Tag Archives: Culture

Circumcision vs. Mutilation: is there a Difference between the two?!!!

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Circumcision in Islām is of 2-Types:

1. Male-Circumcision-

Male-Circumcision consists of removing the Male-Prepuce/Foreskin, exposing the Head of the Penis.

2. Female-Circumcision-

Female-Circumcision consists of partial or complete removal of the Female-Prepuce/Clitoral-Hood, exposing the Clitoris.

Both Types of Circumcision are known to possess Precedent within Islām via the Qur’ān&Sunnah.(al-Bukhārī, Muslim) Circumcision is not Mutilation of the Human-Body, as Anti-Circumcision Advocates dishonestly propagate to be the Case, simply because Islām never textually condones Mutilation of the Human-Body in any way. Also, Circumcision isn’t some Archaic (many would even dare to argue “Barbaric”) 3rd-World Custom, as many would attempt to classify it as such. Rather, the Islāmic-Origins of Circumcision actually begin when Allah commanded Abraham (Peace be upon him) to establish Circumcision: to circumcise himself, along with all Male-Members of his Household.(Qasas-ul-Anbiyā’/Stories Of The Prophets, ibn-Kathīr) And, thus proving that Circumcision not only predates the Revelation of the Qur’ān, but that it also is predicated by Revelation which Allah imposed upon Abraham: the Friend of Allah…the Father of the Prophets.

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Since this Discussion is particular to Female-Circumcision: it must be noted that the Islāmic-Allowance of Female-Circumcision is in no way akin to Female Genital Mutilation, because of what I’ve already mentioned prior, pertaining to Islām never condoning Mutilation of the Human-Body & by virtue of the fact that there’s no Islāmic-Texts stating that Female-Circumcision is Mafrūdh/Mandatory.

Rather, Female-Circumcision is something which is Mubāh (Neutral/Optional), as is proven within the following Text:

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Now, based upon this particular Hadīth/Prophetic-Narration, it’s Clear that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) never mandated nor abolished Female-Circumcision, yet only advised/warned, commanded that it must not be done in an Extreme-Fashion. Based upon what we know concerning FGM, it’s obvious that this is the Extreme-Fashion in which Muhammad set out to avoid & forbade from taking place.

There’s very blatant differences between Female-Circumcision, which is Islāmically-Acceptable vs. FGM, which is Mahrūm/Islāmically-Prohibited, by virtue of the Harm which is caused by it. In fact, in Islām, we as Muslims are commanded to avoid Harm at any/all Costs. (Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.2, V.195; an-Nawawī)

The following Diagram proves my Point:

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Let’s review the above Diagram (B.  Type I [A. Prepuce removal only]): it paints a Clear-Picture, that B. Type I (A.Prepuce removal only) is the only Islāmically-Acceptable form of Female-Circumcision, and therefore could never be FGM. The other Figures  within this Diagram clearly describe/define that these other Types are not Circumcision; rather, these are Types of Mutilation/FGM. In the Modern-World: I must agree that most Places Worldwide where Female-Circumcision takes place don’t use proper Medical-Technology, nor Sanitary/Hygienic Tools and/or Facilities to conduct Female-Circumcision correctly, according to Islām. So, under these Conditions, coupled with the Reality that Female-Circumcision isn’t Islāmically-Mandatory anyway, I do advocate that Female-Circumcision generally should/must be discontinued in Places where there’s no proper Facilitation that Female-Circumcision: 1. Won’t be done correctly, according to Islām…2. Could/would result in Dangerous/Life-Threatening Health-Risks for Women. And, unfortunately, there’s enough Evidence that Female-Circumcision (1. Based upon Unhealthy-Methods of it being done…2. Dangerous/Life-Threatening Health-Risks) should/must be discontinued.

In Islām, if something isn’t Obligatory: if there’s a higher Probability that Muslims won’t be able to maintain it and/or do it correctly, not only is it Islāmically-Allowable to discontinue it (depending on what it is), it would also then be Islāmically-Mandatory to discontinue it, if the Harm resulting from it becomes greater than its Benefit.

The following Hadīth gives us Precedent, as to the Islāmic-Allowability to discontinue something which is not Mafrūdh:20170802_183904In Conclusion, let 1-Thing remain Crystal-Clear: Female-Circumcision is in no Way akin to Female Genital Mutilation. So, do not…I repeat, do not continue to allow Ignorant/Islāmophobic (Muslims and/or Non-Muslims) People attempt to treat Circumcision and FGM as though they’re the same Things, because they’re clearly not akin to one another at all. And, stop allowing them to promote this Fallacy that FGM is supported by Islām.
Gareth Bryant/2017

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Melody of Madness:

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Winter is no longer cold…I’m no longer young.
Confusion in my life…the War hasn’t been won.

Carnage fills my heart, like war-torn Syria.
AIDS & Ebola ravage from Rwanda to Libya.

The rise of Atheism immersed in Academia.
The demand for Petroleum from Saudi Arabia.

America uses ISIS for their warmongering devices.
Depletion of the Earth isn’t on anyone’s focus.

Climate-Change…something’s strange.
Blacks still lynched, nothing’s changed.

Why do we exist in this World with such pain?
Why is apathy normal & compassion insane?

It seems like everything’s just upside down.
The Oppressor a Hero, the Victim a Clown.

I’m so conflicted…my emotions stifled.
No one’s genuine, everything’s a trifle.

The Law is blind, because Justice is absent.
Xenophobia reign’s supreme, no acceptance.

I’m sad and angry because my nation hates me.
I live in a country threatened by my theology.

What if the banning of Muslims gets approved?
How can I survive in a World that’s so shrewd?

I can only prepare for the coming of the destruction of all I hold dear.
The end is abysmal, dark, and near; we’re now all ruled by fear.

Gareth Bryant/2015

My Advice to the Ummah

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#‎Muslims‬…especially ‪#‎MuslimReverts‬ and/or Muslims native to the ‪#‎WesternWorld‬ are in a serious bind & all because of ‪#‎Islamophobia‬: it’s turning Parents against Children, Spouse against Spouse, Co-Worker against Co-Worker, Neighbor against Neighbor, Friend against Friend. It’s tearing our Societies apart, and if we study the Sirah/Biography of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the same thing took place in 7th-century Arabia. And, yes…I know it hurts when someone mocks you for praying, fasting, trying your best to not do negative just to fit-in: I’ve lived it & I’m still living it. But, I’m here to tell you that when Allah rewards those who are sincere to ‪#‎Islam‬, in both word & deed, and by His Mercy grants us victory over our Enemies who want nothing more than to display us as blood-thirsty Tyrants, we will ond day look back, laugh, and say to ourselves, “Because I was patient with the trials which Allah imposed upon me, and because I sincerely worked hard to be Good in the face of Evil…this was all worth it: every time I was arrested based on false-charges, stripped-searched & detained at airports, denied jobs/fired from jobs, teased & bullied, forced to fight in order to defend myself, forced to endure the lies against our perfect lifestyle called Islam…it was worth it all.”.

Gareth Bryant

The Paris-Attacks!!!

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News-Flash-
To all who think that killing and/or maiming Innocent, Non-Combatant, Civilians, in the name of Jihad, Islam, is a good thing to do, well…guess what? You’re wrong & you’re not helping Islam spread…you’re causing People to run away from Guidance, you Morons!!! Your antics are merely painting an even darker image of Islam & Muslims, all across the Globe, which is inspiring even more hatred to be fueled. Your actions don’t raise the Banner of Islam, it in fact lowers it. Your taking of Life doesn’t advance the Ummah/Nation of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), it actually shames us. So, please, for futre reference: anyone impressionable enough to join any/all of these Groups, who advocate senseless violence again Innocents, please do yourselves, and the rest of the Believers a favor…just don’t join them. Acts of Oppression are never justified by other acts of Oppression. Do we resist the onslaught of Spiritual-Perversion in our societies…yes. Do we work to make the Din/Religion of Allah supreme…yes. Do we kill anyone/everyone in the process…no.

Gareth Bryant/2015

The Day I Became A Coward:

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Author’s-Note:
“And, don’t allow your hatred against any People prevent you from being Just.”
(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.8)

This is a true-story, of when I had a very gruesomely hostile argument with my Mother, over Religion. I was still fairly a New-Muslim at the time, and she was vehemently against me being a Muslim in the 1st-place. So, because of her blatant Islamophobia, I began to develop a very toxic hatred in my heart against her. I was very enthusiastic concerning my reversion to Islam: it was (and still is) such a liberating experience. However, unfortunately, I had also made the grave mistake of using my newly-found Monotheistic-Faith as a justification to rebel against my Mother, which I did fairly often. I honestly don’t even remember what we had argued about in detail, nor do I remember how this argument started and/or which one of us started it. I have no recollection of how old I was at the time, nor the time, day, month, season, year; I can’t recall what I had worn that day, or what I ate: none of these details come to my mind. But, I do remember getting angry with my Mother, and I remember what I stated to her, which I’m too ashamed to say publicly. I can still see the pain in her face, as the tears began to roll down her face, flowing from her eyes, like river-streams from a snow-capped Mountain in the Springtime.

I can still envision the look of regret that she had on my face for giving birth to me, because of my vile tantrum of disrespect against her. I can still hear her heart breaking into unrecognizable pieces, because of the harshness of my words spewing from my reckless tongue. This is is the day my cowardice was truly exposed. I had displayed such unforgivable rudeness towards the Woman who birthed me, that had Allah decided to strike me dead, as a punishment, it would’ve been what I deserved. I didn’t even know how to apologize: it was like Allah had decided that my prior insults were so despicable, that I wasn’t even worthy of speaking again. It felt like my tongue was paralyzed & being prevented via Allah’s Divine-Discretion, from even being able to say sorry for what I had said. Now, there I was, a Young-Punk, thinking that I’m a “Tough-Guy”, making my Mother cry, using the same voice that would cry-out to her when I wanted/needed her for love & attention, to cause her pain. I felt so low that day. After our argument, self-witnessing the anguish which I had inflicted upon her started to make me reflect as to whether or not I was even worthy of being a Muslim.

That’s how deeply this event had affected me. And, even to the point when there were times after this that I had wished that I had died, because of the shame I bore: the pain of dealing with the consequences of what I had done felt like I was being destroyed from within. Ironically, many years afterwards, my Mother sent me a text-message, telling me how proud of me she is of the Man that I’ve become. This text made feel feel that my entire existence, prior to that point was useless. I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t remember this argument her & I had. But, I’ve never forgotten it, nor will I allow myself to forget it. That episode in my life is one thing, amongst so many others, which I’ll continually use to keep me humble, as well as humbled. I had actually been thinking a lot about the Verse of the Qur’an that I mentioned earlier, and the more I had thought about it, the more things that I had done, People that I had offended out of hatred began to surface from my subconscious. And, then, this incident between my Mother & I resurfaced within me, and it took me to a place of reflection that I didn’t want to be taken, but it was a necessary place to be.

Particularly, and especially as Muslims: it doesn’t matter who opposes your Islam, it gives us no right to treat them unjustly. All Human beings have the right to be treated fairly. And, those who have the greatest rights over us are our Parents. And, the Parent who has the most rights over us are our Mothers.(an-Nawawi) Our jobs as Children are to care for our Parents, in the same ways which they’ve cared for us when we were young & helpless.(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.17, V.24) And, for a long time, I had done the exact opposite of caring for my Mother, spending more time causing her grief as opposed to joy. When I began to comes to terms about the wrongs against my own Mother, I started to reflect upon how my Mother would always tell my siblings & I growing-up, that our Father always wanted us & told us to listen to our Mother. My Father was my hero growing-up. So, when he died when I was very young, I was only left with memories of him & from what others including my Mother had told me about him.

I started to think about how could I possibly face my Father, knowing what I had done against my own Mother. Then, an even greater fear encompassed me: how am I going to face Allah: the Creator/Lord of the Universe & answer to Him on the Day of Standing for the wrongs that I’ve done against my own Mother? It’s popularly said that “The Wise-Man is he who learns from the Errors of Others.”. So, be wise & learn from my Errors: don’t make your Mothers cry…don’t be Cowards.

Gareth Bryant/2015

Ambitious Aspirations

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Shirley Bishop

Shirley Bishop, a very talented writer, in my opinion, has decided that she will embark upon her own writing project, a poetry book. I was very interested in getting to know more about her project, what inspired her to do so & what she hopes to make of it. Here’s her, in her own words, concerning her drive to become a literary-artist:

Poetry to me is the language of the soul! It can discreetly reveal my deepest secrets, it can make some of my harsh and raw feelings sound so eloquent to others. Poetry doesn’t pacify my curiosity, it embraces it! The beauty of poetry is similar to someone’s smile . A person’s smile can mean so many things, joy, strength, nervousness and fear yet it puts its audience at ease. I realized that poetry was my choice of expression when I was about 11 years old. I come from a family that has immense talent (musically), to where I’ve been influenced by significantly. I’ve always been drawn to words, studied the dictionary for personal enjoyment, since I was 3 and I loved the concept of rhyming. I was so fascinated to see how much power words carry, in terms of affecting a person’s mood: this alone became my addiction to word play! I started writing poetry in junior high school. I’ve written between junior high school and high school 4 books worth of poetry. But, sadly my books have all been damaged beyond repair.

With my new poetry project in the making, I hope to accomplish bringing enlightenment to the public, to see beyond the (typical) stereotypical styles of poetry: poetry is not “boring”, it’s not “roses are red etc” and it does not necessarily reflect thoughts of “loneliness”, “sadness”, “grief” or “despair”. It is not a tool to highlight “bad times”, “regretful moments”, or “negative experiences”; but, rather a versatile form of expression, creativity and eloquence: demonstrating how we all can relate to one another, as human beings. I am excited to infuse my favorite genres of music (dancehall, 90s hip hop/r&b) into my poetry: to give my words some edge, give my readers entertainment that doesn’t need to always be in a form of a “status update”. This book is very important to me because it expresses some of my very personal experiences, it shows my creativity of people’s stories that I wrote which can be related to all, and it speaks on the topic that holds a strong hold to many of us…being judged! This book is my chance to show the world what keeps me smiling, at peace, confident, and full of life: poetry!

If my words can bring encouragement to others to deal with hard situations , empower men and women to both know their worth and reinforce people to put their all into their passions in life , then my mission is accomplished. The effects that I would like my book to have on readers are strength, comfort to know I relate to them, self-love, and most importantly a mental escape. So many times to me it seems like many try and compete with how clever or “deep” they can post a “quote” on social media, which to me are empty words. Empty words I say b/c many do so without knowing the authenticity of the quote or perhaps it’s meaning let alone how can you realistically  apply that quote to your daily life. With my book, it’s pretty straightforward, we all been thru things most won’t dare to speak, and if you keep looking for answers to all of life’s ups and down, when will u take a moment to actually just live life. Nowadays, with immense popularity of social media and increasing expansions of technology and it’s gadgets, most don’t take that old fashioned approach to escaping mentally which is reading a damned good book! I hope my book can bring that groove back of a simple getaway of the harshness reality do bring.

I would say 10% of the book’s content is from my personal experiences, will I tell you which ones? Nope lol gotta keep the suspense going! The remaining 90% content consist of experiences told to me, observed and moments I wished I had in real life. I strongly believe my work will be well received simply b/c it’s raw in feelings of myself and others. I would like my work to define myself as poet with a neo soul attitude, a jazz of feelings of expression and a reader’s jones for more and more til I can’t write no more ! I would like my work to be respected, enjoyed and even used to uplift others. I do see myself going far with writing as it is my sincerest of talents and a form of art I absolutely love to create! I am hopeful to write a collection of poetry and possibly entertain the thought of expanding my work to film. No matter how small or big of the success that my project will receive, my humility will be in tact and to make a difference in someone’s life for the better is my true aim.

Shirley Bishop/2015

For more info. about Shirley Bishop & her Poetry-Book:

srollins1982@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/sbishop82

Mister Mildor’s “Wrong Place,Right Time” Photo-Exhibition

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Mister Mildor to Exhibit his Art in a Solo Photo exhibition Show on August 1st, 2015

Alan Mildor
www.mistermildor.com
246 Union Avenue
Brooklyn, New York, 11211
Mobile Phone: 347-721-8760

The Glass House Art Life Lab gallery announces Mister Mildor’s first solo street photography exhibition “Wrong Place,Right Time.” On view August 1st, 2015 this exhibition features 20 photo based works of art that is a compelling glimpse into Mister Mildor’s reality. Controlling what some may say is Urban Disorder in New York City with his photographic techniques, this exhibit will provide a colorful and dynamic view of the people and places that makes New York City’s heartbeat.

Mister Mildor love for his local environment is evident in his work. Mister Mildor confessed “I love photography and videography because it doesn’t only give me the ability to freeze time but it allows people to appreciate the moments in their life, no matter if it’s despairing or delightful. There is always a right time to capture life, even in the darkest of places.”  Mister Mildor has captured life from all boroughs and will continue to capture love, pain, freedom, and all the things associate with living the life of a city dweller. Mister Mildor is beginning to have a constant presence through his art and is starting to shine through photographies meteoric rise into popular culture.

Alan Mildor aka Mister Mildor, is a Brooklyn based photographer and videographer. Alan’s artistry has been commissioned by some of the world’s largest brands and musicians. Mildor’s visual art has been published on Complex Magazine, 2 Dope Boyz, and Rap Radar. He has provided all the visual campaigns for Alife, Hood By Air, Dj Venus, Tisa, Brian Wood, Rich Weirdo Clothing, and for Touro College. Mildor Also created branded video for Clubhouse Barbershop, Vinnies Styles, and Vulkan The Krusader.

About The Glass House Art Life Lab
Glass House is an art-life lab founded by artist Lital Dotan & Eyal Perry, dedicated to hosting artistic practices based on performance, participation and time based art in the domestic sphere, under the motto that  “Art Should Be Experienced in a Place that Allows Staying.” Since it’s relocation to Southside Williamsburg in September 2012, Glass House host performances, screenings, exhibitions, workshops and a residency program all dedicated to promote hosting as artistic discourse.

General Information
Mister Mildor Presents “Wrong Place, Right Time”
Where: The Glass House Art Life Lab
Address: 246 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
(Between Scholes and Meserole)

Nearest Subway: L (Lorimer), G (Broadway), M & J (Hewes)

contact@glasshouseproject.org

www.mistermildor.com

America’s Dad falls from Grace

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Bill Cosby…the Man dubbed “America’s-Dad”, has been found to be setting very negative examples for his American-Children: the American-People-those who’ve watched his many shows, such as “The Electric Company”, “I Spy”, “The Cosby Show”, etc. From the late 1960’s to the present, Bill Cosby had been lauded as one of the most ideal role-models for African-Americans, Young-People, on TV. He had successfully managed to star in and also produce some of the most popular shows in Entertainment, portraying African-Americans in the most positive of lights. This had been very useful in the eyes of so many as to breakdown racial-stereotypes against African-Americans, through showing that we also have similar family-values, work-ethics, educational-merits as any other American demographics.

However, it seems as though all of his work has just gone down the drain in light of his admittance of providing sedative drugs to Women he wanted to have sex with & ironically many Women have already accused him of Sexual-Misconduct, Rape, etc. This has truly been a blow to America, more particularly to the African-American Community. This is especially true because at one point in time, there were very few positively portrayed Afro-Americans to aspire to be like, other than the characters on shows which were produced by Bill Cosby. It’s like he both made & broke the progress of the African-American, in both real-life as well as in Entertainment. He has basically destroyed the exact same thing that he helped to build.

And, of course, like so many People, I myself was very skeptical of the Sexual-Abuse allegations against Cosby, and the following questions kept flowing through my mind: why now, that he’s such an elderly Person: why now, while he had once been one of the most respected entertainers in Entertainment-History; why now, when all of the accusers were all grown-ups? Honestly, what really had me mistrust these allegations was the allegations made against him, when Judith Huth had accused Cosby of Sexually-Abusing her at Hugh Hefner’s infamous Playboy-Mansion, while she was a 15 year-old: what the Hell was she doing at the Playboy-Mansion  as a 15 year-old, where were her Parents, why weren’t they sited for Parental-Neglect, why hasn’t Hugh Hefner himself been scrutinized and/or charged with facilitating Sexual-Abuse of Minors at his home?

However, in his own deposition, he had admitted to giving Women the drug Quaalude. This admission has basically sealed his fate, and has made it even easier for his accusers & critics to have ammunition against him. Now that he has admitted to at least one of the allegations against him, the floodgates have been busted open & he has no ability to run away from the responsibility of his actions. Now, where does he go from here? Where do his loved-ones, fans, admirers, go from here? Where do his accusers go from here? Where does America go from here? I really don’t have any answers. But, what I do know is that this has become a national-tragedy.

Gareth Bryant/2015

Apathetic Times

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We live in the days of Malice…
…selfishness make us callous.

All we desire is to pursue our own wants…
…we live by immorality, demonic thoughts.

All day in, all day out…
…we complain & shout.

Forgetting just all too often…
…to be grateful for something.

We look down upon those who have less…
…thinking material things equal success.

It’s like we only concern ourselves with Fashion’s latest trends…
…or how many millions our favorite celebrity makes and spends.

We worry too much about when’s the next time we will eat Steak or Lobster…
…while millions of People on the Planet die because they lack clean Water.

But, in the end, we just chase the Illusion…
…to an dauntingly never ending conclusion.

We perceive that this is all there is to life…
…attaining things while causing others strife.

There will be a day when we will regret not caring for one another…
…we’ll be shamed for treating our fellow Man as less than a brother.

There will be fear, we will shed tears…
…and know that this day is very near.

Gareth Bryant/2015

My Commentary on Interfaith-Marriage:

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I will be showing you a video posted on YouTube, by the Muslim Public Affairs Council, hosted by Maher Hathout, who died in January of 2015, dubbed the Father of American-Muslim Identity”. This video is a part of a series of videos, concerning topics which are not discussed enough or at all among Muslims, Interfaith-Marriage being one of these recurring hotbed-issues. However, within the video itself, there’s a lot of problematic stances which the personality answering the questions takes, which I’ll discuss after you’ve viewed the video:

This video is incredibly inaccurate & misleading: Allah clearly states, “And do not allow the Men of Shirk to marry you, unless they believe.”(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.221) The Men of Shirk are those who commit Shirk: disregard of the existence/oneness of Allah & all Non-Muslim commit Shirk in one way or another, either via Atheism/Anti-Theism (disregarding the existence of Allah/any Divine-Creator generally), as well as any other Non-Muslims who have theological-beliefs contrary to what we’re taught as Muslims via al-Qur’an/the Qur’an & as-Sunnah/the Prophetic-Tradition. In other words, a Muslim-Woman is prohibited from marrying any Non-Muslim Man. And this is because of the following reasons: when a Woman is sexually-attached to a Man, his influence over her is tremendous. Obviously, Allah knowing His Creation better than we know ourselves, places a prohibition upon Muslim-Women being married to Non-Muslim Men, because Non-Muslim Men will influence Muslim-Women to leave Islam & it happens all of the time. And, the major reason that Muslim-Men are allowed to marry (Jewish & Christian) Non-Muslim Women is because of the same reason: as a result of a Man, by Nature being able to influence a Woman via sexual-attachment, he’s better able to encourage her to accept Islam. Also look at it statistically: how often do you hear about Men leaving Islam, because they’re with a Non-Muslim Woman…hardly ever…conversely, how often do you hear about Women leaving Islam, because they’re with a Non-Muslim Man…almost always.

Maher Hathout has purposely…purposefully misinformed People, both Muslims & Non-Muslims alike. Now, I don’t know who gave him the privilege to be any type of authority to speak about Islam, but he has truly not done a good job in dispelling misconceptions and/or clarifying conceptions of Islam. He had mere done what so many, too Muslims past & present have always done: take the go-along to get-along route…instead of being honest about about what Islam allows vs. disallows, in the objective of being Interfaith-Accepted, he had allowed himself to misinform masses of People of various faiths to take his word seriously, and had sadly deceived them…this video being only one of many proofs of this.

Gareth Bryant/2015