Tag Archives: Domestic-Violence

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

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Gareth Bryant featured on The Mardiyah Show Episode 4 Part 2

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Author’s Note:
This is the official interview of Gareth Bryant, on one of his most controversial articles to date, “Why Muslim Women Are Against Polygyny and Why Muslim Men Can’t Really Blame Them”:

http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/antipolygyny/

Gareth Bryant featured on The Mardiyah Show Episode 4 Part I

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Author’s Note:
This is the official interview of Gareth Bryant, on one of his most controversial articles to date, “Why Muslim Women Are Against Polygyny and Why Muslim Men Can’t Really Blame Them”:

http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/antipolygyny/

Lynchings without Nooses

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Protests Continue After Death Of Baltimore Man While In Police Custody

All across the United States, for the past few years, there’s been Unarmed-Civilian, after Unarmed-Civilian, murdered at the hands of Law-Enforcement. The reasons why these individuals were killed in cold-blood were never justified, the Police-Officers involved were always either acquitted of all charges against their victims, served with only minor-sentences, or not even indicted for their crimes against Humanity & Citizenry. When we observe these trends of violence, based solely upon ethno-cultural, socio-economic, socio-political circumstances, especially after the advent of the Obama-Era, an historic time in America where People have allowed themselves to believe that since there’s a Non-White President in the Oval-Office, that all is now right with our United States. But, then, ever since Obama’s been a President, it seems as though there’s been an even more blatant presence of Hate-Crimes against Citizenry, committed by Law-Enforcement, during the Obama-Years.

Which brings us to the title of this article: Lynchings without Nooses-Back in the days, from about the 1870’s to the 1970’s in America, the Noose was the most common scare-tactic & weapon of choice, for the racist White-Establishment in the United States, against all Non-Christian/Non-White Peoples, courtesy of the Ku Klux Klan. However, now, within the past 4-decades, it’s not been the Noose that’s killed significant numbers of Black/Latino/Non-White, Urban-Youth, instead, it’s been a Policeman’s Gun. Now, instead of People being fearful of the sight of a Klansman’s Burning-Cross, they’re afraid of the sight of a Policeman’s Badge.

From Florida, with the murder of Trayvon Martin…to Ferguson, MO, with the murder of Michael Brown…to Staten Island, NY, with the murder of Eric Garner…to Santa Rosa, CA, with the murder of Andy Lopez…to Cleveland, OH, with the murder of Tamir Rice…every channel you watch on the News, every article you read in the Papers, every Internet-Search: there’s something reported and/or written about yet another Person being shot/killed by Law-Enforcement. There’s several things wrong with this blatant “Open-Season” mentality, which Law-Enforcement has, when attacking Citizenry. And, I know that there are Community-Leaders, Politicians, members of Law-Enforcement, etc., who try to sweep this reality under the rug. But, things are just too obvious to ignore. And, the People who are members of the most demographically marginalized ethnic-groups in the United States are taking things to the streets, in almost every major city in America: there are rallies, protests, riots everywhere.

It’s very easy for People who aren’t members of these marginalized demographics, and/or hail from well-appointed places in Life to say, “Stop the Violence”, “Stop the Protests”, Stop the Rioting”, when these same People aren’t the ones being subjected to the atrocities that their fellow Humans across the United States face on a day-to-day basis, which is Racial-Profiling. You can sugar-coat the reality of Racial-Profiling with Police-Officers “just doing their duty” all you want. But, the news-stories don’t lie. Year after year, we hear the same types of stories: Unarmed-Person shot by Police. This story has been told for decades, and generations. How many more funerals for Unarmed-Civilians have to be attended, how Fathers & Mothers have to mourn the losses of their Children to Police-on-Civilian Violence, how many more Police-Officers are going to either get acquitted of any/all crimes against Citizenry or not even get indicted for these crimes?

The voices of Citizenry can be clearly heard, yet Politicians, Law-Enforcement Agents, Presidents, refuse to listen to the complaints & cries of the People, and this is exactly how revolutions begin. Even with the recent indictments & prosecutions of the Baltimore Police-Officers who held Freddie Grey against his will, and caused him to die in Police-Custody. How far will this really go: will these Officers receive another slap on the wrist, courtesy of yet another puppeteered Kangaroo-Jury, selected to acquit yet another group of Police-Officers, to send yet another message that Law-Enforcement is above the Law? Until then, let’s all just keep in mind that Justice for all requires us all to be impartial, unbiased, and willing to fight to erase Oppression from our Societies.

Muslims Giving Back’s annual participation at the annual AFSP: Out Of the Darkness Overnight promoting Suicide-Awareness & Suicide-Prevention

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Donate to the efforts of Muslims Giving Back below…Support Project: #Walk4life:

http://www.theovernight.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=13648

Yasmin Mogahed’s position on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict:

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Yasmin Mogahed pic

Author’s-Note:
Yasin Mogahed’s spin on the issue takes us to a place that we ca all relate to: it sets us up & forces us to truly reflect upon the different scenarios that she presents, and how we would view them, had they been in place of the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

I used to wonder why some Palestinian people would engage in actions that could only provoke the aggressor further. Then I realized that to ask a people to live quietly, while they have no justice and no freedom, is to ask them to live “peacefully” as slaves. “Peace” without justice or freedom is slavery. It’s like asking a battered woman to live “peacefully” with her abuse. We all want the bloodshed to stop. But what about the daily humiliation and institutionalized oppression?

I was reminded of a part in “The Hunger Games” when Katniss considers abandoning the resistance against the oppressor, in exchange for “safety”. Gale’s response was telling. He said: “Safe to do what? Starve? Work like slaves? Send their kids to the reaping?”

Consider this: If a woman is being raped, things would be a lot more “peaceful” if she didn’t resist. But, asking her not to resist–just because her attacker is physically stronger–is asking her to accept her own abuse and oppression for the sake of “peace”. This is what the world is asking Palestinians to do.

And sometimes what seems to the world as just ineffective tactics, like throwing a rock at a tank, is in fact an act of resistance. It is a powerful statement to the oppressor–and the world–that they refuse to be enslaved. That dignity and self-respect are even more beloved to them than their own lives.

It is a statement that you can take their lives. But not their freedom.

Yasmin Mogahed/2014

For more info. about Yasmin Mogahed:

http://www.yasminmogahed.com

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

The Results of a Broken-Home: When Someone feels they’re all-alone

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Neghena Hamidi pic

Author’s note:

Neghena Hamidi, a young, new, literary-artist, has graced my blogpage, with a very endearing poem, about the ill-effects of a pathological homelife-experience. The piece itself is very captivating, describing, in detail, how someone may, and sadly, often, ends up, as a result of negativity in their lives, from home.

I walked past both of you upon being beckoned
My parents said to me “Don’t think this life is worthy for a split second”
Careless I was,
Walking to my room
Disrespecting my parents?
I just walked into my own doom
I did not know would happen that night
A dream that would leave be shattered
Unprepared to really fight
Lying in my bed
Forgetting about the prayers my dad just led
I closed my eyes and drifted away
Constrained
In a habitat
Where was I
What just begun
I heard cries all over just being sung
It was dark
I couldn’t see
Is what I’m imagining make believe?
I moved my left hand
What is this box i am in?
is it the box that He chose?
Knock and I banged. No one heard me
I can’t really see
Someone please answer
Hear my plea
Because I feel as though my heart is beginning to bleed
The ceiling began to slide
I caught a glimpse of my mama,
Crying on my side
White dress on my body
On this box i lied
I saw four people hovering on my home tugging on my scarf
“Wake up. You did not die, Her life was about to start”
Who was that?
Wait I’m dead?
That was my mother..
The one I never listened to when we uttered words to one another
“My baby sister, shes gone”
I think that was my brother
Never really bothered knowing you because I always snuck out undercover
“Guys…I’m not dead. Hear me. I’m dying inside”
Ha! Cracked a paradox
While I’m unwillingly trapped in this box
Don’t bury me six feet down the ground where the worms will have my fun with their feast
On the eyes that never bothered to see life’s true peak
The ears that never listened to her own just merely speak
The mouth that was blabbering when her enemies were so weak
That forehead that never gracefully leveled down to the atmosphere of my feet
The hands that was useless when I heard someone beg
And the feet that never ran to mosque when I heard Quran being read
Not now. I need to change
I know its a bit too late
Like a thread this life was cut short
I feel so estranged
Wait…
Water on my face?
Those were the tears of my father
Thought you would be tough
Please don’t leave your daughter
Someone pull me up
This must be a dream
Caused by bad habits?
And a hint of really bad fatigue?
I assure you I was sober
Just pull me up
My life just has been shattered by a bulldozer
My face was just covered
There goes my family
And the new roof of my sanctuary
My box is lifted despite my plea
Down I go with regrets and lack of the deen.

Neghena Hamidi/2013

The Clearing of the Smoke, after the Boston & Waco blasts: Trying to make sense of it all

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Boston-Bombing pic

Author’s note:

Rabiah Kas`id is someone with a sound-mind & a kind-heart. He’s someone whom I’ve known for a very long time, I’d say, about a decade, at least. He has grown, into a person of great knowledge, wisdom, understanding, about Islam, as well as the world around him. Here’s some of the elements of his positive-qualities, which I’ve just mentioned before, in a simple, yet powerful, and enlightening write-up, concerning the recent tragedy, known as the Boston-Bombings.

The Arabic word fadl is mentioned in supplications in the context of referring to Allah’s grace and favor.

The literal meaning of the word fadl is “surplus”. It is used to describe something that is given without any payment in return.

When we say something is “fadl from Allah”, we mean it is given by Allah without being deserved by the receiving party. Allah gives us rewards for our good deeds and increases our blessings and providence purely out of His generosity, magnanimity, and grace.

When we ask our Lord for His grace or favor (fadl), we are asking Him to give us something even though we do not deserve it. It is our recognition that what Allah gives us is out of Allah’s generosity and from His favor.

Allah says: “And if Allah had destroyed men for their iniquity, He would not leave on the earth a single creature” [Sûrah al-Nahl: 61]

http://en.islamtoday.net/node/636

A reflection on the Boston Marathon Event:

Anyone else was hoping that the people involved were white and not Muslim. We all know the reaction then would have been to refer to it as a lone wolf as opposed the act of a group of people/Deen and that another Muslim land couldn’t possibly be in the crossfire in the near future, as was Iraq and Afghanistan. Also there is the likelihood of additional of domestic policies and actions that infringe on the basic lives of others similar to that of a decade ago and counting. So that could include an increase of already existing scaled surveillance and profiling of Muslims. There will also likely be additions to matters such as the patriot act, and an increase in in funding of related federal agencies  which will both curb civil liberties further. Immigration reforms are also to be affected if they turn out to be immigrants even if they happened to be legalized.

If not then there is public image involved, although if 9/11 is any indication some people will still examine Islam fairly and may even be more eager because of the new focused attention. The brothers and sisters who may have not been the most practicing would be included in that regard of also examining and better embracing their Deen to be better examples in the public eyes.

Finally, it only fair to at least bring up the West Texas fertilizer plant explosion. This is so as more people died and were injured there and the collateral damage was so severe that some people lost their homes and school there just opened today (April 22, days after the incident) yet it got much less coverage. How unbalanced can mainstream news be to not at least give this event the same coverage as the Boston marathon event?

Rabiah Kas`id/2013

Shari`ah & Women’s Rights in Islam: Who’s entitled to interpret it?

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Oz Sultan pic

In the past decade, we’ve seen a huge debate around the concept of “Sharia: in America “, what it means, as well as what it’s implications are on Americans as well as to women, on a more global scale.

I’ve known Carlin for a while and we’ve started to have some discussions on the matter. Discussions that I hope might lead to more posts like this over time – for as we can open dialogues, we begin to break down the walls that separate us.

So on to why I’m writing today:

Yesterday, Deutsche Welle (The German News Service) published an article that covered the issue of Women’s rights, specifically the holdup around  legalizing a Women’s Rights law in Afghanistan.

(http://www.dw.de/afghan-widows-would-rather-die/a-16562576)

So what’s the holdup you ask? In a country now redefined after almost 40 years of continuous war – first at the hands of the Russians, Civil war, Warlord fighting and US reparations post- 9/11 – you’re dealing with more uncertainty than certainty. Governments often last less than the years it takes for a child to grow into adolescence.  The family unit is the only sacrosanct thing and anything that could lead to divisiveness in the family is viewed as a threat by a lot of the old guard – especially Mullahs and  Leaders that are averse to change.

Then…there’s the whole Sharia issue: So what is it?

Simply put “Sharia” is a code of conduct that includes the practice of law (“Fiqh”) and is complimented more often than not by tribal law (“Wali”). Now, here’s where it becomes fuzzy for a lot of folks who’ve never dealt with this before. In most countries where you see the subversion of human rights or women by Mullahs – you’re dealing with Wali – a code of conduct and tribal law that often precedes Islam and Sharia by centuries.

So what does this do? It creates an environment where fear of change and fear of the loss of control by a few is used to limit the advancement of women. The use of Wali in this respect is rampant in countries that have been war-ravaged or where technology and change are viewed as potential harbingers of oppression by foreign forces.

What has this led to? Let me use an analogy – Countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of North African nations are dealing with a rise of fundamentalism tied to Wali that uses Sharia as a guise to keep Status Quo. Status Quo here means that if a Mullah or group of Mullahs or Elders or Local Civic leaders has grabbed control – they’re reluctant to share or give it away. Especially when sharing has unknown consequences and everyone is looking for their nickel out of any arrangement.

There’s also the big misunderstanding outside the “Muslim World” of what the Muslim World is. There is no Muslim World. The concept is a figment of policymakers imaginations – and a term that allows diverse groups of varying people to at least be comprehended.  Muslims in Afghanistan alone are divided by multiple ethnic groups and a myriad of languages and dialects. Often the Wali of one village can be at odds at the Wali of a neighboring Village – differing from National policy, National Law and how Sharia is interpreted on a local, state and National level.

So ultimately when Afghani (MP) (Member of Parliament) Masooda Karochi says “If a lunatic protests that this law is against Sharia you can imagine the consequences it can have.  .. these proponents make it impossible to have a constructive discussion.”

What she’s speaking to is the core issue that Muslim Nations will have to address, as they begin the long process of getting past Colonialism and being buffer states for foreign interests. It’s Fear. Fear of change. Fear of disrupting the Family unit (Under current mandates – victims of domestic violence can escape to shelters – often preventing further assault of death)..fear of political-uncertainty and fear of what an empowered Female populace might lead to (It wasn’t so long ago that in the US – we thought unrestrained female autonomy would lead to anarchy…or dancing).

So what to do?  Starting to understand that Sharia is a blanket moniker for a complicated system of National, Regional and Local laws that are coupled with the interpretation of law (Fiqh) and tribal law (Wali) is the beginning.

I worked with a few NATO campaigns in the past that used video to try and show Afghanis that US troops and Coalition forces were there to help and how. Engagement is key, if we’re to break the cycle of Fear that has pervaded these nations. Social Media and outreach allows us to interact to get involved with Women’s rights; Child Health and Domestic Abuse.

Lastly, we need to educate ourselves on the issues and find ways to engage. With over $1 Billion in aid going to many of these nations, it makes good sense for us to engage our lawmakers and give them our own mandate – A mandate to put Cultural Education of our policymakers on the agenda and earmarks, where our Foreign Aid spend is tied back to initiatives that will help raise the voices of our sisters – beyond the issues of domestic violence, towards more equality and participation in the decision-making of their own lives.

 Oz Sultan/2013