Monthly Archives: March 2013

My Poetic Anatomy: My 1st Published-Work:

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My Poetic Anatomy pic

Salam/What-Up?!!!

My 1st, of many hopeful publications, with Ampli-Pages, is scheduled to drop in April of this year. Please, like this page, to stay tuned to updates as to how to get info. about my publications. This, my 1st, official, publication, will be titled, “My Poetic Anatomy”.

#GoCopDat

Here’s my facebook page, for those of you on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/GarethBryantOfficial

Gareth Bryant/2013

What is Islamic-Feminism/What is A Muslim-Feminist?!!!

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Author’s note:

Since Feminism has taken a very significant foothold, within the greater Muslim-World, in our modern-age, as a direct-result of the atrocities brought on by Misogyny, many Muslims, both Men & Women, whom are religiously in favor of Feminism, have decided to coin the term “Islamic-Feminism/Muslim-Feminist”, to identify with the greater Feminist-Movement, with an Islamic/Religious spin on how it should be applied to the lives of Muslims, Muslim-Women, particularly/especially. So, now, we have Muslims, from everywhere, whether their in Muslim or Non-Muslim nations, adhering to this new-wave of Feminism, called “Islamic-Feminism”, attempting to consolidate the fundamentals of Feminism & Islam, together, as though they are one in the same.

The following is my conclusion, after attending the highly-anticipated, highly-controversial, ICNYU Shuruq event, “Why All Muslims Should Be Feminists”:

A Muslim being forthright concerning the pursuit of socio-religious equality, between Men & Women, doesn’t make one an Islamic-Feminist/Muslim-Feminist, it simply makes one a Muslim. Just like: wanting to adhere to Islam, based upon the way of the Salaf (the Sahabah/Companions [May Allah be pleased with them all-together] & theTab’in/Followers [May Allah mercify them all-together]) doesn’t make one a Salafi-Muslim, wanting the global-unity of the Muslims make one an Ikhwani-Muslim, having respect/love for Ahl-il-Bayt/the People of the House (the Muslim-Relatives of Muhammad [Peace be upon him] & their descendants) doesn’t make one a Shi`i-Muslim, striving to establish a, solid, spiritual-connection with Allah doesn’t make one a Sufi-Muslim. The term Feminism, Islamic-Feminism, etc. are just excuses, among many others to attempt to monopolize elements of Islam, which have existed, before the inception of these respective coined-concepts & movements. In other words, calling to “Feminism”, regardless of intent, is just as divisive as calling to “Salafism”, “Shi`ism”, “Sufism”, ‘Nepotism’, “Ethnocentrism” “Racism”, “Nationalism”, “Classim”, “Chauvinism”/”Sexism” or any/all other ‘ism’s’ out there.

Gareth Bryant/2013

The Perils of MSA-Life, anywhere/everywhere:

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Author’s note:

This is an anonymous-advice, that someone, whom is a Muslim, would like to give, to Muslims generally, and also, to Muslims involved in MSA (Muslim Students Association) work, whether you’re in High School, or at the College level. I think that this advice is very commendable, and even anonymously, I’m sure that it took a lot for this person to write this, which displays an immense amount of courage, on her part.

This is their story:

“The only reason I’m writing this is because today I was being “haram” and thinking about a guy back in middle school. He read books all the time and knew things that our teachers didn’t expect anyone to know, let alone a Black male who hung out with the wrong crew. To be honest, I really liked him, and I wasn’t even in love with his clothes or his personality; it was his brain.

Something that struck me about him was that he never did his homework, yet on tests he’d score higher than any of us, and he never bragged about it. I remember hearing people ask him how he knew these things, and I remembering asking him that myself. I never realized what I was doing to him; I never would’ve asked a non-Black guy because that’s something I would’ve just expected; but now I realize how wrong it was to question him just because I expected him to be like the others who looked like him. I never really knew that what I was doing was wrong, and the proof is that I liked him all throughout middle school.

When I thought about him earlier today and started thinking why I liked him so much, I saw a reflection of him in me. I wear tight jeans, and my hijab is a mess. My shirts are never long enough and my relationship with my family isn’t even Islamic. Although I can go on and on about my negatives, I can say one good thing about myself without lying, I read; sometimes I act stupid or do things just because I’m expected to, and I know that people will question me if I say things I’m “not supposed” to know, similar to that guy. I started reflecting back on every time I interacted with a Muslim who seemed to be more religious then me (they probably were, I’m just saying “seemed” because only Allah knows what’s truly in our hearts). Every time I though about these interactions, I felt like I was being treated like that guy, and I really was. And when I thought about it I got really angry. It hurts to know that your brothers and sisters can expect so little from you; I was really angry because know one even knew how much or how little I read at home, and they simply expected so little from me. Even though  I’m still really angry at them, I’m just a little less angry because I remember asking that guy why he knew so much and I remember expecting so little from him. I guess that’s how some people think of a girl who doesn’t look as Muslim as them. The same way it was unintentional for me, I guess it was unintentional for those people, and this is why I am writing this. The words you say to someone can really hurt them. Please, don’t question how someone knows something and don’t give a fake smile and tell them that you’re so proud that they  are taking notes at an Islamic event – an event that they made it to earlier than you probably even left your house.

I remember back in Arabic school (something that I quit because I had to much “work” to do), the teacher was explaining to us how it’s important to treat people of all religions nicely. I had to share the story of how the Prophet got up when men passed him with a dead Jewish body. The people around him asked him why he got up for this man if he was a Jewish man, and the Prophet simply responded, “Is he not human”. I remember the look of surprise and the smile that she gave me, and at the moment I smiled, yo. I couldn’t believe this woman was complimenting me, and when she asked me how I knew that, I proudly replied I read. Now, I look back, and I’m angry that she would ask me something like that. If it was one of the other girls, whose parents were Arab, she would only be happy, not surprised,  to hear it from them. And, yeah, I still realize that she could’ve only said that because she wanted to know how she can get her teenage sons to read , but that still hurt.

Then, a few months ago, I went to one of the first Islamic events I went to in a few months. I was mad hype, it was a brother I listened to a lot, I loved when he made videos criticizing things I did as a young Muslim. Anyway, I’m there about 20 minutes early or whatever, and this girl that I go with tells me that I should pray. I casually try to shrug it off, and then I tell her that prayer isn’t important right now. She gave me this huge speech about how it’s so important to pray, and I know I needed that, but it just wasn’t the time- and also , I don’t just accept advice from anyone. I know I should fix that, but also if you’re giving advice to someone, make sure they like you enough to be willing to receive it (not that I didn’t like her, she’s really nice, but her speeches are just tooooo long). Anyway, the reason I didn’t want to pray was because I knew there was some pee on my pants. I can’t blame her, I know she didn‘t know, but please try to consider why a person might be doing something before assuming something and giving them a whole lecture.

Anyway, I’m at this lecture, and another girl, a board member of our MSA, comes up to me and tells me that she’s so happy I’m here. I know that you probably think I’m overreacting for getting angry, but I still feel like I deserve to feel angry. This girl greeted the people around me with “Salams!” and when she saw me, sure she said Salam! in that stupid voice, but she also told me that she was so proud that I had my notebook. Me, being the retard I am, smiled and felt so happy to hear someone complimenting me; but now when I think back, the first girl that she said Salam to had a paper in her hand also, and she didn’t say anything about that, but when she saw me, it was just unexpected. She probably didn’t mean it the way she said it, but I still have a hard time forgiving her. If there’s a group of people, don’t make one seem less than the rest, not even religiously speaking but just in general. I’m not saying that everyone should just say Salam with the same expression to every person, but we need to remember that it’s not cool to talk down to someone. I don’t know why it’s so hard to forgive her, I really don’t, but maybe its because that comment was given at a time when my Islam was already shaky.

 

The only reason I wrote this is because I feel like this is something we do unintentionally, but the feelings that we hurt may stay hurt one, two, five years later. Please, if your giving dawah don’t question people’s intelligence. I know that I barely know anything, but you don’t need to tell me that and treat others different while in front of me, and don’t think you know why someone does someone does something because you really don’t.

 

Also, this is to every MSA board member anywhere, if you don’t ask people what they want to here and if you aren’t willing to take suggestions, the MSA isn’t what its supposed to be. If someone doesn’t even pray, why not take to them individually instead of having meetings about the Sahaba or about a Prophet (I’m not saying that’s not important. I’m just saying that you guys don’t even know what we’re going through and instead of trying to find out, you tell us things that we’d be happy to learn If our Islam was stronger). I think our MSA’s focus way too much about facts, than on trying to understand things and apply them to our daily lives. Also, one more thing, please give us the chance to ask questions. Cut the meetings short a little, hear what we have to say. And try to instill family. I don’t even smile at the board members who are sisters because we all don’t try hard enough to make it a big family. Let’s do that.”

Gareth Bryant/2013

Aside

Steven Biko pic

Author’s note:

A Somali-Muslim sister decided to dedicate a poem, to this African leader. However, she wants to remain anonymous, which is cool with me. I do think that this poem is good, and, that she has something important to say in this particular work. So, this is also the reason as to why I am happy & proud to display her writing.

You don’t recognize us But we are the children of your fight Black and white.

I write what I like, you said. Now they do what they like; we mourn for you.

But Steve, mourn for us How handsome you were The infinite potential of youth.

Then a bludgeoned bloated corpse We don’t recognize you in those pictures Black and white.

But it was proof of what they did to you Though we were shy to see it We mourn for you.

But Steve, mourn for us Mourn the tender deal Tender and kind.

Deep in the bowels of the earth there lies our wealth And with glittering glee.

Our leaders squeal It’s mine, it’s mine Squandered with stealth Buyer and lender smile.

While the child Without books, without shoes, walks to a school without teachers Mile after mile.

With every million that divides rich and poor Mourn for us With every woman raped Mourn for us.

With each death Black and white Mourn for us How pretty we were.

The endless possibilities of a country renewed Are our bludgeons to the head

self-inflicted? …as they said yours were Bloated – but not a corpse …yet?

We have all the proof, though we are shy to see it Black and White Rest In Peace.

Gareth Bryant/2013

In Memorandum of Steven Biko:

My “Dear-John” letter to John Fitzgerald Kennedy:

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JFK pic

Author’s note:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy has been dead a long time. And, ironically, people are still clinging to the classic lone-gunman story, of how one many shot JFK, from at least 3-directions, causing 3 completely different bullet wounds, on 3 completely separate parts of his body. With that being said, I’ve made a poem, describing what I would say to him, if I were able to speak with him, to tell him about what happened after his own death.

Dear JFK:

They still haven’t captured any of your killers, yet they got away, scott free.
You were a thorn in their sides, they had to remove, you wanted true liberty.

It’s truly a shame, that none of those assassins were not ever brought to justice.
The Warren-Commission covered it up, ruled your death an open & shut case.

There are, still, so many theories, as to why, and how, you were eliminated.
All of the things you tried to push through, after you, were never attempted.

You being the last U.S. President, to date, to ever be assassinated is of no surprise.
You took on a lot more than you could’ve chewed, that’s what led to your demise.

You had tried your very best to do away with the CIA…
…they used espionage attempting to propel Doomsday.

You attempted to remove American-involvement from Vietnam…
…you wanted to end the Cold-War, get the World nuclearly calm.

You tried to abolish the Federal Reserve, decrease the power of Banksters controlling the economy…
…and, with you out of the picture, there was no one else to stop them from playin’ real-life Monopoly.

Everyone abandoned you, left your side: you were the blood-sacrifice of dissent, as well as defections.
Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t kill you, even the Zapruder film shows you being shot in at least two-directions.

They silenced him quickly, because he was gonna tell it all, spill the beans…
…Jack Ruby was the ideal hitman for the puppet-master’s dirty schemes.

Your Secret Service detail made you such an easy-target, leaving you all alone.
Your motorcade driver drove you to your death, into the Dealey Plaza kill-zone.

You made too many enemies & not nearly enough friends.
People viewed you as a threat, to influence and dividends.

Most people are too afraid to know the truth…
…we cannot afford to keep lying to our youth.

They must know what & why you died for…
…it was the 1st-casualty of an internal-war.

This is not a war of bullets & bombs…
…but, it’s a conflict of honesty, integrity.

Those responsible for your death want the American people to just remain ignorant & blind…
…following trends, spending aimlessly, until for the next generation, nothing’s left behind.

All that they really want is destruction, for small-gain profits…
…they want to place into power whomever follows the scripts.

Gareth Bryant/2013

 

My Wounded-Knee & my Broken-Heart: The Untold Tragedy of the Native American

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Map of Native American lands pic

Author’s note:

The infamous Wounded-Knee massacre, in 1890, officially, marked the official end of true Native-American sovereignty, within North America, particularly within the newly expanding United States. This, even though a massacre more than a battle, is historically considered the last armed-conflict of the officially recognized “Indian-Wars” era. This event once and for all broke the backbone of the Native American in a way that suited the interests of the United States, but, dealt a serious blow to the Native people of this continent, particularly within the newly confiscated lands, inducted into the United States (the Western-Frontier/Territories which later became states). This poem is a very short history, of how the Native peoples of the Western-Hemisphere were exploited, some by their own doing, and also by sheer manipulation, military-force by invading European as well as Euro-American entities.

 

From the time Columbus came here, this pale-face being, with two-tongues, has been trouble.

We were just fine, being isolated from the rest of this World, in our naturally beautiful bubble.

 

Then, he got lost, on route to India, to land here, and then gave us names that we never gave ourselves.

We showered them with welcome, they showered us with unsheathed blades & bullets from their rifles.

 

Oh, let’s not forget spreading of smallpox.

Diseases which caused our bodies to rot.

 

All throughout the Caribbean, the Spanish, Portuguese, turned us into slaves, killing us with labor.

When we couldn’t handle it, they killed us systematically and brought Africans to work via torture.

 

In what is now Latin-America, people like Cortez, Ponce de Leon, the Pizarro Brothers, took lands.

They left us destitute, we found ourselves begging for basic-necessities, on our knees, opened-hands.

 

During the American-Revolution, treaties were made, secured alliance with us, to ward-off the British.

They never honored the return of original, native territories; they reneged, after their war was finished.

 

Andrew Jackson initiated the Indian-Removal Acts…forcing thousands of us to march…

…from Georgia to Oklahoma…to our very deaths…these atrocities were just the start.

 

During the American Civil-War, we fought for both the Union and Confederate…

…as though either of them had our interests at heart…it was just for their benefit.

 

The Buffalo-Soldier, the Black-Man, our brothers in the struggle, were vehemently used against us…

…ironic is that they were cotton-pickers, not too long ago, now supporting the oppression of the U.S.

 

Then, the last-stand, at Wounded-Knee, was the nail in the coffin, for our nation.

The long road of armed-resistance was ended, and we succumbed to decimation.

 

Then, they forced us upon mass reservations, and modern schools, to receive a Euro-centric cultivation.

They destroyed our ways of life, then, forced their culture upon us, as though they possessed civilization.

 

They didn’t even give us the right to vote in America, until 1870.

The way they stripped us of everything was low-down and dirty.

 

We should’ve never welcomed the Pilgrims, we should’ve never sold Manhattan.

Ever since then, they’ve managed to keep us subdued, with our very own hatchet.

 

We never should have involved ourselves in that Slave trade…

…helping the White-Man keep others in bondage is our shame.

 

This was our land & they nearly destroyed us, attempting annihilation.

But, we’re still here, we must never give in to unforgivable oppression.

 

Gareth Bryant/2013

Camelot: Unplugged

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gareth-bryant-podium-pic.jpg

Excalibur was never my strength; Lancelot was always treacherous.

I never trusted Guinevere, the Round Table Knights ever malicious.

The street-life my kingdom, the projects my castles.

The hustlers, shooters and stick-up kids, my vassals.

My upbringing like the water of a moat: stale, stagnant.

No drawbridges to escape from my illusionary palace.

The dregs of the Hood are exactly like Serfs, desperately fighting and killing, over a greedy Baron’s turf.

Owning nothing; yet, they squabble over scraps from a tyrant’s table, disregarding their own self-worth.

Where I come from, we don’t save “Damsels-in-Distress”.

Instead, we’re always on the run, avoiding threats of arrest.

In the ghetto kingdoms of vice, there are no such people as “Heroes-in-Shining-Armor”.

We have no time for that…We’re constantly engarde for the Shooter, the Urban-Archer.

It is, in all-reality, just a “dog-eat-dog” world.

There’s only 2-objectives: the gold & the girl.

We are not at all like the Kennedy’s of Hyannis Port.

Unlike them, our Camelot is not at all play and sport.

We just get it how we live, and live how we get it.

We all wanna be like the Jones’, not a spendthrift.

When we will learn that the fire-breathing Dragon in the tower is in fact our very own demons?

How many “unhappily-ever-afters”, will we have, before we realize we must write our stories?

Gareth Bryant/2013

 

Triangles and Eyes:

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Mahir Mohamed pic

Your eyes behold nothing but corruption and lies
But you don’t have to be wise to
uncover the disguise
Behind the music and rhymes
To them money, power and deception is the prize
But looking fly and getting high isn’t getting you to the seventh sky
It’s easy to deny
But when you understand why
You’ll want to expose the lies
But if you try
And you know too much you’ll have to die
The power they hold is hard to define
Bin Laden is alive
Still believe Muslims were responsible for the attack?
You’re in for a big surprise!
They thought it would hurt us!
They thought it would put us in demise!
But still Islam stands the fastest growing religion on the rise!
All of the living are mourning
He released his jealousy on them
But didn’t the scripture warn them? Delivered the revelations?
and still they’re debating Satan’s use of major corporations
Remember the plantation
Remember the black enslavement
Their forced colonization
on the land of the natives
Those innocent souls debasing
Globe defacing
Hidden persuaders
Ignorance and stupidity we get from the radio stations
Choppers adrift across the Gaza strip
Streets full of mercenaries, waiting for their time to kill
worshipping the pyramid, right there on the dollar bill
Jails filled with Latinos and Blacks
Obama’s planning to build concentration camps
Their puppets encourage sex,drugs,violence Satanism
And what do they do? Put black faces on them
degrading the people of color
“Subliminal Racism”
Want to hear more?
They only patrol the Mexican border
Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for a new world order
Performances getting younger and dresses getting shorter
And you wonder why these pedofiles market your sons and daughters
Get ready for the vice
caused people to believe the death of Jesus Christ
Politicians telling lies, tongues riddled with thorns
And use hand gestures shaped in the form of devil horns
The so called holidays are a hypocrisy!
established to use religion to commit annual robbery.
A holy prophet’s birth being pimped and commercialized
Telling our children lies
You need to make them study Santa Claus’s sick history
Thanksgiving disguised as a feast
The truth is what a teacher cant teach
But i stand behind this podium and preach
violating the law of “freedom of speech”
Only a matter of time when we’ll all be naked and running
They’ve been planning for it, the one-eyed beast is coming

Why is everything about money these days?
If you make enough you’ll finally be able to make it rain!
you see they already controlled your brain
So if you make it, you’ll find yourself going nowhere but insane
You’re nothing but a modern day slave
The only thing lower than your pants are your grades
And ladies, where is the rest of your outfit at?
Does your father know you’re dressed like that?
The puppets wanted fortune and fame
In which they took desperate measures to gain
Towards the youth is where they aim
they attacked
Trying to ruin the Islamic name
Creating propaganda to blame
Bringing millions of believers to shame
Doubt their existence? Check the other side of the one dollar bill, it’ll explain

Mahir Mohamed/2013

The Realities of Being a Hifzh-Kid:

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Roman Patwary

Author’s note:

I have chosen to ask some people, whom I know personally, to write about their thoughts, views on how it really is to be a Hafizh (a Memorizer of the Qur’an). I deem it necessary to relate how it truly is: many/most of us, Muslims, whom have not been able to commit Hizh (memorization the entire Qur’an to memory), for whatever reason (becoming a Muslim late in life, being preoccupied with the realities of mundane-living, tied-down by school/work, sheer laziness, etc.), really have know definitive idea, as to how strenuous, or challenging this is. We just think it’s as simple as on..two…three. But, my brother, friend, Roman Patwary, as Hafizh, himself, has written some of the real-deal realities in which most, if not all, Huffazh (sing. Hafizh) have ever, or will ever experience, at one time or another, within their respective lifetimes, as Huffazh.

Being among those who have memorized the Qur’an is an immense blessing, that none of us who have been granted this gift can ever fully appreciate or show enough gratitude for. This blessing however comes also with a great trial – the trial of sincerity. I have not been a Hafizh for very long, but in this short time, I’ve already found that one has to constantly remind himself to check his intentions. It seems to me that this corruption of intentions happens because of two main reasons: excessive praise or excessive criticism.

When a young person finishes memorizing the Quran, he is showered with praise by young and old alike. This especially happens during Ramadan when night in and night out, people praise you for what you accomplished and what you’re doing. This celebrity-status is horrible for the Nafs (Ego/Desires), as it loves to be complemented…If you don’t keep yourself in check, it becomes unclear as to whether you’re doing it for the praise of the people or the praise of your Lord alone.

Another way intentions can be corrupted by outside influences is excessive criticism from the outside. As soon as someone becomes a Hafizh they are seen as a role model in the community, and rightfully so. However, we are all human and can slip up. This can lead to someone avoiding sins not just for the sake of Allah, but also to be safe from the criticism of other people. Unfortunately, the latter can become the main reason in many cases. Yes, it is definitely worse when someone who memorized the Quran does something bad. But if people crucify him over it, it can lead to questionable intentions.

As with many things, the biggest trial of being a Hafizh is to keep your ego in check. Shaytaan comes at you from your weakest points, and it is easy for him to whisper to you and make you think you are above everyone else. But we just have to step back once in awhile, Huffazh and everyone else alike, and realize we’re all made from the ground we trample on, and we will all be returned to Him one day as helpless as we came into this world.
Roman Patwary/2013