of segregation, and 52 years of tumultuous race relations, the race issue still dominates public discourse in America. While most of the world has normalized relations with the descendants of former slaves, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in America was unique in its shear brutality. African Americans were stripped of their names, languages, cultures, and religions, and were deprived of a knowledge of self that other peoples had. "Black" became synonymous with cruelty, ugliness, and bleakness, while Social Darwinist whites put themselves in a position of natural superiority.

African Americans fought long and hard to gain the same civil rights and liberties as ordinary Americans. Since the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 however, the race issue has remained salient, with spikes in relevance every so often. In general, black people still suffer indiscriminately from police brutality, high rates of incarceration, the breakdown of the family, and lower access to education, health care, and high-paying jobs. Some of these issues stem out of policies that overlook African American issues, while others are more social. Several movements were established to redress these serious issues, such as the NAACP, Urban League, the Rainbow PUSH coalition, as well as the Nation of Islam and other religious organizations. In recent years, Black Lives Matter (BLM) has become the leading activist group on the streets and on social media, bringing awareness to issues in the African American community and seeking to redress them through progressive policies.

Hamza Yusuf recently suggested that Muslims should not join BLM, in fear that more identity politics would exacerbate race relations in America. The Shaykh went on to naively use trigger phrases like "black on black violence", "more whites are shot by police", and "police are not all racist", which had him labelled as a racist by legions of hipster Muslims on Twitter. As many have pointed out, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf comes from a pretty privileged background - he grew up in a wealthy neighbourhood, his relatives were wealthy, his parents were well-educated, and he went to private schools (see here). His family marched with the civil rights movement and against the Vietnam War, and explored different world religions, but like a lot of 60-70s hippies, the Shaykh is probably still a bit more out of touch with the working class than the average person. Still though, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has actually lived in with bedouins in Africa, and he has spoken about poverty, inequality, and the civil rights movement on multiple occasions. His resume, as a Shaykh that balances the best of Western education with traditional Sunni scholarship, is far more impressive than that of most Western Muslim speakers.

On one hand, Hamza Yusuf could have worded himself better to address the very real race problem in the United States. Yes, there are anti-discriminatory laws in place, but clearly a lot more needs to be done to redress the race issue - body cameras on cops, judicial reform, and affirmative action in police departments in minority communities are a good step. But the onslaught against Shaykh Hamza has a few people scratching their heads - first off, why don't we get the same outrage when a Muslim speaker says something insensitive about Shiites, or when a speaker gleans over racist or sexist injustices in the Muslim world? More pertinently though, is what Shaykh Hamza said wrong? Hamza Yusuf is a Sufi, which attracts a lot of liberal ears to listen to him, but he is a traditionalist and a conservative at his core, and so every now and then he will say something that will get this type of reaction (this time being the climax).

Hamza Yusuf's argument is, if BLM is just an angry rebuke to the system, with few clear policy goals, then it has the potential of making problems worse - more violence against police officers (more police have died in 2016 than in the last 5 years, some during BLM protests), and worse race relations in coming months and years. BLM is more than just the issue of police brutality - it is a living, breathing organization with its own motives and goals. For the purpose of this article, it is important for our minds to mentally separate BLM and police brutality for a moment. BLM in essence is a cadre of identity politics, which highlights one's race or gender as an essential quality in a person (rather than an accidental quality), and very much sees everything through the lens of racism. Hamza Yusuf said that this only helps create the type of "whitelash" we saw with the election of Trump, which will only make things worse for minorities and not better. Hamza Yusuf once said, ethics should be rooted in verbs and adverbs, not nouns and pronouns. I agree with this, and while racism and white privilege is real, we should talk about the *issues* that plague society and not just about identity.

This controversy has caused me to think on multiple fronts. With regards to the Muslim community, it is clear that most Muslim youth identify with leftist politics, since it is multicultural and inclusive. Unfortunately, that comes with baggage: secularism, individualism, naturalism and religious skepticism, identity politics, LGBT rights, hookup culture and the normalization of sex, third wave feminism, body positivism, political correctness, and in general pro-revolutionary sentiments in almost every situation where even mild grievances exist. Balancing this with the Islamic tradition, which can be opposite on most of these issues, is particularly troublesome. The hipster Muslima with a rainbow scarf and a Guevara shirt marching at a Sl*tWalk is becoming increasingly more normal in Western Muslim communities.

I also began thinking about how Black Lives Matter differs from earlier black organizations. There's no doubt that BLM is the cool kid on the block, whom every Muslim revolutionary wants to embrace (Jonathan AC Brown, Linda Sarsour, Suhaib Webb to name a few). However, are their goals the same as the black community, and are they consistent with Islam?

In the 1990s, we saw another spike in relevance of the race issue, and this time, it was the Nation of Islam (NOI) under Louis Farrakhan that was the primary "race communicator" for black people in America. The NOI is a black nationalist American Muslim sect that differed from traditional Islamic views on theology and race. Irregardless of where the NOI may have deviated, the Nation of Islam organized a grassroots movement that brought black civil rights groups, religious groups, and activists together at the 1995 Million Man March. The Million Man March was a historic rally at Washington DC that brought leading African American figures together to demand justice and reproach, including Rosa Parks, Betty Shabazz, Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, Shaykh Ahmad Tijani Ben Omar, and Minister Farrakhan.

The Million Man March approached the issue of African American suffering in a very different way than BLM. First off, the March was only for black males, who were seen as the major agents of potential change in the Afro-American community. Over 72% of black children are born out of wedlock. Fatherlessness, which Hamza Yusuf mentions in his later apology lecture, is detrimental to any family, and leads to higher rates of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental health problems. Considering the high rates of gang violence, incarceration, drug abuse, and unprotected sex among black males, any solution to the plight of African Americans must include black men. Secondly, the Million Man March sought to bring all religious organizations together to seek repentance and God's support. As people of faith, we don't see all suffering simply as a result of natural causes; rather some suffering can be a divine trial or chastisement, by which we must seek God's succor. The event's major themes were "Lessons from the Past", "Affirmation and Responsibility", and "Atonement and Reconciliation", and it was believed that the very real injustices that exist in America would only be solved through a return to traditional values. Thirdly, the Million Man March gave the means for thousands of black people to register as voters, making the black community a strong political bloc in the American electoral system. The event ended with a pledge to God that they would be good community members from that day forward.

Black Lives Matter, on the other hand, has a very different vision for black America. It is, of course, absolutely secular, and blames the collective suffering of black people on white supremacy. Furthermore, not only does BLM sideline black fathers, but it ignores them completely on their website. BLM has a lot to say about the LGBT community and [presumably single] mothers, its guiding principles leaves straight black males out completely, despite the documented problems that fatherless homes can cause in the lives of youth. BLM even sees traditional "nuclear families" as somehow white supremacist, even though families in Africa are largely patriarchal and nuclear. Yusra Khogali, the leader of the Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter (remember, Hamza Yusuf made his comments in Toronto), infamously tweeted about "killing men and whitefolks", and shared articles telling women to avoid conscientious black men. Khogali recently protested against Dr. Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, for refusing to use genderless pronouns like "xe" instead of "he" or "she". BLM also hijacked the Gay Pride Parade until their demands on the Pride organization were met, and hijacked a Bernie Sanders event in 2015. Millennial organizations like BLM are the reason why the alt-right exists, who also use the same frame of identity politics to identify as white nationalists to attack Muslims, blacks, women, and others. Contributing to the frame of identity politics can awaken the sleeping white-nationalist giant in Europe and North America, and awaken far right-wing voices that want to push all minorities away.

Not only does BLM stand for things that are totally irreconcilable with Islam, such as the LGBT issue, but it is devoid of the religiosity found in other black movements, the participation of straight black men, and it does not responsibly address issues within the black community. It is focused on "fighting the system", rather than clamping down on a hookup culture that is destined to plague another generation with fatherless households and STDs. Rather than solving the problems related black fathers, it ignores their issues and fails to address them. It is common to find feminist circles that paint black fathers as irresponsible misogynists that are part of the problem and not the solution - this attitude can only make things worse.

At the very least, the Nation of Islam encouraged a self-help approach: they promoted strong family values, they started rehabilitation programs for those affected by drugs and alcohol, they deployed their Fruit of Islam unit to stop riots and gang violence, they established their own schools and curricula, and they rid their community of the social ills that affect other black communities. BLM on the other hand is a Soros-funded intersectional liberal organization with an agenda that does not jive with Abrahamic religion.

When women, Latinos, blacks, Muslims, and homosexuals began popularizing identity politics, it was a natural consequence that right-wing whites would start doing the same. Some people honestly believe that unless you are black, then you aren't capable of commenting on anything to do with the black community. A white person commenting on black affairs, even to defend black people, is considered a racist by liberals because he is "whitesplaining". Franchesca Ramsey recently appeared in a video arguing that very point. The result of this thinking however is potentially devastating. It means that white people will no longer speak up against racism, because they don't want to appear racist or patronizing. It also means that educated people with legitimate views will be silenced simply due to their race. It also limits outsider perspectives, which are always necessary in a democracy, as every group should be critiqued and held accountable by outsiders. Strange enough, it's also kind of contradictory to multiculturalism - by saying only black people can speak about black issues, and women can only be feminists, and males are inherently privileged, you end up segregating society further. A white male like Hamza Yusuf speaking about race relations or women's issues does not contradict the ethics of our religion - I'm not saying he's right or wrong, I'm saying that he has the right to speak on these issues especially as a trained scholar.

Let's keep in mind that the Muslim community in America in the 60s and 70s was largely an organic one (the biggest being Warith Deen Muhammad's movement), made up of working-class African Americans and white converts. The early Muslim immigrants to America even joined these communities and worked closely with them. But the big influx of bourgeois Muslim immigrants in the 80s and 90s, with their foreign funding (from Saudi and elsewhere), established their own separate communities, bought out the existing communities / swallowed them up, then ostracized the native population, until they almost fizzed out completely. Now, some of those same upper-middle class children of immigrants think they can be pro-black because of their liberal arts degree, a Malcolm quote and a BLM march, yet they themselves would never marry a black person, or volunteer with the homeless or at a prison, or mingle with working-class people in general. As someone who has decent connections within the African American Muslim community in the U.S, I can tell you that these second-generation Muslims really mean nothing to them, and often do more harm than good.

Overall, I agree with Mehdi that Muslims need to be doing more outreach with other communities - that includes the black community. We should also address racism in our own communities, which is more outward than in the average white community. In Trump's America, we cannot afford to stand alone; we need to do more for our cities and our Muslim and non-Muslim communities. We can reach out to black churches, support black businesses, and join civil rights organizations. At the same time, we cannot fall into the trap of supporting causes that are antithetical to our tradition.

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@E.L King That's what I used to think, but now I'm halfway between isolation and outreach. On the one hand I prefer isolation and a sort of "all Muslims getting together and being told the above post and immunising themselves and families against all the tidal waves of LGBT feminism and ant family propaganda", but on the other hand I sometimes feel that might not be enough, if we are to truly protect ourselves we need to 'reach out' and try and attack or change the views of others (seculars, liberals, non Muslims) and perhaps that could lead to an overall change in attitudes/ideaologies amongst "them", and this will then make things much more relaxed and easier for us. We won't have to worry about ourselves or our kids or brothers or sisters being sucked in by any of these ideaologies too much. 

An example I can give is the simple fact that the old generation feminists (70/80s) many of them are now (already have) turned on feminism, and say that they were told a lie about having it all I.e climbing the career ladder, doing the long 'wall street' hours, and maintaining her marriage, and maintaining her house, and raising her kids, and keep relations with her other family. They tried this, failed, and many of them are depressed and the broken families and missed opportunity of loving and raising their kids. I know this specific example because in my office which I work in we have a white British woman in her 40s, and she just blurted out one day ""I READ THIS BOOK TITLED "you can't have it all" AND THIS IS TRUE! WE WERE TOLD A LIE IN THE 80s and 90s THAT YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!!"" ( we what does Islam say about this all?!? Exactly.) 

Islam is Allah's wisdom. So imagine 'out reaching' to the woman like the one in my office. About what Islam says about marriage and work and wife and husband. And imagine reaching out to millions women like these, and students, and making a major stand against the LGBT feminist and no identity and no nuclear family sillyness. 

But, then sometimes I think isolation is best first simply by how bad the state of the Muslims is. Let's first fix our house and make sure it is water proof, wind proof and proof from all the other satanic crap. 

Edited by YAli

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17 minutes ago, YAli said:

@E.L King That's what I used to think, but now I'm halfway between isolation and outreach. On the one hand I prefer isolation and a sort of "all Muslims getting together and being told the above post and immunising themselves and families against all the tidal waves of LGBT feminism and ant family propaganda", but on the other hand I sometimes feel that might not be enough, if we are to truly protect ourselves we need to 'reach out' and try and attack or change the views of others (seculars, liberals, non Muslims) and perhaps that could lead to an overall change in attitudes/ideaologies amongst "them", and this will then make things much more relaxed and easier for us. We won't have to worry about ourselves or our kids or brothers or sisters being sucked in by any of these ideaologies too much. 

An example I can give is the simple fact that the old generation feminists (70/80s) many of them are now (already have) turned on feminism, and say that they were told a lie about having it all I.e climbing the career ladder, doing the long 'wall street' hours, and maintaining her marriage, and maintaining her house, and raising her kids, and keep relations with her other family. They tried this, failed, and many of them are depressed and the broken families and missed opportunity of loving and raising their kids. I know this specific example because in my office which I work in we have a white British woman in her 40s, and she just blurted out one day ""I READ THIS BOOK TITLED "you can't have it all" AND THIS IS TRUE! WE WERE TOLD A LIE IN THE 80s and 90s THAT YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!!"" ( we what does Islam say about this all?!? Exactly.) 

Islam is Allah's wisdom. So imagine 'out reaching' to the woman like the one in my office. About what Islam says about marriage and work and wife and husband. And imagine reaching out to millions women like these, and students, and making a major stand against the LGBT feminist and no identity and no nuclear family sillyness. 

But, then sometimes I think isolation is best first simply by how bad the state of the Muslims is. Let's first fix our house and make sure it is water proof, wind proof and proof from all the other satanic crap. 

This is to me also a problem. Some Muslims might say the first wave of feminism was good, I say they are all bad. Whether it was in the 1800s or in 2016, very much the same, just more extreme.

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7 minutes ago, E.L King said:

This is to me also a problem. Some Muslims might say the first wave of feminism was good, I say they are all bad. Whether it was in the 1800s or in 2016, very much the same, just more extreme.

I didn't say it was good. My view is the same as yours, they were and are all bad. One step which the devil put which only led to step two and step three.  

If anyone wants rights, whether they are a man or woman, look at the Quran, at what Allah has commanded and ordained. And also look at the prophet and his family. That is more than enough, and also more correct. Simple. 

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@E.L King BLM and feminist movements are funded by the likes of George Soros. Watch the below video of him and you will see this vampire would only love to play with society like his is some sort of God. 

 

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2 hours ago, E.L King said:

I don't believe Muslims should outreach to other people at all. I think isolation is the best thing, we shouldn't be troubled by the problems of the others. 

So I guess we can forget about dawah and spreading the message of Islam; The only way you can accept the prophethood of Muhammad (saws), the wilayah of Ali (as) and the sacrifices of the Ahlulbayt (as) is to be born into it.

No more reverts either, we can't be troubled by people who take the time to explore and accept our deen.

No more speaking out against far-right clowns, Islamophobia and Zionist politicians and their policies. 

After all, we can't be bothered according to you. Isolation is the best policy, right. 

I'm sorry to say but I am offended by what you said. This is nothing more than a slap in the face to me as a revert.

I might make a personal struggle to get rid of ignorant thinking like yours in the Ummah because I didn't convert to Judaism 2.0, I converted to Islam which rejects such nonsense like a chosen race and being born into religion through and through.

Before you accuse me of twisting your words out of their context, reread what you wrote and understand what I wrote above is exactly how I perceived it.

Wording is everything if you don't want to want to be misunderstood, brother. 

I'm very disappointed in you, that's all I can say.

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14 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

So I guess we can forget about dawah and spreading the message of Islam; The only way you can accept the prophethood of Muhammad (saws), the wilayah of Ali (as) and the sacrifices of the Ahlulbayt (as) is to be born into it.

No more reverts either, we can't be troubled by people who take the time to explore and accept our deen.

No more speaking out against far-right clowns, Islamophobia and Zionist politicians and their policies. 

After all, we can't be bothered according to you. Isolation is the best policy, right. 

I'm sorry to say but I am offended by what you said. This is nothing more than a slap in the face to me as a revert.

I might make a personal struggle to get rid of ignorant thinking like yours in the Ummah because I didn't convert to Judaism 2.0, I converted to Islam which rejects such nonsense like a chosen race and being born into religion through and through.

Before you accuse me of twisting your words out of their context, reread what you wrote and understand what I wrote above is exactly how I perceived it.

Wording is everything if you don't want to want to be misunderstood, brother. 

I'm very disappointed in you, that's all I can say.

What does what I said have to do with Da'wah? My post has nothing to do with religious preaching and preaching against sin.

All I said is that Muslims shouldn't be involved in liberal vs conservative battles. 

Pro-police vs pro-BLM is another one of these useless issues that Muslims don't need to be into. IMO

I believe isolation from politics is a good thing for Muslims in the West in the current time. Don't you?

Edited by E.L King

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7 minutes ago, E.L King said:

What does what I said have to do with Da'wah? My post has nothing to do with religious preaching and preaching against sin.

All I said is that Muslims shouldn't be involved in liberal vs conservative battles. 

Pro-police vs pro-BLM is another one of these useless issues that Muslims don't need to be into. IMO

I believe isolation from politics is a good thing for Muslims in the West in the current time. Don't you?

No, not really but you should have mentioned that earlier in your comment to prevent people like me from misunderstanding you. 

It's common sense. 

If we want a decent life in the West, we must speak up and not let liberals or conservatives use us or oppress us. Does that make sense to you?  You understand where I'm coming from with this? 

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing, brother. 

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1 hour ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

No, not really but you should have mentioned that earlier in your comment to prevent people like me from misunderstanding you. 

It's common sense. 

If we want a decent life in the West, we must speak up and not let liberals or conservatives use us or oppress us. Does that make sense to you?  You understand where I'm coming from with this? 

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing, brother. 

I do understand you, but that's not how things have played out. Heck, half the people on this website were all out for Bernie Sanders.

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9 minutes ago, YAli said:

@E.L King That's why I said we also need to fix our own house first. All of these liberal pro LGBT feminist Muslims without any wisdom or clue. 

They aren't pro-gay Muslims. They are Muslims with proper beliefs like me and you, Shi'a, and support liberal politicians/policies because they might help the Muslim community. At the same time, many are in solidarity with movements like BLM and what not, even though they are religious Muslims with solid beliefs.

Isolation is the way to go I believe.

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5 hours ago, E.L King said:

At the same time, many are in solidarity with movements like BLM and what not, even though they are religious Muslims with solid beliefs.

Are you stating this in a positive or negative way? 

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36 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Why and how would isolation work

I fail to see how it makes sense or how it would work out. Please explain it to me. 

Comments by brothers @Abu Hadi, @baradar_jackson and @roya1b100d on the following thread is similar to where I stand.

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235039813-muslims-in-the-west-seperation-vs-integration/?page=1

Edited by E.L King

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31 minutes ago, E.L King said:

I see, well I am sorry to say this but there are only two feasible options that I see. 1.) Intergration while keeping the deen,it will save a lot of heartache and frustration  and 2.) Hijrah, although not everyone can go  or willing to adapt to  Iran, Lebanon, Iraq or Kuwait. Can't go to Qatar or Saudi Arabia obviously or really any Sunni majority country. 

Heck, I read a post saying that Western converts are not really wanted in the Middle East. If there's any truth to it, where will we go now? So that would just leave intergration and we can do it while remaining true to Islam.

I really don't see separation working too well for us unfortunately @E.L King

 

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

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I thought I may have missed it, but a quick word search showed no reference to this factor, so I thought I'd mention the role of music.

In addition to all the other issues that Bro Qa'im identifies that afflict Black American culture, their heavy involvement with music in all respects must be a factor contributing to the situation in which they find themselves.

Obviously I take the view that all music is wrong. But even if we go along with a non-Muslim set of values, it's possible to identify research which shows that some of the music to which black people listen can have a negative impact:

Quote

One systematic examination of popular music found six major themes: men and power, sex as a top priority for males, objectification of women, sexual violence, women defined by having a man, and women not valuing themselves (Bretthauer, Zimmerman, & Banning, 2007). 

http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1030&context=psychology_honors

 

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15 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

I see, well I am sorry to say this but there are only two feasible options that I see. 1.) Intergration while keeping the deen,it will save a lot of heartache and frustration  and 2.) Hijrah, although not everyone can go  or willing to adapt to  Iran, Lebanon, Iraq or Kuwait. Can't go to Qatar or Saudi Arabia obviously or really any Sunni majority country. 

Heck, I read a post saying that Western converts are not really wanted in the Middle East. If there's any truth to it, where will we go now? So that would just leave intergration and we can do it while remaining true to Islam.

I really don't see separation working too well for us unfortunately @E.L King

 

Why are those the only two options? Maybe in America, but go to Britain and similar countries and you will see Muslims living together, sometimes extremely seperated from non-Muslims.

The Western media sometimes call them "Sharia Zones".

Edited by E.L King

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11 hours ago, E.L King said:

Why are those the only two options?

Because either option prevents the media from the vilification of our communities. 

Living separated from the rest of society is exactly what  the media wants so they can rile people up about the "decay" of "Western/Christian/American, etc."

It puts a big target on our backs, it gives the far-right an enemy and someone to blame for society's ills.

11 hours ago, E.L King said:

The Western media sometimes call them "Sharia Zones".

This language is exactly what you don't want the media saying. People have been enough lies to fear "Sharia Zones ", they are afraid of them because the media tells them to be afraid.

You have no idea what I see or hear about Muslims from my friends and family who are Christian or right wing. It's really scary and a ticking time bomb. 

I don't know how I can make it any clearer for you. Why do you think Europe has Pegida or Golden Dawn? Where do you think Britain First  or the English Defence League popped up from? 

They are all opposed to the so-called "Islamification" of Europe.

It's an big societal issue when the media which is more powerful than it has ever been, gives them a reason or justification to attack, spray paint and vandalize mosques, antagonize hijabis and burn Qurans as a political statement.

 If we are separate from society,we make ourselves easy pickings for these people.

And if we remain isolationist, it sends a message of "Go ahead, we're not going to fight back" and then it will get worse from here.

You might not agree with me, but you have to admit,  these are all pretty valid concerns and that we are at a point where we cannot afford to isolate ourselves any longer. We have to speak out.  

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

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Black Lives Matter (BLM), as the writer astutely high-lighted, is a well-funded liberal mechanism to control African-American activism. I don't support the movement, but that does not mean that Muslims shouldn't have anything to say about injustice, oppression, and exclusion from resources and opportunity.

One of the goals of the liberal and BLM, in my opinion, is to relate LGBT with the struggles of Black people. However, the two issues are on opposite poles of the moral compass. Islam is clear on this issue. Their is no inherent superiority of one people over another in Islam, and family - the core family being a married man and woman - is the foundation of the Ummah.

Also, we should speak out about injustice, exclusion, and lack of opportunity in society. Are we afraid of a White backlash? Don't fear men .. fear Allah (swt). People of European descent should understand that their system does not work and is the root cause of the social ills that plague society

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On 12/31/2016 at 10:52 PM, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Because either option prevents the media from the vilification of our communities. 

Living separated from the rest of society is exactly what  the media wants so they can rile people up about the "decay" of "Western/Christian/American, etc."

It puts a big target on our backs, it gives the far-right an enemy and someone to blame for society's ills.

This language is exactly what you don't want the media saying. People have been enough lies to fear "Sharia Zones ", they are afraid of them because the media tells them to be afraid.

You have no idea what I see or hear about Muslims from my friends and family who are Christian or right wing. It's really scary and a ticking time bomb. 

I don't know how I can make it any clearer for you. Why do you think Europe has Pegida or Golden Dawn? Where do you think Britain First  or the English Defence League popped up from? 

They are all opposed to the so-called "Islamification" of Europe.

It's an big societal issue when the media which is more powerful than it has ever been, gives them a reason or justification to attack, spray paint and vandalize mosques, antagonize hijabis and burn Qurans as a political statement.

 If we are separate from society,we make ourselves easy pickings for these people.

And if we remain isolationist, it sends a message of "Go ahead, we're not going to fight back" and then it will get worse from here.

You might not agree with me, but you have to admit,  these are all pretty valid concerns and that we are at a point where we cannot afford to isolate ourselves any longer. We have to speak out.  

You have a point here. But the so called integration has gone totally wonky. It has been muslims jumping open arms into western ideals, drinking, smoking, fornicating etc. If you just defined these people by their behavior, it would be hard to call them muslims.  

Instead we need muslims who will integrate and not turn into liberal, kind of muslim, kind of pro LGBT, kind of okay with drinking, kind of fasting ramadan people. So we really need to teach our young generation to be like many of the muslims i see on this forum; good, solid, intelligent humans that don't give a damn about anything if someone or a government were to break the law of Allah. They will stand strong. 

I also want to give you an example; i work for a company that has a head office in the US. They hold meetings and gathering every now and then, and all employees are expected to attend. We have the meetings at places such as hotels etc, and then we go out for dinner, and it is all free mixing, people swear, and morals are very low. They all drink, and talk crap. And we are also expected to fly to the US a couple times a year for meetings, and my last trip there... well daytime at office went by, and then evening time we had a ''office quiz'', They were all drinking, men and women all mixed, sometimes making sexual remarks, and then some guy gets up and starts stripping (luckily not fully naked). And you are really expected to attend these. 

So in terms of integration... honestly... if my wife wanted to work in a corporate company, i would so NO WAY IN HELL. NO. I DON'T GIVE A DAMN. I HAVE SEEN ENOUGH OF WHAT GOES ON. Even today i have heard enough sexual remarks, including a banana being paraded around as a penis by some very very senior colleague. And let me tell you, the company i work for is really, really tame. Really bloody tame. Other companies are much more wild. 

So bro we are stuck in between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand we want to integrate, but on the other how much are you willing to risk. For me, i certainly would never risk my wife working for a corporate. 

It's tough. And it only gets tougher for the more practicing and Allah fearing muslim. The only other way around it is if you have your own business, then you set your own rules. No worries in that case. Especially if you are very wealthy (million/billion). Then no worries. Stop your car and pray in a field. Because you have the flexibility to organise your schedule/timetable and surroundings and tailor them to make your islamic duties very very easy. 

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@Gaius I. Caesar btw I want to emphasise again that I do certainly agree that we need to .... Hmm perhaps a better world than integrate is 'engage'. Our scholars and strong knowledgable Muslims certainly must engage the western secular society, and they must do it without being shy and without bending the words of Allah e.g. The sin of homosexuality, Islamic laws, roles of men and women and their respective rights assigned to each of them etc. And they better not changed their words or back down. We need this constant engagement from the higher level such as politicians, and also on the ground with strong Muslims like you, where you engage with your Christian friends and work colleagues etc. 

Again, all without compromising what Allah has made halal and haram. 

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    • Hazrat  Amir ul Momineen says,  Allah is the only hearer so call Allah  for whatever you need. 
    • The Messenger of Allah (s) was sitting one day when al-Hasan [a] came. When he (s) saw him [a], he wept and said, "Come to me, my son!" and he sat him down on his right leg.

      Then, al-Husayn [a] came. When he (s) saw him [a], he wept and said, "Come to me, my son!" and he sat him down on his left leg.

      Then, Lady Fatima [a] came. When he saw her, he wept and said, "Come to me, my daughter!" and he sat her down in front of him.

      Then, the Commander of the Faithful [a] came. When he saw him, he wept and said, "Come to me, my brother!" and he sat him down to his right side.

      So his companions said to him, "O Messenger of Allah! You did not see one of these except that you wept. What is in them that caused this?"

      The Messenger replied, "By He who raised me up as a prophet, and selected me above all of the people! I and them are the dearest creatures to Allah, and nothing on the face of the Earth is more beloved to me than them.

      As for `Ali b. Abi Talib, he is my brother and my confidant, the Master of the Order after me, the Master of my brigade in this world and the Hereafter, and the Master of my Pond and my intercession. He is the Master of every Muslim, the Imam of every believer, and the leader of every pious person. He is my deputy and my vicegerent over my family and my Nation both during my life and after my death. Love of him is love of me, hatred of him is hatred of me. By his allegiance, my Nation is given mercy, and by opposing him, the opponents were cursed. I wept when he came because I remembered my Nation's betrayal of him after me - he will be betrayed until he is unable to take my seat. Allah has made him after me, and his authority will not fall until the side of his head is struck and his beard is soaked by it [with blood] in the best month, the month of Ramadan, in which the Qur'an was revealed as guidance for the people and elucidations of guidance and a criterion.

      As for my daughter Fatima, she is the Mistress of the Women of the Worlds, from the first to the last. She is a part of me, the light of my eye, the fruit of my heart, and my spirit within me. She is a human houri. Whenever she stands at her prayer-niche before her Lord, her light illuminates for the angels of the heavens, just as the light of the stars illuminate for the people of the Earth; and Allah says to His angels, 'O My angels! Look at My female servant Fatima, the Mistress of My female servants, standing before Me. Her chest shivers out of fear of Me, and she has set her heart to worshiping Me. I bear witness to you that I have made her followers safe from the Fire.' When I saw her, I remembered what would happen to her after me. It is as if I am with her, as disgrace enters her home, and her sanctity is violated, and her right is taken away, and she is prevented from her inheritance, and her side (rib) is broken, and her fetus is miscarried as she calls, 'O Muhammada!' and she is not answered. She will call for help, but not be helped. After me, she will always be grieving, distressed, and weeping. In a moment, she will recall the cessation of revelation to her house, and in the next moment, she will recall my absence. She will be lonely when night comes to her and she does not hear my voice reciting the Qur'an in the night prayer. She will see herself become humiliated after being honoured in the days of her father. At that, Allah will give her solace through the angels, and they will call to her what they called to Mary the daughter of `Imran. They will say, 'O Fatima! Surely, Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Fatima! Devote yourself to your Lord, prostrate, and bow with those who bow.' Then, her pain will begin and she will become ill, so Allah will send Mary the daughter of `Imran to her, to take care of her in her illness and give her solace. At that, Fatima will say, 'O Lord! I have despised life, and I am discontented with the people of this world, so reunite me with my father.' So Allah will reunite her with me, and she will be the first to follow me from my family. She will come to me grieving, distressed, sorrowful, robbed, and killed. At that, I will say, 'May Allah curse those who oppressed her, and punish those who robbed her, and humiliate those who humiliated her, and put he who struck her side and caused her miscarriage in the Fire forever.' At that, the angels will say 'Amen.'

      As for al-Hasan, he is my son and my child. He is from me, the joy of my eye, the light of my heart, and the fruit of my heart. He is the Master of the Youth of Paradise, and the Proof of Allah upon the Nation. His order is my order, and his words are my words. Whomever follows him is of me, and whomever disobeys him is not of me. When I looked at him, I remembered the humiliation he will experience after me. His authority will remain until he is killed with poison in oppression and enmity. At that, the angels will weep over his death, and everything will weep over him, including the birds in the sky and the whales in the sea. Whomever weeps over him will not be blinded on the Day that the eyes will be blinded. Whomever grievs over him will not grieve on the Day that the hearts will grieve. Whomever visits him in his Baqi`, his feet will be firm on the Path on the Day that the feet will falter.

      As for al-Husayn, he is from me, he is my son and my child. He is the best of the creation after his brother. He is the Imam of the Muslims, the Master of the believers, the vicegerent of the Lord of the Worlds, the helper of those who seek help, the cave of those who seek refuge, the Proof of Allah upon His whole creation, the Master of the Youth of Paradise, and the Gate of Salvation of my Nation. His order is my order, his obedience is my obedience. Whomever follows him is of me, and whomever disobeys him disobeys him is not of me. When I saw him, I remembered what will happen to him after me. It is as if I am with him when he appeals for help by my sanctity and my grave but he is not helped. So I will come to him in his dream and order him to take a trip to me, and I will give him glad tidings of martyrdom. So he will go to the land of his killing and his demise, the land of suffering and calamity and killing and annihilation. A group of Muslims will support him, and they will be from the Masters of the Martyrs of my Nation on the Day of Resurrection. It is as if I am looking at him as is struck with a spear and falls off of his horse. He will then be slaughtered as an oppressed ram is slaughtered."

      Then, the Messenger of Allah (s) wept, and those around him wept, and their voices were raised. Then, he (s) stood, saying, "O Allah, I complain to You regarding what will happen to my Ahl al-Bayt after me." Then, he entered his house.

      حدثنا علي بن أحمد بن موسى الدقاق (رحمه الله)، قال: حدثنا محمد ابن أبي عبد الله الكوفي، قال: حدثنا موسى بن عمران النخعي، عن عمه الحسين بن
      يزيد النوفلي، عن الحسن بن علي بن أبي حمزة، عن أبيه، عن سعيد بن جبير، عن ابن عباس، قال: إن رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله) كان جالسا ذات يوم إذ أقبل الحسن (عليه السلام)، فلما رآه بكى، ثم قال: إلي يا بني، فما زال يدنيه حتى أجلسه على فخذه اليمنى، ثم أقبل الحسين (عليه السلام)، فلما رآه بكى، ثم قال: إلي يا بني، فما زال يدنيه حتى أجلسه على فخذه اليسرى، ثم أقبلت فاطمة (عليها السلام)، فلما رآها بكى، ثم قال: إلى يا بنية، فأجلسها بين يديه، ثم أقبل أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام)، فلما رآه بكى، ثم قال: إلي يا أخي، فما زال يدنيه حتى أجلسه إلى جنبه الايمن، فقال له أصحابه: يا رسول الله، ما ترى واحدا من هؤلاء إلا بكيت، أو ما فيهم من تسر برؤيته! فقال (صلى الله عليه وآله): والذي بعثني بالنبوة، واصطفاني على جميع البرية، إني وإياهم لاكرم الخلق على الله عزوجل، وما على وجه الارض نسمة أحب إلي منهم. أما علي بن أبي طالب فإنه أخي وشفيقي، وصاحب الامر بعدي، وصاحب لوائي في الدنيا والآخرة، وصاحب حوضي وشفاعتي، وهو مولى كل مسلم، وإمام كل مؤمن، وقائد كل تقي، وهو وصيي وخليفتي على أهلي وأمتي في حياتي وبعد مماتي، محبه محبي، ومبغضه مبغضي، وبولايته صارت أمتي مرحومة، وبعداوته صارت المخالفة له منها ملعونة، وإني بكيت حين أقبل لاني ذكرت غدر الامة به بعدي حتى إنه ليزال عن مقعدي، وقد جعله الله له بعدي، ثم لا يزال الامر به حتى يضرب على قرنه ضربة تخضب منها لحيته في أفضل الشهور شهر رمضان الذي أنزل فيه القرآن هدى للناس وبينات من الهدى والفرقان. وأما ابنتي فاطمة، فإنها سيدة نساء العالمين من الاولين والآخرين، وهي بضعة مني، وهو نور عيني، وهي ثمرة فؤادي، وهي روحي التي بين جنبي، وهي الحوراء الانسية، متى قامت في محرابها بين يدي ربها جل جلاله زهر (1) نورها لملائكة السماء كما يزهر نور الكواكب لاهل الارض، ويقول الله عز وجل لملائكته: يا
      ملائكتي، انظروا إلى أمتي فاطمة سيدة إمائي، قائمة بين يدي ترتعد فرائصها (1) من خيفتي، وقد أقبلت بقلبها على عبادتي، أشهدكم أني قد أمنت شيعتها من النار. وإني لما رأيتها ذكرت ما يصنع بها بعدي، كأني بها وقد دخل الذل بيتها، وانتهكت حرمتها، وغصبت حقها، ومنعت إرثها، وكسر جنبها (2)، وأسقطت جنينها، وهي تنادي: يا محمداه، فلا تجاب، وتستغيث فلا تغاث، فلا تزال بعدي محزونة مكروبة باكية، تتذكر انقطاع الوحي عن بيتها مرة، وتتذكر فراقي أخرى، وتستوحش إذا جنها الليل لفقد صوتي الذي كانت تستمع إليه إذا تهجدت بالقرآن، ثم ترى نفسها ذليلة بعد أن كانت في أيام أبيها عزيزة، فعند ذلك يؤنسها الله تعالى ذكره بالملائكة، فنادتها بما نادت به مريم بنت عمران، فتقول: يا فاطمة (إن الله اصطفاك وطهرك واصطفاك على نساء العالمين)، يا فاطمة (اقنتي لربك واسجدي واركعي مع الراكعين) (3). ثم يبتدئ بها الوجع فتمرض، فيبعث الله عز وجل إليها مريم بنت عمران، تمرضها وتؤنسها في علتها، فتقول عند ذلك: يا رب، إني قد سئمت الحياة، وتبرمت بأهل الدنيا، فألحقني بأبي. فيلحقها الله عز وجل بي، فتكون أول من يلحقني من أهل بيتي، فتقدم علي محزونة مكروبة مغمومة مغصوبة مقتولة، فأقول عند ذلك: اللهم العن من ظلمها، وعاقب من غصبها، وأذل من أذلها، وخلد في نارك من ضرب جنبها حتى ألقت ولدها، فتقول الملائكة عند ذلك: آمين. وأما الحسن فإنه ابني وولدي، ومني، وقرة عيني، وضياء قلبي، وثمرة فؤادي، وهو سيد شباب أهل الجنة، وحجة الله على الامة، أمره أمري، وقوله قولي، من تبعه فإنه مني، ومن عصاه فليس مني، وإني لما نظرت إليه تذكرت ما يجرى عليه من الذل بعدي، فلا يزال الامر به حتى يقتل بالسم ظلما وعدوانا، فعند ذلك تبكي الملائكة
      والسبع الشداد لموته، ويبكيه كل شئ حتى الطير في جو السماء، والحيتان في جوف الماء، فمن بكاه لم تعم عينه يوم تعمي العيون، ومن حزن عليه لم يحزن قلبه يوم تحزن القلوب، ومن زاره، في بقيعه ثبتت قدمه على الصراط يوم تزل فيه الاقدام. وأما الحسين فإنه مني، وهو ابني وولدي، وخير الخلق بعد أخيه، وهو إمام المسلمين، ومولى المؤمنين، وخليفة رب العالمين، وغياث المستغيثين، وكهف المستجيرين، وحجة الله على خلقه أجمعين، وهو سيد شباب أهل الجنة، وباب نجاة الامة، أمره أمري، وطاعته طاعتي، من تبعه فإنه مني، ومن عصاه فليس مني، وإني لما رأيته تذكرت ما يصنع به بعدي، كأني به وقد استجار بحرمي وقبري (1) فلا يجار، فأضمه في منامه إلى صدري، وآمره بالرحلة على دار هجرتي، وأبشره بالشهادة، فيرتحل عنها إلى أرض مقتله وموضع مصرعه أرض كرب وبلاء وقتل وفناء، تنصره عصابة من المسلمين، أولئك من سادة شهداء امتي يوم القيامة، كأني أنظر إليه وقد رمي بسهم فخر عن فرسه صريعا، ثم يذبح كما يذبح الكبش مظلوما. ثم بكى رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله) وبكى من حوله، وارتفعت أصواتهم بالضجيج، ثم قام (صلى الله عليه وآله): وهو يقول: اللهم إني أشكو إليك ما يلقى أهل بيتي بعدي، ثم دخل منزله (2).

      (Amali of Shaykh as-Saduq, page 174)
    • Brother, I'm actually confused. I don't wish to come across as overly critical, nor do I wish to go off topic, but you've presented a quote as the words of Rasoolallah (s), yet it's from the musannaf of Ibn Abi Shayba and it's narrated by amr ibn al-aas, an enemy of the ahlulbayt. Surely it's unwise to do this for two reasons, which are: 1) There's a big chance you're attributing words to Rasoolallah (s) which are not his, which has serious consequences. 2) You strengthen what may be a false narrative about the end times for unsuspecting Shi'a who look up to long-time posters such as yourself. These two are negated if you can find a reliable hadith which reports the same thing in our own sources, but then why didn't you quote that in the first place?
    • I totally agree. With the recent tragedies attributed to miscalculated crowd control (and else), your thoughts are the first thing that came to mind. Saudis issue haj quotas to keep the turn-out in line to avoid over populating the pilgrimage site. Yet, no quota is set on the brick and mortar circus. I see a more sinister plan at play having boxed in the site and leaving little next to zero room for expansion. They can't even manage the current flow of visitors let alone the fast growing numbers expected in the years to come. Then again, it's hardly bad planning, at least the Saudis can enjoy a fillet-o-fish from McDees and maybe a pumpkin spice Latte from Starbucks....what more do they need for a free ticket to heaven.
    •   & it is not easy, you loose your brain sometimes, with all the waswaswa... but thanks. ws
    • This youtube video was made from scenes at this year's Hajj (2017) by the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information. It starts at the mountain and ends at the mechanical. Hajj 2017 emotional scenes
    • What an beautiful person, may Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى make us be like him, for remembering Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى constantly.
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