Category Archives: Family-Ties

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

Evolution is White-Supremacy & White-Supremacy is Kufr/Disbelief:

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Evolution is White-Supremacy & White-Supremacy is Kufr/Disbelief:

IMG_20170819_082950_735For anyone/everyone who’s ever studied Biology: Science of Life/Living, you know fully well that Evolution, specifically Darwinian-Evolution/Darwinism is the Leading-Agenda pontificated within the Scientific-Community. And, it’s absolutely no Accident that the Scientific-Community is dominated by Atheists/Anti-Theists, White-Supremacists, etc., thanks to Charles Darwin authoring “The Origin Of Species”: his Work concerning Evolution. Evolution directly supports/co-signs this Pathological-Ideology, that in spite of the Claim that Human-Life didn’t begin in Europe, even according to Evolutionists, somehow Europeans “evolved” to become Superior to any/all Non-European Peoples, because the only Reason why the Claim that Human-Life began in Africa is even pontificated within Evolution/Darwinism is because, according to Evolution/Darwinism: African-Peoples evolved from Primates, and then all other Peoples evolved from African-Peoples. And, this is fueled by the Disbelief in Allah: a Divine-Creator who created all Human-Beings on equal Spiritual & Intellectual footing.

Gareth Bryant/2017

 

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

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/

Gareth Bryant featured on The Mardiyah Show Episode 4 Part I

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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/

Muslims Giving Back’s annual participation at the annual AFSP: Out Of the Darkness Overnight promoting Suicide-Awareness & Suicide-Prevention

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Donate to the efforts of Muslims Giving Back below…Support Project: #Walk4life:

http://www.theovernight.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=13648

The Known & Unknown:

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What is known is that I:

am a shame to my Lord’s Providence…
…my life stained by sinful indifference.

act out of impulse, without care nor consequence…
…I treat advice that’s given by others as nonsense.

leach off of the kindness of others…
…am often malicious to my brothers.

contradict my self-proclaimed ideals…
…care nothing for what the other feels.

What is Unknown is that I:

have no idea how many People I’ve hurt…
…don’t know if I’ve achieved my true worth.

don’t know whether I will ever good enough…
…don’t know why Humans make Life so rough.

don’t know where, when, or how I’ll die…
…don’t know whether I’ll be History’s lies.

don’t know whether I’ll be among the Eagles, as they fly…
…or whether I will be crowned the lowly Lord of the Flies.

Gareth Bryant/2015

Muslims Giving Back gives People the tools to save Lives…one CPR-Class at a time:

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The Muslims Giving Back #Muslims4Life Mobile CPR-Team is established: it’s a unique team of American Heart Association Instructors, dedicated to training and certifying members of all communities in the NYC-Area.

Our team is 100% Mobile…we can come to your local institution or community. We sponsor 2-4 classes every month at Muslim Community Center located in Sunset-Park, Brooklyn: 5218 Third Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220.

 

CPR 1

 

All classes are FREE however the students are responsible to purchase the Student Materials which are required. All classes are separated by Gender, so our Women are also encouraged to sign up.

All classes will provide light refreshments and snacks.The price for the Student Materials is $40.Students will receive the following:

 

CPR 2

 

  • American Heart Association Student Workbook
  • CPR Mask for Adult/Child, & Infant mask with 1-way valve.
  • American Heart Association Certification Card.

For more information, please feel free to visit us online @:

http://www.muslimsgivingback.org