My thoughts on al-`Asabiyyah/Xenophobia


Author’s note:
al-`Asabiyyah, in the Arabic-Language, represents any/all Unwarranted-Bias, either for or against someone, generally based upon Things which a Person has little to no Control over (like Family-Ties, Ethnicity, National-Origin, Gender, etc.). There are also Other-Manifestations of al-`Asabiyyah as well (like Cultural-Normatives, Religion, Inter-Religious or Socio-Discrimination, etc.). This Poem that I’ve written will be based mostly upon the Ethno-Cultural & Inter-Religious Manifestations of al-`Asabiyyah. 


What if…
…my Skin had no Color, that Muslims viewed me exclusively as their True-Brother?
…People ignored my “Blackness”, and saw only my Mind&Heart, not an Outer-Cover?

What if…
…people never gave me a Dirty-Look, for coming into a Mosque in Jeans and a Graphic-Tee?
…People could just let me be alone, leave me be to practice Islām, as a Man who’s Free?

What if…
…I were not deemed a Muslim Socio-Outcast, just because I don’t look like a Desert-Sheik?
…I were never told to forfeit all that I am, just to conform and wear a Robe&Sheet?

What if…
…People judged me only by my Actions, instead of just my Physical/Mortal-Shell?
…they never deemed me as “Un-Islamic”, claiming that I’m headed for Hell?

What if…
…People just saw me, as opposed to my Natural/Genetic-Topography?
…the Muslims did not care whether I was Sunnī, Sūfī, Shī`ī, or Salafī?

What if…
…People respected & appreciated my Differences that Allah granted me, instead of curse them?
…People did not label me as the “Bad-Guy”, for defending myself, against Blatant/Harsh-Racism?

What if…
…we were just Unified as One, putting Ethnicity, Color, Culture, Dress & Pride aside?

If “What if” were a Reality…
…then, this World of ours would be such a Peaceful/Awesome-Place to reside!!!

Gareth Bryant/2012

15 responses »

  1. Not that there isn’t good advice in this post, but could you address the last comment on your Facebook? Whatever that guy said brings up the other side of the story so we should be able to get a full picture to be fair

    • Basically, referring to the last comment on Facebook, that brother took the position that I should tolerate the nonsense that I was treated with, which was clearly ethnically & religiously biased to its core, for some greater-good. But, in actuality, they used the fact that I’m Black & that I didn’t conform to there lame religious misinterpretation/understanding of Islam, to feed the diseases of their heats. The brother, who made the last comment, works for a Muslim Non-Profit & has even admitted that this particular Masjid had given him a hard way to go already, referring to allowing them to fundraise there & what not.

      But, now, because of me, they used me, as a justification, to not support the efforts of the Non-Profit that this brother works for, which not only feeds hungry people, but is an excellent Da`wah-tool, by virtue of the fact that most of the people whom this Non-Profit services are Non-Muslims.

      • Ok, jazakallah khair for the response. Inshallah the situation works out in the best way for everyone’s interests.

  2. since when did this became a ‘black’ thing? Cry baby… get over yourself and stop pullin the racist card on people – YOU DRESSED LIKE A 14 YEAR OLD GOING TO AN ARCADE, and your chokin everyone out because of it? Wearing pajama pants and a tang-top would of also been ‘Sharia compliant’ – wouldnt change the fact that you would LOOK ALMOST AS RIDICULOUS as someone wearing a ‘camel w/glasses’ t-shirt at the pulpit.For a ‘clothing-designer’ – youve got one bogus sense of fashion! And no your not misunderstood, i think your misunderstanding. No one wants you to be a ‘desert sheikh’ – they just want you to be a MATURE professional, in as black – and in as american as youd like. You werent a guest speaker for some nickelodeon joint – you came as a speaker to the Formal congregational prayer known as Jumuah.


    • No one said that this was a “black-thing”. But, it is a known fact that in the Muslim-World that `Asabiyyah does still exist, via ethno-cultural discrimination. And, particularly, in the United States, Non-Arabs & Non-Desis (African-Americans particularly), as well as Muslim-Reverts are victimized by the ugly sting of `Asabiyyah far too often. #FACT!!!

      Furthermore, If I were a White-boy up on the Minbar, I could’ve worn whatever the hell I wanted to & no one would’ve said a damned thing & you know that damn-well; so, stop pretending like that’s not true, because it is.

  3. oh and by the way, maybe you should respond to that longgggg post – instead of swag into some BOGUS poem that just so happens to be a sob story

    • Okay, firstly, who is this? Secondly, I can express myself, from a fashion perspective, any way that I damn-well choose, as long as it’s Islamically compliant. No one has the right to try to invalidate the way that I dress, especially when it’s not something Islamically prohibited & when it’s racially motivated bias. Besides, who in the hell made a Thobe or Shalwar Kameez standard or even formal Islamic attire?!!!

      • WHOOOO with an emphatic WHO is talking about wearing a thobe or shalwar? I hate that stuff! NO ONE is talking about that AT ALL. – were talking about how it looks IN AN AMERICAN CONTEXT to wear a t shirt and jeans as a speaker ANYWHERE. WHY are you dancing around this issue – and bringing it back to the thobe and shalwar? You were given the honor of carrying out one of THE MOST SACRED RITUALS in our Religion… and you argue that what your wearing was shariah compliant – whilst, if you havent already noticed … NOONE said it was haram or revealing or awrah anything. The only thing your being told over and over and over – is that it was a POOR CHOICE OF IMMATURITY, that you are exhausting so much effort in justifying as your american black identity that everyone supposedly hates… and without saying it, your further asserting that is a white dude got up there wearing the same NONSENSE, they would of been applauded.. wa wa wa, and NO thats not it, your way off. Honestly, your blog, your vibe – and everything about you screams “im obsessed with myself”. Your argument is very simple – and almost innocent “i am not wearing anything against the sharia, therefore everyone has to accept me”…. which is fine. No one in the world will tell you that jeans and a tee are islamically wrong (other than some geniuses in saudi with a degree in retardation)… In addition to that, wearing polka dotted pajama pants with a power rangers tang top – also isnt in violation o sharia,,, in fact, many 7 year old Muslims spend their saturday mornings in that exact outfit… WOULD YOU WEAR IT TO SPEAK AT SALATUL JUMUAH and expect people to not say anything? Here we are at the same scenario – apparel that isnt sharia defiant, yet – still manages to be a silly choice. Its not that your engaging in haram – rather, your engaging in immaturity – which is to be expected from someone that has a wall like you, a blog like you, a demeanor like you. But hey, you want to screw everyone else as being a cultural bigot, or an ignorant muslim, or whatever. At Masajid ive been to all around the country, we have honorable Muslims of all colors including MANY african americans, who wear all kinds of stuff – African/Arabic/American/European, etc etc – some are ‘desified’ others are 110% American, BUT THEY ALL DRESS UPPPP. Just think about it, a camel with glasses t shirt – oh your fancy huh. Listen, your the one advertising your face everywhere – practice common sense,,,, it will help you in whatever you do, really. Get off your high horse, and stop victimizing yourself –

      • Very simple, I wear what I wanna wear, without apology. It doesn’t matter where I am. If people can’t deal with that then tough. I’m not conforming for you, them, or no one else. I maintain my current position & that’s final: As long as it’s something that’s Islamcally-compliant, I’ll wear whatever the hell I wanna wear, I don’t care whether it’s at work work or upon the Minbar.

  4. your arguing a point that hasn’t reached the level of relevancy… maybe when you learn the rules of basic argumentation – we could try this again

    • #Whatever!!! The fact that you’re willing to rant on my blog proves how relevant all of this really is to you personally. Oh, and by the way…

      …why do you even feel the need to go so hard, referring to this topic, if it’s not relevant?!!!

      • The point is that you’re trying to pretend that `Asabiyyah is not a reality & that I’m supposed to just tolerate `Asabiyyah being imposed upon me, by other Muslims, no less, and do nothing about it. No, I will not stand for it. I’m not one of these happy-go-lucky House-Nigga Afro-American Muslims, who allow other Muslims to disregard the Islamic validity of our culture, while we’re pressured to accept theirs.

        It’s just like the bogus “Muslim-Name” concept. Muslims still look @me funny, when I tell them what my name is, like I haven’t truly become a Muslim, unless I don an Arab name, which is rather insulting, to say the very least. The same goes for when I go give a Khutbah, and someone passes me some raggy-ass dingy Thobe to put on, because it’s Masjid-policy. THAT SHIT IS DUMB-WACK, period. Why the hell should I forfeit the right that any other Muslim has to don any cultural dress that they see fit, but as soon as I wanna wear something that’s relevant to my urban atmosphere, it’s a freakin’ problem.

        No, that’s not cool, to discriminate against any Muslim, regardless of where they are in life, or what socio-cultural place that they hail from. I’m an American of my times, Americans wear Jeans & Tees. This is what we freakin’ do, this is recognized & accepted as cultural urban dress. So what is it’s not formal attire. And, again, who’s the genius who came up with the bright idea that only Thobes & Shalwar Kameez’s are Islamically formal attire?!!!

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