Tag Archives: Sudan

Children in Connecticut, children anywhere: They’re all children!!!

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Connecticut Shooting pic

This recent shooting tragedy in Connecticut, where almost 30 persons, Human beings, mostly children, were savagely cut-down by gunfire, reminds me of the malice that occurs the world over. There are places in this world, where people would probably say, “Almost 30 killed, and that’s it?!!! We get that in about 1/2 hour, everyday.”. It’s very morbid for me to even put that out there, I know. But, for a lot of people, in places like Somalia, Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, these atrocities occur on a daily-basis, and much like what happened recently in Connecticut, most of the victims, at least 70-90% are in fact children.

My question, without getting into the possible-motive of this horrible act, is the following: When we hear, by word-of-mouth, or read news papers/magazines, or watch T.V. news, and we see these atrocities in front of our very own eyes, do we really make a distinction between those children & these children, as to say that a certain demographic of children are more precious than the other/others? This is obviously a question that we would all have to honestly answer for ourselves.

You, whom may be reading this may get defensive & say, “Of course not…children are children!!!”. However, if your heart bleeds less for children in Palestine, because these people are mostly Non-Jewish, or less for children in Somalia, because they’re largely Non-Arab, or less for children outside of your native countries, because they’re not citizens or your native land, than this is a hell of a pathological problem. We don’t want to admit this, but, we do pick favorites, especially when it comes to tragedies, and especially if/when it involves religious, ethnic, or national factors.

Each & every one of us have ties to all of the above mentioned. For example: there have been many Syrian & Palestinian relief-efforts, to help them in their hours of need, and rightfully so. But, when is the last time that we’ve raised money for people living in fear, poverty & oppression, countries like: Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Togo, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Angola, Jamaica,  Dominican Republic, Cuba, etc.? Why are we not quick to jump on the charity band-wagon for nations such as these?

Some of the answers are very simple:

1. General lack of global-concern for our fellow man-

It’s very easy to just go with the flow & support an effort, which is fueled by so much back-end/backroom politics & is shoved down the throats of the world, as a result of specific propagated agendas. But, what if we were to just step-back and be charitable to/for a nation that hasn’t really ever been focused on in the public-sphere, but, whose people are still in desperate need of urgent assistance? How about we try that. We won’t because we generally don’t see the relevance of it, because they’re not in the spot-light, or because they don’t share our respective religious, ethnic or national commonalities.

2. We are only reactive activists-

Many of us raise funds & go to rallies for justice & all of this good-stuff, when it is deemed popular to do so. But, what about when no else is talking about things that need to be addressed? It’s very clear, to me, that many of us are only followers, who just allow the whim of the day to dominate our activeness like a helpless leaf in the river: it’s just goes with the follow, where it decides to lead it…that’s exactly how we all are.

3. We are generally very internally biased-

It’s very easy to stick-up for someone whom is of the same religion, ethnicity, culture, nationality as you. But, let’s examine how often we actually jump out the window, to help those whom are outside of ourselves, our circles/cliques, or our (religious, ethnic, cultural, national, etc.) communities. We will find that it’s so much more challenging and that it’s a lot easier to give lip-service than to commit to action.  I mean, of course, it’s natural to want to help your own; but, at the same time, why do we not view our entire Human family as our own? Why do we make distinctions, based upon religion, ethnicity, culture, nationality, when the things which people anywhere/everywhere have entitlement to, as to who deserves what and at which time? Whenever, if ever someone is in need of something which is crucial to the preservation of their lives, then it is upon all of Humanity, to make sure that all of Humanity has all that is necessary for their general well being.

Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said it best, “None of you believe, unless he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”.(an-Nawawi) Unfortunately, most Muslims, think that this only applies to other Muslims, but think about it: We are, in fact, all Human brothers & sisters, by virtue of the fact the we all have the same common-ancestor…and, no…I’m not referring to the Great-Apes…I’m talking about the first Human beings, Adam & Eve (Peace be upon them both). We are all from them, and they are the parents of Humanity.(Qasas-ul-Anbiya’/Stories of the Prophets, ibn-Kathir) And, also, we know from the general character & actions of Muhammad, that he treated all people with a sense of respect, mercy, compassion, love, dignity, and as Muslims, we are obligated to follow in his footsteps, but, alas, we often don’t.

Let us learn from tragedies like this and learn to appreciate the fact that all of the creation of Allah has purpose, rights, relevance, significance, and beauty, and that whenever a tragedy that takes the life of any of Allah’s creation, that it’s not something to make a joke out of, or to think that it is deserved, especially in the case of murder. It doesn’t matter whether those murdered were Muslims or not; it doesn’t matter whether these people were Black or not, it doesn’t matter, whether these people were from wealthy families or not; it doesn’t matter whether it was only 20 something persons killed, or thousands upon thousands, killed in a war-torn nation; it doesn’t matter whether this tragedy happened in a suburb in Connecticut or in a bombed-out city in the Muslim-World; it doesn’t even matter whether the children killed in this tragedy were born to Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindhus, Jains, Shamanists/Tengrists, Animists, Atheists/Anti-Theists…what happened was a tragedy…what happened was a massacre…what happened was murder, and murder is a sin & crime before Allah, and Allah will hold those who sin against Him & His creation, on the Day of Standing.

Gareth Bryant/2012

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My thoughts on negative portrayls of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) inciting violence in the Muslim-World:

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The recent attacks on U.S. Embassies in the Muslim-World, mainly in the Mideast, as a result of numerous negative, propaganda, short-films, caricatures, cartoons, pamphlets, novels, books, movies, shows, etc. negatively portraying Muhammad (Peace be upon him), has incited immense violence all across the Muslim-World, particularly, in places like Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and several other Muslim countries-Now, with nations like these, in deep-rooted political instability to begin with, as a result of events such as the Arab-Spring & removals of dictators, or by partitions of portions of their nations to make other independent states, of course, inciting religiously motivated violence would give any nation, with interests in this region, particularly/especially the U.S., an excuse to swoop in, play the liberator/saviour card, and at the exact same time, horde whatever resources are available in this country, for their own devices.

This has happened before, and it’s very likely to happen yet again. And, also, since Islam has been seen as a radical cult by certain groups of people, governments, etc., for centuries, it’s of course easy to project attacks upon our faith, while knowing fully well that most people in the Muslim-World are so ignorantly off-based to what the true spirit & practice of Islam really is, that any remote attack on anything or anyone connected with Islam will incite senseless violence. Unfortunately, as well, as ironically, we as Muslims always, in our ignorance feel that we must “defend” the honor of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), whenever people say negative things about him. Well, yes, this is true. However, there’s always a right way of doing it & a wrong way of doing it.

There are some very important aspects of how to deal with things such as this:

-One, obeying what Allah says about how to react to attacks by those who disbelieve in the guidance sent by Allah, and/or those who oppress the righteous, and/or oppose the progress of, or those who cause harm to, those who believe in the guidance of Allah.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.6, V.34; Chpt.7, V.87; Chpt.11, V.115; Chpt.14, V.12; Chpt.86, V.17)

-Two, learning from the Prophetic-Example directly, referring to how to react to opposition to the progress of Islam by the enemies of Allah-When Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was religiously & personally slandered, or attacked, especially when he & his Companions (May Allah be pleased with them all-together) were in a state of weakness, without an Islamic-State (central Islamic government), in many ways much similarly to how weak the Muslim-World is currently, he never attacked people back. He never fought fire with fire; rather, he fought fire with water. There are authentic reports of people doing & saying mean-spirited things about Muhammad (Peace be upon him), during his own lifetime, right in his direct presence.(al-Bukhari, Riyadh-us-Salihin) He never fought against them, nor ordered their deaths, until after Allah had given him & the Companions (May Allah be pleased with them all-together) the order/permission to meet their enemies on the field of battle.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.216; Chpt.2, V.190-194; Chpt.47, V.4; )

-Three, having general respect for all Prophets & Messengers (Peace be upon them all-together)-When is the last time that a group of Muslims (regardless of how radical they are) blew up or burned down a Synagogue or Church? Great question, right? And, why do I pose this question? Well, both Jews & Christians say things about previous Prophets, in their remnants of the Torah & Gospel, which are very slanderous in nature. For example: it clearly states in the Bible (a collection of the remnants of the Torah, Psalms and Gospel), that Lot (Peace be upon him) committed incest, with his own daughters(Genesis: 19: 31-36), that Saul, the first King of Israel as a tyrant(1 Samuel 22:20-23), that David (Peace be upon him) sent a man to the battlefield to die, so that he can have that man’s wife (2 Samuel 12: 9-10)…and, all of these accusations are completely false.(Qasas-ul-Anbiya’) These are just a few of the many examples of slander against Prophets; yet, the Muslims only piss & moan when people talk smack about Muhammad (Peace be upon him)-What happened to standing up to defend the honor of any & all Prophets (Peace be upon them all-together), if/when they are spoken about or mentioned in writings and/or films negatively?!!!

Furthermore, more importantly to observe & reflect upon, when is the last time that a Church or Synagogue has been blown up, or burned down, by Muslims, for associating false qualities to Allah? When is the last time that a Reverend, a Rabbi, or any religiously Jewish/Christian figure been dragged into the streets & beaten to death, for saying that they are the “Children of Allah”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.18), or for saying that Ezra is the Son of Allah, or that Jesus is the Son of Allah?!!!(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.9, V.30)-It’s never happened-I mean isn’t it much worse to say something false about Allah, as opposed to a created, thing/a Human being, regardless to whether or not they’re a Prophet, a recipient of some type of revelation from Allah, or a righteous person?(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.18, V.15)

So, since the Muslim-World has never went up in arms, destroying Embassies & beating people in the streets, for someone committing Shirk with Allah (associating false qualities with Allah, which is the worst sin that any created thing can do), then, why would we only do it because of a film-short, filled with obvious misinformation, that is exclusively intended to get an emotional rise out of us, in the strategic hopes that we’ll be foolish & unintelligent enough to behave & react stupidly (which unfortunately we have in many parts of the Muslim/Arab-World), just because of a movie short. To be fair & honest, there have been, historically & contemporarily, so many slanderously produced materials about Islam & Muslims, which the Muslims have said and/or done absolutely nothing about, like all of the Jesus-Movies for example, which portray Jesus (Peace be upon him) as the “Son of Allah”, knowing fully well, based upon the text of our book of guidance, the Qur’an, that this is an obvious lie.

Also, when is the last time that we, as Muslims, destroyed the whorehouses in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, dragged the pimps of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Albanina out in the streets & beat them senseless/to death, or burn down the pornography stores and/or newsstands which sell obscene sexual-material (movies, magazines, etc.) which are owned & operated by Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Senegal, Guinea, Gambia, Mauritania, or supermarkets/stores owned by Bengalis, Pakis, Yemenis, Jordanians and Palestinians, which sell pork, alcohol, cigarettes, cigars, marijuana roll-up leaves, heroin-syringes, crack-stems/crack-pipes Lotto, or put and end to drug-smuggling & money/credit-card fraud-schemes run by Nigerians, and all of these various other types of vices that people all over the world freely indulge in?!!!

These are questions which we must/need to ask ourselves & also find the answers to!!!

Gareth Bryant/2012