Tag Archives: Third World

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

Acid-Violence: Who’s stopping it?

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Before Acid AttackAfter Acid Attack

Laxmi an Indian Woman: disfigured after an Acid-Attack

Author’s-Note:
We’ve had the great privilege to interview Islamic Help, a United-Kingdom based non-profit organisation, which has a very special project: to advocate against Acid-Violence. I’ve gotten to learn a lot from this very sinister phenomenon that Islamic Help is spreading awareness about, and I am glad that they’ve allowed me to interview the, so as to equip us all with the necessary knowledge to keep abreast of such an important issue such as this.

 

G..B: What is “Acid-Violence”?

I.H.: Acid violence is when an attacker uses acid or a corrosive or/and chemical substance to harm, injure, disable and scar, both physically and mentally, their target. It is usually a pre-meditated attack, and a majority of the victims are women and children.

G.B.: What damage does Acid-Violence ensue?

I.H.: An acid attack can leave a victim with mutilated skin, a disability and psychological damage. To give a small example from an actual case, an acid attack survivor who had acid thrown all over her face was left visually impaired as the acid made contact with her eyes. It left her with breathing difficulties as it melted the tissues in her nasal passages, providing very little to no space for oxygen to go through. She was unable to eat or breathe properly through her mouth as the skin which forms her lips was also melted together. This is just the physical damage. The psychological damage that a lot of survivors face is just as, if not more, damaging. Imagine looking into a mirror and not recognising your own reflection. Imagine having to hide your face in public because you’re disgusted with the way you look. Imagine being told that your face, your scars, your appearance makes people feel sick and children cry. And imagine all this being made worse by your own family, who can no longer stand the sight of you and therefore disown you and kick you out of the family home, leaving you to fend for yourself.

G.B.: Can you explain, possibly, how this tradition of Acid-Violence began?

I.H.: Revenge, anger, love, lust, greed, superstition. These are just a few of the motivations which lead to acid violence. It is one of the most reprehensible and horrendous of crimes that one human can inflict on another. How and why is it so easy to throw acid on someone? In many of the countries where acid attacks occur, acid is easily available due to a variety of industries that exist such as the leather trade where acid is used in the production of leather. To give you an idea of why people would turn to acid as a weapon, let’s look at another case. (Just to clarify these are all real cases). A man in Pakistan proposed to a girl who he liked, she refused the proposal, he felt that she had dishonoured him and if he couldn’t have her then no one else could. So he decided to ruin her beauty. He threw acid onto her face, so that in his opinion, she would be seen as ugly forever.

G.B.: How/why have Muslims, of all People, adopt such a barbaric practice?

I.H.: We cannot stress this enough – this is not a crime carried out by Muslims. Religion has nothing to do with it, Islam abhors violence. These are premeditated attacks which are carried out by evil people who are cowards. Acid attacks are not a “Muslim problem”. They happen where acid is accessible and where people want to use it as a weapon. For example, there was a well-publicised acid attack in London in December 2012 when a 21 year old woman was left scarred by a friend after they fell out. The attacker was found guilty last year. Also last year, the Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director Sergei Filin was left disfigured and visually impaired after an acid attack in Moscow. Acid attacks are rare in Western countries – hence they gain greater publicity when they do occur, as the above examples show where stricter legislation means access to acid is limited. However, there was a tradition of acid being used as a weapon in Europe and the United States from the 18th to the mid-20th century. We’d also like to highlight that our work to help acid attack survivors has included Muslim and non-Muslims in places like Cambodia and Uganda.

G.B.: How long has Acid-Violence existed within the Muslim-World, or within the World, generally?

I.H.: We don’t know when the first acid attack was committed against someone – it probably wasn’t reported. However (to stress that it’s not a Muslim issue), acid attacks were common in Europe and the USA from the 18th century to the mid-20th century when acid (then known as vitriol) was produced on an industrial scale. Not only was it used in ‘domestic’ rows but labour disputes as well. Increased regulation and legislation limited access, so the number of cases in these countries dropped. But it became prevalent in South Asia, Africa and Latin America in the second half of the 21st century.

While many cases go unreported, we know that since 1999 there have been 3,512 reported cases of acid attacks around the world.

G.B.: What have the Leaders of the nations which Acid-Violence takes place done to help prevent the proliferation of Acid-Violence?

I.H.: Slowly but surely acid violence is becoming seen as more of a crime and laws are being passed to make it more difficult for attackers to avoid punishment. Laws are being passed to try to control the sale of acid so it’s not so easily accessible, but this needs to be backed with enforcement. However if you were to ask an acid attack survivor how they felt the government has dealt with their case, they would tell you something along the lines of, “The police didn’t believe me, I was provided with little to no legal aid, I can’t afford my medical bills and the government is giving me no assistance with them”. There’s a lot more that the governments of these countries need to do, to prevent attacks from occurring in the first place and to provide support to the survivors of acid attacks.

G.B.: What has the International-Community, generally, done to help prevent the proliferation of Acid-Violence?

I.H.: Well, since 2012, the International-Community has heard more about Acid-Violence, a lot of which is due to the documentary “Saving Face” which won an Oscar and two Emmy Awards. Directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, it features the work that we do with acid attack survivors. It documented the lives of acid attack survivors and the assistance they receive from Dr. Muhammad Ali Jawad, an internationally renowned plastic surgeon from the UK who works with Islamic Help to support acid attack survivors, by providing surgery and training future surgeons. However we feel that more needs to be done, that’s why we’ve launched our #EndAcidViolence campaign as part of Smiles Better week, (Smiles Better is the name given to our acid violence treatment and prevention programme) which has received a lot of attention worldwide but we need a lot more.

G.B: Do you honestly think/believe that enough is being done to help fight against Acid-Violence?

I.H.: No. A lot more needs to be done, more people need to speak up about it, and more people need to be made aware about it! That’s one thing our awareness programme does, it works with local community leaders such as imams and village leaders, we train them on how to advise their local community and congregation about the ill effects of acid violence, why it shouldn’t be carried out, why it’s such a harmful crime and what the punishment is, both from a legal perspective and religious perspective.

G.B.: Are Women/Girls the only victims of Acid-Violence, and if so, then why?

I.H.: Women and girls are not the only victims of acid violence, however based on the cases that are recorded they are a majority of the victims. A lot of the attacks are so-called domestic disputes involving a husband-and-wife or relationships between male and females.

One motivation of using acid is not only to cause immense pain but to leave the victim permanently scarred, so they are seen as unattractive.

G.B.: What could/would be your ideal-message to those who: know of this issue & yet do nothing help combat Acid-Violence, know of the issue & yet only do minimal efforts against Acid-Violence, know of this issue & yet are too afraid of consequences for standing up against Acid-Violence, know of this issue & yet really don’t have access to the tools to help prevent Acid-Violence?

I.H.: Work with us, contact us, support us and we will support you. If the subject was about rape, millions of men and women would speak out about it, because we know how horrific a crime rape is. It leaves a victim mentally scarred, it takes away from them something which is personal, something which is their own, it makes them feel defiled and abused, it leaves them living in a life of fear and in many cases feeling judged. In many cases, survivors of acid attacks feel exactly the same way, and they have to walk around with the physical scars as well. If you believe in Human-Rights, Women’s-Rights, justice, peace, equality, humanity, and all things good in this world, then you need to speak out against a crime which doesn’t receive as much attention as it should, you need to help us #EndAcidViolence.

To find out more about the work Islamic Help does and how you can support our #EndAcidViolence campaign please visit:

http://www.islamichelp.org.uk/SmilesBetter

The “Child-Marriage” Issue: I’d rather call it Youth-Marriage:

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Youth Marriages pic

Author’s Note:
Has anyone ever noticed that when it comes to the issue of “Child-Marriage”, only the Western-World uses the term “Child”? There’s a very important reason for this: they want people to get accustom to people always assuming that Men are marrying girls, under the age of Puberty, which is utterly perverse, in nature. This is exactly what happens, when one has the power over Language: when one controls Language, they can control how people interpret Law, Life, etc. However, in the Western-World, the issue of “Child-Marriage” has only recently become an issue, relative to the pathological rise & growth of Feminism, which has always (both historically & contemporarily) proves to be not only very biased/1-sided but also extremely hypocritical.(To learn more about Feminsim: https://garethbryant.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/bothmisogynyfeminismareevilandhereswhy)

1. Firstly, Islamically, the definition of a “Child” is one whom has not yet reached Balaghah/Puberty.(Abu-Dawud, Lisan-ul-`Arab: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language)

2. Secondly, when it comes to marriages, if there is a situation, where there is an arranged marriage-agreement between families, tribes (which is respectively very different than Forced-Marriages, “Kidnap-Marriages”, etc.), and the like, takes place before both the potential bridegroom & bride, or even if just the bridegroom or bride whom is under the age of Balaghah, then their is a period of time in which there is a respective waiting-period, which is supervised by the families, until the marrying parties are both old enough to either say yes or no and/or consummate their respective marriage.(Malik)

3. The most-famous example is that of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), in which after Allah had ordained that he marry `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her), the daughter of Abi-Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him): she remained with her own respective family, until it was confirmed that she had reached Balaghah. And, the reason why this is so important is because, Islamically, it is Mahrum to have any sexual-contact with any Human being, whom has not reached Balaghah.(al-Bukhari)

4. This is very crucial to know, as Muslims, because this is one of the most-slanderous insults which ignorant Muslims, and Islamophobes, generally attribute to Muhammad : Child-Molestation via marrying `Ai’shah at age 9, even though, ironically, not even his own religious-enemies, during his own lifetime, the Pagan-Arabs, ever accused him of something so disgusting as Child-Molestation, and they had accused him of some pretty ugly things.

5. It’s really ironic that most people who advocate that young-people don’t marry young argue about the health-risks of getting married young…well:

a. What about the health-risks of casual-sex, enjoyed by so many, whom are unmarried all across the Globe?

b. What about the health-risks of Homosexual-Sex (particularly/especially Male-on-Male/Anal-Sex)?

6. Although it is true that early-marriage does disrupt education, but, there are a lot more things which disrupt education as well, like:

a. Economic-Exploitation, which the Western-World enjoys, because, we just love fancy clothes & techno-savvy phones, made by workers whom would probably never get the chance to own anything which they make, for Western-World/Global markets, even if they saved every penny of their earnings for an entire year.

b. Wars in these same places where Youth-Marriages take place, as a result of the insatiable pathological craving for influence, power, control over the planet’s resources, all in the covert name/facade of Freedom/Democracy.

c. Educational-Exploitation, as a direct result of ruined infrastructure of these same nations, which the Western-World has invaded and turned upside-down via military, economic, political, and social destruction.

So, in conclusion, this issue is an open-shut-case: the issue of Youth-Marriage is just not what the Western-World vilifies it to be.

Gareth Bryant/2013

Thanksgiving is all the time, every day!!!

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I’m thankful all of the time, not just for Thanksgiving:

I’m thankful for Allah turning my heart away from the love & pursuit of the streets.
I’m thankful for Him grant me the opportunity to find Islam as well as finding true peace.

I’m amazed that every year people claim to be thankful; yet, are only appreciative when things are going easy.
Whenever tested with trials & tribulations, people often forget that Allah’s in control, then, to Him they act sleazy.

They ignore, and forget, that throughout the year, Allah provides for them too.
It’s so much easier to neglect the regular, day-to-day bounties, given to you.

We always thank Allah for what we have, but not for what he’s kept from us.
Whenever we’re denied something, we get angry and uptight, ready to fus.

Complaining is a hallmark of a Human being.
We’ve been like this from the very beginning.

But, the next time that you wanna complain, turn on the T.V. & watch the news.
Read the paper about people world-wide, who have nothing, no food, nor shoes.

Gareth Bryant/2012

Hurricane-Sandy: The Storm that took us all by surprise:

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For an entire week, New York City was hit with the effects of a hurricane, that knocked it clear off of its feet. Hurricane Sandy, not only rocked NYC, but the entire Eastern-Seaboard of the United States to its very core. Thousands of people without water, heat, or electricity, hundreds who have no place to call home, in the (New York-New Jersey-Connecticut) tri-state area alone. This event, which took place over the last weekend in October, has really brought a brand-new sense of both realty & vulnerability, that none of us could’ve ever anticipated, nor were willing to accept, prior to it.

I mean, even I, myself, who has suffered very little, other than missing a whole week of work, couldn’t have possibly imagined that things would’ve turned out this bad, mainly because the effects of last-year’s Hurricane-Irene was nothing, in comparison to the damage witnessed by this-year’s Hurricane-Sandy-The entire city of New York was at a complete stand-still, the subway-system was completely non-functioning, due to immense underground-flooding, in Lower-Manhattan, South-Brooklyn, and in the Rockaways, Queens, and this has not only been the 1st time in my own lifetime, but the 1st time in the entire century-long history of the New York City subway-system, that it was forced to shut-down completely, as a result of a disaster-Whole blocks & sections of NYC, as well as other parts of the Eastern-Seaboard, look just like war-zones, in war-torn, 3rd-World nations, like Breezy Point, Queens, for example: No exaggeration…it looks as though 20 Hellfire-Missiles descended upon this neighborhood. It’s really sad, how damaging this storm has really become. There are people, whom I even know personally, from NYC itself, who have to re-build their lives, all the way from scratch, literally starting from nothing…from zero.

Now, not to down-play the severity of this natural-disaster, but, there are some serious questions, which must & should be on everyone’s minds, regardless to the severity of how, or if, at all, we were affected by this hurricane:

1. Are we, generally, grateful to Allah, our creator, for our lives & possessions?

2. Are we grateful for surviving the effects of this natural-disaster?

3. Are we of among those whom have been affected, by this natural-disaster, yet, are grateful for things not being worse?

4. Are we empathetic and/or sympathetic towards those who may have either lost life and/or possession?

5. Have we done, or are we going to do anything to offer some type of help to those whom we no who have been affected by this natural-disaster?

If the answer to any of the above questions are no, then, we as individuals, as well as a society at large, have some serious problems-There should not be any one of us whom is not grateful to our creator, for everything that we’ve ever acquired or anything which has been denied us-There should never be any of us whom are not grateful for surviving any mishap or tragedy that befalls us-There should not be anyone among us whom are not reflecting upon the plight of either persons whom we know or don’t know, whom have become victims of this natural-disaster-There should not be any of us whom are not willing & able, or whom have not already stared to, help anyone, whom we know or don’t know love, or despise, in need of any form of assistance.

There are actually several things which this natural-disaster should’ve have taught us all:

1. The recognition & acceptance that Allah, the Creator & Lord of the Universe, is, in all reality, in control of everything & we, as created-things, in all reality, are in control of nothing, we merely have the illusion of control.

2. The recognition & acceptance that just because Allah has chosen to spare us, this year from any form of death or destruction, is absolutely no guarantee that we will continue to be spared, from death or destruction in the next years to come, from becoming a victim to this type & magnitude of a natural-disaster.

3. The dire need to be concerned about, how the “other-half” lives, the condition of the other.

4. The recognition of the severity of what has happened & the need to enact action, in regards to volunteer ourselves for the other, in the path of public-service, during this most tumultuous time, during the aftermath & rebuilding of the regions of America hit by this hurricane.

In closing, this is just a simple advice, primarily to myself & then, to others, that we, as Human beings are obligated by Allah, to be of sincere help to others, in any & every way that we can. So, let us truly do that, starting helping those directly within our midsts, wherever we may be in this world-Just be a person of conscience & positive-action for others.

Thanks for reading,

Gareth Bryant/2012