Category Archives: Misogyny

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

 

Yasmin Mogahed’s position on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict:

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Yasmin Mogahed pic

Author’s-Note:
Yasin Mogahed’s spin on the issue takes us to a place that we ca all relate to: it sets us up & forces us to truly reflect upon the different scenarios that she presents, and how we would view them, had they been in place of the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

I used to wonder why some Palestinian people would engage in actions that could only provoke the aggressor further. Then I realized that to ask a people to live quietly, while they have no justice and no freedom, is to ask them to live “peacefully” as slaves. “Peace” without justice or freedom is slavery. It’s like asking a battered woman to live “peacefully” with her abuse. We all want the bloodshed to stop. But what about the daily humiliation and institutionalized oppression?

I was reminded of a part in “The Hunger Games” when Katniss considers abandoning the resistance against the oppressor, in exchange for “safety”. Gale’s response was telling. He said: “Safe to do what? Starve? Work like slaves? Send their kids to the reaping?”

Consider this: If a woman is being raped, things would be a lot more “peaceful” if she didn’t resist. But, asking her not to resist–just because her attacker is physically stronger–is asking her to accept her own abuse and oppression for the sake of “peace”. This is what the world is asking Palestinians to do.

And sometimes what seems to the world as just ineffective tactics, like throwing a rock at a tank, is in fact an act of resistance. It is a powerful statement to the oppressor–and the world–that they refuse to be enslaved. That dignity and self-respect are even more beloved to them than their own lives.

It is a statement that you can take their lives. But not their freedom.

Yasmin Mogahed/2014

For more info. about Yasmin Mogahed:

http://www.yasminmogahed.com

The reason why Muslim-Women are against Polygyny & why Muslim-Men can’t really blame them:

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Author’s-Note:
There’s going to be a lot of controversy behind the release of this article. But, that’s ok because that’s what Gareth Bryant is all about.

Allah states: “Men are Responsible for Women.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.4, V.34) And, this status of Qawwamah/Responsibility, that Allah has placed upon Men, to be Responsible for Women, consists of any/all elements of the Human-Experience. But, in the interest of time, I’ll just focus on a few of them, which could very well, ironically, encompass any other facets of Responsibility. Sadly, the problem is that we, as Muslim-Men, really don’t match-up to the standards of Qawwamah for Women that Allah requires of us, neither within the Qur’an nor the Prophetic-Tradition.

All Women (Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) are attracted to Quwwah/Power, which linguistically intersects with the word Qawwamah.(Lisan-ul-`Arab/Lexicon of the Arabic-Language) Yet, Power, within our Modern-World, is something that the typical Muslim-Male has either forfeited, never experienced, or is just pathetically powerless.

Here are some of the many avenues of Power, as is manifested in many significantly different ways:

Intelligence-
Intellectual prowess is something that Women value very highly. Women require to be stimulated on an intellectual plateau. They want to be with someone who can & will stimulate and challenge them, intellectually…no Woman wants a dumb Dude.

Religion-
A Man with strong religious-convictions are qualities that Women are very impressed with, because it shows that he has spiritual structure, boundaries, self-restraint, morals, character, etc.

Politics-
Women respect a Man who is able to control his surroundings, his environment, to be able to dictate policy, which can & will ensure the preservation, goodwill, safety, security of all.

Wealth-
Women want to be maintained…they want to live comfortably, without having to do it all themselves, without having to struggle financially. Women require Men to be able to stand on their own 2-feet, to have some type of financial independence, stability, security, etc.

Sexuality-
Women want a Man who knows what he’s doing in the bedroom. They want a Man to treat them respectfully, yet at the exact same time, take them places sexually that they’ve never been before.

Humor-
Every Woman wants a Man who can make them laugh, when they’re sad, to be able to bring a smile & joyful mood to their person.

Now, contrary to popular-opinion, the reason why the Muslim-Woman doesn’t generally approve or is privy to a Muslim-Man having more than 1-Wife/Multiple-Wives aren’t any of the cop-out reasons some try to give like:

1. Jealousy-
The Wives of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the best of Women in Human-History (May Allah be pleased with them), often displayed acts & fits of jealousy against one another, over being married to Muhammad. However, his house was still in order, his wives never had to go out into the streets to get food, clothing or shelter, he made sure that these elements of Human sustainability, protection, safety, security, were well taken care of for his wives.(ar-Rahiq-ul-Makhtum/The Sealed-Nectar)

2. Emotional-Disproportion-
This plays on number one a lil’ bit, because the Wives of Muhammad also displayed, at times, disdain for one another, as a result of vying for the affection of Muhammad. In fact, there’s a Hadith/Narration concerning one wife knocking food onto the floor, because Muhammad had decided to eat food made by another one of his wives.(al-Bukhari)

3. Men wanting younger Women-
One of the biggest & most obvious ways to disprove this is the fact that most of the Wives of Muhammad were similar in age as he was. In fact, `Ai’shah was (via [Islamic-Scholarly] Ijma`/Unanimity) the youngest wife that he had ever married. Also, his 1st-Wife, Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) was (via Ijma`) the oldest Woman that he had ever married: they were married even before he had been given Prophecy, 15-years prior, to be exact & she was 15-years his senior. And, she was the only Woman that he was ever married to prior to her death, which was 13-years after Muhammad had become a Prophet.(ar-Rahiq-ul-Makhtum)

4. Lack of ability to spend equal time with all of one’s Wives-
Muhammad had 9-wives at one time; yet, he was able to be a Prophet, a Military-Leader, a Father, a Community-Leader, a Diplomat, a Statesman, and he was also able to give time to all of his wives, relative to their respective needs. Now, if he were able to wear these many hats & perform the duties attached to each of them to their fullest capacity, yet was still able to be the best of husbands to all of the wives he ever had, then, surely, the Muslim-Man, who is religiously-relegated to only having up to 4-wives at a time, can handle 2, or three additional wives to the 1 wife they are currently married to.

Rather, the true reason why so many Muslim-Women are growing more unwilling to agree to their respective husbands to have multiple-wives is simply because they genuinely believe that we’re not even deserving of this. And, why do I say this? The answer will make sense, trust me. Most of the Muslim-World is a direct product of Colonization, nation-building/nation-making, by the Oppressor & with the help of power-hungry, sinful, Muslims, etc. Now, within this process, there have been, unfortunately, so many, too many, atrocities that have plagued the Muslim-World, particularly Muslim-Women, like: being raped, forced to leave Islam at the hands of Non-Muslims, while the Men of the Muslim-World have largely stood by & have done nothing about it. All of the prior things I’ve mentioned, the facets of Power, which are seen in fruition in everyday Life, all around us-To be able to execute the manifestation of any/all of the above means that one possesses an immense amount of Power.

However, within the Muslim-World today, we tend to be very lacking in our manifestations of these particular facets of Power, especially referring to the following: Intelligence…Religion…Politics…Wealth:

1. Intellectual-Weakness-
Muslims have no say as to how Academic policies are conjured, concepted, carried out, etc. We are just influenced by the order of the day by other People, with their Anti-Islamic intellectual theories, like Atheism, Darwinism, etc. In fact, ironically, Atheists/Anti-Theists have more influence within the Academic-World than Muslims do & historically, many of the World’s 1st Universities were incepted by Muslims, several centuries ago.

2. Religious-Weakness-
There Muslims who are Billionaires, like Prince al-Walid ibn-Talal, of Saudi Arabia, nicknamed “The Arab Warren Buffet”, whom have invested their wealth into companies like NewsCorp, which owns FoxNews, the most Islamophobic media-outlet the Human-Race has ever known. This proves that Muslims don’t even control/can’t even control how our own religious image & narrative is portrayed within the media, because here we have one of the most affluent Muslims, in Human-History, financing the Oppressor, against the Oppressed, who happen to largely be his own fellow Muslims.

3. Political-Weakness-
There is no country on Earth, right now, where the Muslim-Woman is 100% secure from getting abused, raped, forced into Prostitution, Slavery, etc. Countless cases have even actually indicated that many of the World’s Oil-Rich Muslim/Arab nations have been responsible for some of the highest Human-Rights Violations against Muslim-Women, on all levels. I’ve already mentioned some of the too many historical instances in which invaders of the lands of the Muslims (both Muslims & Non-Muslims) have pillaged & raped, and forced into Prostitution as well as Slavery, untold thousands, if not millions, of Muslim-Women. And, the Men of the Muslim-World have done nearly nothing, basically nothing to prevent this or to avenge these types of atrocities that our Muslim-Women have been forced to endure, by our own hands, as well as by the hands of Non-Muslims.

4. Financial-Weakness-
With all of the World’s wealthy Billionaire/Millionaire Muslims, there’s absolutely no excuse as to why Poverty exists on planet Earth, particularly/especially within the Muslim-World. And, this is actually how we know that there are Muslims aren’t even properly paying 2.5% of their wealth in az-Zakah/Annual Obligatory (the 3rd among the 5-Pillars of Islam).(Minhaj-ul-Muslim/The Methodology of the Muslim) The reason why I’m bold enough to say this is because there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that if every Wealthy-Muslim on this planet were to truly pay 2.5% worth of az-Zakah, on their personal-wealth (their net-wealth), there’s absolutely no way that there would/could be any hungry, homeless, jobless Humans on Earth. If the Wealthy-Muslims were to truly implement the payment of true Zakah, the World wouldn’t need the usury-based, exploitative International Monetary Fund, the World-Bank, etc. The World would be able to come to the Muslims for economic balance, fairness, justice, sustainability, etc.

Now, for those of you whom happen to be Men, Muslim-Men especially, reading this article: try looking at these very unfortunate realities, from a Woman’s point of view: knowing the sheer weakness of the Muslim-Man, who has largely no Power of his own to wield globally, where the Muslim-Man has basically become an international Joke-of-the-Party, then, why should Muslim-Women want to have Men like us having more than one Wife? Basically, we don’t have our shit together. Take a look at all of the atrocities that have befallen the Muslim-Woman, within the 19th-Century alone: the inhumane tragedies in the Middle-East (during World-War I), North Africa (during World-War II), The Balkans & the USSR/Russia (during the 90’s), India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Iraq, and the list can go on forever. The Muslim-Man is in absolutely no position to secure the sanctity, the integrity, of the Muslim-Woman. And, that’s the real reason why they are not comfortable with the Muslim-Man having multiple-wives, particularly/especially within the confines of the Western-World, where Feminism is King (an ironic hyperbole obviously), our Muslim-Women are being influenced to the extent that Men generally, particularly/especially that Muslim-Men are completely useless, which unfortunately, we’ve proven that very ugly & malicious stereotype right for far too long.

The issue of Muslim-Women being against Polygyny honestly has so much more to with the inadequacies of the Muslim-Man to serve his environment & protect his Women. Trust me: if the Muslim-Man had his shit together, no Muslim-Woman on planet Earth would have any justification as to why they wouldn’t be in favor of Polygyny at all. But, the weakness of the Muslim-Man gives them that justification, that the Enemies of Islam have helped to indoctrinate the Muslim-Man with, to disempower him, as in the Pharaonic mentality that Allah mentions within the Qur’an, “kill the Men & spare the Women”.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Necessary-Venting concerning some elements of Social-Immorality:

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Author’s-Note:
I’m just lettin’ you guys know, in advance, that there’s gonna be a lot of People mad @ me by the end of this post, but, who the Hell cares, right? Now let’s begin…This particular article is based upon our modern society’s pathological love-affair with all-things immoral, Ratchet, etc.

1. Men-
If you met your Girl, Wifey, Wife, etc., at the Club or in a Strip-Club, at a Lounge, at a Hookah-Bar/Sheesha-Bar, please…oh, please, don’t expect her to be loyal to you…it’s just not very intelligent of you. Also, if you’ve been takin’ a Woman out for more than 6-months and you’ve never met her parents, children, relatives, talked about Marriage, settling-down, moving-in, etc., then it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re either a Sponsor or an Emotional-Side-Nigga‬.

2. Fathers-
Don’t expect your children to respect you to any extent if you’ve never had any positive-influence over their lives. Also, if you don’t know the names of any of your children, or don’t know where they live, or don’t remember the last time that you’ve seen them in-person, or have any children who have ever done anything sexually-explicit that’s been captured in pictures, film, the internet, etc., then know for sure that you are a Deadbeat-Father.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about Muslim-Men & Muslim-Fathers:

3. Muslim-Men-
If any of your children end up in Haram-Relationships, even though they’ll be held accountable for their own actions, I don’t blame them, I blame you. Here’s why: the fact that you’re so caught-up in this lame “Preserve our Race/Preserve our Culture” mentality that you’ve purposely forgotten that the preservation of the religious & sexual integrity of your children should be your number-one priority as parents; and, it’s also a known fact that you Muslim-Fathers use your Walayah/Fatherly-Authority to not approve of certain Muslims, based upon Ethinc-Background, National-Origin, etc., to marry your daughters, meanwhile, your daughters are gettin’ their backs blown-out by these Niggas in the Streets, who are the same ethnicities of those Muslims that you reject anyway…ironic ain’t it? Muslim-Men wit Girlfrineds/Wifey’s: Stop lyin’ to yourselves & others about havin’ a girlfriend, claimin’ them as your “Finances”…‪#‎NiggaPlease‬…stop tryin’ to Islamify Haram-Shit…it sets a very bad precedent & now with all of these Muslim-Women being influenced by this Feminism bullshit, they now believe that they can have boyfriends too, and to add insult-to-injury 9/10 their boyfriends aren’t even Muslims…if you’re a Muslim-Man with Girlfriends then you’re a Sinner, and being a Sinner isn’t cool.

Nah…don’t think that I forgot about the Women:

4. Women-
If you voluntary gave-up the Coochie to a dude prior to marrying him, please, oh, please, don’t expect him to be loyal to you. Because, if a Nigga can get it from you that easily, without any commitment on his part, to be with you long-term, then, he’ll never respect you, and it speaks volumes for the lack of respect that you have for yourself. Also, I’m really tired of Women complainin’ bout how dudes look @them in the Street, when they barely have any clothes on. Well…News-Flash: if ya ass is showin’ for all the World to see you can’t possibly expect all these Niggas out here to not look. I mean, obviously, this gives no Man any justification to violate your Humanity. But, at the same exact time, you’ve just got to take personal-responsibility for yourselves & respect yourselves, by dressing in ways that Men will respect you by (this particularly but not exclusively is targetting Muslim-Women as well).

And speakin’ of Muslim-Women:

5. Muslim-Women-
Marrying a Non-Muslim is not a Marriage, it is a Sin!!! You can try to justify it via “Progressiveness”, “Modernity”, “Liberalism”, “Feminism”, etc., all you want. But, there’s exclusive evidence, from al-Qur’an itself, thus proving the illegitimacy of a Muslim-Woman’s marriage to any Non-Muslim, to the extent that it’s not even a Marriage in the Sight of Allah, it’s just shameless‪#‎THOTness‬…FYI: If you’re a Muslim-Woman who voluntarily gives-up the Coochie to any Non-Muslim that makes you a ‪#‎THOT‬ by definition…‪#‎JustSayin‬.

6. Mothers:
If you’re proud of voluntarily producing children out-of-wedlock there’s something seriously wrong with you. If you don’t know who the biological-father of any of your children are, that means that you’ve had way too many sex-partners, thus making you a #THOT by definition. Also, not having a positive-relationship with your own fathers gives you no justification for you to deny your own children to have positive-relationships with their fathers…Stop being selfish & at least want for your children to have the fathers that you never had.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Muslims Giving Back: Project: #BringBackOurGirl

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BBOG

In light of the recent #BringOurGilrsBack campaign, sparked by the disgusting actions in Nigeria, spearheaded by the group Boko Haram, in which they barbarically kidnapped & sold-off Schoolgirls, from a school, many of us see this tragedy as being over there & not where we are. Well, guess what folks, things like this happen within our own nations, within our own neighborhoods, just not in ways that we’d expect to know about them, in the Media, etc. I would like to explore one such story, about a Muslim, a Woman, a Mother, a Human being, who is now suffering because her precious child had been taken away from her, by the Court-System, at the vicious & cowardly hands of her ex-husband, who slandered her name, got her arrested on trump-up child-abuse charges, and subsequently, got the courts to grant him custody of their child.

This Woman is a mother, among all of you mothers out their, she’s a parent, among all of you parents out there: if this were to happen to you, that your precious child were taken from you via court-orders, based upon lies that even law-enforcement authorities even admitted were falsified after the fact, you’d definitely want someone to help you get your child back. So, at Muslims Giving Back, this is exactly what we want to do, we want to bring this child back to her loving mother. But, we need the support & help of each and every single person of morality, conscience, empathy, sympathy, most importantly, humanity, to help Muslims Giving Back achieve our goal…to bring her girl back.

To help Muslims Giving Back in our efforts, please, go here:

http://www.gofundme.com/bringbackourgirl

Imaginative-Reasoning:

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Imagine a Chessboard, without pieces…
…or, a Dissertation, without a Thesis.

What if the Homeo had no stasis…
…the World’s weather no phases?

Try to picture the Arctic-Circle, with no Ice-Caps…
…and, all of the Animals extinct, not coming back.

Let’s think of a Planet without compliance…
…filled with hypocrisy, apathy and violence.

Be warned, these are realities yet to come…
…because, we forfeited Humanity being one.

1-God, 1-Destiny, 1-Purpose, 1-Plan…
…securing the welfare of our fellow man.

Just picture a cold Heart, with no Chambers…
…or, living our entire lives with just strangers.

Try to see in ya mind, Hustlers, without a grind…
…or, the 1-Eyed King deceiving & ruling the blind.

Let’s pretend that Poverty is at an end…
…that People selflessly give and spend.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful that a Woman didn’t have to sell her body, in order to seek a Man’s love…
…or, that a Man honor a Woman in marriage, instead of wrapping her round his hand, like a glove?

What if all People looked beyond the skin-color of another…
…and, that we only saw others as our sisters & our brothers?

How great would it be, if we were all were free…
…all People safe from the ugly claws of tyranny?

If only every Man were granted his due from his labor, his daily-bread…
…and, that he not resort to robbing, or shooting someone, in the head.

What if Muhammad had never ventured into the Cave of Hira’…
…to receive Revelation which made living life so much clearer?

What if the Children of Israel never attempted to kill Jesus…
…what if he stayed long enough for his miracles to reach us?

What if David didn’t have the courage to defeat Goliath…
…or, the Army of Saul hadn’t have received the triumph?

What if Moses never went atop Mount-Sinai & saw the Burning-Bush…
…or, if the one who took him from water never bothered to take a look?

Imagine Abraham never leaving Ishmael in the Arabian-Desert…
…would they’ve built the Ka`bah or learn joy after suffering hurt?

Think if Noah was never saved from the Great-Flood, by building the Ark…
…would Humanity have survived, or, would we have still been in the dark?

Think about how it would be, had Adam & Eve had never eaten from that Tree…
…would we know whether we’d spend our entire existence in Paradise with glee?

It would be wonderful, to witness the change that so many fought & died for…
…I guess that’s just wishful-thinking, unless we’re willing to fight & die for more.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Acid-Violence: Who’s stopping it?

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Before Acid AttackAfter Acid Attack

Laxmi an Indian Woman: disfigured after an Acid-Attack

Author’s-Note:
We’ve had the great privilege to interview Islamic Help, a United-Kingdom based non-profit organisation, which has a very special project: to advocate against Acid-Violence. I’ve gotten to learn a lot from this very sinister phenomenon that Islamic Help is spreading awareness about, and I am glad that they’ve allowed me to interview the, so as to equip us all with the necessary knowledge to keep abreast of such an important issue such as this.

 

G..B: What is “Acid-Violence”?

I.H.: Acid violence is when an attacker uses acid or a corrosive or/and chemical substance to harm, injure, disable and scar, both physically and mentally, their target. It is usually a pre-meditated attack, and a majority of the victims are women and children.

G.B.: What damage does Acid-Violence ensue?

I.H.: An acid attack can leave a victim with mutilated skin, a disability and psychological damage. To give a small example from an actual case, an acid attack survivor who had acid thrown all over her face was left visually impaired as the acid made contact with her eyes. It left her with breathing difficulties as it melted the tissues in her nasal passages, providing very little to no space for oxygen to go through. She was unable to eat or breathe properly through her mouth as the skin which forms her lips was also melted together. This is just the physical damage. The psychological damage that a lot of survivors face is just as, if not more, damaging. Imagine looking into a mirror and not recognising your own reflection. Imagine having to hide your face in public because you’re disgusted with the way you look. Imagine being told that your face, your scars, your appearance makes people feel sick and children cry. And imagine all this being made worse by your own family, who can no longer stand the sight of you and therefore disown you and kick you out of the family home, leaving you to fend for yourself.

G.B.: Can you explain, possibly, how this tradition of Acid-Violence began?

I.H.: Revenge, anger, love, lust, greed, superstition. These are just a few of the motivations which lead to acid violence. It is one of the most reprehensible and horrendous of crimes that one human can inflict on another. How and why is it so easy to throw acid on someone? In many of the countries where acid attacks occur, acid is easily available due to a variety of industries that exist such as the leather trade where acid is used in the production of leather. To give you an idea of why people would turn to acid as a weapon, let’s look at another case. (Just to clarify these are all real cases). A man in Pakistan proposed to a girl who he liked, she refused the proposal, he felt that she had dishonoured him and if he couldn’t have her then no one else could. So he decided to ruin her beauty. He threw acid onto her face, so that in his opinion, she would be seen as ugly forever.

G.B.: How/why have Muslims, of all People, adopt such a barbaric practice?

I.H.: We cannot stress this enough – this is not a crime carried out by Muslims. Religion has nothing to do with it, Islam abhors violence. These are premeditated attacks which are carried out by evil people who are cowards. Acid attacks are not a “Muslim problem”. They happen where acid is accessible and where people want to use it as a weapon. For example, there was a well-publicised acid attack in London in December 2012 when a 21 year old woman was left scarred by a friend after they fell out. The attacker was found guilty last year. Also last year, the Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director Sergei Filin was left disfigured and visually impaired after an acid attack in Moscow. Acid attacks are rare in Western countries – hence they gain greater publicity when they do occur, as the above examples show where stricter legislation means access to acid is limited. However, there was a tradition of acid being used as a weapon in Europe and the United States from the 18th to the mid-20th century. We’d also like to highlight that our work to help acid attack survivors has included Muslim and non-Muslims in places like Cambodia and Uganda.

G.B.: How long has Acid-Violence existed within the Muslim-World, or within the World, generally?

I.H.: We don’t know when the first acid attack was committed against someone – it probably wasn’t reported. However (to stress that it’s not a Muslim issue), acid attacks were common in Europe and the USA from the 18th century to the mid-20th century when acid (then known as vitriol) was produced on an industrial scale. Not only was it used in ‘domestic’ rows but labour disputes as well. Increased regulation and legislation limited access, so the number of cases in these countries dropped. But it became prevalent in South Asia, Africa and Latin America in the second half of the 21st century.

While many cases go unreported, we know that since 1999 there have been 3,512 reported cases of acid attacks around the world.

G.B.: What have the Leaders of the nations which Acid-Violence takes place done to help prevent the proliferation of Acid-Violence?

I.H.: Slowly but surely acid violence is becoming seen as more of a crime and laws are being passed to make it more difficult for attackers to avoid punishment. Laws are being passed to try to control the sale of acid so it’s not so easily accessible, but this needs to be backed with enforcement. However if you were to ask an acid attack survivor how they felt the government has dealt with their case, they would tell you something along the lines of, “The police didn’t believe me, I was provided with little to no legal aid, I can’t afford my medical bills and the government is giving me no assistance with them”. There’s a lot more that the governments of these countries need to do, to prevent attacks from occurring in the first place and to provide support to the survivors of acid attacks.

G.B.: What has the International-Community, generally, done to help prevent the proliferation of Acid-Violence?

I.H.: Well, since 2012, the International-Community has heard more about Acid-Violence, a lot of which is due to the documentary “Saving Face” which won an Oscar and two Emmy Awards. Directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, it features the work that we do with acid attack survivors. It documented the lives of acid attack survivors and the assistance they receive from Dr. Muhammad Ali Jawad, an internationally renowned plastic surgeon from the UK who works with Islamic Help to support acid attack survivors, by providing surgery and training future surgeons. However we feel that more needs to be done, that’s why we’ve launched our #EndAcidViolence campaign as part of Smiles Better week, (Smiles Better is the name given to our acid violence treatment and prevention programme) which has received a lot of attention worldwide but we need a lot more.

G.B: Do you honestly think/believe that enough is being done to help fight against Acid-Violence?

I.H.: No. A lot more needs to be done, more people need to speak up about it, and more people need to be made aware about it! That’s one thing our awareness programme does, it works with local community leaders such as imams and village leaders, we train them on how to advise their local community and congregation about the ill effects of acid violence, why it shouldn’t be carried out, why it’s such a harmful crime and what the punishment is, both from a legal perspective and religious perspective.

G.B.: Are Women/Girls the only victims of Acid-Violence, and if so, then why?

I.H.: Women and girls are not the only victims of acid violence, however based on the cases that are recorded they are a majority of the victims. A lot of the attacks are so-called domestic disputes involving a husband-and-wife or relationships between male and females.

One motivation of using acid is not only to cause immense pain but to leave the victim permanently scarred, so they are seen as unattractive.

G.B.: What could/would be your ideal-message to those who: know of this issue & yet do nothing help combat Acid-Violence, know of the issue & yet only do minimal efforts against Acid-Violence, know of this issue & yet are too afraid of consequences for standing up against Acid-Violence, know of this issue & yet really don’t have access to the tools to help prevent Acid-Violence?

I.H.: Work with us, contact us, support us and we will support you. If the subject was about rape, millions of men and women would speak out about it, because we know how horrific a crime rape is. It leaves a victim mentally scarred, it takes away from them something which is personal, something which is their own, it makes them feel defiled and abused, it leaves them living in a life of fear and in many cases feeling judged. In many cases, survivors of acid attacks feel exactly the same way, and they have to walk around with the physical scars as well. If you believe in Human-Rights, Women’s-Rights, justice, peace, equality, humanity, and all things good in this world, then you need to speak out against a crime which doesn’t receive as much attention as it should, you need to help us #EndAcidViolence.

To find out more about the work Islamic Help does and how you can support our #EndAcidViolence campaign please visit:

http://www.islamichelp.org.uk/SmilesBetter

“My Poetic-Proposal to my Lord”

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Oh, Allah:

Let me remember you when I am both happy and sad…
…regardless to whether I am calm or stark raving mad.

Allow me to be ever thankful for any test which you’ve set forth in my path…
…for me never to take Your mercy for granted, that I never earn Your wrath.

Have me in Your noble-service, by constantly being in the service of the Other…
…to view every Human, regardless of their creed, as my sister and my brother.

Give me a clean heart, full of Faith, which will never doubt, reject Your existence…
…shower me with Your ultimate graces, so that I always thank you via repentance.

Make me a Warrior, for Your pleasure: struggling on & off the battlefield…
…let me be skillful & worthy enough to spread mercy & the power to heal.

Let me be of those whom the People feel safe around…
…that I have the ability to turn all frowns upside down.

Let it be I who bring smiles to the faces of the miserable…
…let it be I who give strength to the weak, meek & feeble.

Let not my days be done, lest I can guide People to Islam…
…that Your name be praised, by every man & in every land.

Gareth Bryant/2014

A Commentary on the “Muslim Women are Cool Too” Video:

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Author’s-Note:
Allah states, within His Noble-Book: “Oh, Prophet!!! Tell your Wives, along with your Daughters & the Believing-Women, to cover themselves. That is to ensure that they are recognized publicly & not harassed. And, Allah is All-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.33, 59)

Since this “Somewhere in America Muslim Women Are Cool Too” video has went viral, basically, there has been a lot of buzz about it: good, bad, ugly & all sorts of in between. There are some whom have taken the video out of proportion from both the Conservative & Liberal camps within the Muslim-Community, anywhere/everywhere that this video has been viewed. So, what I’ve decided to do is simply ask someone,  whom is pretty much on the level socially, yet sincerely attempting to be an adherent Muslim, what are their potential concerns that this video may be projecting. I’ve decided to interview my brother Navroz Shariff, who I take to be a very balanced, well-rounded Muslims, to chime-in to personally examine this video & what image this video could possibly be sending to the public about Muslims generally, and also Muslim-Women. And, I know that a lot of People, Women (both Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) will take issue with Men speaking about the issue of “Hijab”, based upon a very ignorant misconception that (from both Men & Women: Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) that Islamic-Issues are monopolized by Genders, and/or that Hijab is only a Women’s-Issue…both are completely false (learn more about the reality of Hijab: http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/theoriginofthehijabofthemanwomaninislam/).

Navroz Shariff pic

G.B.: So, what do you think about this phenomenon, known as Hijabi-Culture?

N.S.: The purpose of Hijab is to be inconspicuous, not to stand out, glowing with make up and various kinds of fashion-accessories. I am afraid that this video will make guys much more curious about our sisters in Islam who wear modest-clothing and it may even get to a point where they will be disrespected in the streets, because, guys will have the mentality that they can just approach them similar to any non practicing girl or any Non-Muslim for that matter. We know those who do not cover their `Awrat/Private-Parts, wear tight-clothing, and show their shape, love the attention they receive from guys. Unfortunately, this video is tarnishing the respect that girls who wear Hijab properly deserve, because, guys will start to get the impression that girls who wear Hijab are the same as girls who don’t and are just as approachable. Have you ever seen how non-Muslim men act towards our sisters who properly cover their `Awrat? They show so much respect to them. Ask any of the Hijab-wearing sisters how a woman is in front of them wearing a skimpy-outfit gets whistled at and harassed while when the modest sister passes the guys the all just quiet down. Ironically, the non-Muslim men here in America give our sisters more respect, compared to fellow Muslims in some/many Muslim-Countries. Our sisters in those countries get groped, harassed and even raped, even when they sincerely attempt to dress modestly.

G.B.: Well, honestly, many Muslim-Women who may choose to not dress properly, Islamically, or not cover their bodies to any extent, may say, “Even without ‘Hijab’, I’m still ‘Modest'”.  So, let me ask you: what is the (Islamic) definition of Modesty?

G.B.: You can’t have modesty without HIjab & vice versa: they define one another simultaneously Both Hijab & Modesty are (jointly) signs of purity and dignity; they highlight the Muslim-Woman as a pure, chaste, integral, woman and sets her apart from the immoral-behavior associated with women who dress/behave immodestly. It is an external-protection, for chaste Muslim-Women, against the evil that exists within the world. When a woman wears a Hijab she is less likely to be harassed by men, with lusty-motives, especially here in America. For our sisters who cover and wish to be inconspicuous, in my humble opinion, this video has just put them on the radar and Non-Muslim men will begin to think they are no different than women who don tight-jeans, mini-skirts, etc., who show their `Awrat. It is bad enough for some that men in some/many Muslim-Countries showing disrespect to our sisters, now the non-Muslim men will also do the same. May Allah protect our sisters, and in particular I am thinking of my lovely wife here, and guide us all. And, for the sisters that see this as a Hijab instructional-video (believe me some do), the perpetrators in the video will all be responsible for all the sisters they mislead when standing alone in front of Allah.

G.B.: Do you think that Muslims are trying too hard for socio-cultural/socio-political acceptance in Non-Muslim-Countries/Non-Islamic societies, at the expense of their religious-integrity?

N.S.: It seems that Muslims are desperately trying to be accepted even if it means that they have to sculpt their religion to gain acceptance. They heed more the creation than the Creator. What does this say about their emaan? It may very well be a test for them from Allah which they are failing miserably. Mu`awiyah wrote to `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with them both), asking her to write him a letter giving him advice but not to make it lengthy. She wrote: ‘Peace be upon you! To proceed: I heard Allah’s Messenger (saws) say, “If anyone seeks Allah’s good pleasure at the cost of people’s displeasure Allah will keep from him the trouble caused by people; but if anyone seeks people’s good pleasure at the cost of Allah’s displeasure Allah will leave him in people’s hands.”

G.B.: Are you at all biased to their views on what direction Muslims should turn towards?

N.S.: If we were to stick to the Qur’an and Sunnah, then we would not be having this discussion. Is that what you mean by that question?

G.B.: Have you previously revealed your general-views regarding this new-wave of “Islamic-Identity?

N.S.: Yes, my views I tend to write in public; but, to verify that I am not biased, I ask others that they think about my opinion, discuss with them, look at it at other angles.

G.B.: How much opposition do you/have you received as a result of your views against your stances against this brand of “Islamic-Expression/Islamic-Identity”?

So far, none. But, there are many people who condone what the video shows, and the way it depicts Muslim-Women.

G.B.: If you could have a serious-conversation with either the producers of, and/or those depicted within this video, what would you say to them, and how would you say it; meaning how would you even approach the conversation?

N.S.: Honestly, it really depends: if the producers are not Muslim, then I would question the sisters…if they both are Muslims, I would question both of them and their agenda, especially with regards to the explicit lyrics and dress-style which are contrary to Islamic practice anyway…if they are just young, then I would question the elders in the video what were they thinking and that they should know better to guide their sisters.

G.B.: Are you fearful of fellow Muslims viewing you of being “backwards”, “too conservative”, “unrefined”, “too traditional”, etc.?

N.S.: I am only fearful of Allah. Islam is not about picking and choosing what you of Islam and compromise it.

Islam is not about picking and choosing what you like of the Deen and compromising.

Race-Relations: Commonalities vs. Differences

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There’s beauty within all the creation of Allah, within all Human beings. It’s just that ash-Shaytan/the Devil, along with his countless Shayatin/Minions-of-the-Devil (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.114, V.3-5), whispers into the hearts both of Jinn (Unseen-Creation made from Smokeless-Fire [Noble Qur’an: Chpt.55, V.15]), as well as Men, adding corruption to the pure-nature of the Human being, to hate one another, be at adds with one another, despise one another, based upon this which Allah had chosen for us, via His Qadha’/Divine-Providence, which we never were able to choose for our selves. And this was done exclusively, for His Divine-Purpose, to determine which from among us would be most obedient to Him, the most-grateful to Him, by learning about those whom are different, appreciating variety amongst our Human-Family, benefitting from different cultures, traditions, perspectives, walks-of-life, etc.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.49, V.13) It was never done as a justification to oppress one another, to make ourselves higher than others, to make others lower than us, in the name of `Assabiyyah/Bias (unwarranted biased towards/against someone, exclusively based upon factors that are not in anyone’s control, like: ethnic-background, nationality, genetic-abnormalities, etc.).(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.10, V.44)