Tag Archives: Barack Obama

The Reason why Presidential Iftar-Celebrations during Ramadhan are a No-Go:

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tariq ramadan pic

Author’s-Note:
The following is a statement from Tariq Ramadan, an internationally-renown Socio-Political Scholar/Commentator, particularly of the Muslim/Arab-World, concerning the experience of attending a typical White House Iftar-Celebration, hosted by a United States President.

It was supposed to be an evening where the American President showed respect to a religious community, to the millions of American Muslims who have been fasting during the sacred month of Ramadan.

It was supposed to be a political expression of respect. It ended up being a political instrumentalisation of (voluntarily) trapped Muslim leaders listening to President Obama justify the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians, declaring Israel has the right to defend itself. One wonders what is the relationship between the Iftar celebration and Israel ? What is the US administration’s implicit-explicit intention in putting the Muslim leaders in such an embarrassing situation? To test their loyalty or rather their capacity to compromise or betray? They obviously remained silent.

The Israeli ambassador, Mr. Ron Dermer, also invited (why?), was actually the first to speak. One must remember what he said about Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims : Palestinians have “a cultural tendency towards belligerency” that is “deeply embedded in the culture of the Arab world and its foremost religion”. This is the man who was invited to celebrate Iftar with the Muslims meanwhile his Government is destroying Gaza. From the White House he tweeted, triumphantly : “@WhiteHouse for Iftar dinner. Appreciate strong statement there by President Obama about Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Obviously Muslim leaders didn’t tweet. It was enough of an honor for them to be invited to the White House and to have met the President. An honor, truly, dear Muslim leaders? Ordinary Muslims (and proponents of justice and dignity from other religions) in the US and around the world, as well as Palestinians, might think differently.

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Stuck in the Matrix

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Zeshan Raja

Did y’all really expect Obama to make promises he could keep?

All this talk about change but still the masses are just a bunch of sheep
Freedom is solely a justification for tyranny when the NSA bugs your phone
Democracy is just a facade when the skies are covered in drones
And how is capitalism acceptable when it benefits the %1 and them alone?
People without homes freezing in the cold
Covered in tarp to stay warm,
“For the People by the People” but you neglecting the weak and the old
Don’t even get me started on “Muslim” rulers, buncha greedy fiends
Deceived by The White American Dream
bowing down to Israel the Western Machine
Now riddle me this, explain this shit
By feeding the homeless, you get on 10 government watch lists
But drop chemical bombs on your own people and get a slap on the wrist?
Your moneys riddled with the masonic eye
Your television feeds you celebrity gossip and poorly thought out lies
Your politicians are a bunch of wolves in a sheeps’ disguise
A word to the wise, get out of the Matrix and open your eyes
So rise up and let errybody know
better wake up and reap what you sow!
Zeeshan Raja/2014

Obama has brought Change, but not the Change We wanted:

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gareth-bryant-eid-pics-23.jpg

You’ve changed the way that Politicians lie, how our mothers & widows cry:

Drone-strikes knock-down our towns, there’s countless shattered bodies around…
…You’ve turned America upside down, with your slick talk, and your cool sound.

You’ve even caused those who believed you to scorn you…
…Who would’ve thought that this would be your colors true.

You condemn tyrants in other lands, but ironically, have become one yourself…
…You ordered the death of Al Awlaki without just reason, his memory shelved.

Stimulus-Package, you can have it back…
…Obamacare: that whole shit is wack!!!

You being the first Non-White President does not make you any less impressive…
…Compared to your many Presidential predecessors, you are just as oppressive.

I am not in awe of your presence, glamour or glitter…
…You don’t deserve a pass because you’re ½ Nigger.

If you really wanna help people, then stop being a puppet for the devilish, wealthy, elite…
…Supporting Monsanto: you’ve signed bills into law, to ensure their victory & our defeat.

You painted yourself with the Sheep’s wool…
…You did a great job playing us for the fool.

You’ve changed the way that Politicians lie, how our sisters & daughters cry:

Who knew that you were just the Wolf, all along…
…Continuing where Bush left off, doing the wrong.

We’re in the lands that you ordered, approved, to bomb daily…
…There’s so many bodies, our families don’t know how to bury.

Our children are alone, orphaned, because of the lies of the former Presidents that you still promote…
…You dare pledge, swearing, to protect the same nation you have deceived, with your arrogant gloat.

It’s very plain to see where your heart is and how it is always driven…
…You’re on a Pharaonic agenda: kill the Men & spare the Women.

However, we will not run, we are not afraid, we won’t beg for mercy, looking down the barrel of a gun…
…Our victory is from Allah, kill as many as you wish, we will be in Paradise, with our Lord, having fun.

While we’re living, we will fight and resist you, til the last Man, we don’t care if you get mad…
…We are the Muslims, unshaken & unafraid to say, live, the true meanings of the word Jihad.

We will fight you, regardless of the odds, with our smarts, and our arms…
…We will not be tricked into raising a white flag, because of your charms.

When the dust finally settles, you will not be among the Winners…
…It’s all because you’ve chosen to be on the side of the Sinners.

Gareth Bryant/2013

Some of the many Ironies which are American-Intervention:

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Barack Obama

“Irony” in one of its purest manifestations:

The United States (Obama the House-Nigga) wants to police Syria & stop Bashar al-Assad from using “chemical-weapons”, against his own people. However, one has to really ponder over the following: 1.Why is it that with all of the killings being done in Syria, with merely the usage of conventional-weaponry, the “International-Community” (aka U.S. & Co.) stayed on the sidelines, until the buzz-word Chemical-Weapons surfaced in the media; is it safe to assume that the U.S. would’ve let Bashar al-Assad continue to kill his own people, as long as he only used conventional-weapons?!!! 2. Which nation, in today’s world was there to police & stop the U.S., when they stood idly by, allowing White-People to use trees to lynch hundreds of thousands of their own countrymen, out of racial-hatred, from the 1870’s to the 1970’s, or when they stood idly by, as city/state authorities water-hosed (nearly to death), beat, arrested, and killed thousands of their own citizenry, during the 1950’s & 1960’s because these people were fighting for basic-rights due to any/every Human being, or when they used chemical-weaponry (Napalm in particular), against thousands of innocents during the Vietnam-War, bombing the life out of Vietnam, Cambodia, etc., classifying it as merely “collateral-damage”?!!!

#ThinkAboutIt#Irony#IronicAintIt#JustStatingTheObvious

Gareth Bryant/2013

Hurricane-Sandy: The Storm that took us all by surprise:

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For an entire week, New York City was hit with the effects of a hurricane, that knocked it clear off of its feet. Hurricane Sandy, not only rocked NYC, but the entire Eastern-Seaboard of the United States to its very core. Thousands of people without water, heat, or electricity, hundreds who have no place to call home, in the (New York-New Jersey-Connecticut) tri-state area alone. This event, which took place over the last weekend in October, has really brought a brand-new sense of both realty & vulnerability, that none of us could’ve ever anticipated, nor were willing to accept, prior to it.

I mean, even I, myself, who has suffered very little, other than missing a whole week of work, couldn’t have possibly imagined that things would’ve turned out this bad, mainly because the effects of last-year’s Hurricane-Irene was nothing, in comparison to the damage witnessed by this-year’s Hurricane-Sandy-The entire city of New York was at a complete stand-still, the subway-system was completely non-functioning, due to immense underground-flooding, in Lower-Manhattan, South-Brooklyn, and in the Rockaways, Queens, and this has not only been the 1st time in my own lifetime, but the 1st time in the entire century-long history of the New York City subway-system, that it was forced to shut-down completely, as a result of a disaster-Whole blocks & sections of NYC, as well as other parts of the Eastern-Seaboard, look just like war-zones, in war-torn, 3rd-World nations, like Breezy Point, Queens, for example: No exaggeration…it looks as though 20 Hellfire-Missiles descended upon this neighborhood. It’s really sad, how damaging this storm has really become. There are people, whom I even know personally, from NYC itself, who have to re-build their lives, all the way from scratch, literally starting from nothing…from zero.

Now, not to down-play the severity of this natural-disaster, but, there are some serious questions, which must & should be on everyone’s minds, regardless to the severity of how, or if, at all, we were affected by this hurricane:

1. Are we, generally, grateful to Allah, our creator, for our lives & possessions?

2. Are we grateful for surviving the effects of this natural-disaster?

3. Are we of among those whom have been affected, by this natural-disaster, yet, are grateful for things not being worse?

4. Are we empathetic and/or sympathetic towards those who may have either lost life and/or possession?

5. Have we done, or are we going to do anything to offer some type of help to those whom we no who have been affected by this natural-disaster?

If the answer to any of the above questions are no, then, we as individuals, as well as a society at large, have some serious problems-There should not be any one of us whom is not grateful to our creator, for everything that we’ve ever acquired or anything which has been denied us-There should never be any of us whom are not grateful for surviving any mishap or tragedy that befalls us-There should not be anyone among us whom are not reflecting upon the plight of either persons whom we know or don’t know, whom have become victims of this natural-disaster-There should not be any of us whom are not willing & able, or whom have not already stared to, help anyone, whom we know or don’t know love, or despise, in need of any form of assistance.

There are actually several things which this natural-disaster should’ve have taught us all:

1. The recognition & acceptance that Allah, the Creator & Lord of the Universe, is, in all reality, in control of everything & we, as created-things, in all reality, are in control of nothing, we merely have the illusion of control.

2. The recognition & acceptance that just because Allah has chosen to spare us, this year from any form of death or destruction, is absolutely no guarantee that we will continue to be spared, from death or destruction in the next years to come, from becoming a victim to this type & magnitude of a natural-disaster.

3. The dire need to be concerned about, how the “other-half” lives, the condition of the other.

4. The recognition of the severity of what has happened & the need to enact action, in regards to volunteer ourselves for the other, in the path of public-service, during this most tumultuous time, during the aftermath & rebuilding of the regions of America hit by this hurricane.

In closing, this is just a simple advice, primarily to myself & then, to others, that we, as Human beings are obligated by Allah, to be of sincere help to others, in any & every way that we can. So, let us truly do that, starting helping those directly within our midsts, wherever we may be in this world-Just be a person of conscience & positive-action for others.

Thanks for reading,

Gareth Bryant/2012

The Muslims need to take Ownership of our own Political-Destiny:

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Author’s Note:

Good-News, guys!!!

I’ve started the first, of many guest blogposting articles, on my site. The first of what I hope to be many blogposting article is a brother, named, Mohammad Humayun Khan, and he has written something very noteworthy to read-Mohammad Humayun Khan has written about the upcoming presidential-election, that is going to be a very crucial, perhaps the most crucial presidential-election to date.

This is his stance, in his own words:

I have wanted to write this article/note for a while but never had the chance to get around to it. However since it’s only a week away, I thought the elections would be an appropriate context in which to write this.

Just so you know, this piece is not intended to be political-I am not advocating for or endorsing a candidate-The purpose of bringing in the election, and current politics, is to illustrate the broader points I am trying to make.

Throughout this election-season, and up to the recent presidential-debates, I have noticed that most American Muslims (AMs for the remainder of this writing) lean heavily in support towards the incumbent, President Obama. Through conversations with most AMs (including both fervent Obama supporters and the ho-hum ones), I’ve noticed that the reasons, presented, for supporting him can be described as nothing less than narrow & linear. The most often-cited reasons are his rhetoric of inclusion (at least as compared to many in the Republican camp), as well as his anti-war stances (i.e. Iraq). Basically, it seems like most AMs have a goody-goody feeling about President Obama. Reasons, both on a conscious level and subconscious level, may include that he is non-white, his middle name is Hussain, he looks foreign, he goes to the Middle East and gives inspiring speeches, has a less hawkish sounding stance on the Israeli-Palestine issue, or he says Pakistan like any authentic, biryani-loving, tea-drinking, tobacco-chewing Pakistani, from Karachi, would.

If these are, in fact, the only reasons AMs support him, then this is a very disturbing phenomenon and points to broader issues we have in the AM community. The two broadest issues it points to is that of Muslims not taking ownership of this country and Muslims’ linear and unsystematic way of thinking. These two broad issues are the point of emphasis of this note.

The point of this note is not to take sides of who is a better candidate for this country. Obviously, AMs, like any other American group, will and should vote for the candidate whom they think will best represent their interests. For AMs, this includes issues on foreign-policy, related to Muslim-Countries, Islamophobia, civil-liberties, etc.  However, why is it that most Muslims seem to virtually ignore the rest of the issues that affect the United States, as a whole? Issues related to the economy, deficit/debt, healthcare, and education, seem to be neatly tucked under the rug. From my conversations, with the average AM, they seem to be very ignorant about the facts and circumstances around these other challenges we face as Americans.

For example, we know that the deficit/debt problem is probably the number-one problem we have in this country; yet, I have not heard any AM or AM organization, in the US, take this issue very seriously. Look, if you are an American Muslim and looked at these other issues in depth, and have concluded that Obama is in fact a better choice for this country, I have no problem with that! What I do have a problem with are AMs totally ignoring the issues that are not exclusively tied to their sectarian interests. And, I honestly don’t think if all AMs objectively looked at these other issues, all or even most, would conclude that Obama’s policies are worth trumpeting for (i.e. Obamacare, high government spending, failed stimulus, drone-attacks, killing US citizens abroad without evidence, or due-process/trial, invasion of sovereignty of Muslim-Countries).

Of course, many would still favor some of his policies over the challenger, Mitt Romney; but, I don’t think all AMs would agree that his policies are unanimously better than Romney’s.  Sadly, most AMs have not even taken a chance to read Romney’s nor Paul Ryan’s economic-plans; yet, they somehow spew-off the same extreme left-leaning rhetoric, of how it would be hurtful to the economy. If you did read it, and you think it would, that is fine! But most AMs have not, and yet, still ignorantly reject anything that comes from that alternative political-voice.

Shouldn’t we, as American Muslims, who live, work and reap the benefits of this country, start at the very least, weigh-in these broader issues, as heavily as those that only affect our narrow and exclusive interests? Or, at the very least start talking about the other issues?

Sadly, this phenomenon of exclusively concentrating on Muslim-centric issues sort of indicates that AMs are not taking real ownership of this country. Many AMs will say that they do not truly feel part of this country. To that I say, how could you not? Have we not been blessed to be able to come into this country, settle-down & settle-in, live with peace and security, obtain a better life than any of our relatives back home can ever dream of, practice our religion openly, send our kids (both boys and girls) to school, and live in a society that provides us opportunity after opportunity? Many will point to the growing tide of Islamophobia and the damage it has taken on their psyche. No doubt, that Islamophobia is a major concern-My response to that is if AMs genuinely and proactively start finding solutions, to the broader challenges that the country faces as a whole, Islamophobia will naturally start to dissipate.

What’s most-amazing is that there are a few issues that dominate the AM political-discourse, to such an extent, that most AMs who don’t even have a clue or genuine concern about these issues will vote for a candidate solely based on the stance the candidate takes on it.

I hate to bring this up, but the best example of this is the Israeli-Palestine problem. Now, this is one area that actually seems to unify Muslims around the world and AMs should care about this issue as it speaks to one of the most atrocious forms of injustice and divisiveness in Human-History. But most AMs, who are not even knowledgeable about the situation, completely write-off a candidate, just because they feel a candidate may be on the wrong side of the issue.

I mean, honestly, ask yourselves these questions: Do you really lose sleep at night, thinking about what’s going on in Palestine? I mean, really, wouldn’t the impending loss of your job or health-problems of your children, cause more consternation to you than some of these other Muslim-centric issues? If so, then, why should we not vote along the lines which actually has direct-affects on our day-to-day lives? Or, why not at least, start weighing-in on these broader issues proportionally?

I am not saying that we shouldn’t care about the Israeli-Palestine issue; but, we need to be more rational, in the way in which we make our voting-decisions, or at the very least, the way we direct our discourse!

Unfortunately, thinking in such an exclusively centered way also shows AMs’ unsystematic thinking-process which leads to counter-intuitive results. What I mean by this is that if AMs start becoming authentic participants in this society, and start finding solutions to the problems posed to this great nation, it would translate into better outcomes for Muslims around the world-Holding seats in Congress, or beings heads of major corporations/institutions bring a more dramatic change to the status-quo in both the Muslim-World, as well as the Western-World-A more robust US economy (with all else being equal) would, naturally, translate into more wealth for AMs, which can be used towards charitable-causes and more importantly, in the building of institutions and infrastructure of positive change in both the Muslim-World & the Western-World.

As a tangible example-
In the past couple of years, I have had the privilege of attending a few charitable-dinners, aimed at raising money, for greater causes in Pakistan, such as the renovation of hospitals or the development of schools. At one of these events, as I sat and watched my fellow, generous, Pakistani-Americans, pour out money for these worthy-causes, I couldn’t help to wonder how we became so blessed to have the opportunities to give back in the first place. For whatever the reason, Allah has chosen us, to be these most-fortunate individuals. But, I’ve also found myself pondering about the future of AMs (in this case Pakistani AMs) in this country, and the possibility of AMs being enormously wealthy and simultaneously being positive agents of change in our societies. So, I’ve imagined the same fundraising dinner, 10 years from now, and couldn’t contain my excitement on thinking about how we would be able to generate 5,10 or 20 times more funds, for all of these various worthy-causes!  I mean, really think about that!

However, the success of AMs cannot come at the detriment of the United States of America. In other words, the success of AMs is intractability tied to the success of this great country of ours. Therefore, AMs need to become authentic stake-holders of this country, and, in turn, have to find and develop solutions to the problems that the US is currently faces. Moreover, some of the current problems the US faces are ones which Islam, itself, has the ability to solve. I mean, think about the fact that our National Debt sits at over $16 Trillion; how are we to pay interest on this Debt based on its enormous size?!!! Even rudimentary knowledge of Islam reveals the abhorrence of interest-based debt. Thus, we, as AMs, should be at the forefront, spear-heading the solutions to this financial-issue!

To end, I just want to thank everyone who has read this note, with an open mind.  Again, this was never meant to be a political-piece; rather, I am just hoping to bring a change in peoples thinking methodology. Whether you vote Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, other, or even neither, please weigh-in ALL issues, which we all face, as Americans. Start taking ownership of this country, which means not just taking the benefits and hiding, but also sharing in the problems, being active-participants in the solutions, start thinking systematically and reasonably, because we know a community is doomed to fail if it fails to reason.

And please let me know your guys thoughts on this!

Mohammad Humayun Khan/2012

What “Change” has there really been in America?!!!

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Since we are approaching the last official year of the 1st. presidential term of Barack Obama, one has to honestly reflect upon how his presidency has affected this country & the world. We cannot just get caught up in the nostalgia of “He’s the first Black President, woo hoo!!!”. We must critically think about what policies that he’s supported & carried out as the Chief Executive of the United States, during his nearly four-year tenure of what could potentially be his only term as the leader of the “Free-World”.

No, it’s not time to break out the worn out Obama hats, shirts, bumper stickers, etc. labelled “Yes, We Can”, or “Change We Can Believe In”. It is truly time for reflection as to whether the U.S. is truly a better country since this man’s been a President. For this reflection, I’ll be taking the liberty of mentioning several happenings throughout the current tenure of this U.S. President & I’ll let you decide has “Change” that this man had promised for this country truly come.

Hate crimes:
Dec. 3rd, 2010-
A twenty-seven year old Black man, by the name of Frederick Jermaine Carter, was found hanging to a tree, in Greenwood, Miss. The Obama administration has yet to even acknowledge the event taking place, and there was no mention of a Federal investigation of this case (ironically enough, Greenwood is a mere 10 miles away from Money, Miss., where Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black youth, was tortured and murdered by racist whites, over 50 years after the Emmet Til tragedy)-This case was just swept under the rug, by Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks, along with the county coroner, declaring Carter’s death a “Suicide”, as a result of him having a history of “Mental-Illness”.

Now, for you & I, who possess basic-intelligence, here’s some serious questions for us to sincerely ask ourselves: When is the last time that a legitimately mentally-ill person used a tree to assist them in a “Suicide”?!!! (Never); when is the the last time that a Black man used a tree to assist him in a “Suicide”?!!! (Never!!!); also, how is the man going to “hang himself”, when he was found tied/bounded to the actual tree that he “hanged himself” from?!!! (Impossible!!!).

Now, just by virtue of the fact that there’s a Black man in the White House is justification enough to have had this case world-wide news; however, sadly, it was just another important issue that was kept under cover, for fear that people would truly realize that having a Black man as a President doesn’t secure shit for Black people, those who came out in droves to vote for this man, really believing that he was their savior-If a White man, or any group of Non-Black individuals would’ve done the same to one of them, this case would’ve been treated the same exact way, especially if they weren’t of any type of known, significant status in our society.

The economy:
It’s not that the Federal bailouts given to the Wall Street titans were bad enough, but to add insult-to-injury, they’ve grown more wealthy & powerful during the Obama years, thus far-According to a report, by Zachary Goldfarb, of the Washington Post:

  • Wall Street firms — independent companies and the securities-trading arms of banks — are doing even better. They earned more in the first 2 1/2 years of the Obama administration than they did during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, industry data show. […]
  • The largest banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, earned $34 billion in profit in the first half of the year, nearly matching what they earned in the same period in 2007 and more than in the same period of any other year.
  • Securities firms — the trading arms of big banks and hundreds of other independent firms — have fared even better. They’ve generated at least $83 billion in profit during the past 2 1/2 years, compared with $77 billion during the entire Bush administration, according to data from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

#Enough said!!!

International-Relations:
Anwar Al-Awlaki, a Muslim, as well as a U.S.-citizen, was violently blown to bits, by a CIA-controlled drone-missile attack in Yemen. What still puzzles me, till this very day, is the simple fact that none of the actual charges of “terrorist-activity” against this man was even established, until after he conveniently out of the country, relocated to Yemen, even though he was continually probed by the Feds for at least 5 years before he even left the U.S. to spend the rest of his life in Yemen-Ironically the charges that he had actually gotten arrested for & then released while in the U.S. had absolutely nothing to do with “terrorist-activity”. This is something really difficult to wrap my head around: Anwar Al-Awlaki was accused of being the chief recruitment figure for Al-Qaeda in America, yet you wait until the man leaves the U.S. to go to Yemen to do something about it?!!! What sense does this all make?!!! (None).

He was denied his right as a Human being & a U.S.-citizen to have his day in court/any court, via due-process, even though his historical counterpart, Oliver North, the most corrupt U.S. Military official on record, who aided known terrorist-groups, by supplying them with money gins, in exchanges for drugs to be smuggled into the U.S. during the 1980′s, infamously known as the Iran-Contra Affair, did more than Al-Awlaki was even accused of. Yet, North was eventually acquitted of all 16 counts of Federal felonies thrown at him, received an official Presidential-Pardon, and retired with full rank & pension as a Lt. Colonel of the U.S. Marines (check out my article on this same blog, titled, “If Anwar Al-Awlaki were Oliver North, he’d still be alive & chillin’” for more info. about the Iran-Contra Affair). Then, there’s Somalia, the mythical land of African Al-Qaeda & pirates, even though, unlike the Taliban, Saddam, and Qaddafi, Ash-Shabab have not been ousted (check out my article on this same blog, “Somalia [The Anatomy of a Tragedy]” to find out why).

These are just a few of the countless examples of how the mythos of Barack Obama has continually become a political epic-fail, and has been able to keep the American people deaf, dumb & blind. It’s very obvious to me, and should be just as obvious to you all, that Obama being a President, the first Black President, or what ever posthumous title that you’d wish to refer to him by, has not changed any of the business-as-usual policies well-established in this nation.

In short, “Ain’t shit change, except da number after da dot, on da Range (Rover).”
Christopher Wallace (AKA: Notorious B.I.G.)

Gareth Bryant/2012