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In the Name of God بسم الله

Aaron Bushnell نَّا ِلِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ, ʾ

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On 2/26/2024 at 4:34 PM, Abu Nur said:

Setting yourself to fire, knowing you going to die and then die to demonstrate, is not suicide? I think unfortunately we have taking everything too lenient. 

The last person in the US who set herself on fire in protest is still alive. She is still hospitalized, but still alive.

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How Should Muslims View Aaron Bushnell's Actions? | Dr. Shabir Ally & Dr. Safiyyah Ally | 9 minutes 30 seconds

 

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Like others have said, I am not here to criticize him or put him down, but my message is mainly to other brothers and sisters. If you want to protest and be effective, there are many better examples you can follow. The best example is Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) who spent his entire life attempting to do 'Amr bil Maroof wa Nahiya Al Munkhar' in the most difficult circumstances. That is why we say that he is 'Kharil Al Bariyyat', the best of creation. 

Next is the Imams of Ahl Al Bayt((عليه السلام)). They were on the same path as Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) and if you study their lives, you will have much, much, much better examples of how to do protest and dawa in an effective way. A way that actually changes things in the long term. 

In addition, if you want to talk specifically about Americans in Recent History who were non muslim there was MLK, Malcolm X(Malcom X was muslim), Sitting Bull, Cesar Chavez, etc. They were considered great leaders because they lived for the cause and spent many years of their life in persistent and organized action which drew people to their cause. This is much more effective. 

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They were considered great leaders because they lived for the cause and spent many years of their life in persistent and organized action which drew people to their cause. This is much more effective. 

Yes. For me, there is a grey area and am happy to be persuaded either way.

What about those 'Memphis Belle' pilots who bombed Nazi Germany and whose death rate was 44.5%? Would that be classified as a suicide mission?

My current view is that no it would not be because their actions were supposed to influence the outcome of a war.

'Pure suicide' in my thinking is introspective it's between the individual and their hoplessness. Bushnell's objective was to alter an external reality, which is why I am not sure that it counts as 'pure suicide'.

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This information is from Texas Public Radio. He was living and working in San Antonio, Texas. He volunteered in his spare time to help homeless people.

Details emerge about Bushnell's life

The Air Force said on Monday that Bushnell was from Whitman, Mass., and served as a cyber defense operations specialist with the 531st Intelligence Support Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio.

He had been on active duty since May 2020. He was assigned to the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing.

Bushnell had volunteered with the San Antonio Care Collective to offer support to the city's unhoused population, Lupe Barboza of the Care Collective told Texas Public Radio.

In the days before his death, Bushnell created a will detailing his final wishes that he shared with close friends.

"He took all the steps he needed to make sure that everything he had would be cared for, like his cat, he designated that to his neighbor. ... So yeah, that to me is all the sense of someone who was measured and knew what he was doing," said Barboza, who saw the document. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/5/2024 at 10:11 AM, Haji 2003 said:

Yes. For me, there is a grey area and am happy to be persuaded either way.

What about those 'Memphis Belle' pilots who bombed Nazi Germany and whose death rate was 44.5%? Would that be classified as a suicide mission?

My current view is that no it would not be because their actions were supposed to influence the outcome of a war.

'Pure suicide' in my thinking is introspective it's between the individual and their hoplessness. Bushnell's objective was to alter an external reality, which is why I am not sure that it counts as 'pure suicide'.

That's why we can't judge people. With every person, there is the Batin (internal thoughts, feelings, intentions, internal struggles, past experiences, family history) and the Dhahr(apparent). If we know someone well, we may know some of their past experiences and some of the family history but in fact we know very little of the Batin(hidden realm). Even if we know someone well, we shouldn't assume we know more than we do. 

Amr Bil Maroof wa Nahiya Al Mukhar (enjoining good and forbidding evil) only has to do with the Dhahr(apparent), i.e. someone's actions that we can see and witness. If we can say 'This action is wrong, this action is correct' without judging the person then we are doing this the correct way. To know if something is 'pure suicide' we would have to know the Batin, which obviously we don't know. That is why I think we should hesitate 1000x before we call something 'pure suicide'. 

The reason why we focus on the Dhahr is because there is a connection between the Dhahr and the Batin. Making corrections in one will also make corrections in the other. For example, if someone is doing an action in Salat or Wudu the incorrect way, and then someone tells them (in a nice and respectful way) and then they correct this, it will also correct their Niyyat, which is part of the Batin. 

The problem with what Aaron Bushnell did, and why I don't think we should hold this action up as an example of how to do 'Amr bil Maroof...' is because after someone dies, this process of correcting and perfecting ones actions is finished. There is no more opportunity to repent or to correct ones internal and sometimes external flaws because we can only do this while we are still alive. That is the main reason. 

If a mumin/a is granted long life, it is not to accumulate wealth or fame, but it is to do 'tazkhiyat an nafs' (self purification) until  they reach the point where they are compatible with their place of honor in paradise, then Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) takes their soul and shows them this place which has been prepared for them. Only Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows how long this process will take and what sorts of trials and tribulations the mumin/a will have to go thru to reach this level of tazkhiyat an nafs so it is only Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) who determines the time and place of one's death. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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On 3/2/2024 at 9:56 PM, Shaheed786 said:

 

:salam:

The first part of the analysis would be correct if he limited it to a metaphor (flames consuming the society). But I do not think white guilt applies here.

As for the second part, it does not lake much sense. There were thousands of Palestinian Christians or even Europeans involved in the struggle, including violent acts against zionists interests in the past. It is not a Muslim thing. 'Declaring shahada in front of Israeli embassy ' ? What would it change ? This is a joke.

Like the conversion of one guy for the US army is suddenly a threat to Israel. Is he somehow sharing the fantasy of that Homeland Security series ?

This Bolsen guy, more than being an ex-murderer, like to please western Muslims with ideas of a white collar Muslim, wearing a tie and sitting on a chair, implying they are the remedy to a complex situation. And call it Middle Nation :rolleyes:

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27 minutes ago, realizm said:

:salam:

The first part of the analysis would be correct if he limited it to a metaphor (flames consuming the society). But I do not think white guilt applies here.

As for the second part, it does not lake much sense. There were thousands of Palestinian Christians or even Europeans involved in the struggle, including violent acts against zionists interests in the past. It is not a Muslim thing. 'Declaring shahada in front of Israeli embassy ' ? What would it change ? This is a joke.

Like the conversion of one guy for the US army is suddenly a threat to Israel. Is he somehow sharing the fantasy of that Homeland Security series ?

This Bolsen guy, more than being an ex-murderer, like to please western Muslims with ideas of a white collar Muslim, wearing a tie and sitting on a chair, implying they are the remedy to a complex situation. And call it Middle Nation :rolleyes:

This same guy thinks that Muslim countries should normalized with Israel and economically control Israel. Absurdity. 

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Call Them ‘Terrorists’ and You Can Kill as Many as You Want

 

https://znetwork.org/znetarticle/call-them-terrorists-and-you-can-kill-as-many-as-you-want/

 

War is often framed in simplistic terms: good versus evil, us versus them. This dichotomy, rooted in dehumanization, allows for the justification of violence and the suppression of moral qualms. The narrative of self-defense is employed to mask the brutal reality of killing and destruction. The language of terrorism serves to vilify the "other" and absolve oneself of responsibility. It is a convenient moral sleight of hand that allows nations to wage war with impunity.

In this paradigm, the enemy is reduced to a faceless threat, devoid of humanity. Their suffering is rendered inconsequential, their lives expendable. The logic of war dictates that the end justifies the means, that violence is a necessary evil in the pursuit of peace. But this logic is flawed, for it perpetuates a cycle of violence and retribution, fueling resentment and perpetuating conflict.

The My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War serves as a stark reminder of the horrors of war and the consequences of dehumanization. The villagers, men, women, and children alike, were indiscriminately slaughtered by U.S. troops under the pretext of combating the Vietcong. The soldiers, indoctrinated with the belief that they were fighting a just war against a faceless enemy, committed unspeakable atrocities in the name of patriotism. Yet amidst the carnage, there were moments of humanity. Soldiers, overwhelmed by guilt and remorse, struggled to reconcile their actions with their conscience. The tears shed by one soldier, compelled to participate in the massacre against his will, epitomize the moral ambiguity of war.

The dehumanization of the enemy serves to justify the violence inflicted upon them. By stripping them of their humanity, their suffering becomes abstract, their lives expendable. This mentality permeates all aspects of warfare, from the highest levels of government to the front lines. It is a toxic ideology that perpetuates a cycle of violence and dehumanization, corroding the moral fabric of society.

In the context of war, peace is often reduced to a fleeting moment of ceasefire, a brief respite from the relentless cycle of violence. Yet true peace is more than the absence of war; it is a state of mutual understanding and cooperation. It requires a fundamental shift in mindset, a rejection of the us-versus-them mentality that underpins war. It demands empathy, compassion, and a willingness to confront the root causes of conflict.

The abolition of war requires a paradigm shift, a reimagining of society based on principles of justice, equality, and solidarity. It necessitates dismantling the structures of violence and oppression that perpetuate conflict and inequality. It requires challenging the narratives of war and dehumanization that justify violence and exploitation. It demands a commitment to dialogue, diplomacy, and reconciliation as the path to peace.

But achieving peace is not easy. It requires courage, perseverance, and a willingness to confront uncomfortable truths. It requires challenging the vested interests that profit from war and perpetuate division. It demands solidarity across borders and solidarity with the oppressed and marginalized. It requires recognizing our common humanity and working together to build a better world for future generations.

In the face of entrenched militarism and pervasive dehumanization, the task of building peace may seem daunting. But history has shown that change is possible, that ordinary people can make a difference. From the civil rights movement to the struggle against apartheid, ordinary people have risen up to challenge injustice and oppression. They have shown that the power of solidarity and collective action can overcome even the most entrenched systems of power.

The path to peace may be long and difficult, but it is a journey worth undertaking. It requires a commitment to justice, equality, and human dignity. It demands that we confront the legacy of war and dehumanization and build a future based on mutual respect and understanding. It requires us to imagine a world beyond war, a world where peace is not just a fleeting moment, but a fundamental aspect of human existence.

In conclusion, war is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, rooted in dehumanization and perpetuated by vested interests. Achieving peace requires a fundamental shift in mindset, a rejection of the us-versus-them mentality that underpins war. It demands empathy, compassion, and a commitment to dialogue and reconciliation. But it is a journey worth undertaking, for the promise of peace is the promise of a better world for all.

 

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Screenshot 2024-03-10 at 20.23.33.png

 

 

Quote

The Palestinian town of Jericho has named a street after Aaron Bushnell, the US air force member who set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington to protest against the war in Gaza.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/mar/10/palestinian-town-of-jericho-names-street-after-us-airman-who-set-himself-on-fire

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/9/2024 at 1:38 AM, realizm said:

:salam:

The first part of the analysis would be correct if he limited it to a metaphor (flames consuming the society). But I do not think white guilt applies here.

As for the second part, it does not lake much sense. There were thousands of Palestinian Christians or even Europeans involved in the struggle, including violent acts against zionists interests in the past. It is not a Muslim thing. 'Declaring shahada in front of Israeli embassy ' ? What would it change ? This is a joke.

Like the conversion of one guy for the US army is suddenly a threat to Israel. Is he somehow sharing the fantasy of that Homeland Security series ?

This Bolsen guy, more than being an ex-murderer, like to please western Muslims with ideas of a white collar Muslim, wearing a tie and sitting on a chair, implying they are the remedy to a complex situation. And call it Middle Nation :rolleyes:

I think you are missing the deeper point. The point he's making about declaring shahada is not that it's about increasing the number of Muslims, or proving that Islam is true and him being a threat to the narrative of the military, or one or more people becoming Muslims being a "threat" to Israel or whatever you are implying. The deeper point I believe is that embracing Islam and the truth is actually the ultimate refutation of the culture of nihilism and despair that is at the heart of modern western culture and its racist and predatory ideologies. His setting himself on fire is a manifestation of that sick culture and simply reinforces it. I happen to agree with Bolsen and believe that we shouldn't be falling over ourselves to eulogize and lionize Aaron Bushnell as many have done, including many Muslims. The millions of people in Gaza who are resisting with their own lives and enduring unfathomable suffering while continuing to show their powerful Iman are the true gold standard of those who are opposed to this terrible injustice. 

Edited by Shaheed786
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5 hours ago, Shaheed786 said:

I think you are missing the deeper point. The point he's making about declaring shahada is not that it's about increasing the number of Muslims, or proving that Islam is true and him being a threat to the narrative of the military, or one or more people becoming Muslims being a "threat" to Israel or whatever you are implying. The deeper point I believe is that embracing Islam and the truth is actually the ultimate refutation of the culture of nihilism and despair that is at the heart of modern western culture and its racist and predatory ideologies. His setting himself on fire is a manifestation of that sick culture and simply reinforces it. I happen to agree with Bolsen and believe that we shouldn't be falling over ourselves to eulogize and lionize Aaron Bushnell as many have done, including many Muslims. The millions of people in Gaza who are resisting with their own lives and enduring unfathomable suffering while continuing to show their powerful Iman are the true gold standard of those who are opposed to this terrible injustice. 

:salam:

Well, a Christian or a Jewish believer would abhorr this nihilism. He mentioned an islamic shahada like the peak of refutation of western civilisation. Which is not true in itself.

I would see it differently. His stance was pushing nihilism to its extreme to protest against it. Like 'you show us your idea that human life is worthless, well I will show you my life is worthless in front of what you are doing, except I am sincere while you are cowards, and I am doing it for a cause'.

But I was not in his mind therefore this is just interpretation and Zann, so I will not go further. I still salute his courage even though I am deeply saddened for him losing his life.

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Look who got Epsteined

Quote

 

A former Boeing employee known for raising concerns about the firm's production standards has been found dead in the US.

It said the 62-year-old had died from a "self-inflicted" wound on 9 March and police were investigating.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk

'Self-inflicted'. Yep.

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Muslims need to get real with bara'ah and not cater to their emotions for the sake of social justice or whatever other exception you may think there is to the rule.

Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says: 

And know that among you is the Messenger of Allah. If he were to obey you in much of the matter, you would be in difficulty, but Allah has endeared to you the faith and has made it pleasing in your hearts and has made hateful to you disbelief, defiance and disobedience. Those are the [rightly] guided. [49:7]

As a believer, your heart should ache and your face should show signs of disgust and hate when you witness sin. This is the basics of bara'ah and forbidding evil. 

All this is beside the fact that this man died a kafir - which is the greatest calamity. It only adds fuel to the fire that he subjected himself to a most humiliating death.

There is no greater cause than observing the halal of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and the haram of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Believers need to get real and stop making excuses for people regardless of how noble you believe their intentions are and how noble the cause which you (and I) support. There is nothing about this worthy of an ounce of respect.

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) guide us all to true bara'ah from what He dislikes.

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2 hours ago, Ibn Tayyar said:

All this is beside the fact that this man died a kafir - which is the greatest calamity. It only adds fuel to the fire that he subjected himself to a most humiliating death.

I thought a kafir is someone who knowingly rejects the truth of Islam, not someone ignorant of it. Otherwise all nonmuslims even those who never heard of Islam would be hellbound? 

Anyway I see what you and others are saying about not getting soft on sins, but I just can't get myself to underestimate Allah's Mercy. Standing for justice, speaking against oppression, are great deeds. Suicide is a horrendous deed for sure. However every deed we do good or bad, small or big will be accounted for so I don't know why we should completely ignore one side of the equation and focus on the other instead of looking at all of it holistically. 

I keep thinking about the Hadith about the prostitute that was forgiven for quenching the thirst of a dying dog. Prostitution is abhorrent. But an act of mercy and justice on her part got her sins forgiven. 

Anyway I try not to dwell on Aaron Bushnell too much bc we will never know in this life what his fate is and it is not our, especially as laymen, place or duty to decide the stance we should have on it. It's a conundrum. I'll just leave it at that. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ireallywannaknow said:

I thought a kafir is someone who knowingly rejects the truth of Islam, not someone ignorant of it. Otherwise all nonmuslims even those who never heard of Islam would be hellbound? 

These are two different things. Someone who has been given the opportunity to believe and someone who never heard of Islam in the first place are not the same. 

1 hour ago, ireallywannaknow said:

Anyway I see what you and others are saying about not getting soft on sins, but I just can't get myself to underestimate Allah's Mercy. Standing for justice, speaking against oppression, are great deeds. Suicide is a horrendous deed for sure. However every deed we do good or bad, small or big will be accounted for so I don't know why we should completely ignore one side of the equation and focus on the other instead of looking at all of it holistically. 

Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is not obeyed from where He is disobeyed. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) only accepts deeds through piety.

For example, if someone made a haram song which sheds light on the oppression of Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام) or on any form of oppression, then that should be something we openly reject and stand against. I'm sure you would also be against that. 

Haram does not become halal because of a noble cause. These ends do not justify the means.

As far as suicide, there is very little among the sins which a promise of eternal Hellfire is mentioned for. Suicide is one of them.

What I have observed from many Muslims is (sadly) their belittling of sins. 

1 hour ago, ireallywannaknow said:

I keep thinking about the Hadith about the prostitute that was forgiven for quenching the thirst of a dying dog. Prostitution is abhorrent. But an act of mercy and justice on her part got her sins forgiven. 

Anyway I try not to dwell on Aaron Bushnell too much bc we will never know in this life what his fate is and it is not our, especially as laymen, place or duty to decide the stance we should have on it. It's a conundrum. I'll just leave it at that. 

The idea that we don't know what someone's fate in the Afterlife is does not correspond to reality. From our Holy Texts, we are able to figure that out. I don't want to speak about this too much, I'm mainly focused on the belittlement of sins.

Edited by Ibn Tayyar
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