Tag Archives: Gender

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)

What is “Islāmic-Feminism”/What is a “Muslim-Feminist”?!!!

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Author’s note:

Since Feminism has taken a very significant foothold, within the greater Muslim-World, in our modern-age, as a direct-result of the atrocities brought on by Misogyny, many Muslims, both Men & Women, whom are religiously in favor of Feminism, have decided to coin the term “Islamic-Feminism/Muslim-Feminist”, to identify with the greater Feminist-Movement, with an Islamic/Religious spin on how it should be applied to the lives of Muslims, Muslim-Women, particularly/especially. So, now, we have Muslims, from everywhere, whether their in Muslim or Non-Muslim nations, adhering to this new-wave of Feminism, called “Islamic-Feminism”, attempting to consolidate the fundamentals of Feminism & Islam, together, as though they are one in the same.

The following is my conclusion, after attending the highly-anticipated, highly-controversial, ICNYU Shuruq event, “Why All Muslims Should Be Feminists”:

A Muslim being forthright concerning the pursuit of socio-religious equality, between Men & Women, doesn’t make one an Islamic-Feminist/Muslim-Feminist, it simply makes one a Muslim. Just like: wanting to adhere to Islam, based upon the way of the Salaf (the Sahabah/Companions [May Allah be pleased with them all-together] & theTab’in/Followers [May Allah mercify them all-together]) doesn’t make one a Salafi-Muslim, wanting the global-unity of the Muslims make one an Ikhwani-Muslim, having respect/love for Ahl-il-Bayt/the People of the House (the Muslim-Relatives of Muhammad [Peace be upon him] & their descendants) doesn’t make one a Shi`i-Muslim, striving to establish a, solid, spiritual-connection with Allah doesn’t make one a Sufi-Muslim. The term Feminism, Islamic-Feminism, etc. are just excuses, among many others to attempt to monopolize elements of Islam, which have existed, before the inception of these respective coined-concepts & movements. In other words, calling to “Feminism”, regardless of intent, is just as divisive as calling to “Salafism”, “Shi`ism”, “Sufism”, ‘Nepotism’, “Ethnocentrism” “Racism”, “Nationalism”, “Classim”, “Chauvinism”/”Sexism” or any/all other ‘ism’s’ out there.

Gareth Bryant/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

Some Brief Islamic-History (Islam’s female version of the “Dream-Team”):

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Author’s note:

I’ve written this exclusively to address the fallacies of people whom are Islamophobic, who state that Islam has no respect for women, and that it’s even religiously-sanctioned in Islam to mistreat women, all of which are complete not at all true.  However, ironically, unfortunately, sadly, there are Muslims out there who attempt to justify the abuse of women via the religion of Islam. What my writing is merely meant to do is to highlight just some of so many known female figures in Islam, whom Allah has honored to such a magnified degree.

1. Eve-
The mother of the Human race, Eve (also known as Hawwa’ [Peace be upon her]) is the pinnacle of womanhood. The first to mother a child-She was the first to nurturer & educate people. She was the first woman to cover herself, commanding respect, honor, pride, and dignity, by not revealing her body to others, setting an ever important precedent & example for any & all of her female descendants to come after her.

2. Hager-
Known as Hajar in Arabic, Hager (Peace be upon her) was the wife & mother of Prophets, Abraham, her husband & Ishmael, her son (Peace be upon both of them). She taught us all how to deal with the separation of family, during hard times. She taught us that a woman can raise a man, in the absence of a father. She taught us the resilience, drive, ambition, and iron-will that is required for survival. She taught us gratitude, in the absence of security & hope.

3. Mary-
The mother of Jesus (Peace be upon him), Mary, known as Maryam in Arabic (Peace be upon her) was an outcast of the Children of Israel, because she had a child, but no father for him. Because of this, she was scrutinized, ridiculed, and slandered. But, through all of this, she was still an honorable woman & a mother like no other, whom in the face of adversity, raised a man, whom Allah is well-pleased with, who became a Prophet, Messenger, the Christ, and will return to this Earth, as the one who will rid the world of the corruption of the Anti-Christ. Through Allah’s guidance & direction, Mary gave her son his foundation, to commit himself to the service of his creator.

4. Khadijah-
The first wife of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), our mother Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) was the first from among his nation to believe in his Prophethood & the first to accept the teachings of Islam, even when he doubted the legitimacy of his own calling. She gave him the encouragement that he needed to endure through those early years in Makkah, when he really didn’t know whether he was suitable for this mission, and when the Muslims were mocked & persecuted, just for their belief in the existence & oneness of Allah. There was never anyone before or after her whom the Prophet could’ve individually count on for moral support in the fashion that was provided to him by Khadijah.

5. `A’ishah-
The wife of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) & the daughter of his most trusted friend, Abu-Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him), our mother `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) set the standard for leadership & scholarship among women. She set an unprecedented & unchallenged authority of narrating the most Prophetic-Statements about Muhammad (Peace be upon him), about his military campaigns, his home/family life, his character, his business practices, his humor. All of the narrations about Muhammad, through her, gave us humanized aspects of his life, that we may have never known without her exposing them to us, through teaching them to countless persons, many of whom were men. After all, she came from a society where women were not Humanly valued as they should be. But, through the guidance of Islam, she was able to establish herself as a religious, social, and political authority that no one would dare violate the sanctity of.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on Feminism (The hatred & disrespect of Men):

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Author’s note:
Since I’ve already written a poem about Misogyny, it’s just as fair to write one about Feminism as well. Feminism, as we know it to be has been incepted to be an alternative for women to Misogyny, to combat Misogyny even. However, unfortunately, it has begun to cause the same ill-affects that Misogyny has. We as Muslims, fellow Human beings, need to find better alternatives to dealing with the opposite gender, as opposed to attempting to get one leg up over one another. I’ve exclusively targeted the modern Muslim woman, who has full-throtled accepted this pathological concept known as Feminism, which basically teaches women that we’re crap, as a result of what’s between our legs, which we didn’t even give ourselves and/or what the next man has done negatively. Bitterness, as a result of negative experiences with men generally, have promoted & propelled the women of our world to view men as untrustworthy & worthless at the same time. This poem is geared towards shedding some light on this issue, that we, as men & women (particularly Muslim men & women) can ween ourselves off of having enmity against one another, based upon biological factors that none of us are in control over.

Please, don’t hate me:

Why must you be against me?
What have I ever done to you, to make you not wanna be my ally?
I have been prosecuted, without an opportunity to produce an alibi.

What have I done as a man, to make you look at me with utter disgust?
I’m not your enemy; don’t view me as the one who’s scared you.
I care for you; whether you believe it or not, what I tell you is true.

Why am I always the one to blame for the next man’s folly?
Never have I beaten you, but you’d threaten me with the dreaded “9-11” call.
You would throw all my faults in my face, just to prevent me from standing tall.

You claim to be an independent woman, yet you expect me to maintain you, and to be used as a tool.
Then, you turn around & attempt to disgrace me; you go out of your way to make me look like a fool.

Your resentment for my gender doesn’t make you superior, it just makes you petty.
Don’t make biases against other creations of Allah, the Devil has done this already.

He hated our father Adam, just because he wasn’t a Jinn.
What makes you think that hating men will give you a win?

Gareth Bryant/2012