Tag Archives: Islamic Fundamentalism

My thoughts on Malala Yusufzai, the danger of Extremism and the necessity of Fairness:

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Author’s note:

The following post is based upon the failed assassination-attempt of a Malala Yusufzai, a young girl, from the Swat Province of Pakistan. She is an avid writer, poet, blogger, and has been a recipient of the National Youth Peace Prize. However, her accomplishments have been very controversial, among many ultra-conservatives, specifically, among the Taliban, whom have been noted/credited with attempting to control the Swat Province, for some time now. I’ve only recently heard of this story, in bits-and-pieces, as well as hearing that she was a supporter of Communism, and/or various Non-Islamic concepts & ideas. This is where I’ll will kick-off the post, as well as go in deeper into this story, in the very best way that I can.

Allah states very clearly, in the Qur’an, “And, do not kill someone, whom Allah has made sacred, except via justification.”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.6, V.151) Also, Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) has said, “There are only three justifications for killing: a severe sexual-offence (like Adultery, Child-Molestation, Male-on-Male Sodomy, Rape, etc.), Murder, and Apostasy.”.(an-Nawawi) Now, with this being said, regarding the attempt on this young girl’s life, certain things have to be made clear, certain questions which really need to be pondered upon intelligently and answered knowledgeably: What proof, from either the Qur’an or Prophetic-Tradition, did those who attempted to kill Malala have, to justify this act? Even if there were some type of justification, to take this young girl’s life, who gave them the authority to take it upon themselves to commit this act? Is shooting someone in the head, in cold-blood, an Islamic, due-process, type of punishment for this person, if she did in fact do something that warrants her death, Islamically? What are the negative consequences of even carrying out this action, which would incur even more negative press against Muslims, which in turn, would incur more fear & hatred against Islam & Muslims?

Now, personally, I doubt very highly that those who pursued her & carried this act out even thought about or even cared, for one instance, about any of these questions, they just wanted blood, because they’re ignorant, foolish, unintelligent, arrogant, misogynistic…all of the above. This ignorant, arrogant, foolish, and unintelligent decision has made headlines, all across this planet. Muslims are once again gonna be accused of being adherents to a religion which justifies the abuse of women & girls…thanks guys, you really did us a big favor…now, the rest of us have to clean up yet another mess of people that we’ll probably never meet in life. And, the irony is that there still hasn’t been any evidence brought up against this girl, for whatever she’s been accused of.

There are actually many examples in Islamic-History, in which people were sinful, publicly, yet they were still allowed to go on, and they were spared, in spite of whatever wrong-doing that they may have done:

1. Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was commanded by Allah to go to Ta’if, a neighboring city of Makkah, to teach the people about Islam. When the people of Ta’if nearly stonned Muhammad to death, which forced him to flee this town, bleeding from head to toe, the Angel of the Mountains came to him, and had asked if he had wanted this town, and all of its inhabitants destroyed. Muhammad immediately said, “I rather hope that Allah will raise from among their descendants people as will worship Allah the One, and will not ascribe partners to Him.”.(ar-Rahiq-ul-Makhtum/The Sealed-Nectar)

2. There was a bedouin, who had came to Madinah, and he had came into the Prophetic-Mosque, and started to urinate inside of the Mosque. Those whom were present attempted to kill this man. Not only did Muhammad (Peace be upon him) prevented them from killing this man, the very first things that they were instructed to do were to allow him to finish relieving himself, clean up the mess, and then, bring him to Muhammad, that he may educate him, about his error.(al-Bukhari & various other collections)

3. There was a Companion of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), by the name of Hatib ibn Abi-Balta’a (May Allah be pleased with him), who had sent a letter to the Quraysh, (the enemies of the Muslims, at this time), revealing military plans of the Muslims. And, the person whom he had given the letter to was intercepted by envoys sent by Muhammad (Peace be upon him), as a result of him receiving revelation about what Hatib had done. Upon questioning Hatib after the letter was retrieved & given to Muhammad, `Umar ibn-ul-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him), another Companion, had wanted to just kill him, for treason. Hatib had explained the reasons as to why he had done this: He had no protection for his family-members, left behind in Makkah, after the vast majority of Muslims were forced to flee from Makkah to Madinah for asylum from the enemies of Islam. But, what had actually saved him was the fact that he was a soldier in the first battle against the Quraysh, known as the Battle of Badr. And, because of the mercy & clemency that was displayed by Muhammad, as a result of his worthwhile contributions to Islam, by fighting the enemies of Allah, his life was duly spared.(al-Bukhari)

This is the whole point of this discussion:

Where in the Hell is the mercy, people?!!! We’re always talkin’ about “how merciful Allah is” or “how merciful Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was”, and this is all-true. But, when it’s time for the Muslims of today to be merciful, to be grateful for the mercy that Allah has shown us, by givin’ some of that mercy back to others, then we always make excuses not to…it’s horrible!!! Even if this girl was out-of-line, Islamically, and deserve whatever punishment, for whatever crime that she had committed, she wasn’t even given the opportunity to repent for what evil that she may have even done-There was no mercy shown to this girl, at all. We have absolutely no legitimate reason to treat people like this. This is mainly due to the fact that had Allah taken us into account, for all of our sins, we would be hell-bound, before we even die & that’s a stone-cold fact!!!

Now, there are some “what if’s” that we, as Muslims, are now gonna have to seriously deal with:

1. What if this girls dies, as a result of her injuries (May Allah forbid)?

2. What if she survives, but becomes mentally disabled, never being able to function at the same intellectual level that she once had?

3. What if she survives, and all is well, but decides to leave Islam & become an Apostate or an Atheist/Anti-Theist, because of her attempted assassination, or worse yet, becomes another Salman Rushdie, Ibn Warraq, Irshad Manji, or Ayan Hirsi Ali, an open enemy of Islam?

Are we even prepared to answer these “what if’s”? And, the unfortunate answer is hell-no!!! We really, as Muslims, need to show the better side of ourselves-These careless, barbaric actions are not at all from what Allah teaches us in the Qur’an, or what Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has taught us. We really need to make a serious change.  Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, “The Muslim is he who protects Muslims (other people generally as well), from their statements & actions.”.(an-Nawawi) Now, since our Prophet (Peace be upon him) has said this, and we, as Muslims, claim to be inheritors of his noble character & adherents to his noble example, then, what in the Hell are we doin’ out here…we really actin’ the Hell up!!!

Point blank (absolutely no pun intended), this should’ve never taken place. And, to add insult-to-injury, it’s things like this, which give the enemies of Allah the ammunition that they want, to intensify their attacks against the Way of Allah, Islam, and it justifies their reasons to attack our Way, and it makes us look really freakin’ stupid!!!

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim-Brotherhood & a potentially new Egypt:

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The Muslim Brotherhood has recently acquired, via one of their own, the reigns of the Presidency of Egypt. Now, the office of President, in the hands of Mohamed Mursi,  has caused a lot of concern, as well as controversy, within Egypt herself, within the Mideast, among her regional neighbors, as well as on the international political stage, by virtue of the Muslim Brotherhood’s history of being religiously radical, extremist, etc., or, in many cases, falsely accused of being religiously radical, extremist, etc. But, let’s look at the history of the Muslim Brotherhood, in a proper perspective, to see how the Muslim Brotherhood emerged, evolved, and, why are they such a feared political force in the Muslim/Arab-World, as well as in the eyes of the broader international-community.

The Muslims Brotherhood was actually formed as a result of the want, within Egypt, among its people, to rise against British influence/rule, during the waning years of Egypt’s last monarchy, the Mamlukes. Initially, the Muslim Brotherhood served as a revolutionary movement, to rout the Mamlukes, as well as the British shadow-rulers & kick them out of Egypt, leaving & letting Egyptians to write their own story, on the walls of time-The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood was known as Hassan al-Banna.(The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood, Robert S. Leiken & Steven Brooke, Foreign Affairs Magazine)

The Muslim Brotherhood is now, what it has always been: a religious movement, centralized, but, not limited to Egypt or the Muslim/Arab-World, geared towards making Islam the law of the land. Now, in theory, this seems great. However, if/when not applied correctly, actually based upon the Qur’an & Sunnah (Prophetic-Tradition), this objective & fervor, for the establishment of the Shari`ah (Islamic-Law), can/will have very dangerous & disastrous results. And, historically, unfortunately, the Muslim Brotherhood has deviated from its roots, at different times, from simply being a religious-movement, to lowering itself to more like a religious-gang, even to the extent of the Muslim Brotherhood being directly responsible for the assassinations of many prominent figures in Egypt, like Prime Minister  Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha, as well as their own founder, Hassan al-Banna himself, in 1949.(BBC News: “Profile: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood”, Passion for Islam: Shaping the Modern Middle East: the Egyptian Experience, Caryle Murphy)

After the expulsion of the Mamlukes & the British, in 1952, Egypt, was finally free to carve out her own political path. However, there were a lot of hurdles for the Muslim Brotherhood, mainly because of the fact that that they had directly supported a military-coup, lead by a secularist, with military strength, by the name of Gamal Abdel Nasser. He was very clear on making Egypt a secular state, which was in complete contradiction to the fundamental founding principles of the Muslim Brotherhood. The establishment of a secular Egypt really rubbed the Muslim Brotherhood the wrong way, to the extent that they, in 1954, began to openly oppose the newly formed constitution of Egypt, taking the stance that it was not in accordance to the Shari`ah.(BBC: “Power of Nightmares”)

Also, they openly opposed Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom, ironically, they had once willingly supported, against the Mamlukes & the British. The Muslim Brotherhood was actually blamed for an assassination-attempt, against Gamal Abdel Nasser, in 1954. And, this was definitely something that Nasser used, to his advantage, to marginalize his potential political competition-He immediately made moves, to hunt down, arrest, prosecute, torture, imprison, and, even execute members of the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, the most famous member of the Muslim Brotherhood, even overshadowing its founder, Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, was executed under the Nasser administration, in 1965. Qutb, a Muslim thinker, activist, and, anti-Nasser propagator, was famous, mainly, for issuing his work, Milestones.

At first, Qutb was imprisoned & tortured, after the assassination attempt on Nasser. Being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood made him an easy-target, among many other easy-targets. Then, after being released from prison, he committed himself to the writing of what would be his most famous work, Milestones, in 1964. Milestones laid the groundwork for what Qutb’s vision of how to recreate an Islamic-State should be approached, within the traditional & external Muslim-World, particularly, within the Arab-World. However, this work, in the text itself, is responsible for ideas that have given rise & justification, used by latter peoples, influenced by his works, to pronounce Takfir (Blasphemy) upon other Muslims, for not ruling their respective countries, according to the Shari`ah. Upon this, it seemed as though Qutb, within his work, Milestones was blatantly giving Muslims the green-light to assassinate their own leaders, because of the fact that they were governing over others, with secular/non-religious laws, thereby making it okay to declare them Non-Muslims & thus lawful to kill.(BBC: “Power of Nightmares”)

This placed Muslim leaders, within the Arab-World under immense fear, because if the common-people were to buy into this concept, that they were no longer Muslims, not only would they lose their power, but, they would also lose their lives. So, Nasser spared no expense to get rid of Qutb any way that he could, which he did. After the execution of Sayyid Qutb, in 1965, he became a Pan-Islamic/Pan-Arab icon, not only in Egypt, but all across the Muslim-World, as well as the Arab-World.  This act of the execution of Qutb, along with other prominent figures in the Muslim Brotherhood, at the time, charged up this movement to be even more radical against their government, in Egypt, and, their influence, which had been spreading to other parts of the Muslim-World, in other countries, had begun to expand rapidly.

Over the course of the next 4 decades, after the execution of Sayyid Qutb, the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood has shaped the revolutionary landscape & mindset of Muslims, in the Muslim-World, that has not reversed since. The Muslim Brotherhood has been credited, most notably, of inspiring the rise of various splinter movements & groups, such as Hamas, in Palestine & Syria, al-Qaeda, globally, Al Eslah Society, in Bahrain, Iraqi Islamic Party, Muslim Brotherhood Society, in Jordan & Palestine, National Islamic Front, in Sudan,  Movement for the Society of Peace, in Algeria, and Hadas, in Kuwait-As far as personalities go, the Muslim Brotherhood has also been credited in shaping the ideologies of people like Ayman al-Zawahri, the mentor of Osama bin-Laden.(BBC: “Power of Nightmares”,  Financial Times, Newsweek journalists Mark Hosenball & Michael Isikoff) Now, with all of this said, what should our conclusion be, and what do we learn from this, and, more specifically, what does this mean for a future Egypt?

My take on this is very simple:
The historical backdrop of the Muslim Brotherhood is very important to know, as to get a very clear sense of why some people may love them, as well as why some people may hate them, as well as knowing how they, as a group, as a movement have, for better or for worse, been a dominant factor in how politics in the Muslim/Arab-World has played out. Also, knowing the past gives us a better insight into how the future may develop. Egypt has a lot of problems, not saying not. However, maybe if given the chance, Mursi, along with his new administration, along with the support of Egyptians, themselves, may be able to pick up Egypt, by her bootstraps, and take her to a better place. I’m of the stance that Mohamed Mursi needs to be given a fair shot, to do the job right, before he is criticized, for causing instability & danger in the Mideast, by Egypt’s neighbors, or nations with particular interests, and/or alterior motives, to dominate the region.

Gareth Bryant/2012

This is what you don’t call me:

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Don’t call me an Islamist, that’s just a code-word for terrorist.
Don’t call me Fundamentalist, this just means I’m not tolerant.

Don’t call me a Sufi, this means I have my head in the clouds.
Don’t label me Salafi, this just means I treat people like dogs.

I don’t wanna be red-flagged as being anti-modernity and referred to as Conservative.
I don’t wanna be highlighted as a Liberal, just comfortable following their prerogative.

I despise being thought of as Jihadi, this means I wanna blow myself up.
I keep wondering to myself when all of this lame name-calling will stop?

You don’t know me; you don’t own me; so, who gave you the right to name me?!!!
This name calling is just a void, used by the enemies of Islam, because they’re guilty.

They’re resentful, because every system that they’ve invented has done nothing but fail.
And, they know that the Way of Allah, which is Islam, is the only thing that will prevail.

They are willing to use & do anything to encourage division among us.
When we indulge in sectarianism, for them this is just a strategic plus.

They only call us what we’re willing to call ourselves, we must  not give them ammunition.
Let them call us the most honored name Allah calls us in the Qur’an….just call us Muslim.

Gareth Bryant/2011

If Anwar Al-Awlaki were Oliver North, he’d still be alive & chillin’!!!

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A popular Muslim Cleric/Lecturer, who was also an American-Citizen by birth, Anwar Al-Awlaki was murdered, via a C.I.A. operated spy-drone missile, without due process of law, without confirmation of any direct acts of terror or treason against the U.S. Yet, it was made justifiable to make an example of him, to tell the world that the U.S. doesn’t mind punking & murdering its own citizens, in order to perpetuate a lie that started on 9/11. For educational purposes, I’ll take the liberty of comparing the lives & careers of both Anwar Al-Awalki & Oliver North respectively, just for you who are reading this to get a clear picture of how hypocritical the United States of America really is.

Anwar Al-Awlaki:
The short intro.-
Anwar Al-Awlaki was a U.S. citizen of Arab/Yemeni descent, who lived primarily in the United States, was an academic in the fields of  Civil-Engineering, and Education-Leadership, earning a B.S. degree in the former, from Colorado State University & an M.A. degree in the latter, from the University of San Diego. In addition, he was very well-versed in Islamic-Sciences, despite not having an extensive formal Islamic religious education, and served as a religious leader/advisor at several mosques in the U.S. before permanently relocating to Yemen, as well as several successful & popular audio lecture serials on various Islamic topics & subject to boot.

Now, on to the gritty stuff-
He did in fact have some far-right/extreme religious views, which ended up surfacing later on in his life through many of his teachings. But, this didn’t in any way, mean that he personally or actively participated in any confirmed act of terror, either against civilians of any nation, or military personnel of any nation or coalition. Up until his recent death, the U.S. kept the opinion, though unfounded, that Anwar Al-Awlaki was an active Al-Qaeda operative & recruiter in both the U.S. and in the Arabian-Peninsula. Now, to be honest, he did in fact put himself out there in a lot of respects, and placed himself in unnecessary situations & conditions. But, this doesn’t make him an active terrorist. And, in addition to the shady ways that the U.S. government classified Anwar Al-Awlaki, it would’ve made a lot more sense to either question, indict, or even detain him for his alleged terrorist activities and/or terrorist recruitment. But, while in the U.S., he was never officially charged with any such crime, nor questioned, arrested, indicted, arraigned, prosecuted or convicted for anything even remotely related to terror or terrorism. In fact, the only known jail time that he had ever served was in Yemen.

Oliver North:
The short intro.-
Oliver Laurence North, like Anwar Al-Awlaki, was born & raised in the U.S., is a forty-year military veteran, of the U.S. Marine Corps., attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, with military awards ranging from a Silver & Bronze Star, to a Purple Heart Medal, twice received, during his military tours during the Vietnam War. He was also a commanding officer & strategist, during the hunt for the assailants responsible for the Beirut bombings in Lebanon as well as the U.S.-led invasion of Grenada, in the 1980’s.

Now, on to the gritty stuff-
His main claim to fame, or infamy to be more accurate was the fact that he was officially indicted by a Congressional committee, of 16 separate Federal felonies, regarding his direct involvement in the infamous Iran-Contra Affair. The Iran-Contra Affair was one of the greatest examples of intelligence, military, diplomatic & political corruption in the history of the United States.

This is basically what happened in regards to the Iran Contra Affair:
North, being a high-ranking military man, having connections to every major U.S. military branch, intelligence agency, and also in the U.S. Congress & the White House, was able to use his influence via his important military position, to commit open treason against the people of the United States & our government. Basically, at that time, Iran was just recently considered a rogue state, as a result of the Islamic-Revolution that took place during the late seventies, coupled with the fact that nearly a hundred U.S. citizens were held for ransom against their will while in Iran, during the waning months of the Carter Presidential administration, also in that same decade.

So, Ollie got the bright idea to not only openly deal with a known, newly declared rogue state, that took U.S. citizens as hostages,  but, he also chose to deal with a group of known terrorists, commonly known as the Contras. The Contras were then in bloody opposition against the legitimate government of Nicaragua of that time, the Sandinistas. However, because the Sandinistas were Pro-Communists, Oliver North decided that the best way to deal with rogue states in the Mid-East & terrorists groups in Central America was to make business deals with them, of course, all in the good name of spread freedom, justice, equality, and Democracy throughout the world, via deception, usurpation, and backroom cut-throat dirty arms & drug deals.

So, here’s where it really gets good:
Oliver North began smuggling arms to several terrorists groups, with ties to Iran, in Lebanon (keep in mind that the U.S. has always held an official policy since like forever which states the following, “We don’t negotiate with Terrorists” & I’ve heard that in movies & real-life for as long as I could possibly remember), in exchange for U.S. nationals, captured in the Mid-East. But, it didn’t stop there, check this out: On the other side of the world, deep down in Central America, there was another thing going on, the U.S. deliberately turned a blind-eye & allowed the Contras, who eventually ousted the legitimate government of the Sandinistas, to traffic drugs (Cocaine to be more accurate & specific), with the exclusive permission & transportation support of the U.S. military, under direct supervision of Ollie North, which he later admitted while being questioned at his own Congressional hearings in D.C. after he was busted and exposed publicly) into the United States itself, which by default helped fuel our already drug-dependent economy during the 1980’s, which resulted in the largest mass use of Cocaine & Crack-Cocaine drug-dealing in the history of our nation, which has contributed to countless acts of street/gang violence, drug-addiction, and basically represented one of the perfect examples of domestic-terrorism ever. The U.S. purposely gave corrupt CIA/U.S. military personnel the green-light to very graciously supply drug dealing thugs across our nation, via the narcotic connections established with the Contras in Central America, with lethal/life-destroying narcotics, for personal profit, contributing to domestic chemical-warfare against their fellow citizens of the U.S. (just in case you didn’t know or realize, drugs/narcotics are in fact chemically-based & are therefore chemicals by definition, also, the effects that are caused by consuming these drugs/narcotics casually has many dangerous/life-threatening/fatal results).

How does all of this fit together, concerning Al-Awlaki & North?
Great question, now here’s the answer: Al-Awlaki just happened to be a Muslim, with a few radical ideas, and he was automatically considered fair-game to kill although there were never any established proofs against him, nor was he allowed his day in court, the right of any U.S. citizen. Hell, even John Walker-Lindh was at least extradited to U.S. custody. Meanwhile, someone like North, who was one of the top players of this corruption food-chain, known as the Iran-Contra Affair, was not only given a bullshit sentence, but was eventually vacated of all charges against him, received an officially Presidential pardon, retired from the U.S. Armed forces without court-martial & with full honors, rank & pension, got his own television show, when I was a lil’ kid during the 1980’s naturally named “War Stories With Oliver North” (I actually remember watching this damned show). And, to date, this guy is a regular commentator/reporter for FOX News.

Now, what does all of these really mean?
Well I could tell you, but I’d really let you use your own intellect, integrity, and objectivity to decide for yourselves what this means. I’m willing to leave this post the way that it is. What I would appreciate greatly though is for anyone and/or everyone who so chooses to read this be very object, simply look at the facts that I’ve presented, and decide for yourselves what all of this means.

Gareth Bryant/2012