I’ve been given an exclusive opportunity to interview Munir Avery, New York State’s first upcoming Muslim State-Senator:
Adam, the Father of Humanity (Peace be upon him), was evicted from the Paradise, because of only one act of disobedience against Allah, Jonah (Peace be upon him) was cast into the belly of a large sea-creature, because of only one act of disobedience against Allah, the Companions of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) lost the Battle of Uhud, because of only one act of disobedience against Allah & His Messenger (May Allah be pleased with them altogether). Now, in comparison to our times…how often are we oppressed, by the enemies of Allah, the enemies of Islam? Far too many…agreed? Yes. However, let’s also think about how many sins we commit & how often we commit sins against ourselves, as well as against others. So, when we have our hands raised in Prayer, asking Allah to relive the suffering of the Believers, yet we ourselves behave as Disbelievers, due to our massive sinful actions, when we cry over the death-tolls in places where the Muslims are persecuted, yet fiend to be buddy-buddy & compete for photo-ops with the same Politicians who make laws supporting the regimes & military-forces that invade/oppress the Muslims & People around the World period, when we complain about Islamophobia, yet there are fellow Billionaire-Muslims who invest freely into the same companies which promote the Islamophobic propaganda against Islam & Muslims, when our voices reach their peaks on the pulpits of Mosques & we scream-and-shout about justice, yet we treat one another unjustly, because of `Asabiyyah/Bias, manifested via Nepotism, Ethnocentrism, Culturism, Racism, Tribalism, Colorism, etc., how in the Hell are we gonna possibly achieve & acquire the Victory of Allah? In all fairness, why should Allah grant us anything that we ask for, if we aren’t loyal & dutiful to Him? Why should Allah grant us protection, and triumph over our enemies, when we do the exact same negative things which they do? We gotta evolve, we gotta improve, and it has to start now, today!!!
Every month I’ll be conducting a Poetic-Challenge, challenging various poets, whom I personally know/interact with, just for the sake of sharpening/improving my own poetry, general-goodwill, respect for my fellow “Brethren of the Paper & Pen”, and to just see who from among us has the best “Poetry-Skillz”…Every month, I’ll be picking a brand-new Poetic-Challenger, via Facebook/Twitter, to compete with. This month, it’s Cyrus McGoldrick. Next month, it could very well be anyone of you. So, just be prepared, with some fresh-rhymes.
Topic: Yearning for something More
The Warmth We yearn from one another:
When the blistering Winter descends…
…We can no longer afford to pretend.
We get cold so quickly, it really hurts…
…We pursue warmth which takes work.
We all want the heat of Love, to warm our heart…
…Each of us wants a companion who’ll never part.
But, Life is sometimes a cruel Snow-Storm, covering all in its path, with the crispest & iciest harshness…
…However, we must make a Summer out of every Winter, protecting our hearts from a freezing-tempest.
We mustn’t succumb to the hypothermia of Loneliness…
…We all need someone to keep us from cold distress.
Being close, to the one who you love, is one of the greatest feelings of all…
…So, think about the one who keeps you warm during the heavy Snow-Fall.
“Support “Occupy Wall Street”, anywhere that you are, whether you go to a protest, take pics or write about it, do what you can, all you can…#Fuck The 1%!!!”
#I’m just sayin’!!!
I shouldn’t have to reiterate what’s gruesomely obvious, but it seems that I must: significantly large populations of people, living in four countries in the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, are currently facing one of the most devastating famines ever seen in recent memory & possibly in the entire history of the African continent itself. One country particularly, Somalia, has the most to lose as a result of this famine getting worse. Somalia has indeed suffered the most in the Horn of Africa region from this terrible famine, for several reasons: the lack of U.N. relief aid getting into Somalia, the severe the lack of accessibility into this country (making it basically impossible for on-the-ground assessments, as to who needs the most help in Somalia, so relief aid can reach the proper places & people in the first place), the result of over twenty years worth of carnage, murder, political imbalance (which has ruined the political and financial infrastructure of this entire country, making Somalia completely unable to deal with the severity of this famine on their own). Ever since 1991, the Somali people have been given not only the short end of the stick, but, they haven’t even been given a stick to hold on to, for any potential hope to come their way. Unfortunately, they are the perpetual victims & subjects of massive abuse, externally by the international-community, as well as internally, by even their own people. The Somali warlords, ruling with iron fists & fear, who control food, water, life & death, etc., preside over autonomous pocket-sections all over of this nation, as if they were like the notorious mafia chieftains, who ruled America, during the prohibition-era.
One of the most tragic realities of this whole affair is that since Somalia hasn’t had a stable central government in two decades, this has given these ruthless, tribal-warlords a free-hand, to rob, rape & pillage their own people, without any form of accountability. And, because of this unchecked oppression, Somalis are left with little options for survival, because quite frankly, no one seems to care. I mean, there hasn’t been a great international out cry at any U.N. general assemblies that I’ve heard of as of recent, or any move to rid the nation of Somalia of its tyrannical warlords. In Iraq, all you had to say was “WMD’s”, and the U.S., along with her “gong-ho” coalition forces were right there on the scene, like they were the members of Marvel Comic’s “The Avengers”, or D.C. Comic’s “The Justice League”. In the early 1980’s, during the Reagan-Administration, the moment that the U.S. got wind of Socialist/Communist influence expanding beyond Cuba & into Central America, particularly in the republic of Nicaragua, the U.S. gladly gave support, via military/intelligence, arms and money to the Contras (who would in our modern political context be classified as “terrorists-groups”), to do battle against the pro-Socialist/Communist Sandinista government.
I just wonder…..with all the U.S. & U.N. confirmations of “terrorists-cells” & “terrorists-groups”, loyal to “Al-Qaeda”, having swept threw Somalia, with their authority virtually unchallenged by the Democratic/Western-world…..why hasn’t there been a great move to relieve Somalia of its warlords & to help bring stability to this 20-year long war-torn nation?!!!
Is it because the U.S. is still sour about that ass-whippin’ that the U.S. Military was served, early on during the Clinton-Administration in the early 1990’s, by Somali rebel forces…..could be. Or, maybe, it’s because the whole “Al-Qaeda in Africa” story (which is just as much a sham as the whole “WMD” fantasy in Iraq) is an excuse needed to not go the extra-mile, to help these people-Like in the case of Rwanda: a million people were slaughtered within three months, while the “civilized-world” just sat back, and enjoyed the show, like it was a cool made-for-T.V. “Movie of the Week”…..probably.
Or, last but not least, it may just stem from the old colonial mentality of not wanting former prized colonial possessions of the “Dark-Continent” to rise and be economically & politically independent nations, to be forces-to-be-reckoned-with in the world, because the former colonial masters of Africa would no longer be able to further rape its land and/or its people of their innumerable resources…..yeah, I think this is the reason.
But, whatever the reason, the excuses for not giving the Somalis, or any other country help in times of crises like this are pathetic, despicable, and are no longer acceptable, and in truth, they were really never acceptable to begin with.
There a lot of other people here to blame for the tragedy that is Somalia’s current plight. I mainly blame the Muslim-World itself. From an Islamic perspective, these oil-rich Muslim/Arab royal families & kingdoms have enough wealth in their individual & national coffers, to rid not just Somalia, not just the Horn of Africa, not just Africa, not just the rest of the Muslim-World, but the entire globe of starvation. In fact, it’s their inherent religious obligation to do so, just because they have more, while others have less.
But, why has hunger still remained an undisputed champion in our lifetimes, in a world of unprecedented human wealth & possession-There’s plenty for all, but it seems that no one wants to share, because they just don’t care.
1. Make sure that the reason that you’re going to College is not because your parents want you to go, or just because that’s what everyone expects you to do. Go to College to one, exclusively please Allah, by doing something positive & productive, which will give significant meaning to your life. Two, then, go to College, so that you’ll end up with practical tools, which will help you navigate throughout the rest of your life, and will help to yield benefit for others as well, not just for yourself.
2. Make sure that you are married, try to get married if possible, either before going to College, or definitely within your first year. College has a lot of challenges, particularly, when it comes to things like sex, dating, and all-things related to the opposite gender, or even the same gender, relative to our current society. Unfortunately, many of us who are Muslims, are not positively indoctrinated with the thoughts of being married at young ages by either our parents or communities, which become big problems for us, as we venture into the real-world-Trust me, I’ve been there…..not being married during my College years has had some very negative results, but that’s another article, for another time. So, it is of the utmost importance, for us as Muslims, to be able to shield ourselves from these types of temptations that exists at institutions of higher-learning. And, unfortunately, most of us have already been exposed to so many of these types of temptations, way before being College-bound. In short, protect yourself, from those types of negative forces, at all costs.
3. Study as hard as you can. Don’t go to College to just chillax!!! You’re there to learn something significant, which can bring benefit & meaning to your life. Don’t try to be the class-clown, or the cool dude, because one, that never pays off, and two, 9-10, you probably were never that cool or amusing while you were in High School. So, really, you’re merely just putting up a front, just because you may be in an environment where no one really knows you, so you can re-invent yourself. But, that’s they wrong way to do it, because that’s not who you really are. Just go to College to do what needs to be done, which is learn.
4. Pick a major in College that you’ll really want to do potentially for the rest of your life. Don’t let your parents, or your community choose your major for you, because they’re not the ones who are going to have to sit through these classes, struggle day & night, to get the very best grades…..you are!!! So, make sure that it’s something that you want to do & also something that is going to yield benefit for yourself in the real-world.
5. Don’t let four years go by, before picking a major. In fact, you should be so disciplined, that you already know exactly what you want to do, before you even get to College. The worst thing to do in College is waste time. And, let me tell you, I’ve seen it happen…..dozens of my very own class-men, who switch major, after major, after major, which did nothing, but get them stuck in a sucky major that they never really wanted in the first place, and it got them a degree that they can’t even use, because that’s not what they wanted to even do.
6. Make sure that you are always in good company. Make sure that your primary source of friendship/companionship in College are good Muslims. I can speak from my personal experiences-I went to a private, Jewish-sponsored College, Touro College to be exact, and when you go to private Colleges or Universities, especially ones that are religiously-based, they may not to privy, with students establishing religious-based students clubs, especially if those student clubs are Muslim student clubs. And, I started College in ‘02, on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, so political tension & disfavor towards Muslims were still pretty high. And, being that the College that I went to was a Jewish College, obviously, having an MSA (Muslim Student Association) there was not flying. So, it’s no surprise, that when I tried to establish an MSA, at Touro College, I got shot down, immediately. And, to add insult-to-injury, most of the Muslims that I knew were even ashamed to admit that they were Muslims in public, which was very disheartening for myself, who made a specific intention to become more religious, once I got to College. So, it was like I was a Muslim by myself, the Muslims who publicly rep’d being Muslim were pathetically few in number. Because of not having that sense of Muslim community at school, it made things very difficult for me as an individual Muslim, to stay strong & hold on to my own Islam, which eventually led the way to a lot of negative College-style elements, that I ended up welcoming with open-arms. The point is: get to know as many good Muslims as possible, and be connected to an MSA. If your College or University doesn’t have an MSA, or won’t let you have an MSA, one make anyway, even if it has to be off-campus. When you need advice about how to navigate in the College environment, or if you’re at a low-point in your Islam, or even if you have some personal problems that you really need help with, let the Muslims be your strength-Just be together & united with the Muslims, because in College, the Muslims all we have really.
7. If your College or University offers religious-based student clubs, then, make an MSA, immediately, or if your College or University already has an MSA, then by all-means, join immediately (reasons why, see 6)!!!
8. Be a Muslim who represents Islam & Muslims properly. While you’re at school, take this grand opportunity to be someone whom Non-Muslims can always go to, for info. about Islam & Muslims. These people really want to know what Islam is & what Islam isn’t. They must not & should not get their info. about Islam & Muslims from people in the media, who are gonna purposely speak negatively about Islam & Muslims, just because they have the platform to do so. We are the ones who have the responsibility to properly represent our own way, in a pure, unadulterated context, free from all negative bias, supported by media mud-slinging. These people have a right for us to be the best examples of how Muslim truly are & we are obligated by Allah, to be the best examples for the people, at all times.
9. When you’re not busy studying all the time, go out & have some Halal fun!!! Just because we’re Muslims, doesn’t mean that our lives have to be full of boredom. After class, or on the weekends, enjoy some extra-curricular activities, like playing sports, going to play pool, bowling, etc. There’s most definitely wiggle-room for your College experience to be filled with great times & memories. But, just remember to be a Muslim, wherever you are. You’re at an age now, where you know full-well, what a Muslim is not supposed to be like & what a Muslim is not supposed to do. So, just truly try your best, to be the Muslim at all times & you’re straight.
10. Always make Du`a’, that Allah always guides your decision-making & allows you to make the most Islamically compliant, wisest & intelligent choices during your tenure at College.