Monthly Archives: September 2011

There is a god, and His name is Allah (My personal gift to Atheists & Anti-Theists):

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Oftentimes, almost always, both Atheists (who deny the validity of believing in any Divine-Creator) & Anti-Theists (who are blatantly against even believing in the existence of any Divine-Creator) respectively, place their claims that the existence of any Divine-Creator is non-sense, or silly at best, because they claim that no religion can empirically prove the existence of any Divine-Creator.

Well, I have such proof of the existence of a Divine-Creator, directly from the speech of the Divine-Creator, it’s in the Qur’an itself. Allah clearly states in the Qur’an, concerning the metal Iron: “We have descended Iron, within it contains great durability, as well as benefits for Humans.” (Chpt. 57, V. 25). Now, for those who are scientifically inclined and/or educated in the field of Science, you would know that there have been numerous studies which have proven the fact that tons of amounts of Iron deposits, in the forms of meteors, meteorites, meteoroids, asteroids, etc. have descended to the Earth, during various points in the history of the Earth itself. The most popular scientific opinion concerning the origin of Iron coming to the Earth is via meteorite showers that pummeled the Earth’s surface, before it became solidified, and thus became part of the Earth’s core, as well as part of the Earth’s crust.

Now, for those who deny the legitimacy of the existence of Allah, the Creator of the Universe and/or the Qur’an as a factual book of revelation, I ask you the following question: How is it possible for someone like the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), who was well-known in his society for not receiving a formal education, and for being completely illiterate (who is also mentioned directly in the Qur’an as being illiterate [Chpt. 7, Vs. 157 & 158]), going to have such sophisticated knowledge about Iron & how it came to the Earth originally?

The answer is right in front of your faces, he was directly inspired by Allah, through the revelation of the Qur’an, and was given knowledge about this particular event of Iron descending to the Earth, 14 centuries before any other Human being ever discovered the origins of Iron via scientific analysis & research. Even though Allah does not go into detail as to exactly how this event took place, the fact that Allah does in fact mention it at all is very significant, especially when it comes to debunking the erroneous belief that no Divine-Creator exists. Now, I’m not trying to convince anyone who is an Atheist or Anti-Theist to just give up their respective beliefs (by the way believing that there is no Divine-Creator is a belief in and of itself) just on my account, that would be a decision which you as an individual would have to make consciously on your own.

However, I am most definitely here to tell you, as a Muslim, as an intelligent Human being, that not only is denial of the existence of the one who created you a personal offense to Him, but it’s just down-right dumb!!! How do you think you got here, just by an accident?!!! Do you really think that everything in the Universe, with all of its wonderful intricacies & complex orderly systems just got here, with no one to bring it into being and to ensure its maintenance?!!!

I’m simply imploring you (those who may be reading this who may in fact be Atheists or Anti-Theists) to use the intellect that Allah, the Creator of the Universe has given you!!! If you are still willing to be an Atheist and/or Anti-Theist, after this simple proof has been presented, in this modest blog post, well then I guess Rick James was absolutely right when he said, “Cocaine is a hell of a drug!!!”.

Gareth Bryant/2012

This is Gareth Bryant’s official Ghetto-Test:

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Author’s Note:
I implore all who read this to actually take this Ghetto-Test, to honestly evaluate themselves. If any and/or all of these things apply to you, then you’ve got a hell of a lot to change about yourself. Please, let’s all work together, to stop the vicious cycle of Ghetto-Mentality!!!
This post is not meant in any way to marginalize, pin-point, or take shots at any particular religious, ethnic or social demographic. And, as always, if anyone finds anything that I’ve written to be out of line or ofensive, I apologize in advance.

You know your ghetto if or when:

1. You’re a guy who considers the chick that you’re with the most your “Wife” or “Wifey”…..NIGGA, if you ain’t married to her, she ain’t ya wife & “Wifey” is not a word!!!

2. You call a man whom you’re not married to your  “Husband” or “Hubby”.

3. You think it’s cool to have children outside of wedlock.

4. You’ve never been married to any of the mothers/fathers of your children.

5. You’re a woman who has more than two children out of wedlock, who don’t have the same father.

6. You honestly don’t have any solid concrete way to know who the father of any of your children are other than a paternity test (i.e. you’ve been sleeping around with so many men at the same time, that without a paternity test, you would have no way of determining who the father of any of your children are).

7. Your rap-sheet is longer than your resume.

8. You’re 30 years old and/or older & don’t even have a resume.

9. You can’t put anything that you’ve ever done on your resume.

10. You have no aspiration or ambition to go to College.

11. You think that being a “Sponsor” is a good thing (for educational purposes, I’ll go in-depth as to the urban connotative definition of a “Sponsor”, which is generally defined as the following: A person [almost always a guy by the way], who voluntarily pays for various expenses like rent money, gas money, school tuition, etc. [this also includes giving money, gifts, etc.] to another person, almost always in exchange for some type of sexual gratification in return from the recipient of any and/or all of these things).

12. You go to a Chinese Restaurant & order “Chicken-Wings & French Fries”.

13. The first thing that you offer someone when they come to your house is Kool-Aid.

14. You consider either Popeyes, KFC, Kennedy Fried, Crown Fried to be restaurants.

#I’m just sayin’!!!

Apparently, I’m just “Too-Religious”:

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Author’s Note:
There’s gonna be some things written here that maybe a lil’ out of line to some, or too explicit. But, it’s just that this is based upon thoughts & feelings that I harbored in my mind & heart in a particular moment in time, and it must be expressed this way, in order to portray an honest & authentic narrative-Basically, they’re necessary-evils. Please, take no offence for what you’re about to read-I apologize in advance.

Enjoy!!!

In 2010, I was really excited & hyped about potentially getting married. But, then, I get this Facebook message from the Muslim girl whom I was speaking with about marriage that she doesn’t want to get married anymore. I’m not gonna lie, I was very disappointed. But, I said to myself, “Whatever Allah wills; it’s obvious that Allah doesn’t want me to marry this girl.”.

But, I really had no idea about what was about to come next, here it comes…..

She ended up telling me why she called things off, probably out of guilt, perhaps out of a sense of fairness towards me, to give me some closure, but who the hell cares?!!! Anyway, she tells me the reason why she called it off, and this really blew mines (i.e. pissed me the hell off)!!! This is what she tells me, “I called it off because you’re too religious for me.”. When I saw that as a Facebook message, I was just stunned, and said to myself, “What…the…fuck?!!!”. I was just so perplexed, as to how in the hell could someone ever consider Gareth Bryant “too-religious”.

To me, I could never…ever be religious enough. I mean it’s barely been a whole decade since I’ve stopped smoking weed & partying, and all of the rest of the Non-Islamic behavior that I used to indulge in (most of which I purposely will not reveal on this post). But, I’m just sayin’, how could this “too-religious” stuff possibly be? I look at myself as someone who’s not nearly at the Islamic level that any Muslim should be, especially considering how long I’ve been a Muslim already.

But, just like the title of this post, apparently, I’m just “Too-Religious”. So, needless to say, I was truly taken aback by that. I started to think to myself, “Of all the valid reasons to not marry me, why would anyone choose “too-religious?!!!”. Then, as only she could’ve, she added insult-to injury. She said that what turned her off to me was a conversation that her & I had about my beard. It’s very obvious, for those who know me, or have ever met me, or have seen me lately, that my beard is about 50% of my face right now…..but that’s beside the point. Basically, she had asked me whether I would ever consider cutting, shaving, or trimming my beard, of course me being me said hell no & gave all of the valid Islamic reasons why I would not. She mentioned to me that at that point in our convo, that she decided that she didn’t wanna marry me anymore.

After that, I just said to myself, “Now, ain’t this some bullshit?!!!”. Wait, it doesn’t end here. I was just thinking to myself the irony in all of this: Firstly, she had already met me like this, so it wasn’t just something brand-new to her. Secondly, she admitted it to me herself that it was my religiosity that led her to even want to approach me for marriage in the first place. Thirdly, even if I had just started to grow my beard, so what?!!! How in the hell do you just expect me to leave off something that’s already been established in the Islamic Prophetic-Tradition as being a religious obligation for men, for you?!!! That’s what I really didn’t get at all.

Yet, another irony, out of all of the Non-Muslim females that I’ve ever dealt with, they’ve never had an issue with me being a Muslim, a religious Muslim, or me having any facial hair. But, when a nigga tryin’ to do shit the right way, this one is shittin’ on me because I chose to observe a religious mandate in the Islamic Prophetic-Tradition. That was just astounding to me, really. How the hell is it that the Non-Muslim females that I used to deal with, never complained about my religiosity, yet a Muslim female calls off the prospect of marrying me because of my religiosity?!!! By, Allah, that is completely ass-backwards-If anything, it should be the other way around, where you have Non-Muslim females complaining about the beard, while Muslim females support it.

After this particular fiasco, I just said to myself, “Fuck marriage…..Imma go back to doin’ me!!!”. I was so resentful & bitter that it wasn’t even funny. That situation even began to change the way that I generally viewed Muslim women. I began to think to myself, “If this one thinks like this, then there would have to be many more Muslim women who felt and/or feel the same exact way towards myself and/or other Muslim men who choose to don the beard.” I mean, does having a beard make me look that damn repulsive, huh?!!! Like, someone let me know something!!!

This was something that has had a tremendous affect on me personally as a Muslim, and made me very edgy & self-conscious about my external appearance as a Muslim. I began thinking to myself, “Well, damn…..if this is the case, then no one will marry me.” It was a very depressing time for me. Then, through Allah’s help, I just snapped out of it, and then said to myself, “Fuck it…..I’m gonna grow my beard however long I damn-well please, and whoever doesn’t like it, fuck ’em!!!”. I decided that from then on, I would never, ever, allow anyone to make me feel that way ever again-I would never allow anyone to make me feel that because I want to be more Islamically religious that I’m doing something wrong, or against the norm, or against modernity.

The praise is for Allah, that I came back to reality, and decided that whatever opposition that I may face regarding a Muslim woman, or any woman period, not wanting to marry me as a result of my facial-hair, that I would always reserve the right to just leave them by the waste-side. If a Muslim woman loves Allah, loves His Messenger, loves Islam, then she’ll love that fact that I’ve chosen to commit myself to that which is obligatory upon me as a Muslim, and if she is not willing to do that, then it’s clear that she’s not a person that I would/should ever share my bed with, or have & raise my children with.

I close with this: To all of my Muslim brothers & sisters, who are given a hard time, just because you’re trying your very best to obey Allah & His Messenger, to the very best of your true abilities…..”Fuck the haters!!!”. Keep this as your personal motto, as I intend to keep it as my own, because anyone who doesn’t want you to become more dutiful to Allah & His Messenger is a fucking hater, period. And, if there’s anyone out there, who reads this & doesn’t like whatever I’ve written, then step to me & do something about it, I dare ya!!!

Don’t you ever let anyone make you feel that being a good Muslim isn’t trendy, or cool, or socially acceptable, or popular!!! If you’re a Muslim dude & someone mocks you for having a beard, then let it grow longer, and if  you’re a Muslim female & someone mocks you for wearing a Khimar, then wear the full Hijab, if they mock you for wearing the full Hijab, then wear the Niqab. The opposition that we all face, for trying to obey Allah should encourage us to obey Him more in spite of how much people are against it-Opposition, mustn’t/shouldn’t be used as an excuse to be religious cowards & not adhere to what we know as Muslims to be correct & obligatory. Be your own person, be a leader, not a follower, allow yourself to lead yourself towards the Paradise, and do not allow others to lead you to the Fire!!!

#I’m just sayin’!!!

My apology as an American:

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‎I want to officially apologize to the entire world for being an American, because America ain’t shit!!! The United States of America has been responsible for the most religious discrimination, most xenophobia, most genocide, most rape, most murder, most displacement of indigenous peoples, most military-induced destruction, most political scandal, most social instability, most sexualization/sexual-perversion, more than any other “civilized” nation in the entire history of our Human existence.
Gareth Bryant
(Pathetic American)

I am Troy Davis!!!

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This poem is dedicated to Troy Davis, a U.S. citizen & Georgia native, who was convicted of 1st. Degree Murder, based upon inconclusive & unreliable evidence used against him during his trial.

I am Troy Davis:

I am the prey of a racist, and the victim of a fascist.

I’m a doormat of a bigot who’s a coward & a faggot.

I am Troy Davis!!!

Way back in 1989, I was falsely accused of an unsolved crime.

I’ve been locked down for 20 years, doin’ someone else’s time.

I am Troy Davis!!!

Been screwed by the Georgia Pardon board; they just need a Nigger as a “scape-goat”.

They view us all the same; they just paint us with the same brush and paint coat.

I am Troy Davis!!!

They’ll treat me just the same; their tactics are despicable & lame.

They never want justice for all; they just want someone to blame.

I am Troy Davis

Although the evidence against me is inconclusive, I am next in line for an execution.

There’s no way they’re giving me a break; for them, my death is the only solution.

I am Troy Davis!!!

No one wants to hear my story.

My ordeal is very sad and gory.

Imagine being accused of a crime, just because you fit a profile.

Gareth Bryant/2011

My Fashion-Week adventures:

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My trek into one of the Fashion-World’s greatest events started out rather ironically. I wasn’t initially going to go to any events, because I was preoccupied with other things. But, as Allah would have it, He redirected my path (as usual) to something better. And, it was indeed better that I checked out Fashion-Week.

Day 1:

It all started on a Thursday night, September 8th; I was chillin’ wit some peeps from the Islamic Center @NYU (New York University). We had proceeded to chill at one of the local residential halls where all of the action of Fashion-Week was, on Lafayette St., bet. White & Walker Sts. We walked from the Islamic Center, from 6th Ave. to Houston, then to Broadway. While we were walking, I noticed that there were so many people on the street, and began thinking to myself, “Why are there so many people on this part of Houston?!!!”.

Actually, I ended up saying this out load as well. Then…..boom!!! We were right at the hub of all of what I’d like to call the March-Madness of Fashion, and that’s exactly what it was too…..pure madness!!! People were just everywhere, like a colony of ants that you were to see, once you cut on the lights in your house or apartment, just droves, and swarms of all different types of people.

As we were walking down Broadway, we got separated from one another, then there were just myself, and four other people, as opposed to the original 10-20 people that I started out with. We were trying so hard to play catch-up, and actually catch up with our other friends who were ahead of us, but it was just wishful thinking by this point. So, we decided to just stay together & make sure that we didn’t lose one another. So, we started to engage & delve into the atmosphere that was Fashion’s Night Out, the official kick-off event to Fashion-Week in NYC.

Man, there were so many stores open after regular business hours, with so many discounts on stuff. We were so amazed at the low prices (relative to what the normal prices in these stores are…#wink…wink), and every store that was open was filled to the brim with tons of people. So, we ended up at the Lafayette dorm, but one of the NYU security guards on duty was a real jerk about letting me in the dorm, because I wasn’t a student, and because of an earlier incident that had nothing to do me personally. So, we went back & forth, and I then decided that I was just gonna bounce because it just wasn’t worth the hassle.

I initially intended to just go home, but I then wanted to just check out the scene of Fashion’s Night out, just a little bit more, which in hindsight, I’m very much glad that I did. I ended up going back on Broadway, where I went pass the Aldo store (big up’s to Aldo). I was gonna go up further, but then I wanted some shoes, and I haven’t really bought any fresh shoes in a minute, plus I had the money. So, I just decided to treat myself. It was a worthwhile investment going to Aldo. I got these fresh smokey gray shoes, that zip up, so you dont have to un-lace your shoes every time you wanna rock them, and they have some wicked straps, so you don’t even need the laces…the best of both worlds.

Almost immediately after I came out of the Aldo store, I saw a Muslim that I knew, Marlon (Marlon is my man). He really looked out for me, because he ended up giving me a VIP pass to a Sabit event @the Samsung Experience @Columbus Circle on Friday. I was sayin’ to myself, “VIP @a Sabit event…..oh…..hell…..yeah!!!”. I ended up going home to just rest after a long day, and got ready for my huge schedule for the next day. I’ll talk about that later…..

Day 2:

On September 9th, I started off my day giving the weekly Islamic Sermon (Khutbah) @NYU-Poly in Brooklyn. Then, I chilled with some of the NYU-Poly guys for about an hour, before going to a CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) press-conference, on the eve of the 9/11 weekend. That was an interesting press-conference, mainly due to the fact that barely any news press was there that was domestic. I mean, there were no representation from Fox News, CNN, or any of these other mainstream news outlets. Oh yeah, that’s right, they only wanna cover things about Muslims doing negative stuff, not positive, yeah that’s it.

Anyway, after some good interviews which I, personally, participated , I proceeded to the Samsung Experience @Columbus Circle for the Sabit NYC sashion-show. It was just amazing to say the least (Sabit NYC rocks…..for real). Sabit really did their thing on Friday night, showcasing an amazing Fall/Winter & Spring/Summer collection that are must-haves in anyone’s closets. I actually ended up meeting Shoichi Amemiya, the owner & founder of Sabit NYC, along with one of his children. Let me tell you, it’s a really good feeling to actually meet someone who has made something that you take pride in wearing. And, likewise, it’s a great feeling for them to know that so many people show up to these shows, who appreciate the clothing that these designers produce.

Basically, everything in the collection was boss!!! I was truly impressed by the designs themselves, color-schemes, fabric choices, it’s all just slammin’!!! In fact, my boy Marlon was there too, workin’ behind the scenes, as only he can. I also linked up with a Muslim guy from LIU (Long Island University), he’s a great photographer by the way (kudows to my main-man, Kazi…..I see you, son). I also meet up with one of my former College cohorts, Alan Mildor (if you don’t know who he is, you need to find out…..just Google his name, he’s the man).

We were all just chillin’ choppin’ up, enjoyin’ the show. It was a real treat to be at a fashion-show of this calibar & magnitude. And, for me as a Muslim & an up-coming designer myself, it gave me a different, realistic insight into how the Fashion-World works, from an aspect of presentation. Presentation does in fact mean everything in the Fashion-World, and there’s no room for error…..at all!!!

This experience left an impression on my mind & in my heart, that reinforced my commitment to provide proper representation of Muslims (especially those of us who live in predominantly Non-Muslim countries) a sense of self-definition when it comes to fashion. Unfortunately, for us as Muslims (particularly & especially Muslim men), there so many different aspects of Islam that are just randomly dictated to us, via foreign influences (i.e. the rest of the Muslim-World, specifically the Arab-World), which imply that we’re not good enough Muslims to give ourselves any form of self-definition, particularly in the realm of fashion.

I have a more clear vision of what my mission is: it’s to further contribute to the self-definition of Muslims in the West, from a fashion perspective, and to provide a clothing line that meets the needs of all Muslims generally seeking self-definition. While I was talking to my boy Alan, he told me about to other fashion events, one in Brooklyn, the other in Manhattan over the 9/11 weekend. So, I said to myself, “I’m there!!!”. We’ll talk about those two events in a later…..

Day 3:

On September 10th, the next event that I ended up going to was way out in the boonies, near the border of Bed-Stuy & Williamsburg. It was a rooftop fashion event, hosted by the company Monkey Face Apparel. It was pretty dope, I got there around 10pm. & stayed until around 11:30pm. It was a really cool crowd, the weather outside was great (which provided a terrific atmosphere for the event itself since it was in fact on a rooftop) & the designs for their clothes were pretty unique & fresh. That night was pretty basic, so nothing much happened after I had left. I just went home & got some rest, to get ready for the event on my agenda for the weekend. Well talk about that later…..

Day 4:

On Sunday, Spetember 11th, during the last day of the weekend, I made my way to an event on Grand St. (near the border of SOHO & Little Italy). It was a photo-shoot event, hosted by Nice In Harlem (much props to Nice for hosting a very dope event…..great job Nice). There all types of other up & coming fashion artists at this event that I connected with, such as myself, who were using this grand opportunity to acquire any type of exposure, from as many venues as we possibly could. In this business, like in other industries, you really have to present/market/sell yourself well.

As exclusive as some of these events are and/or maybe, if you are a rookie, or established fashion artist, and have an opportunity to attend any of these Fashion-Week events, then you owe it to yourself to be where the action is & get in the mix. This event was definitely a cool way to end off my hectic, yet worthwhile, weekend. Honestly, I haven’t had a weekend in NYC this exciting or exhilarating in a long time.

There are more events that I plan on attending, but I may or may not write about those. We’ll see how well they turn out first. Until then…..stay tuned.

#I’m just sayin’!!!

My thoughts on 9/11:

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Even the mere utterance of the household phrase “9/11” still sends chills down people’s spines, invoking fear, fueling the fire of anger, and encouraging hate to resonate in people’s hearts. But, why does September 11th still grasps the attention of Americans, whom many were not even alive to even witness the shocking events that took place on that day?!!! I have an answer for that, it’s called the blame-game. The American people have not been allowed to heal, from an event that has killed more American civilians, on American soil ever (more than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, HI in 1941, the race riots of Tulsa, OK in 1921, the first NYC World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City, OK in 1995, and the U.S. Embassy in Kenya in 1998 combined) because they’ve been lead to believe that 19 Muslims, Arabs, Saudi nationals, had the sophistication to breach NYC & Washington, D.C. airspace, and wreak havoc on America, by crashing into buildings that represent the financial & military prowess of the United States.

When a person is injured by someone that they love, and then they’re told that someone else did the damage, it is a lot easier to accept that fallacy. But, over time, the psychological & emotional trauma from that injury will not heal, because the person refuses to admit that the person that they love would ever do something hurtful to them. Likewise, with these attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, the American people have not been able to heal from this tragedy, because they’ve accepted this obvious lie that some big-bad terrorist network, once headed by someone who has spent nearly the last twenty years, dwelling in caves in Afghanistan, suffering from Kidney problems, before his pronounced “death” (conveniently during a Presidential election year), had the capabilities to complete such an intricate & complex task.

Unfortunately, many of us, as Americans, we just love to be entertained & to be lied to. It allows us to not have to take out enough time, use basic intelligence and/or enough integrity, to seek out the truth of things. It’s a lot easier to accept a lie, as opposed to the truth. And, the truth is that the attacks on September 11th were orchestrated by our own government, on the highest levels, to promote an agenda that places them directly into the realm of global domination, by using things like a “terrorist attack” to push policies that give more power to the U.S. government, and even less power to the American people, along with promoting their military war-machine in places like the Middle-East…..no question about it. The results of this event, as tragic as it was, has also placed the Muslim-Community, globally, on the forefront of being potential, inherent terrorists-in-the-making. I’ve even recently met someone, who was injured in Iraq & actually just became a Muslim himself, who admitted to me while we were talking that this whole “war-on-terror” is a complete lie & that the U.S. military are tyrants.

Unfortunately, most Americans, especially U.S. servicemen, will not manifest enough courage to admit something like this. The whole religious-extremist, Islamists, Islamic-Fundamentalists angle has basically been thrown out into the media, to be internalized by the American people, to keep them thinking that Islam & Muslims are the enemy. I seen the look of anger & fear on people’s faces every time I go out of my home, whenever I’m at Yankee Stadium, whenever I’ve ever been on a plane, every time I go to the movies, there’s always someone, somewhere, who me & people like me, just because I’m a Muslim, just because I have a beard, just because I may be reading the Qur’an in public, that I am a terrorist, or at least not that far from it. Even among people whom I’ve grown up around around, even those who’ve known me before I even became a Muslim, have been deeply affected by the lies & deceit that has been projected about Islam & Muslims in main-stream media. But, I as an individual am supposed to just accept the lies along with everyone else…..nah, not me. I refuse to to allow myself to be lied to, especially when the lies are going to directly influence how people will forever view my religion, and my fellow practitioners of my religion.

Now, I’m no fool…we all know that unfortunately, Muslims have used religious justification to commit acts of terror against people, but what group of religious fanatics historically have not done such a thing…we remember the Inquisition, right?!!! But, to say that 19 Arabs high-jacked four planes, by only using box-cutters, and to breach NYC & Washington D.C. airspace to crash into the Twin Towers & the Pentagon, and not only not intercepted, but not even detected…I mean, c’mon…that’s a lil’ ridiculous!!! There was a man by the name of Robert McIlvaine Sr., who lost his son, Robert McIlvaine Jr. at the World trade Center on 9/11, and was also interviewed for the 9/11 documentary, Zero, who had this to say,”I’m not a conspiracy-theorist. I’m a parent looking for the murderer of my son. And, you have to be a moron to think that 19 Arabs did it!!!”

It’s been years since the tragedy of September 11th took place, and I still find myself, having to explain that Islam doesn’t condone violence, that Muslims are not terrorists, that we’re not the blood-thirsty tyrants that we’re portrayed as being, who want to wreak havoc on the Western/American way of life, in the media, as if I’m being put on trial by virtue of the fact that I am a Muslim. The perpetuation of these fallacies will only allow the U.S. to play & perfect their divide-and-conquer game, to continue to push non-democratic policies, that infringe on the basic rights of Americans in the name of “national-security”/”national-interest”, and to increase the already clear-and-present hatred as well as fear that many Americans have for Islam & Muslims.

The only way that America & the American people can truly heal from this tragedy is honesty. We need to stop blaming those who were not involved: Islam did not attack the U.S. on September 11th, Muslims did not attack the U.S. on September 11th, and the Muslim-World did not attack the U.S. on September 11th. I’m really sick & tired of even Muslims taking this apologetic stance against what happened. Was it tragic what happened on September 11th…of course, was it unjustified…of course, but, is Islam responsible for what happened, are the Muslims responsible for what happened, hell no.

Gareth Bryant/2012

Domestic-Violence has no place in the Muslim-Community!!!

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Some time ago, I was informed that a Muslim brother repeatedly beats on his wife. When I first received the news, the fact that this is still an actual practice is generally disgusting. But, the fact that Muslims do this is worse, and the fact that I know the person is excruciatingly painful to know. This is mainly due to the fact that Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), the ultimate religious example to & for all Muslims, was never known to abuse any of his wives, not in the least. He was even known to have prohibited a Muslim woman from marrying a Muslim man who was known during his lifetime as a woman-beater. Yet, we who come after him, who claim to be adherents to his noble example & lifestyle, act completely the opposite of his example & lifestyle. Now, as Muslims we know that accusations against people without evidence is a sin in and of itself. But, the person who told me this is an upstanding member of the Muslim-Community, among those who know them. And, when this person related this news to me, I really didn’t know how to handle this shocking revelation, and to be honest, I still don’t really know how to deal with this.

I had been struggling to find a solution to my torn conviction, by thinking about the following questions: How do I approach a Muslim, who’s been accused of manifesting Domestic-Violence? How can I approach a Muslim about this issue, without either learning later on that the allegations themselves were fraudulent, or causing tension and/or hatred between this individual & myself? How am I supposed to react, if the person whom I approach admits to manifesting Domestic-Violence and/or won’t stop abusing their respective spouse? If it is confirmed that these allegations are true, will he be dealt with accordingly, or will he be given a pass because of his status in the Muslim-Community?

All of these most important questions have been spinning in my head, as if I was obligated to do or say something about this situation. There were actually additional questions that I had going through my mind like: Since the person who told me this obviously knew that this was going on before they told me, why would they only tell me? Also, the person who told me about this situation specifically requested that I keep this information confidential (i.e. I’m not supposed to tell anyone). Then, I started thinking to myself, and my thoughts turned into more questions: How can I, as a Muslim & a man, keep something like this a secret? Do I expose this situation anyway, in search of the truth, at the expense of blatantly violating the trust of someone who confided in me?  What if this backfires in my face, and it is not even investigated, or even taken seriously by the leaders of our community? What if the allegations are false & I begin to spread this allegation around, and because of me, this person’s reputation is tainted because of a lie?

Honestly, the whole affair is just a mess. One, for the simple fact that Domestic-Violence is a fabric of our society. Two, the fact that Muslims actually take part in such a shameful action. Three, the fact that a Muslim whom I know personally, a person whom I deemed to be a stand-up individual, (whom I now look at completely differently, in a negative way, because of this situation), has been accused of such a deplorable thing.

My gut-feeling tells me that I should do or say something. But, what should I do & what should I say? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. But, I do know this: Domestic-Violence is a disgusting practice, that is used by cowardly individuals, to control others, under the guise of Islam. There are Muslims (some whom I probably know personally) who wouldn’t dare to strike another man in the street; yet, they’ll strike their own wives.

Also, many aspects of Domestic-Violence among Muslims stem from cultural constructs, which predate Islam arriving to certain civilizations & peoples and unfortunately, Domestic-Violence has not been culturally abandoned by many of these Muslims, who come from from homes & societies where there’s nothing wrong with beating your wife senseless. And, I’m not just picking on foreign/immigrant Muslims and/or people who were born Muslim; there are many Muslims who accepted Islam & Muslims hailing from Non-Muslim countries, who’ve grown up in families & societies where Domestic-Violence has been a normal part of life for generations.

Gareth Bryant/2012