Category Archives: Peers

The Reasons why Unnecessary-Differing occurs during Ramadhān

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Gareth Bryant

1440, A.H./2019, C.E.

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Being Black In Britain: The Casualties Of The Windrush-Policy & Brexit

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My Travels via the United Kingdom, the 1st-Time I’ve traveled externally of the United States since 2006, C.E. & my 1st-Traveling within Europe, has given me a Significant Contrasting-Lens to view how Things like: Islāmophobia, Xenophobia, etc. really play-out throughout the UK. Being Visibly-Muslim & African-Descent in the UK is still, I’m sure, is viewed as an Exotically-Foreign Commodity…being African-Descent not so much. However, Opposition to both al-Islām & Blackness may very well be of Equal-Par. Even as I explored the UK for myself, I has met with a Tense-Sense of: Xenophobia, Otherism…I saw it within People’s Faces, I felt it from their Vibes…this was just about anywhere/everywhere that I went-It was extremely: Subtle, Covert, Indirect, Clandestine, etc. But, I knew it when it came my Way, as it approached me. The British, from what I’ve observed possess very Sly-Ways of throwing Shade in the most Sophisticated-Ways, which kind of explains why there’s so much Sarcasm wirhin British-Humor/Comedy.

The UK particularly, not only fully expresses Disdain towards the Other, but even amongst their own Ethno-Continental/European Counterparts, there’s this seemingly British-Style Posture of Superiority, Exclusivity, Anti-Inclusion/Acceptance, etc. One of the Things which proved this to me is the Fact that, to my Surprise there were lots of Interethnic/Interracial Couples: Afro-Euro Couples most commonly, within London particularly/especially. However, I constantly observed Euro-Brits stare, glance, scowl, at these Non-Euro Brit Couples and/or Non-Euro Couples period, as if they were plagued with Jungle-Fever. I mean, I literally saw this every Day I was in the UK. One of the most prominent Displays of Exclusivity I observed was when I went to Stonehenge. Stonehenge was/is actually much more significant than I ever really took it for, in Terms of its Purpose: I learned that the Druids who built Stonehenge used that Stone-Complex to commemorate the Celebration of People transitioning from Life to Death: kind of like a Afterlife-Gateway/Portal if you will. So, as one of the Tour-Guides was telling me Extensive-Details regarding Stonehenge, I had asked whether there were older Stone-Complexes than Stonhenge…her resoonse, “Yes, there’s Stone-Structures all over the World.”; then, however, instead of actually mentioning Stone-Structures across the Planet, they only mentioned the Stone-Structures within the UK. By itself, the Statenent is apparently quite innocent. But, as per Context, it’s extremely telling as to how they view themselves as the Center of the Universe & this is also just as evident pertaining to how they’ve historically conquered & governed Others.

Even as per the Brexit-Fiasco unfolded, pertaining to the UK being politically turmoiled as to whether remain with or depart from the European Union, the Discourse concerning Anti-Blackness is very much apparent, in spite of the Macrocosmic-Narrative surrounding Immigration into the UK, which was the Genesis of the Friction between the UK & EU initially. Anti-Blackness, in lieu of Brexit, comes into play directly, resulting from Mass-Deportation of African-Peoples whom were allowed to immigrate to the UK via Post WWII, when most of the West-Indies, the Caribbean, as welk as Places within Africa, etc. were British-Colonies & even today are still (politically/economically) shackled to the UK via the British-Commonwealth. Many/most of these African-Peoples being forcibly deported are People who’ve made their Families, Careers, Lives within the UK: so much so that they basically have no Life external of the UK. As a Result, these Deportees are literally forced to start-over in Nations which they’ve probably haven’t been to in Decades.

Now, let’s explore how/why the UK possesses this Entitled-Posture to treat those whom were once welcomed to contribute to British-Society, yet are now being viewed as “the Other”. Well…let’s take a Look at the Landscape&Scope of Dominance from the Lens of the Victor/Colonizer: the UK, much like it’s other European-Colonial Counterparts, obviously, had and/or has 0-Problem with conquering, exploiting Non-European Peoples around the World, yet ironically are so bothered if/when the Descendants of these Conquered-Peoples make their Way to their Mainlands/Motherlands…ahhhhh, now all of a sudden these People are “2-Close 4 Comfort”?!!!

Whenever you’re the Dominator of any Human-Demographic, particularly/especially if/when you’ve oppressed them, then of course, it makes Sense as to how/why you’d deliberately, purposely/purposefully, methodically, set Social-Political Mechanisms in place to either keep them “in their Place” or to use/drain them of their Potential actualized within your Society & then expel them once donewith them. This is seemingly, most defintely, the Case as per the Climate&Tension surrounding Brexit which is merely yet another Excuse for the UK to put the Lean upon anyone/everyone deemed an “Outsider”, which is simply a Political-Euphemism for Non-Christian/Non-European.

African-Peoples, regadless to where they hail from under the Shadow of the British-Empire (and/or what’s left of it), are simply deemed threatening: not in Terms of Military-Opposition, but more/most importantly, in Terms of them being Historically-Perpetual Reminders of the Fact that the UK as a Global-Power, as well as an Economic-Force, had profitted mightily from Colonization, the Trans-Atlantic Slave-Trade, etc. The Descendants of those whom were oppressed are in many Respects being just as victimized via the Same-Oppressors. So, of course, the greatest Global-Immigration Crisis in Human-History to date-Since the Children of Europe’s Former Colonial-Regions are suffering as per the Proliferation of: Economic-Destitution, Political-Chaos, Religio-Cultural Impossition on Part of European-Powers are now wanting to seek Assylum within Europe’s Borders, then obviously Europe must now “save itself” from being overrun by the Peoples whom have historically/generationally had their Backs broken via the Service of their Colonial-Masters.

And, also, since many of these African-Peoples whom reside within the UK as (Downtrodden, Uneducated, Unskilled) Persons yearing to escape the Poverty & Dead-Ends of their Homelands which were exploited by the UK & whose Hardtimes are mainly the Direct-Result of Colonial-Oppresdion: when they’re too Uneducated to acquire Careers which offer Higher-Standards of Living, when thay’re not Affluent enough to afford Solid-Education leading to Promising Economic-Opportunities, when they can’t afford Private-Properties & must settle for dwelling within the British-Slums which’re Breading-Grounds of/for Criminality, then of course you’re goung to have significant Percentages of these Demographics whom’re: Roadmen/Trapstars, Journeymen/Hustlers, Knifemen/Shooters, Gangsters, etc. & of course Places where these Demographics are mostly concentrated like: London, Glascow, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, York, etc. are going to be Criminalized Hornets-Nests. And, of course, as per the Pseudo-Narrative that the Vast-Majority of British-Crimes are committed by African-Peoples will be readily accepted via the Anglo-Saxon, Welsh, Scottish, Celtic Masses of the UK, allowing themselves to deflect from the Reality that Criminality is never exclusively a Black-Man’s Vice, but rather a Human-Vice.

Instead of actually addressing the Socio-Economic Disenfranchisenent of the UK and/or its Socio-Political Marginalization, Parliament via the Xenophobic Right-Wing Factions of Governence&Government would much rather just point Fingers & shift Blame in a Dishonest-Way. We can/should all agree that there’s 0-Justification to pontificate/proluferate Criminality. At the exact Same-Time though, manipulatiing alarming Crime-Rates also isn’t any Justification to criminalize Human-Demographics & deliberately work towards forcibly expeling/exiling them from the Hone&Life which they’ve made for themselves…what’s being established via this Brexit-Phenomenon is simply an Excuse for the UK, as well as any/all other European-Nations like it to suck People dry of their Personal/Human-Resources for the Good of their Nations, only to repay them with Deportation/Exile, to the exact Same-Places which they once were where these European-Nations have decimated & exploited damn near to Death.

Gareth Bryant

1440, A.H./2019, C.E.

Under Fire Downunder

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Fraser Anning, raving & ranting…
…Mocking the Mosques attacking.

Claiming that al-Islām is the Problem…
…when Gunmen were quarrelsome.

He acts as though Immigrants are dangerous…
…didn’t colonizing Australia massacre her Millions?!!!

Yeah…I thought so: simply deflecting…  …so far removed from your own very Dark-History.

Arrogance is blatant Truth-Rejecting…  …your Ancestors used Blood to write their Violent-Story.

People like this think&feel emboldened, that they’re the World’s-Masters…  …upon the Horizon though is a Storm of Retribution, full of Disasters.

Their Hands have corrupted the Earth, yet they proclaim to be its Saviors…  …all they do is exploit & manipulate, profiting from People’s Past-Labors.

Their Time is coming to an End & they know it.

Gareth Bryant

1440, A.H./2019, C.E.

#SurvivingHypocrisy: The Anatomy of the RKelly Scandal-Saga

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Allah tells us:

1. “And don’t approach az-Zinā/THOTery: verily, it’s Shameful-Character/Behavior & an Evil-Path.”.(Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.17, V.32)

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

Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has told us:

1. “Whomever amongst any of you has Children they should/must:

a. Give them a Positive-Name.

b. Teach them Literacy.

c. Get them Married.

But/and whomever fails to get their Children Married, whatever THOTery they do, their Sins become the Sins of the Father.”.(al-Bayhaqī)

2. “The Pen (of al-Hisāb/Accountability) is lifted from 3-Persons:

a. A Child (Non/Pre-Pubescent-Person).*

b. A Mentally-Challenged/Ill Person.

c. A Sleeping-Person.

(*Purposely highlighting the Above-Category from this Particular-Narration, this is where our Discussion is to begin.)”.(Abū-Dāwud, ibn-Mājah)

As per the Narration concerning al-Balāghah/Puberty, we learn the following:

a. There’s no Hisāb for any Human-Being unless/until they live long enough to experience al-Balāghah.

b. The Definitions of both Childhood & Manhood/Womanhood via the Islāmic-Lens is clearly defined.

c. The Definition of Child-Molestation is clearly defined.

As per a: A Non/Pre-Pubescent Person isn’t Islāmically-Responsible for any Positive/Negative-Actions which they do, unless/until they’ve reached al-Balāghah.

As per b: al-Balāghah is 💯% predicated upon Basic-Biology…once a Human experiences al-Balāghah they’re no longer a “Child”: depending upon their Birth-Gender, they’re now either a Biological-Man or a Biological-Woman.*

(*Now, there’s some/many whom will attempt to mention Psycho-Emotional Maturity as a Factor…granted. And, Psycho-Emotional Maturity, of course, is essential. However, Puberty & Psycho-Emotional Maturity are clearly Mutually-Exclusive, and Psycho-Emotional Maturity is predicated upon Personal-Constitution, Familial-Upbringing, Societal-Conditioning, etc.)

As per c: the Islāmic-Definition of Child-Molestation is to have any Sexual-Contact with a Fellow-Human prior to them experiencing al-Balāghah. And, this is exactly how/why we know that the Marriage between Muhammad ibn-`Abdillah: the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) & `Ā’ishah bint-`Abdillah/Abū-Bakr as-Siddīq (May Allah be pleased with her) was never consummated until after it was confirmed that she had reached al-Balāghah.(al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

Now, on to the Issue of Sexual-Abuse Allegations surrounding the Mythos of Robert “RKelly” Kelly via the #SurvivingRKelly Phenomenon…here’s what my Assessment is:

a. Is RKelly a Sexual-Predator/Sexual-Abuser…Yes. In fact, in all Truthfulness/Honesty many of us (Countless-People) are self-manifestations of Sexual-Predatism/Sexual-Abuse. For example: if/when we’re gawking on the Social-Media Pages of Sexualized-Persons, finding enjoyment in browsing Porn-Sites, Sexualized Mainstream-Entertainment (TV-Shows, Films, Cartoons, Music, etc.), allowing our Daughters to dress-up as Nicki Minaj & Cardi B for Halloween, having a Pre-Pubescent Male dress as a Transformer/Transgender at a Homosexual-Male Bar/Club & dancing in front of Grown-Ass/Horny-Ass Homosexual-Men: all of this is equally Sexually-Predatorial/Sexually-Abusive.

b. Is RKelly a Child-Molester…No. I say this, definitively, because none of the Women confirmed to have had Sexual-Encounters with RKelly were Non/Pre-Pubescent, thereby confirming that they weren’t Islāmically-Children. This is, as is expected, going to rub People the Wrong-Way. But…as if I actually care: my Maslahah/Purpose is to make the Uncomfortable Comfortable.

Let’s observe some Facts:

a. Most Human-Societies have had/still have an established `Urfiyyah/Cultural-Narrative allowing People to marry as long as it’s understood that there’s no Sexual-Engagement with Non/Pre-Pubescent Persons. Now  there’s obviously Exceptions to this Standard, notably via Greco-Roman Civilization which specifically co-signed People having Sexual-Contact with Non/Pre-Pubescent Persons.

b. Within the United States alone: prior to the 20th-Century, C.E. most American-Women were Married prior to Age-18.

c. Within the United States right now, as we speak: there’s US-States which allow People to marry under Age-18, under Age-17, under Age-16, etc. & in some US-States there’s no Age-Limits for Marriage at all.

d. Within the United States right now, as we speak: Thousands of Americans under Age-18 get Married annually.

e. Pornography is hands-down the Biggest-Pontificate/Promoter of Sexual-Predatism/Sexual-Abuse. I say this exclusively because it’s Non-Debatable Truth/Honesty…Pornography is literally a Part of every Element/Facet of our Modern-Societies.

Even when it comes to Social-Media via Hashtagging:

  1. #FoodPorn
  2. #WordPorn
  3. #SportsPorn
  4. #StylePorn
  5. #TravelPorn

Pornography has Distinct-Genres which (directly, overtly, blatantly) pontificate/promote the following:

a. Bestiality

b. Child-Molestation

c. Incest

d. Rape/Rape-Culture

e. Kidnapping/Human-Trafficking

f. School/Teacher-Student Sex

g. Geriatric/Senior-Citizen Sexual-Abuse

h. Homosexuality

i. Adultery

j. Fornication

k. Masturbation

You should well get my Point, by now…my Point is that there’s Millions of RKelly’s in our World. And, many/most of them have been almost exclusively influenced/conditioned to be just like RKelly via Pornography which pontificates/promotes Sexual-Abuse. Yet, ironically, sadly, Pornography is tolerated, accepted as a Legitimate-Element within Secular-Society. Meanwhile, it’s the Premier-Conduit as per grooming, influencing, indoctrinating the Minds&Hearts of Countless-People the World over, and thus turning them into Psycho-Emotional RKelly’s. Some of the most Notable-Figures in the World, whose Influence has spanned Multiple-Generations, and crossing-over Various-Spheres such as Politics, Pop-Culture, Art, Entertainment, Comedy, etc have had both their Hands deeply entrenched into Sexual-Predatism/Sexual-Abuse.

They are the following Individuals:

a. Let’s look at one of, if not the most Popular-Figure in the History of Pornography: Hugh Hefner…the RKelly before RKelly…the Stan Lee, George Lucas, Michael Jordan of Pornography. At the Time of Hugh Hefner’s Death, his Last-Wife: Crystal Harris was in the same Age-Range as one of his 20-Something Year-Old Children, while he was in his 80’s.

b. Let’s revisit the Life&Times of one of the Most-Celebrated Presidents in US-History: John Fitzgerald Kennedy: JFK. He indulged in an Open Adulterous-Affair with Marilyn Monroe as a Sitting US-President, which imposed an Incredible-Embarrassment to his Wife: Jacqueline Bouvier.

c. Let’s travel back in Time to when William Jefferson Blythe, III/Bill Clinton committed Adultery with Monica Lewinsky in the White House, embarrassing completely his Wife Hillary Rodham. And was merely a Culmination of several Sexual-Scandals which spanned his entire Political-Career.

d. William/Bill “The Pill” Cosby: made Date-Rape a revamped National-Conversation, via the Date-Rape Drug Allegations which he indirectly admitted to in a Legal-Deposition, pertaining to 3-Decades of Sexual-Abuse.

e. Allan Stewart Konigsberg/Woody Allen: he initiated a Sordidly-Public Adulterous-Relationship with Soon-Yi Previn: an Adoptive-Daughter of his Domestic-Partner Mia Farrow, as well as Sexual-Abuse Allegations involving one of her other Adoptive-Children: Dylan Farrow.

f. Roman Polanski: Fled the United States in 1978, after pleading Guilty as per Statutory-Rape Allegations, pertaining to Samantha Gailey, whom was 13-Years Old at the Time of these Charges…an Official US-Fugitive ever since. He has not been apprehended by US-Authorities, nor has he been extradited back to the US.

In conclusion: as per Sexual-Abuse, there’s more than enough blame to go around, and all of us, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, we’re either directly or indirectly Active-Participants in the pontification, promotion of Sexual-Abuse. As I always tell People, “It’s easy to judge People, when our Sins aren’t Public-Knowledge”…”You either judge everyone or judge no one.”

Gareth Bryant

1440, A.H./2019, C.E.

The Reason Why Khabib Is A Muslim-Hero

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In the Tradition of Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali [May Allah mercify him]), Khabib Nurmagomedov has taken the World by storm. He’s not only proven his Fighting-Skills to be Top-Notch, or that his Athletism is Unmatched within the UFC Professional-Arena-He’s offered more to the World than his current Undefeated-Record…he’s offered his very High-Profile, Unapologetic-Adherence to al-Islām. (As a Personality/Celebrity especially) being a Muslim is most definitely smothered with Islāmophobia, Scrutiny, Ridicule, etc. This is particularly true regarding where Khabib hails from: Dagestan, a Semi-Autonomous Region of the Russian Federation (Former USSR/Soviet Union). This Region, within the Greater Caucasus-Region of Asia, has had 2 Major-Legacies: al-Islām & Military-Resistance. As far back as atleast the 17th-Century, C.E., Dagestan has fought against being Militarily-Annexed by Russia. As a Result, the Muslims of Dagestan have historically evolved their Culture around Fighting-Spirit, Fighting-Skill, something which most of the Muslim-World has totally forfeited for Countless-Reasons. In fact, Dagestan is probably one of the only Places within the Muslim-World where just about every Able-Bodied Muslim-Male is 💯%-Ready for al-Qitāl/al-Jihād (Combat/Armed-Struggle)…yes, I said Jihād, the “J-Word”, if you don’t like it, then too bad for you…🤓😁😎

And, so much like Cassius Clay, Khabib Nurmagomedov evolved both religiously & personally out of Centuries worth of Theft, Rape, Murder, courtesy of Imperialism, Xenophobia, Islāmophobia, etc. via the Power of the Machine. So, of course, him being the Container of historical Spiritual/Psycho-Emotional Trauma, you can/should expect a Prize-Fighter to react in Ways which any other Muslim (who has never had Fights, never lived under Systemic-Oppression, never constantly/consistently lived under threat of Active-Wafare, etc.) wouldn’t behave (perhaps prior to as well as after a Fight), especially after fighting an Opponent like Conor McGreggor who blatantly attacked Khabib spiritually, psycho-emotionally, went out of his Way to directly/overtly mock al-Islām, his Family, his Home, etc. Ironically, there were/are many Muslims who’ve (instead of being happy, grateful, that such a High-Profile Muslim stuck it to such a High-Profile Islāmophobe) resorted to criticizing the Character of Khabib, as though he possessed absolutely 0 Islāmic-Character before, which is completely Unjust, Unfair, Dishonest, and Muslim-Coonish. Cassius Clay faced the exact same Scrutiny, when he refused to accept Military-Conscription Orders/the Draft to fight in the Vietnam-War. Also, Chris Jackson (Mahmoud Abdul Rauf), when he refused to stand for the Flag & National-Anthem of the United States, because of the Oppressive-Actions of the US-Government (via American Law-Enforcement & the American Judicial-System specifically) against Afro-Americans, which ironically hasn’t really changed that much since he was a Basketball-Player for the NBA: he was tarred&feathered even by Fellow-Muslims, accused of being “Unpatriotic”.

It’s almost as though the Muslim-Male is supposed to be afraid of his own Shadow…to just merely be Emmasculated within the Mundane, at any/all Levels. Well, Khabib has sparked something very special within the Psyche of the Muslim-Male, in Ways which no `Ālim/Scholar, no Imām/Religious-Leader, no Shaykh/Religious-Teacher, etc. has been able to do as of late. His mere presence, as a Visible-Muslim, is empowering to countless Muslim-Men, he represents Strength while the Muslim-World dwells pitifully in an unprecedented Duration of utter Weakness.

All in all, regardless to how one either favors or banes him: Khabib Nurmagomedov has without any Doubt has envigorated Generations of upcoming Muslim-Youth, Muslim-Men especially, to rise to the Occassion & to train to resist.

Gareth Bryant

1440, AH./2018, C.E.

MAKE MUSLIM GREAT AGAIN

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Muslims round da World sufferin…

America bullyin us and it’s hurtin…

 

Knowin this damages the Soul…

Enigma it is to hold da Hot-Coal…

 

Martyrs are made all day & everyday…

Useless Laws which changes every way…

 

Salvation not hopeless though…

Life is struggle so that we grow…

 

Islām is the cure for all Humanity’s Ills…

Making lives better is what Allah wills…

 

Giving Guidance: the Muslim’s Motto…

Revelation being what we love & follow…

 

Even when it’s tough, we never cower…

Allah guarantees that He’s our Protector…

 

Thunder will never shatter the Mountain…

Any opposition: we will stay grounded…

 

Gratitude for Ease after Hardship…

All we do is fight back: never quit…

 

I won’t be made sad or blue…

Neither must any of you…

 

Gareth Bryant/2018

Why Are Muslims Of The Americas Still Not Included As Part Of The “Muslim-World”?!!!

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Author’s-Note:

Dhul-Hijjah 25th&26th, 1438, A.H./September 16th&17th, 2017, C.E. I attended a “Cultural-Rapprochement” Conference sponsored by the Muslim World League in New York City, with Muslim-Leaders, Muslim, Scholars, etc. from various Parts of our Planet: this is my Story.

While not ignoring the significance/importance of this Summit-As I listened to the Lectures, Presenations, and so on: there was something, someone especially missing: me…Muslims like me…Muslims who look like me, walk, talk, eat, dance, joke act just like me. Muslims of African-American, Latino-American, European-American descent…we’re not at all represented, as though we don’t even exist as valued Members of the Muslim-World. I want & need to know why, just as we all do. I’ve met, reconnected to Muslims who don’t even speak the same Language as I do…those whom probably never lived in the Western-Hemisphere. I stuck-out like a “Sore-Thumb”, as they say. There was a deep, dark, sense of Isolation, Loneliness, Unwantedness, Dismissal, Indifference, Disrespect, that there’s a “Muslim-World” Conference, Summit, whatever you wish to call it, where a Western-Hemispheric Nation has hosted, yet no Muslims Native/Indigenous to this Part of the World are represented there-It’s utterly disgusting to know that Muslim-Americans weren’t even invited, reached-out to even attend this Event. To keep it Tall wit U: I just crashed it cause I found-out about it on da Humble.

Where’s the Presence of Muslim-America at such a relevant Conference, which claims to focus on “Cultural-Rapprochement”?!!! How can Cultural-Rapprochement even be accomplished when there’s Muslim-Demographics in the Western-Hemisphere not even considered Members of the Muslim-World?!!! Why is the Western-World/the Americas not included/accepted as Parts of the Greater Muslim-World?!!! Why is it that the Muslim-World is only classified as Nations which make-up the Arab-World, Africa, Asia, where the Arabic-Language is common/dominant?!!!

It’s necessary for all Muslims to give intelligent, credible answers to these Questions which I’ve asked in this Article, including the very Question which is the actual Title of the Article itself.

Gareth Bryant/2017

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

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Author’s-Note:

Mike 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?

MC: 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?

MC: 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?

MC: 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?

MC: 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?

MC: 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?

MC: 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?

MC: 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?

MC: 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?

MC: 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?

MC: 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?

MC: 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.

MC: 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?

MC: 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.

GB: 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

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

My 1st Udhiyyah: What I’ve Learned To Respect And Appreciate About Life&Death:

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Author’s-Note:

Dhul-Hijjah 12, 1438, A.H./September 3, 2017, C.E. I participated in an Islāmic-Tradition, predicated by Islāmic/Revelatory Texts, spanning Several-Generations: al-Udhiyyah/Slaughtering. This Traditional-Slaughtering commemorates the Rites of al-Hajj/Pilgrimage (predicated upon the Sacrifices/Sufferings of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, Issac [Peace be upon them]), leading up to the Islāmic-Holiday known as Id-ul-Adha/the Celebration of Sacrifice​.

For more Information regarding al-Hajj & `Id-il-Adhā:

http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/theoriginsofidiladha/

Annually, the Udhiyyah is done by Millions of Muslims Worldwide, to follow in the Noble-Footsteps of Abraham (Peace be upon him). It was now my turn to participate in this great Tradition. I was so excited, to actually do something such a Part of Islām, so deeply entrenched into Islāmic-History. There was 1-Challenge: I had never done this before. I had a Million plus 1 Anxieties regarding the Experience. And, to add to my Self-Awkwardness, I had gotten into a Fight with a Man who tried to rob me a Week prior to me participating in the Udhiyyah. So, it was still very much fresh on my Mind/Heart. As I got to the Farm I did the Udhiyyah at: my Nerves were shot. I did nothing for the first few Hours there but ask the same Types of Questions in various different ways. I was able to reinforce what I already knew regarding Udhiyyah & also learned a host of interesting New-Things as well.

The Things which are Generally-Essential to know before one commits themselves to do Udhiyyah/Qurbānī:

1. Pure-Intention for Allah, as Udhiyyah/Qurbānī is a Sacred Act-Of-Worship.

2. No Body-Hair or Nails can be cut/removed prior to the 10th-Day of Dhil-Hijjah (the 12th-Month of the Islāmic-Calendar: the Month of Hajj/Pilgrimage).(Muslim, Ahmad)

3. The Animals slaughtered can only be Animals which are Islāmically-Allowable to consume Dietarily…specifically for Qurbānī (Hajj-Time Slaughtering/Sacrifice: Cows, Camels, Goats, Sheep. (Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.22, 34)

4. The Animals slaughtered must be Healthy (no Signs of Ill-Treatment, Malnurishment, Abuse, Deformity, Disease, etc.).(al-Muwatta’)

5. The Animals slaughtered must be slaughtered at the following Ages, in order to qualify as Qurbānī: 6-Months to a Year for Sheep, 1-2 Years for Goats, 2-3 Years for Cows, 5-Years for Camels. This is according to the various Fatawa/Islāmic-Rulings of the 4-Major Madhāhib/Islāmic Legal-Schools: the Hanafī-School…Mālikī-School…Shāfi`ī-School…Hanbalī-School.(http://www.islamqa.info/en/41899)

6. The Animals slaughtered cannot/shouldn’t be Pregnant (this is the Position of the Shāfi`ī-School).(https://islamqa.info/en/192041)

6. The Blades/Knives used to slaughter the Animals must be as Sharp as Humanly-Possible & the Animals must be slaughtered across the Neck: forcefully & swiftly, ensuring that the least amount of Pain/Suffering is inflicted upon the Animals & the Animals must not see the Blades/Knives used for Udhiyyah, nor must they be slaughtered within the Presence of other Animals.(https://islamqa.info/en/153936)

So, the Day of the Udhiyyah: basically from Fajr/Pre-Dawn to Maghrib/Sunset we were working on the Farm…it was serious Work. There were so many Animals which we had to get slaughtered. Then it came to my Turn. Internally, I honestly started having 2nd-Thoughts. So many Things came to my Mind like: “What if I cause this Animal more Pain than necessary?!!!”…”What if I begun to use my still fresh Anger over the Fight I had & end-up oppressing this Animal with too much Force?!!!”…”What if I completely screw-up the Udhiyyah?!!!”…etc. But, then I just decided to cast my Fears into the Wind by relying upon Allah to help me through it, which He did. And, considering the Fact that I was a 1st-Timer doing Udhiyyah, even the Farm-Hands confirmed that I did a Good-Job, which was very Comforting to my Ego. In total, I slaughtered 3-Goats personally with my own Hands & assisted with the Slaughtering of about 20 other Sheep & Goats combined. Let me tell you: taking the Life of an Animal that Size is truly a Sight to see.

Normally, externally of this Event, Regular-People such as myself don’t live on Farms, aren’t as in tune with Fitrah/Nature the way we ought to be, as Humans. And, for those of us whom are confined to Concrete City-Life: the closest we get to Fitrah are Household Vermin, such as Roaches & Rats & Creatures we generally deem a Nusance, such as Squarels, Opposums, Raccoons, etc. However, to actually up close & personally slaughter an Animal which you know will eventually be on someone’s Plate for Meals, it truly forced me to reflect more introspectively concerning how precious & fragile Life itself really is. Also, it forced me to be ever more Grateful to Allah that I’m a Human & not an Animal. It compelled me, this Experience, to look at the Fragility of Life & Reality of Death this more Seriously. One instant, we’re here & the next, we’re gone: just like that.

When coming back to New York City from the Farm, I wasn’t/didn’t allow myself to shake the Psycho-Emotional relevance of what I’ve experienced via Udhiyyah/Qurbānī: being recallibrated & reconnected with/to the Natural-Environment…the smells of Grass, Hay, Livestock, the Large Rolling-Hills & Tree-Covered Mountains…the Muddy-Terrain which nearly ruined my already Dirty-Nikes…the Blood of the Slaughtered-Animals…the freshness & ordors of the Flesh of the Animals sacrificed. All of it was worthwhile, an Experience which I wish/hope that Allah always preserves within my Memory-Bank. And, yes: I plan to definitely do Udhiyyah/Qurbānī more often.

Gareth Bryant/2017