Tag Archives: Anger

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

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Author’s-Note:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gareth Bryant/2017

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Who gets to decide what a Genocide or Holocaust is?

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There are those who would dare to argue that what’s going on around the World, pertaining to the proliferation of unwarranted Human-Life being mercilessly taken, that only certain types of carnage qualifies to be considered a “Genocide” a “Holocaust”, etc. Well, for those of you who may take this view:

Does it really even matter whether or not Hundreds, Thousands, or Millions of People were killed in one day, one week, one month, one year, one decade, one score, one century, one millennium? No, the point is that all these People were killed. So, in this case, it doesn’t really matter whether People suffered very unnecessary casualties in a year, or within a span of nearly a Century: Human-Life is Human-Life & Allah states that to kill even just one person out of injustice is just like killing the entire Human-Race.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.32) And, since this is the case, then, the unjust killing of any Human being, whether it be a Million, a Thousand, a Hundred, or just One, whatever: based upon what Allah, Himself, has stated, the killing of one Man is just like the killing of all Men, and that is a Genocide, a Holocaust, by definition.

Gareth Bryant/2014

My thoughts on my own failures:

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Maybe it’s me:

With each passing of years, my eyes begin to shed tears.
I cry, because of some of my most tragic & painful fears.

I’m in fear of dying without wife, nor child.
The thought of it just makes me very tense.

I’d much rather have an easier trial, that’s quite mild.
Alas, I’m being tested with this & it makes no sense.

I reminisce, as a young dude, runnin’ wild in the street, baggin’ shorites, with no sense of bein’ discrete.
When I was doin’ my thing, I was a legend, my style unmatched, and my swagger just couldn’t be beat.

But, since I’m tryin’ to do things that way, I’m stuck in a rut; defeat has been common-place today.
It’s like I have no finesses, when it comes to seeking out a spouse, as though I am complete astray.

Fail, after fail, it is so depressing and annoying; how long will this dark cloud over my head stay?
This has become a game that I just can’t win, because the rules are different for this type of play.

Back in my prime, when I was a wild-child, shorties just fell in my lap.
Now, it seems that I’m just washed-up, corny, a lame, a plain old sap.

So, now, I’ve thought about it & maybe it’s me who’s the problem.
It’s probable that I am the reason for my very own crash and burns.

It is very possible that this could very well be some chastisement from Allah.
I may just have to deal with this, as long as it takes; but my heart still churns.

It hurts so much, thinkin’ that you’re so close to someone then, Allah just rips them from ya life.
It just sucks that I’ve been down this road, so many times, yet still missing this most crucial exit.

It seems like there’s no end in sight, I am just destined to go through this strife.
I’ve become just like a dog chasin’ it’s tail, in a never-ending emotional matrix.

Gareth Bryant/2012