Tag Archives: Feminism

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

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

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/

A Commentary on the “Muslim Women are Cool Too” Video:

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Author’s-Note:
Allah states, within His Noble-Book: “Oh, Prophet!!! Tell your Wives, along with your Daughters & the Believing-Women, to cover themselves. That is to ensure that they are recognized publicly & not harassed. And, Allah is All-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.33, 59)

Since this “Somewhere in America Muslim Women Are Cool Too” video has went viral, basically, there has been a lot of buzz about it: good, bad, ugly & all sorts of in between. There are some whom have taken the video out of proportion from both the Conservative & Liberal camps within the Muslim-Community, anywhere/everywhere that this video has been viewed. So, what I’ve decided to do is simply ask someone,  whom is pretty much on the level socially, yet sincerely attempting to be an adherent Muslim, what are their potential concerns that this video may be projecting. I’ve decided to interview my brother Navroz Shariff, who I take to be a very balanced, well-rounded Muslims, to chime-in to personally examine this video & what image this video could possibly be sending to the public about Muslims generally, and also Muslim-Women. And, I know that a lot of People, Women (both Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) will take issue with Men speaking about the issue of “Hijab”, based upon a very ignorant misconception that (from both Men & Women: Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) that Islamic-Issues are monopolized by Genders, and/or that Hijab is only a Women’s-Issue…both are completely false (learn more about the reality of Hijab: http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/theoriginofthehijabofthemanwomaninislam/).

Navroz Shariff pic

G.B.: So, what do you think about this phenomenon, known as Hijabi-Culture?

N.S.: The purpose of Hijab is to be inconspicuous, not to stand out, glowing with make up and various kinds of fashion-accessories. I am afraid that this video will make guys much more curious about our sisters in Islam who wear modest-clothing and it may even get to a point where they will be disrespected in the streets, because, guys will have the mentality that they can just approach them similar to any non practicing girl or any Non-Muslim for that matter. We know those who do not cover their `Awrat/Private-Parts, wear tight-clothing, and show their shape, love the attention they receive from guys. Unfortunately, this video is tarnishing the respect that girls who wear Hijab properly deserve, because, guys will start to get the impression that girls who wear Hijab are the same as girls who don’t and are just as approachable. Have you ever seen how non-Muslim men act towards our sisters who properly cover their `Awrat? They show so much respect to them. Ask any of the Hijab-wearing sisters how a woman is in front of them wearing a skimpy-outfit gets whistled at and harassed while when the modest sister passes the guys the all just quiet down. Ironically, the non-Muslim men here in America give our sisters more respect, compared to fellow Muslims in some/many Muslim-Countries. Our sisters in those countries get groped, harassed and even raped, even when they sincerely attempt to dress modestly.

G.B.: Well, honestly, many Muslim-Women who may choose to not dress properly, Islamically, or not cover their bodies to any extent, may say, “Even without ‘Hijab’, I’m still ‘Modest'”.  So, let me ask you: what is the (Islamic) definition of Modesty?

G.B.: You can’t have modesty without HIjab & vice versa: they define one another simultaneously Both Hijab & Modesty are (jointly) signs of purity and dignity; they highlight the Muslim-Woman as a pure, chaste, integral, woman and sets her apart from the immoral-behavior associated with women who dress/behave immodestly. It is an external-protection, for chaste Muslim-Women, against the evil that exists within the world. When a woman wears a Hijab she is less likely to be harassed by men, with lusty-motives, especially here in America. For our sisters who cover and wish to be inconspicuous, in my humble opinion, this video has just put them on the radar and Non-Muslim men will begin to think they are no different than women who don tight-jeans, mini-skirts, etc., who show their `Awrat. It is bad enough for some that men in some/many Muslim-Countries showing disrespect to our sisters, now the non-Muslim men will also do the same. May Allah protect our sisters, and in particular I am thinking of my lovely wife here, and guide us all. And, for the sisters that see this as a Hijab instructional-video (believe me some do), the perpetrators in the video will all be responsible for all the sisters they mislead when standing alone in front of Allah.

G.B.: Do you think that Muslims are trying too hard for socio-cultural/socio-political acceptance in Non-Muslim-Countries/Non-Islamic societies, at the expense of their religious-integrity?

N.S.: It seems that Muslims are desperately trying to be accepted even if it means that they have to sculpt their religion to gain acceptance. They heed more the creation than the Creator. What does this say about their emaan? It may very well be a test for them from Allah which they are failing miserably. Mu`awiyah wrote to `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with them both), asking her to write him a letter giving him advice but not to make it lengthy. She wrote: ‘Peace be upon you! To proceed: I heard Allah’s Messenger (saws) say, “If anyone seeks Allah’s good pleasure at the cost of people’s displeasure Allah will keep from him the trouble caused by people; but if anyone seeks people’s good pleasure at the cost of Allah’s displeasure Allah will leave him in people’s hands.”

G.B.: Are you at all biased to their views on what direction Muslims should turn towards?

N.S.: If we were to stick to the Qur’an and Sunnah, then we would not be having this discussion. Is that what you mean by that question?

G.B.: Have you previously revealed your general-views regarding this new-wave of “Islamic-Identity?

N.S.: Yes, my views I tend to write in public; but, to verify that I am not biased, I ask others that they think about my opinion, discuss with them, look at it at other angles.

G.B.: How much opposition do you/have you received as a result of your views against your stances against this brand of “Islamic-Expression/Islamic-Identity”?

So far, none. But, there are many people who condone what the video shows, and the way it depicts Muslim-Women.

G.B.: If you could have a serious-conversation with either the producers of, and/or those depicted within this video, what would you say to them, and how would you say it; meaning how would you even approach the conversation?

N.S.: Honestly, it really depends: if the producers are not Muslim, then I would question the sisters…if they both are Muslims, I would question both of them and their agenda, especially with regards to the explicit lyrics and dress-style which are contrary to Islamic practice anyway…if they are just young, then I would question the elders in the video what were they thinking and that they should know better to guide their sisters.

G.B.: Are you fearful of fellow Muslims viewing you of being “backwards”, “too conservative”, “unrefined”, “too traditional”, etc.?

N.S.: I am only fearful of Allah. Islam is not about picking and choosing what you of Islam and compromise it.

Islam is not about picking and choosing what you like of the Deen and compromising.

Race-Relations: Commonalities vs. Differences

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There’s beauty within all the creation of Allah, within all Human beings. It’s just that ash-Shaytan/the Devil, along with his countless Shayatin/Minions-of-the-Devil (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.114, V.3-5), whispers into the hearts both of Jinn (Unseen-Creation made from Smokeless-Fire [Noble Qur’an: Chpt.55, V.15]), as well as Men, adding corruption to the pure-nature of the Human being, to hate one another, be at adds with one another, despise one another, based upon this which Allah had chosen for us, via His Qadha’/Divine-Providence, which we never were able to choose for our selves. And this was done exclusively, for His Divine-Purpose, to determine which from among us would be most obedient to Him, the most-grateful to Him, by learning about those whom are different, appreciating variety amongst our Human-Family, benefitting from different cultures, traditions, perspectives, walks-of-life, etc.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.49, V.13) It was never done as a justification to oppress one another, to make ourselves higher than others, to make others lower than us, in the name of `Assabiyyah/Bias (unwarranted biased towards/against someone, exclusively based upon factors that are not in anyone’s control, like: ethnic-background, nationality, genetic-abnormalities, etc.).(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.10, V.44)

A “Female-Imam”: What is this?!!!

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Pamela Taylor pic

Author’s note:

This article is exclusively based upon finding out that the person whom had wrote the Pro-Homoesxual/Same-Gender-Marriage article for AltMuslim, Pamela Taylor, apparently, has been granted the title of “Imam”. Now, What I plan to do is to simply clarify what exactly an Imam truly is, in both its linguistic, Islamically historical context, and whom has the entitlement to be labeled “Imam” in the 1st-place.

Let’s begin…linguistically:

The word, Imam, inherently, is actually from the Arabic verb “Amama” meaning to afront/to be in front, to lead, to supersede, to head, etc. So, with that being said, anyone, theoretically/realistically can be a leader.(Lisan-ul-`Arab/The Tongue of the `Arab [Lexicon of the Arabic-Language])

Next, let’s examine the types/categories of Imamah/Leadership:

There are many different, universal types of Imamah/Leadership, such as the following: Parents, Teachers, Sports-Coaches/Owners, Principals, Business-Owners, etc. Any/all of these respective types of Imamah/Leadership, is for anyone/everyone. In other words, any/all Human beings are 100%-entitled to take the reigns of these manifested types of Imamah/Leadership. However, when it comes to specific religious-duties, particularly/especially within Islam, then, now, the rules must change, as to whom are allowed to possess Imamah/Leadership, as well as to which extent that Imamah/Leadership is Islamically allowed to be taken.

Now, let’s investigate the Islamic definition of “Imam” & who is justified to carry this title:

Imam, firstly, is a Masculine-Noun in the Arabic-Language, and just like any/all Nouns within the Arabic-Language, their Natures are exclusive to their Genders. In the Arabic-Language, which is the language which Allah had purposely chosen to reveal the Qur’an in (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.12, V.3), no noun (person, place, thing, concept, idea, etc.) is “unisex” or “unigender”…Every noun, which the word “Imam” is, in the Arabic-Language, has to be either masculine or feminine, exclusive for/to either males or female created-things. Even in referrence to created things which don’t have a gender, at all, like Angels, for example: the name “Khalifah”, meaning caretaker, custodian, ruler, etc., which is most commonly known by its bureaucratic definition, being the recognized global-leader of Muslims…this particular geo-political position can only be held by a Muslim-Man, and even linguistically, even though the word, Khalifah, has an apparent feminine-ending, it is still, in fact, exclusively, a masculine-word.(al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidun, Jalal-ud-Din as-Suyuti; Lisan-ul-`Arab) We, then, have the word “Malak” (pl. Mala’ikah), meaning Angel, is masculine, by virtue of the fact that Angels were created, by Allah, without a gender. So, because of that, the word in Arabic, Angel, itself, as well as the actual names & characteristics of Angels, are also, by definition/extension, must be masculine. This was a very huge-issue, during the lifetime of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), because, the Pagan-Arabs had a religious-view, that Angels were, female & the “daughters of Allah”. However, when the Qur’an was revealed, it thus clarified this degenerate religious-belief, among all of the beliefs of the Pagan-Arabs.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.37, V.149-156) So, with that being said, it becomes, thus, very clear, that any noun in the Qur’an, must, at all times, coincide with a respective gender.

Now, coming back, full-circle, to the main point of inference, the primary-topic, at hand, concerning the whole “Female-Imam” issue: we can now get our hands dirty, about this issue. The term Imam, relative to what I’m directly referring to, in the context of the claim of Pamela Taylor, as being a “Female-Imam”, we know based upon text, from both the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, as well as simply from the linguisitc-dyanmics of the Arabic-Language, that there is no way that a Muslim-Woman can be an “Imam”, in any religious-context. Before I continue, it’s fair that I go in-depth as to what an “Imam”, in the context of what Pamela Taylor is claiming: it is referring to, directly, leading both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women in prayers, giving the weekly Khutbah/Sermon, on the day of al-Jumu`ah/Friday. Please, note, that this has never been done, before, from among any members of the Salaf (the 1st-3-generations of Muslims, after the revelation of the Qur’an: as-Sahabah/the Companions of Muhammad [May Allah be pleased with them all-together], as well as the 1st & 2nd-generations of at-Tabi`in/the Followers of as-Sahabah [May Allah mercify them all-together]). And, if anyone from among the Ummah (Nation/MuslimCommunity) of Muhammad would’ve been justified to enact this practice, it would’ve definitely been these Muslim-Women, from among the Salaf & more specifically, the Wives of Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with them), because they were, by-and-large, the most-righteous, as well as the most knowledgeable Muslim-Women, during the lifetime of Muhammad, as well as among the Salaf, and yet, none of them, participated in leading both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women, in any prayers, nor did any of the give any Khutub (sing. Khutbah) on the day of al-Jumu`ah.

What’s interestingly-ironic is that these “Progressive-Muslim” individuals/groups, whom all co-sign this Bid`ah (Religious-Innovation) never taken into consideration that the best people among the Muslims, relative to the revelation of the Qur’an, never did this. And, it absolutely tickles me, when people reference our (religious) mother, `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her), whom wielded immense religio-scholastic, geo-political prestige & authority: her husband being Muhammad of course, the last Prophet/Messenger of Allah & her own father, Abdullah ibn Abi-Quhafah…AKA Ab-Bakr as-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him), whom religio-scholastically taught mostly Muslim-Men, her entire life, after the death of Muhammad, and even raising an army, against her own cousin-in-law, `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, while he was a Khalifah (May Allah be pleased with him); yet, guess what, folks…yeah…you’ve got it…SHE NEVER LED ANY MUSLIIM-MEN IN ANY PRAYER, NOT EVEN ONE DAY, IN HER ENTIRE LIFE. As powerful as she was, in both religious-academics, as well, as on the geo-political stage, she knew that she had absolutely no justification to lead Muslim-Men in any prayers.

So, for someone to come, not days, years, decades, but, centuries, after her death, whom are clearly not as knowledgeable, Islamically, as she was, nor could they ever be, and proclaim that being a “Female-Imam” is Islamically valid, when the best of Muslim-Women, from among the best of Muslims, never did this, shows a very clear, obvious disease of the heart, which is spreading, like a wildfire with that’s HIV-infected. I, Gareth Bryant, do by, henceforth, dare to challenge, any Muslim, “Muslim-Feminist”, “Progressive-Muslim”, “Reform-Muslim”, regardless of one’s sectarian-persuasions, to provide any proof, even an abrogated-proof, from either the Qur’an, Sunnah, or the documented-practices of the Salaf, which gives any at all justification for a Muslim-Woman to be a “Female-Imam”.

Gareth Bryant/2013

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

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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

The Fallacy of “Muslim Male Privilege”:

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Author’s note:
The following is a personal-commentary, of an article, written by a fellow Muslim-Writer/Blogger, Jamerican Muslimah, about this concept, she dubbed as, “Muslim Male Privilege”-This concept is based (directly/exclusively) upon B. Deutsch’s “The Male Privilege List”, as well as Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”-In this article, 16-points, detailing what “Muslim Male Privilege” actually is, which is available on her own blog, under the April 2008 Archive section of her blog.(http://www.jamericanmuslimah.wordpress.com) I’ve made my own personal-commentary, commented on (most, but not all) the 16-points, which I’ve actually emailed to her first, before even placing this into the public-sphere. I wanted to show her some respect, by emailing her concerning my discrepancies about her article, before making a contrary article to hers. So, here it is, exactly what I’ve sent to her via email. Let me make it very clear, as a Muslim-Man, that there is no such thing as Muslim-Male Privilege, especially at the expense of oppressing someone else. No Muslim-Man should feel that being a Muslim-Male gives him the “privilege” to be a tyrant. And any/all those who advocate for this type of sadistic “privilege”, are people whom are guilty, in front of Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe.

Here’s the direct-response to Jamerican Muslimah’s article, concerning “Muslim Male Privilege”:

Salam

With due respect, most of the points in this article are completely false & unfairly-biased.

I’ll explain:

1. There are Masajid/Mosques that even I, as a Muslim-Man, have been made unwelcome, just because I’m not Arab, Desi, African, etc. So, basically, Mosque-Discrimination is something that applies to both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women.

3. This point is only partially-true: Just because someone is a Man, it doesn’t mean that they’re always free to speak their minds at Islamic events, religious-classes, religious-lectures, etc. A lot of times, even if a man has a view or opinion, that he wants to express, depending upon his communal-standing, which Mosque he’s in, which event he’s in, he’ll immediately get shut-down, himself, for challenging the religious-authority, or being perceived as challenging the religious-authority of others “more-knowledgeable” than himself.

4. True, Muslim-Men do try to justify misogyny via Islam. But, what is also true is that Feminism, Western influences, Secularism have most definitely made a very ugly mark upon the minds & hearts of both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women, all across the Globe.(http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/bothmisogynyfeminismareevilandhereswhy)

5. Muslim-Men get criticized all of the time for quote-on-quote “Imitating the Kuffar”, in terms of fashion. And, by the way, “Islamic-Dress” for men is almost always a religious euphemism for Arab-Clothing. And, there are definitely Mosques which ban Muslim-Men from wearing certain things, which they deem as “Non-Islamic Dress”, such as pants, shirt-ties, etc.

6. There are plenty of Islamic-Scholars, whom are well-known to the Muslim-World, most-notably, `Ai’shah (May Allah be pleased with her). In fact, most, if not all, of the Ahadith concerning the personal home-life of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), were personally narrated by her. And, if it were not for her, we probably wouldn’t have any surviving evidence of how detailed his personal home-life was. And, to note, further, none of the Ahadith, confirmed to have been narrated by any of the Wives of Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with them) were ever questioned, regarding their authenticity.

7. In regards to not finding persons of Islamic-Knowledge whom are Muslim-Women, or Islamic works written by them, then, as an individual Muslim-Woman, one would have to take the initiative to seek those out, herself, just like with anything else.

8. A Muslim-Man should/must be concerned with whether a person giving him marital-advice is a chauvinist/sexist. Typically (with the minority-exceptions aside), a Muslim-Man is not looking to get a ruling in his favor; but, rather, to resolve any issues with his respective spouse/spouses, which he cannot do himself, hence, the need for some type of marital-counseling.

9. Every marriage-counseling session is as different as the persons seeking out the marriage-counseling. So, to paint that scenario with just one coat of paint, is very unfair.

12. Muslim-Men, as well as Muslim-Women struggle in this regard, to standup, for what Allah has established within Islam, and, we both face stringent opposition in this regard, respectively, regardless of our genders.

13. One, it seems that you’re in fact mocking the Islamic-allowance of a Muslim-Man to have more than one wife, which would mean that you are mocking Allah, in the process, because the only reason how & why Muslim-Men are ever allowed to have multiple-wives is because it has been thoroughly established via revelation (i.e. the Qur’an & Sunnah). Two, A Muslim-Woman has the right to marry & divorce whom she wills, it’s just that, based upon revelation, that the modality of divorce for Muslim-Women are a lot different than for Muslim-Men, courtesy of the Qur’an & Sunnah. So, if you have a problem with how/how not a Muslim-Woman is able to annul a marriage, than that means that you have some issue with the Qur’an & Sunnah.

14. No, a Muslim-Man cannot always have rational, real-life, discussions about his sex-life: Imams, Shaykhs, Scholars, etc. Often times (and I know this for a fact, because even I’ve had to deal with this), people automatically assume that if one is not married, that they’re must be either committing some type of Heterosexual or Homosexual offences. It really isn’t as one-sided as you’re purposely trying to make it.

15. This is actually one of the most inaccurate points in this entire post: both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women have an obligation & duty to be representatives of Islam. Also, a lot of times, even if one is not a Muslim, if you’re living in a Non-Islamic society/Non-Muslim-Country, and you have an Arabic first or last name, you’ll automatically be red-flagged as being presumed as being a Muslim, anyhow.

Gareth Bryant/2013

My Message to the Women of the World:

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Humza Oza pic

Author’s note:

This lovely poem has been duly written by Humza Oza, a heavy-hearted individual, with a lot of substance, and a lot of important & beautiful things to write about.

Why don’t you see?

And continue to suffer indignity

Hijab is not what brings you down
Verily, your scarf is your crown

For you see in Islam, women are royalty
Virtuous and filled with true beauty

And only for worthy eyes to see

So you see, the veil is not opression
Nor does it bring women in depression

Women of the World

Do you now see?
Hijab is what truly sets you free

Humza Oza/2013