Category Archives: Domestic-Violence

Why I’m Against War: A Military-Veteran Speaks

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Author’s-Note:

Abdullah Colon, whom I met online, has welcomed me as a Brother. With us united by our Islāmic-Faith, we’ve gotten the chance to learn more about each other. I’ve had the great opportunity to have him educate me as per his Military-Experience as a Muslim, which he’s also graciously allowed me to interview him based on it.

GB: How long have you been a Muslim: are you a Muslim-Revert, or Born-Muslim?

AC: I am a Muslim-Revert; I became a Muslim when I was 17 back in February of 2000 in El Paso, Texas.

GB: How long have you served in the Military, which National-Military, which Armed-Forces Branch?

AC: I was in the Military from September 2001 to September 2006. I was in the United States Marine Corps.

GB: Have you ever seen Live/Active Combat, and if so, how has that made an impact on your practice of Islām?

AC: I was involved in Combat Operations during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. My Unit earned a Combat Action Ribbon. It has impacted my practice of Islam in the past. After being in combat, I came home and began to rely upon Islam as a way of dealing with my PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Some days were better than others. Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed, other days I isolated myself in the Mosque.

GB: How has Military-Life shaped your Worldview of Peoples whom are Native to the Places where Military-Conflicts take place?

AC: I think that Military life has made me sympathetic to indigenous people’s rebellions and their insurgencies. I saw death and destruction first hand, up close and personal. I saw what we did and I understand why people wanted to attack us.

GB: What has been the Pros & Cons of the Military-Experience?

AC: Pros and Cons of Military life are many. Let me start with the cons: I suffer from anxiety, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I see the world through jaded lenses. I have a very pessimistic outlook. What I witnessed and have done weighs on my soul deeply. As for the pros, well I think being pushed past my mental and physical limits was a good thing. Other than that I didn’t learn much that would be of any use in a civilian environment.

GB: When did you make the Decision to become Active in the Veterans against War Movement?

AC: It was in 2013 that I decided to join Iraq Veterans against the War. It was after having a discussion with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamid Ali that really made me realize that I needed to get involved in an active way against American Imperialism.

GB: How has War generally influenced your Perception of Life & Death, or has it at all?

AC: War has influenced my perception of life and death in a big way. I feel like death can seize us at any moment. Death is real and always near!

GB: Are there any regrets. Is which have, in terms of being in the Military?

AC: I think that I have many regrets, but at the same time I owe my intestinal fortitude, ability to run toward a threat to my training and experience in the Marines.

GB: As both a Muslim & a Minority, who’s literally placed their life on the line via Military-Service for the United States: what’s your Views regarding the Anti-Muslim, Anti-Immigrant Policies being promoted by the Trump-Administration?

AC: My views on the anti Muslims and anti immigration policies are that they all come from the same satanic source of white supremacy. This is why white passing Latinos (Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio for example) can support the policies being pushed by the Trump administration and those of us with brown/indigenous features will hit up the front lines against white supremacy.

GB: How are you able to cope with knowing that you’re the Member of 2-Demographics within the United States which are constantly targeted by Bias & Bigotry?

As for dealing with being part of of two demographics of folks that are being assaulted in Trump’s America-The way I deal with it is through Islam: prayer and good deeds, being a good person based upon what Islam teaches helps my mind & soul attain ease. Also, training myself by: lifting weights, martial arts, boxing, etc. & just keeping the body strong just in case I have to get down. Keeping the company of good people and making alliances with folks that care about the struggle.

GB: What would ultimately be your Advice for any Muslim who’s either currently serving in the US-Military or has aspirations of joining the Ranks of the US-Military?

AC: For Muslims who are currently serving, I say get out! Do whatever it takes to get out of the military.  For those that want to join, I say don’t do it.

GB: Speak more in detail, regarding the Iraq Veterans Against The War: its purpose & objectives, goals, etc. Also, tell me about the Advocacy for bringing Deported-Veterans back to the United States.

AC: For more information regarding the IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against The War) go to: http://www.ivaw.org/mission-values-and-vision

As for the advocacy regarding veterans who have been deported, we are in solidarity with them. Many of those veterans are members of veterans for peace. Our organization IVAW arose from VFP (Veterans For Peace). Many of our members are both VFP and IVAW members. Many of us work with the campaign to bring the deported veterans back to the United States.

GB: What can People like me, as well as others who will read this & get a glimpse of your Story: how can we help People like you in your Struggles coming from a Military-Life & reverting to a Civilian-Life once again?

AC: I think the best thing is Community-Support. Having a community to transition to-Being in the military and being in prison are similar. Veterans are able to transition into prison life with ease. You go from one governmental institution to another. I’m speaking from experience. So having a muslim community to come back to is amazing. I was basically homeless when I came out of the Marines. It was living in a broken down RV in a ‘friends’ backyard. It was a Muslim brother (Afro-American) that took me into his home…fed me and took care of me, even when I was sick, like I was just like a member of his family: a recovering Alcoholic who credits Islam to saving his life.

Well…you’ve most definitely given an insightful Interview, regarding this Chapter of your Life-Journey. My hope for you is that Allah constantly/consistently bring you closer to a space & place of Inner-Peace.

Gareth Bryant/2017

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The Rwanda-Syndrome:

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Author’s-Note:

Allah says in The Qur’ān, “And, don’t allow your Hatred, against any People, prevent you from behaving justly.”.(Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.8, V.5)

Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said that Allah said, “Oh, My Servants!!! Verily, I’ve made Oppressed Forbidden even upon Myself, as well as between you. So, do not oppress one another.”.(an-Nawawī)

In light of so many Events around our Planet, detailing the constant & consistent Oppression of People, whom are Desperate to be heard, to be listened to, to be helped-Sadly, much like the Carnage which took place during the infamous Rwanda-Conflict, in 1994, C.E., there’s seems to be absolutely zero Change, in terms of how the International-Community chooses to respond to Conflicts which yield levels of Destruction which can’t be defined in any ways other than: Inhumane, Genocidal, etc. And, you’d think that the World would’ve learned from the Errors of Rwanda, as the Nations of our World just stood by and made us watch in agony while they did nothing, as nearly a Million Human-Beings, along with countless other Thousands were: tortured, maimed, raped, murdered, starved-out all in the name of Power & Domination over the Other.(For more Information concerning International-Genocide: http://www.genocidewatch.com)

Ever since the 1990’s, C.E.: there’ve several Nations which have become war-torn, in which untold Millions of Human-Beings have become the subject of Theft, Rape, Murder, etc. With these blatant acts of Genocide being witness before our very eyes, we’ve stayed glued to our Social-Media tools of Communication & Observance, (TV, the News, the Internet, YouTube, etc.) to remain “Aware” of what’s happening. However, unfortunately, that’s largely all we’ve done as a Society is just sit-back and watch, as Multitudes of People just like us: Humans perpetually suffer unjustly. It’s almost as though we’ve become so used to Carnage, that it’s now just another form of Entertainment.

Also, it seems as though the “International-Community” conveniently waits for Conflicts to get at their worsts, before anything substantial is actually done, in order to significantly dispel Oppression around the World. For example: for those of us old enough to remember, the Conflict in Rwanda from beginning to ending was nothing short of the many things which were imposed upon Human-Beings during the Reign of the 3rd-Reich during the WWII-Era (1939-1945, C.E.). The World said “Never Again”, pertaining to the World’s-Nations sitting on the Sidelines as the International “Bullies of da Block” push People around. But, the World hasn’t kept its Word, to maintain Justice for Oppressed-Peoples around the Globe.

Just like what occurred within Rwanda, there’ve been a string of International-Conflicts, either caused by Religious, Ethnic strife between Peoples of the same Nation or imposed upon them by Bullies whom profess to be the Defenders of Freedom…Justice…Equality.

Let’s take a look at some examples of the Rwanda-Syndrome:

 

  1. Somalia

 

  1. Afghanistan

 

  1. Iraq

 

  1. Syria

 

  1. Libya

 

  1. Mali

 

  1. Sudan

 

  1. Nigeria

 

  1. Central African Republic

 

  1. Burma/Myanmar

 

  1. Palestine/Israel

 

  1. Yemen

 

For Decades, Nations such as these have been torn apart by Conflict, both internally amongst themselves, as well as the Conflicts being catalyzed, arguably even promoted via Western-Colonization, Western-Influence, etc. Whatever the Reason doesn’t really matter. What matters is the fact that these listed Nations have been struck with Conflicts which have completely either broken-down their entire Societies or has left Millions Dead, Maimed, Raped, Displaced/Homeless, Starving, Diseased, and yet there’s been little to nothing done to concretely put an end to the Oppression the Innocents of these Countries are forced to face. Which comes back to my Point, regarding us being self-victimized by the Rwanda-Syndrome: as a Globally-Connected Society, one would think/assume that there’d greater Efforts by the International-Community to resolve such Conflicts. But, this is clearly yet to be seen.

My Question is this though: how many more People have to actually succumb to these types of Atrocities, before we actually get it, that these are Human-Beings who don’t deserve to be treated like this?!!!

Gareth Bryant/2017

The Muslim-Community’s Dilemma concerning the Issue of Abortion

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Author’s-Note:

I’ve written this, as a Result of an Article which I’ve read, concerning a Muslim-Woman who made the Decision to have an Abortion.(http://www.thetempest.co/2017/08/25/life-love/love-sex/muslim-had-abortion/) The story actually is not Uncommon, yet Powerful none the less. This Article is indicative of how Broken so many Muslims in our Communities are, as well as how our Muslim-Communities are either too Apathetic, too Preoccupied, too Judgmental, to truly be of Help & Service to marginalized Demographics, who have to make Difficult, Life-Changing, Decisions.

Contrary to Popular-Opinion: Muslims do not see Eye2Eye pertaining to this Issue, for a lot of Reasons: Conservatism vs. Liberalism, Women’s-Liberation, Feminism, Female-Autonomy, Reproductive-Rights, Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, etc. As Muslims, however, we must be prepared to journey with/walk with anyone/everyone whom has either had to make a Decision involving Abortion, or is right now as we speak in the process of having to make a Decision concerning Abortion.

As far as I’ve been able to research, there’s 3-Types of Abortions:

1. Resulting from Sexual-Assault (Incest, Rape, etc.).

2. Resulting from a Medical-Necessity (Health/Life Threatening).

3. Resulting from: a. A Woman choosing to do it because she doesn’t want Children/additional Children (Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.17, V.33)…b. A Woman who rationalizes that because she’s not in a Socio-Economic Space/Place she wants/needs to be in to be a Responsible-Parent (Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.6, V.151)…c. A Woman who wants to rid her Life of the Responsibility of a Child resulting from the Personal-Actions of both her & her Sexual Partner/Partners (Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.17, V32) and/or her Partner, her Family/Community, etc. putting pressure on her to proceed with it.

Islām has a Maqsid/Mantra, among the many Maqāsid/Mantras of ash-Sharī`ah/Islāmic-Law…among them being the Maqsid of the Preservation of Life: every Human-Being has the Right to live, even prior to Conception/Birth, even if they grow-up to be a Tyrant.(Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.5, V.32)

According to the Sharī`ah, Mahrūmāt/Prohibited-Actions fall under 3-Categories:

1. Reprehensible & Punishable (Punishable either in the Hereafter, in the Mundane, or both).

2. Reprehensible but not Punishable.

3. Neither Reprehensible nor Punishable.

Now, the Challenge is objectively placing each Type of Abortion into each Category of Mahrūmāt…here it goes:

a. Abortion Type-1…Category-2

b. Abortion Type-2…Category-3

c. Abortion Type-3…Category-1

As per our Collective-Responsibility as Muslims: we mustn’t/shouldn’t attempt to pursuade anyone to make any Decision…they have Freewill for a Reason, and their Decision will be held into Account by Allah, not us.

I know that it’s easy to say, “it’s Harām/Forbidden”, when you’re not in another Person’s Shoes, who has to decide whether or not an Unborn Human-Being lives or dies. Spiritual/Psycho-Emotional Breakdown is a Real-Thing. Now, I’m just as Pro-Life is anyone else. At the same Time, it behooves us, as Muslims to be more Empathetic to Issues like this. Also, the Cycle of Abuse is a Real-Thing as well. When People witness Trauma (Domestic-Abuse for example), they Spiritually/Psycho-Emotionally accept it as Normal-Behavior when it’s not What had been mentioned in this Article, concerning this Muslim-Woman’s Struggle to find herself, in the midst of not being healed from her Childhood-Trauma, which had led to her escapades with a Man she wasn’t married to is Reality for countless Muslim-Women, which the Muslim-Community fails constantly to both address & remedy. And, let’s be Honest here: among Muslims generally, Women are ostracized significantly more for having Bastard-Children (Children conceived via Non-Wedlock), as opposed to Men having Bastard-Children. So, the Pressure surrounding this Muslim-Woman as per mothering a Bastard-Child isn’t at all false or exaggerated.

Our Maslahah/Objective, particularly pertaining to this Issue is to maitain the Mantra of R.E.P. (R.espect…E.mpathy…P.atience) at all Times. We’re dealing with Real-People, who’re dealing with Real-Issues just like this everyday. Now, I’m going to anticipate that least 1,000-People are going to disagree with what I’ve presented. But, then again: that’s what having these Types of Conversations are all about…Dialogue…Solutions.

Gareth Bryant/2017

Circumcision vs. Mutilation: is there a Difference between the two?!!!

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Circumcision in Islām is of 2-Types:

1. Male-Circumcision-

Male-Circumcision consists of removing the Male-Prepuce/Foreskin, exposing the Head of the Penis.

2. Female-Circumcision-

Female-Circumcision consists of partial or complete removal of the Female-Prepuce/Clitoral-Hood, exposing the Clitoris.

Both Types of Circumcision are known to possess Precedent within Islām via the Qur’ān&Sunnah.(al-Bukhārī, Muslim) Circumcision is not Mutilation of the Human-Body, as Anti-Circumcision Advocates dishonestly propagate to be the Case, simply because Islām never textually condones Mutilation of the Human-Body in any way. Also, Circumcision isn’t some Archaic (many would even dare to argue “Barbaric”) 3rd-World Custom, as many would attempt to classify it as such. Rather, the Islāmic-Origins of Circumcision actually begin when Allah commanded Abraham (Peace be upon him) to establish Circumcision: to circumcise himself, along with all Male-Members of his Household.(Qasas-ul-Anbiyā’/Stories Of The Prophets, ibn-Kathīr) And, thus proving that Circumcision not only predates the Revelation of the Qur’ān, but that it also is predicated by Revelation which Allah imposed upon Abraham: the Friend of Allah…the Father of the Prophets.

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Since this Discussion is particular to Female-Circumcision: it must be noted that the Islāmic-Allowance of Female-Circumcision is in no way akin to Female Genital Mutilation, because of what I’ve already mentioned prior, pertaining to Islām never condoning Mutilation of the Human-Body & by virtue of the fact that there’s no Islāmic-Texts stating that Female-Circumcision is Mafrūdh/Mandatory.

Rather, Female-Circumcision is something which is Mubāh (Neutral/Optional), as is proven within the following Text:

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Now, based upon this particular Hadīth/Prophetic-Narration, it’s Clear that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) never mandated nor abolished Female-Circumcision, yet only advised/warned, commanded that it must not be done in an Extreme-Fashion. Based upon what we know concerning FGM, it’s obvious that this is the Extreme-Fashion in which Muhammad set out to avoid & forbade from taking place.

There’s very blatant differences between Female-Circumcision, which is Islāmically-Acceptable vs. FGM, which is Mahrūm/Islāmically-Prohibited, by virtue of the Harm which is caused by it. In fact, in Islām, we as Muslims are commanded to avoid Harm at any/all Costs. (Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.2, V.195; an-Nawawī)

The following Diagram proves my Point:

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Let’s review the above Diagram (B.  Type I [A. Prepuce removal only]): it paints a Clear-Picture, that B. Type I (A.Prepuce removal only) is the only Islāmically-Acceptable form of Female-Circumcision, and therefore could never be FGM. The other Figures  within this Diagram clearly describe/define that these other Types are not Circumcision; rather, these are Types of Mutilation/FGM. In the Modern-World: I must agree that most Places Worldwide where Female-Circumcision takes place don’t use proper Medical-Technology, nor Sanitary/Hygienic Tools and/or Facilities to conduct Female-Circumcision correctly, according to Islām. So, under these Conditions, coupled with the Reality that Female-Circumcision isn’t Islāmically-Mandatory anyway, I do advocate that Female-Circumcision generally should/must be discontinued in Places where there’s no proper Facilitation that Female-Circumcision: 1. Won’t be done correctly, according to Islām…2. Could/would result in Dangerous/Life-Threatening Health-Risks for Women. And, unfortunately, there’s enough Evidence that Female-Circumcision (1. Based upon Unhealthy-Methods of it being done…2. Dangerous/Life-Threatening Health-Risks) should/must be discontinued.

In Islām, if something isn’t Obligatory: if there’s a higher Probability that Muslims won’t be able to maintain it and/or do it correctly, not only is it Islāmically-Allowable to discontinue it (depending on what it is), it would also then be Islāmically-Mandatory to discontinue it, if the Harm resulting from it becomes greater than its Benefit.

The following Hadīth gives us Precedent, as to the Islāmic-Allowability to discontinue something which is not Mafrūdh:20170802_183904In Conclusion, let 1-Thing remain Crystal-Clear: Female-Circumcision is in no Way akin to Female Genital Mutilation. So, do not…I repeat, do not continue to allow Ignorant/Islāmophobic (Muslims and/or Non-Muslims) People attempt to treat Circumcision and FGM as though they’re the same Things, because they’re clearly not akin to one another at all. And, stop allowing them to promote this Fallacy that FGM is supported by Islām.
Gareth Bryant/2017

My Declaration of Dissonance:

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We hold these lies to be self-evident. All Men are not viewed equal. Our Creator has endowed us all with inaliable rights. But, some have been allowed to deprive Others of their rights. Life…Liberty…the pursuit of Happiness for some, and yet Death…Oppression…Imposition of Misery for those yearning to simply be humanized by their fellow Man. These United States go to, have gone to, various parts of the World to “liberate” & “spread Democracy”, while crushing the Humanity of Peoples within the American boundaries, the Homeland, without reservation…relegating the Original-Americans to destitute Reservations. Stripping them of country & culture, forcing them to adopt the ways of he who speaks with 2-Tongues…as if a few Indian-Owned Casinos are supposed to compensate for Wounded-Knee; I don’t think so. On to the Black-Man: you’ve tried to exterminate our pride through castrating our Men…raping our Women…slaughtering our Children. However, the Earth is round for a reason. Now, Jungle-Fever has invaded the interiors of your White-Picket Fences, and when your daughter’s asks, “Guess Who’s Coming Home For Dinner?”, it’s the one you hate the most…the Nigger. There were never any wants to free those shackled to your dominance, and when the dust of Civil-War settled, the KKK rose to repel the progress of Reconstruction: Black-Codes, Jim-Crow, Segregation, you know. Mexican-Immigration seems to be your greatest current fears. But, don’t you remember that all of the Southwest were part of South of the border in former years. After the Alamo fell, the Benghazi of the 19th-Century, you made a vow to drive-out the Brown from every Western town. World-War II, very recent to you: locking-up Japanese in Internment-Camps, mimicking the Nazis, using Asian-Americans as wartime Patsies. Then, 9/11: portraying every Muslim as a cold-blooded Terrorists. As the Buildings fell, our fellow Citizens damned us to Hell, simply because of lies told by our Government, so they sound the drums of War & Conquest: the Neo-Crusades. Then, the ISIS-Myth: nothing could be more ridiculous than claiming that a Group of Dudes who mostly speak Arabic, using English-Acronyms and the name of an Ancient Pagan-God to define themselves. Black Lives Matter is constantly confronted with All Lives/Blue Lives Matter, while completely ignoring Black-Lives.

Gareth Bryant/2016

I’m Afraid Of Being Black In America!!!

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For the first time in my life, I’m afraid to be Black…
…everything about who I am is under fierce attack.

I’m worried that my Mother will have to see me in a Casket…
…body mutilated like Emmett Till: a tragedy that’s so drastic.

I’m afraid that one day I’ll be blown away…
…by a Police-Officer’s Gun and at any day.

I’m apprehensive that I’ll just be another Black-Man killed in the Streets…
…and that my murderers will get away with it, and continue walkin da Beats.

It’s more likely that I’ll be killed by Cops than by ISIS…
…we live in a World where we just want to deny this.

Everyone wants to pretend that equality is here…
…tell that to Black-Men who live in constant fear.

Whether we’re Gangster or Corporate, it don’t matter…
…cooperating makes Police draw their weapons faster.

Why must Society make Others feel…
…that I do nothing but rob and steal?

Why are the Police trained to automatically view me as a Criminal?
The Racism of the 60’s resurfaced from its historical subliminal.

What are we supposed to do; how do we fight back?
The load is too heavy: I feel that I’m about to snap.

Gareth Bryant/2016

The Orlando Club-Shooting:

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There’s  two very important things that I’d like to speak about, regarding these Shootings in Orlando, Florida.

Number-1:
At
 this time, I think that it’s appropriate for me to speak about the Orlando, Florida Mass-Shooting. It was wrong…period. There’s absolutely no authentic Islamic-Texts which justify what happened; no true Person-Of-Knowledge would support what happened. Muslims who truly believe in Allah & the Last-Day don’t support what happened…it’s an atrocity & a straight-up violation of what Allah predicates as the Sacredness of Life.(Noble-Qur’an: Chat.5, V.32) Furthermore, Allah commands us that even if we despise actions that People do, there’s never any Islamic-Justification to oppress them.(Noble-Qur’an: Chat.5, V.8)

Now, unfortunately, this did happen: unfortunately lives have been lost in a way that is completely unacceptable Islamically…unfortunately People who didn’t wrong their Murderer have had their lives cut-short…unfortunately Families all across the United States & the World have been force-feed yet another reason to fear/hate Muslims.

My message, to all those who’ve been negatively-affected by this tragedy-
I’m here to tell you, I am sorry to all the Loved-Ones of the Victims. I know how it feels to have relatives who’ve been killed via violence…it’s an ugly experience knowing that someone you know has had their lives unjustly taken away. And, that’s an experience which I never want to relive and never want anyone to suffer the agony associated with it.

My message to the Muslims-
This is a tragedy, so treat it like one. Just like what happens in Muslim-Countries, when our Brothers & Sisters are murdered, likewise when our Brothers & Sisters in Humanity are murdered it’s just as horrific and tragic. There is no honor in these types of actions. There’s no reward from Allah in these actions…this is not Jihad, this is Cowardice & Malice…this is Oppression.

Allah told Muhammad (Peace be upon him) “Verily, I’ve made Oppression prohibited upon Myself, as well as between you. So, do not oppress one another.”.(an-Nawawi)

This isn’t the post of an Apologist, because those who know me know I’m far from an Apologist. However, this is the post of a Muslim, a Human-Being, who does not support Oppression, regardless to who commits it.

Number-2:
Not to attempt to draw necessary-attention from the Mass-Shooting in Orlando, Florida. But, there was another Shooting in Orlando, right before this one: a Young-Artist was murdered on-stage, as she performed. Now, I’m wondering why this Shooting is seemingly getting less attention. I think that I know why: because that shooting of this Young-Artist isn’t Politically-Orgasmic…it’s just not enough to stir the Political-Correctness & National-Outrage pot. People get murdered in Clubs, Bars, Lounges, Arenas, Stadiums, Concerts, etc. all the time, yet none of them have ever gotten the National-Attention which they deserve. It’s simply because the Homosexual-Agenda is the Hottest new fad, coupled with the Perpetrator being identified as a Muslim: Islamophobia being the Hottest new trend. It’s almost as though this Shooting is being fade-out to be the 9/11 of Homophobic-Attacks. However, Life is Life: all Life matters…every Life matters…every Human-Life is sacred and important. So, we must/should never allow Sensationalized Media-Blitzes control our emotions & thoughts, convincing us that certain lives take priority/the backseat over others and/or that Life is only Sacred/Expendable when it’s politically popular/appropriate to be.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

My Advice to the Ummah

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#‎Muslims‬…especially ‪#‎MuslimReverts‬ and/or Muslims native to the ‪#‎WesternWorld‬ are in a serious bind & all because of ‪#‎Islamophobia‬: it’s turning Parents against Children, Spouse against Spouse, Co-Worker against Co-Worker, Neighbor against Neighbor, Friend against Friend. It’s tearing our Societies apart, and if we study the Sirah/Biography of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the same thing took place in 7th-century Arabia. And, yes…I know it hurts when someone mocks you for praying, fasting, trying your best to not do negative just to fit-in: I’ve lived it & I’m still living it. But, I’m here to tell you that when Allah rewards those who are sincere to ‪#‎Islam‬, in both word & deed, and by His Mercy grants us victory over our Enemies who want nothing more than to display us as blood-thirsty Tyrants, we will ond day look back, laugh, and say to ourselves, “Because I was patient with the trials which Allah imposed upon me, and because I sincerely worked hard to be Good in the face of Evil…this was all worth it: every time I was arrested based on false-charges, stripped-searched & detained at airports, denied jobs/fired from jobs, teased & bullied, forced to fight in order to defend myself, forced to endure the lies against our perfect lifestyle called Islam…it was worth it all.”.

Gareth Bryant

The Day I Became A Coward:

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Author’s-Note:
“And, don’t allow your hatred against any People prevent you from being Just.”
(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.8)

This is a true-story, of when I had a very gruesomely hostile argument with my Mother, over Religion. I was still fairly a New-Muslim at the time, and she was vehemently against me being a Muslim in the 1st-place. So, because of her blatant Islamophobia, I began to develop a very toxic hatred in my heart against her. I was very enthusiastic concerning my reversion to Islam: it was (and still is) such a liberating experience. However, unfortunately, I had also made the grave mistake of using my newly-found Monotheistic-Faith as a justification to rebel against my Mother, which I did fairly often. I honestly don’t even remember what we had argued about in detail, nor do I remember how this argument started and/or which one of us started it. I have no recollection of how old I was at the time, nor the time, day, month, season, year; I can’t recall what I had worn that day, or what I ate: none of these details come to my mind. But, I do remember getting angry with my Mother, and I remember what I stated to her, which I’m too ashamed to say publicly. I can still see the pain in her face, as the tears began to roll down her face, flowing from her eyes, like river-streams from a snow-capped Mountain in the Springtime.

I can still envision the look of regret that she had on my face for giving birth to me, because of my vile tantrum of disrespect against her. I can still hear her heart breaking into unrecognizable pieces, because of the harshness of my words spewing from my reckless tongue. This is is the day my cowardice was truly exposed. I had displayed such unforgivable rudeness towards the Woman who birthed me, that had Allah decided to strike me dead, as a punishment, it would’ve been what I deserved. I didn’t even know how to apologize: it was like Allah had decided that my prior insults were so despicable, that I wasn’t even worthy of speaking again. It felt like my tongue was paralyzed & being prevented via Allah’s Divine-Discretion, from even being able to say sorry for what I had said. Now, there I was, a Young-Punk, thinking that I’m a “Tough-Guy”, making my Mother cry, using the same voice that would cry-out to her when I wanted/needed her for love & attention, to cause her pain. I felt so low that day. After our argument, self-witnessing the anguish which I had inflicted upon her started to make me reflect as to whether or not I was even worthy of being a Muslim.

That’s how deeply this event had affected me. And, even to the point when there were times after this that I had wished that I had died, because of the shame I bore: the pain of dealing with the consequences of what I had done felt like I was being destroyed from within. Ironically, many years afterwards, my Mother sent me a text-message, telling me how proud of me she is of the Man that I’ve become. This text made feel feel that my entire existence, prior to that point was useless. I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t remember this argument her & I had. But, I’ve never forgotten it, nor will I allow myself to forget it. That episode in my life is one thing, amongst so many others, which I’ll continually use to keep me humble, as well as humbled. I had actually been thinking a lot about the Verse of the Qur’an that I mentioned earlier, and the more I had thought about it, the more things that I had done, People that I had offended out of hatred began to surface from my subconscious. And, then, this incident between my Mother & I resurfaced within me, and it took me to a place of reflection that I didn’t want to be taken, but it was a necessary place to be.

Particularly, and especially as Muslims: it doesn’t matter who opposes your Islam, it gives us no right to treat them unjustly. All Human beings have the right to be treated fairly. And, those who have the greatest rights over us are our Parents. And, the Parent who has the most rights over us are our Mothers.(an-Nawawi) Our jobs as Children are to care for our Parents, in the same ways which they’ve cared for us when we were young & helpless.(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.17, V.24) And, for a long time, I had done the exact opposite of caring for my Mother, spending more time causing her grief as opposed to joy. When I began to comes to terms about the wrongs against my own Mother, I started to reflect upon how my Mother would always tell my siblings & I growing-up, that our Father always wanted us & told us to listen to our Mother. My Father was my hero growing-up. So, when he died when I was very young, I was only left with memories of him & from what others including my Mother had told me about him.

I started to think about how could I possibly face my Father, knowing what I had done against my own Mother. Then, an even greater fear encompassed me: how am I going to face Allah: the Creator/Lord of the Universe & answer to Him on the Day of Standing for the wrongs that I’ve done against my own Mother? It’s popularly said that “The Wise-Man is he who learns from the Errors of Others.”. So, be wise & learn from my Errors: don’t make your Mothers cry…don’t be Cowards.

Gareth Bryant/2015

Gareth Bryant featured on The Mardiyah Show Episode 4 Part 2

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Author’s Note:
This is the official interview of Gareth Bryant, on one of his most controversial articles to date, “Why Muslim Women Are Against Polygyny and Why Muslim Men Can’t Really Blame Them”:

http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/antipolygyny/