I’ve been given an exclusive opportunity to interview Munir Avery, New York State’s first upcoming Muslim State-Senator:
NYPD Officers, in Staten Island, New York City, are responsible for the unjust, unnecessary, death by choking, of a Eric Garner. To some this is just a usual isolated incident, of NYPD policing gone terribly wrong. However, for Peoples of Afro-American & Latino-American descent, this has become an all too prevalent expectation of ours: to be confronted, assaulted, violated, and possibly murdered, without any thorough investigation, a nonsense farce of a trial, in another part of New York State, to ensure the acquittals of the Officers who abuse their authority against their victims.
This free-for-all melee of abuses of policing-powers, ever since the dark-days of the Rudy Giuliani administrations, till the present day, we, as ethnically marginalized Peoples, along with other types of targeted demographics, such as Muslims, for example, which I am also a member of this particular demographic… so now, I have 3-strikes against me: Muslim…Black/Hispanic…Black/Hispanic Male…I could’ve just as easily been victimized in the savage manner as Eric Garner was, in my native Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
One really has to ask one’s self a very serious question: “Okay, this man was confronted by Police, for whatever reason. But, how & why did it escalate to him dying, and by being choked to death? Where is the judge & jury, where’s the recitation of this person’s Miranda-Rights, where’s his phone-call for his atorney/next-of-kin, where’s his day in Court?”. And, sadly, his day in Court was deal to him like gangsters deal with their adversaries, for Eric Garner, Court was held in the Streets. But, then, what is the point of Police, when they are the one’s constantly violating the laws in which they’re hired, paid, trusted by their Citizenry & lawmakers to uphold.
In the words of a very wise, young, Muslim-Brother, by the name of Ibrahim Jaaber, “You can’t uphold the Law, if you’re the one above it.”. And, this is the crust of the problem, folks: persons with guns & badges, who think that those they’ve sworn to “protect & serve” are to have the absolute right to abuse & dehumanize all and or any whom they wish, just because the have the fire-power, and political-protection, known as their shields, to do so. So, what are we, as a People, as a society, as a Nation, going to do about this? We can no longer state that, “Oh, they’re just doing their jobs.”, we got that cleared-up with the finds of Stop-And-Frisk, along with religious infiltration into specific Religious-Communities, more specifically, Muslim-Communities. And, we can’t state that these are isolated incidents, because, from Anthony Baez, to Abner Louima, to Amadu Diallo, to Sean Bell, and now Eric Garner…what the Hell is going on?!!!
I’ll tell you exactly what’s going on, we have severely regressed, as a society & nation, and have reverted back to the old-ways of the olden days of Jim-Crow type policing-abuses, which basically give the Police the unlimited authority to abuse whom they choose, with little to no consequences on part of the Officers in question who abuse, while even pressuring, threatening, victims with deportation, violence, etc., for exposing the abuses of authority by Police. It’s crystal-clear to me, and should be to anyone & everyone else that there’s is no such thing as a Colorless-America, since Barack Obama has been a President, nor has the dreams of persons like Martin Luther King, Jr. have been authentically realized, nor has there been any true strides by the so-called leaders of our communities to do anything substantial to change the negative nature & relationship that the Common-People have with Law-Enforcement.
Every month I’ll be conducting a Poetic-Challenge, challenging various poets, whom I personally know/interact with, just for the sake of sharpening/improving my own poetry, general-goodwill, respect for my fellow “Brethren of the Paper & Pen”, and to just see who from among us has the best “Poetry-Skillz”…Every month, I’ll be picking a brand-new Poetic-Challenger, via Facebook/Twitter, to compete with. This month, it’s Cyrus McGoldrick. Next month, it could very well be anyone of you. So, just be prepared, with some fresh-rhymes.
Topic: Yearning for something More
The Warmth We yearn from one another:
When the blistering Winter descends…
…We can no longer afford to pretend.
We get cold so quickly, it really hurts…
…We pursue warmth which takes work.
We all want the heat of Love, to warm our heart…
…Each of us wants a companion who’ll never part.
But, Life is sometimes a cruel Snow-Storm, covering all in its path, with the crispest & iciest harshness…
…However, we must make a Summer out of every Winter, protecting our hearts from a freezing-tempest.
We mustn’t succumb to the hypothermia of Loneliness…
…We all need someone to keep us from cold distress.
Being close, to the one who you love, is one of the greatest feelings of all…
…So, think about the one who keeps you warm during the heavy Snow-Fall.
“Irony” in one of its purest manifestations:
The United States (Obama the House-Nigga) wants to police Syria & stop Bashar al-Assad from using “chemical-weapons”, against his own people. However, one has to really ponder over the following: 1.Why is it that with all of the killings being done in Syria, with merely the usage of conventional-weaponry, the “International-Community” (aka U.S. & Co.) stayed on the sidelines, until the buzz-word Chemical-Weapons surfaced in the media; is it safe to assume that the U.S. would’ve let Bashar al-Assad continue to kill his own people, as long as he only used conventional-weapons?!!! 2. Which nation, in today’s world was there to police & stop the U.S., when they stood idly by, allowing White-People to use trees to lynch hundreds of thousands of their own countrymen, out of racial-hatred, from the 1870’s to the 1970’s, or when they stood idly by, as city/state authorities water-hosed (nearly to death), beat, arrested, and killed thousands of their own citizenry, during the 1950’s & 1960’s because these people were fighting for basic-rights due to any/every Human being, or when they used chemical-weaponry (Napalm in particular), against thousands of innocents during the Vietnam-War, bombing the life out of Vietnam, Cambodia, etc., classifying it as merely “collateral-damage”?!!!
I’ve started the first, of many guest blogposting articles, on my site. The first of what I hope to be many blogposting article is a brother, named, Mohammad Humayun Khan, and he has written something very noteworthy to read-Mohammad Humayun Khan has written about the upcoming presidential-election, that is going to be a very crucial, perhaps the most crucial presidential-election to date.
This is his stance, in his own words:
I have wanted to write this article/note for a while but never had the chance to get around to it. However since it’s only a week away, I thought the elections would be an appropriate context in which to write this.
Just so you know, this piece is not intended to be political-I am not advocating for or endorsing a candidate-The purpose of bringing in the election, and current politics, is to illustrate the broader points I am trying to make.
Throughout this election-season, and up to the recent presidential-debates, I have noticed that most American Muslims (AMs for the remainder of this writing) lean heavily in support towards the incumbent, President Obama. Through conversations with most AMs (including both fervent Obama supporters and the ho-hum ones), I’ve noticed that the reasons, presented, for supporting him can be described as nothing less than narrow & linear. The most often-cited reasons are his rhetoric of inclusion (at least as compared to many in the Republican camp), as well as his anti-war stances (i.e. Iraq). Basically, it seems like most AMs have a goody-goody feeling about President Obama. Reasons, both on a conscious level and subconscious level, may include that he is non-white, his middle name is Hussain, he looks foreign, he goes to the Middle East and gives inspiring speeches, has a less hawkish sounding stance on the Israeli-Palestine issue, or he says Pakistan like any authentic, biryani-loving, tea-drinking, tobacco-chewing Pakistani, from Karachi, would.
If these are, in fact, the only reasons AMs support him, then this is a very disturbing phenomenon and points to broader issues we have in the AM community. The two broadest issues it points to is that of Muslims not taking ownership of this country and Muslims’ linear and unsystematic way of thinking. These two broad issues are the point of emphasis of this note.
The point of this note is not to take sides of who is a better candidate for this country. Obviously, AMs, like any other American group, will and should vote for the candidate whom they think will best represent their interests. For AMs, this includes issues on foreign-policy, related to Muslim-Countries, Islamophobia, civil-liberties, etc. However, why is it that most Muslims seem to virtually ignore the rest of the issues that affect the United States, as a whole? Issues related to the economy, deficit/debt, healthcare, and education, seem to be neatly tucked under the rug. From my conversations, with the average AM, they seem to be very ignorant about the facts and circumstances around these other challenges we face as Americans.
For example, we know that the deficit/debt problem is probably the number-one problem we have in this country; yet, I have not heard any AM or AM organization, in the US, take this issue very seriously. Look, if you are an American Muslim and looked at these other issues in depth, and have concluded that Obama is in fact a better choice for this country, I have no problem with that! What I do have a problem with are AMs totally ignoring the issues that are not exclusively tied to their sectarian interests. And, I honestly don’t think if all AMs objectively looked at these other issues, all or even most, would conclude that Obama’s policies are worth trumpeting for (i.e. Obamacare, high government spending, failed stimulus, drone-attacks, killing US citizens abroad without evidence, or due-process/trial, invasion of sovereignty of Muslim-Countries).
Of course, many would still favor some of his policies over the challenger, Mitt Romney; but, I don’t think all AMs would agree that his policies are unanimously better than Romney’s. Sadly, most AMs have not even taken a chance to read Romney’s nor Paul Ryan’s economic-plans; yet, they somehow spew-off the same extreme left-leaning rhetoric, of how it would be hurtful to the economy. If you did read it, and you think it would, that is fine! But most AMs have not, and yet, still ignorantly reject anything that comes from that alternative political-voice.
Shouldn’t we, as American Muslims, who live, work and reap the benefits of this country, start at the very least, weigh-in these broader issues, as heavily as those that only affect our narrow and exclusive interests? Or, at the very least start talking about the other issues?
Sadly, this phenomenon of exclusively concentrating on Muslim-centric issues sort of indicates that AMs are not taking real ownership of this country. Many AMs will say that they do not truly feel part of this country. To that I say, how could you not? Have we not been blessed to be able to come into this country, settle-down & settle-in, live with peace and security, obtain a better life than any of our relatives back home can ever dream of, practice our religion openly, send our kids (both boys and girls) to school, and live in a society that provides us opportunity after opportunity? Many will point to the growing tide of Islamophobia and the damage it has taken on their psyche. No doubt, that Islamophobia is a major concern-My response to that is if AMs genuinely and proactively start finding solutions, to the broader challenges that the country faces as a whole, Islamophobia will naturally start to dissipate.
What’s most-amazing is that there are a few issues that dominate the AM political-discourse, to such an extent, that most AMs who don’t even have a clue or genuine concern about these issues will vote for a candidate solely based on the stance the candidate takes on it.
I hate to bring this up, but the best example of this is the Israeli-Palestine problem. Now, this is one area that actually seems to unify Muslims around the world and AMs should care about this issue as it speaks to one of the most atrocious forms of injustice and divisiveness in Human-History. But most AMs, who are not even knowledgeable about the situation, completely write-off a candidate, just because they feel a candidate may be on the wrong side of the issue.
I mean, honestly, ask yourselves these questions: Do you really lose sleep at night, thinking about what’s going on in Palestine? I mean, really, wouldn’t the impending loss of your job or health-problems of your children, cause more consternation to you than some of these other Muslim-centric issues? If so, then, why should we not vote along the lines which actually has direct-affects on our day-to-day lives? Or, why not at least, start weighing-in on these broader issues proportionally?
I am not saying that we shouldn’t care about the Israeli-Palestine issue; but, we need to be more rational, in the way in which we make our voting-decisions, or at the very least, the way we direct our discourse!
Unfortunately, thinking in such an exclusively centered way also shows AMs’ unsystematic thinking-process which leads to counter-intuitive results. What I mean by this is that if AMs start becoming authentic participants in this society, and start finding solutions to the problems posed to this great nation, it would translate into better outcomes for Muslims around the world-Holding seats in Congress, or beings heads of major corporations/institutions bring a more dramatic change to the status-quo in both the Muslim-World, as well as the Western-World-A more robust US economy (with all else being equal) would, naturally, translate into more wealth for AMs, which can be used towards charitable-causes and more importantly, in the building of institutions and infrastructure of positive change in both the Muslim-World & the Western-World.
As a tangible example-
In the past couple of years, I have had the privilege of attending a few charitable-dinners, aimed at raising money, for greater causes in Pakistan, such as the renovation of hospitals or the development of schools. At one of these events, as I sat and watched my fellow, generous, Pakistani-Americans, pour out money for these worthy-causes, I couldn’t help to wonder how we became so blessed to have the opportunities to give back in the first place. For whatever the reason, Allah has chosen us, to be these most-fortunate individuals. But, I’ve also found myself pondering about the future of AMs (in this case Pakistani AMs) in this country, and the possibility of AMs being enormously wealthy and simultaneously being positive agents of change in our societies. So, I’ve imagined the same fundraising dinner, 10 years from now, and couldn’t contain my excitement on thinking about how we would be able to generate 5,10 or 20 times more funds, for all of these various worthy-causes! I mean, really think about that!
However, the success of AMs cannot come at the detriment of the United States of America. In other words, the success of AMs is intractability tied to the success of this great country of ours. Therefore, AMs need to become authentic stake-holders of this country, and, in turn, have to find and develop solutions to the problems that the US is currently faces. Moreover, some of the current problems the US faces are ones which Islam, itself, has the ability to solve. I mean, think about the fact that our National Debt sits at over $16 Trillion; how are we to pay interest on this Debt based on its enormous size?!!! Even rudimentary knowledge of Islam reveals the abhorrence of interest-based debt. Thus, we, as AMs, should be at the forefront, spear-heading the solutions to this financial-issue!
To end, I just want to thank everyone who has read this note, with an open mind. Again, this was never meant to be a political-piece; rather, I am just hoping to bring a change in peoples thinking methodology. Whether you vote Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, other, or even neither, please weigh-in ALL issues, which we all face, as Americans. Start taking ownership of this country, which means not just taking the benefits and hiding, but also sharing in the problems, being active-participants in the solutions, start thinking systematically and reasonably, because we know a community is doomed to fail if it fails to reason.
And please let me know your guys thoughts on this!
Mohammad Humayun Khan/2012
Are the Muslims really the enemy?!!!
Ever since 9-11, every politician-elect supports the War on Islam, so they can be politically-correct.
As long as I can remember, the U.S. supported thugs like the Contras, to propel agendas of dissent.
Now, people like bin-Ladin are black-listed, although supported against the Soviets back in the day.
Every single lobbyist, with money to spare, funds the goons in Congress, who take our liberties away.
And yet, we are the enemy…now check that out!!!
They’ve passed the Patriot Act, which allows U.S. authorities to raid & arrest people, without contest.
It’s truly a shame that Islam has been used as the fallout-boy, to create an illusion, to avoid civil unrest.
They’ve passed the NDAA; it gives the U.S. the green light to prosecute citizens, without due-process.
The leader of Syria is blasted for Human-Rights crimes, while his oil-rich neighbors are free to oppress.
And yet, we are the enemy…now check that out!!!
Alan Greenspan, Hank Paulson, the Banks and Wall Street, sold millions of Americans up the river.
Their fellow citizens didn’t matter at all to them, only concerned with the elite class being the winner.
The financial crisis was stirred up by corporations, wanting to squeeze every drop out of taxpayers.
And, they were rewarded, for their speculations on the global stock market, with billions of dollars.
And yet, we are the enemy…now check that out!!!
The enemy, whom we’re all taught to fear, is right within our borders.
They’re disguising themselves as good-doers, in our own backyards.
The true enemy’s in Washington, where powerful lobbyists pop bottles.
And, they’re on Capitol Hill, where rich White lawmakers pop models.
We have allowed ourselves to develop pathological love-affairs, with wasteful forms of amusement.
Our heart-strings pulled by entertainment; T.V. and the Internet are the arrows, the media is Cupid.
The “War on Terror” is a $1 problem, yet has a $Billion solution that’s attached to it.
Unfortunately, the American people are delusional & just completely stuck on stupid.
The mass global rising in food-prices, the destructive nature of famine stricken countries & regions of the world, the globalization of privatizing/monopolizing agriculture are just some of the many recurring signs that the Dajjal/Anti-Christ is on his way & bringing Hell-on-Earth right with him. But, there’s some things that need to be established first before he’s able to rule uncontested: One of the main sources of his power, before the return of Jesus the Son of Mary: the True-Christ (Peace be upon him), who will end up killing the Dajjal/Anti-Christ, will be control over the worlds food-supplies.
It is mentioned in great detail, in the Prophetic-Tradition of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) that the Dajjal/Anti-Christ will appear before the people (of the World), with abundance of Food & Water, in exchange for loyalty & fellowship towards him. Anyone who refuses to accept his false-claims to legitimate global-rulership, prophecy & divinity, will suffer severely under his tenure of temporary rule over the Earth, until Jesus (Peace be upon him) comes back to Earth & does away with him, thus liberating the Earth of his immense tyranny.
Now, one may ask, who would be helping someone like the Dajjal/Anti-Christ attain world-domination, via control over food-supplies? Well, let’s get to Monsanto, the main focus of this whole article.
Monsanto: Past, present & future objectives:
Monsanto started off as a chemical company. From it’s founding in 1901, until the present-day, Monsanto has been responsible for producing such chemicals from DDT (an insecticide which had been banned for agricultural use by the U.S. Congress in 1972, for its harmful side-affects to People, Vegetation, and the Environment generally) to Agent-Orange (a chemical-weapon used during the Vietnam-War, which decimated the natural-environment of Vietnam & Cambodia, as well as caused immense death & various other health-defects found in both U.S. Military-Personnel & the People of both Vietnam & Cambodia) that have caused innumerably unchangeable negative-affects to both People & the Environment globally. They’ve managed to successfully establish themselves as the leading pioneers of chemical-manipulation of Agriculture, via producing Herbicides (Pesticides for Plant-Life) genetically-engineered Crops.
At present, Monsanto possesses one of the most powerful lobbying bodies on this planet, soliciting support from wealthy Business-Persons in the Agricultural-Industry, as well as Corrupt-Politicians, in achieving their goals of genetically modifying & patenting every growable-seed known to Man, in order to consolidate complete control over all things agricultural. They’ve become extremely powerful over the past century, since their initial inception, in the early 1900’s until now. They’ve faced nearly no practical opposition from the Washington “Watch-Dogs” who are supposed to be there to protect the best-interest of the American-People & Peoples around the world. Instead, they’ve given Monsanto a free-hand, to continue its immoral quest to undercut/extort any & all Organic-Farmers, who resist the political/governmental & financial onslaughts used to pressure them to use genetically-engineered agricultural techniques, which include the usage of genetically-engineered seeds, to contribute to the global monopolization of Agriculture by Monsanto.
From the Islamic perspective, it’s very obvious, based upon the Prophetic-Statements of our Prophet, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) that the Dajjal/Anti-Christ will use food-supplies, as a significant tool, to lure the People (globally) away from the worship of Allah & towards the worship of himself. There are various narrations by a particular Companion of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), named al-Mughirah ibn-Shu`bah (May Allah be pleased with him), of the Dajjal/Anti-Christ coming to the People, presenting abundance of Food & Water. But, for those who truly believe in Allah & the Last-Day, the illusion of the Dajjal/Anti-Christ will not cause their faith to waiver under threat of starvation.(Muslim) However, as Muslims, it is our responsibility to Allah, to recognize the signs that He & His Messenger (Peace be upon him) have left behind for us to benefit from, to have the knowledge and develop the integrity & fortitude to resist the temptation of the Dajjal/Anti-Christ, if/when he comes during our lifetimes. This will be the most trying times for those who believe in Allah & the Last-Day, and companies like Monsanto have shown & proven that they are on the side of the Dajjal/Anti-Christ, by contributing to the immoral privatization/monopolization of agricultural resources. We, who believe in Allah & the Last-Day have to be ready to face the Dajjal/Anti-Christ head-on!!! However, we can’t be ready to oppose him, if we’re not prepared for him, and we can’t prepared for him, if we don’t know about him, and we can’t know about him, unless we’re gaining knowledge about him, by taking heed to the authentically recorded signs present in the Qur’an & Prophetic-Tradition, about his coming & his reign of terror as well as the present reign of terror by those whom are is avid supporters, like Monsanto, for example.
May Allah protect us from the deception of ad-Dajjal/the Anti-Christ & all those who aid him & support him…Amen!!!
I shouldn’t have to reiterate what’s gruesomely obvious, but it seems that I must: significantly large populations of people, living in four countries in the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, are currently facing one of the most devastating famines ever seen in recent memory & possibly in the entire history of the African continent itself. One country particularly, Somalia, has the most to lose as a result of this famine getting worse. Somalia has indeed suffered the most in the Horn of Africa region from this terrible famine, for several reasons: the lack of U.N. relief aid getting into Somalia, the severe the lack of accessibility into this country (making it basically impossible for on-the-ground assessments, as to who needs the most help in Somalia, so relief aid can reach the proper places & people in the first place), the result of over twenty years worth of carnage, murder, political imbalance (which has ruined the political and financial infrastructure of this entire country, making Somalia completely unable to deal with the severity of this famine on their own). Ever since 1991, the Somali people have been given not only the short end of the stick, but, they haven’t even been given a stick to hold on to, for any potential hope to come their way. Unfortunately, they are the perpetual victims & subjects of massive abuse, externally by the international-community, as well as internally, by even their own people. The Somali warlords, ruling with iron fists & fear, who control food, water, life & death, etc., preside over autonomous pocket-sections all over of this nation, as if they were like the notorious mafia chieftains, who ruled America, during the prohibition-era.
One of the most tragic realities of this whole affair is that since Somalia hasn’t had a stable central government in two decades, this has given these ruthless, tribal-warlords a free-hand, to rob, rape & pillage their own people, without any form of accountability. And, because of this unchecked oppression, Somalis are left with little options for survival, because quite frankly, no one seems to care. I mean, there hasn’t been a great international out cry at any U.N. general assemblies that I’ve heard of as of recent, or any move to rid the nation of Somalia of its tyrannical warlords. In Iraq, all you had to say was “WMD’s”, and the U.S., along with her “gong-ho” coalition forces were right there on the scene, like they were the members of Marvel Comic’s “The Avengers”, or D.C. Comic’s “The Justice League”. In the early 1980’s, during the Reagan-Administration, the moment that the U.S. got wind of Socialist/Communist influence expanding beyond Cuba & into Central America, particularly in the republic of Nicaragua, the U.S. gladly gave support, via military/intelligence, arms and money to the Contras (who would in our modern political context be classified as “terrorists-groups”), to do battle against the pro-Socialist/Communist Sandinista government.
I just wonder…..with all the U.S. & U.N. confirmations of “terrorists-cells” & “terrorists-groups”, loyal to “Al-Qaeda”, having swept threw Somalia, with their authority virtually unchallenged by the Democratic/Western-world…..why hasn’t there been a great move to relieve Somalia of its warlords & to help bring stability to this 20-year long war-torn nation?!!!
Is it because the U.S. is still sour about that ass-whippin’ that the U.S. Military was served, early on during the Clinton-Administration in the early 1990’s, by Somali rebel forces…..could be. Or, maybe, it’s because the whole “Al-Qaeda in Africa” story (which is just as much a sham as the whole “WMD” fantasy in Iraq) is an excuse needed to not go the extra-mile, to help these people-Like in the case of Rwanda: a million people were slaughtered within three months, while the “civilized-world” just sat back, and enjoyed the show, like it was a cool made-for-T.V. “Movie of the Week”…..probably.
Or, last but not least, it may just stem from the old colonial mentality of not wanting former prized colonial possessions of the “Dark-Continent” to rise and be economically & politically independent nations, to be forces-to-be-reckoned-with in the world, because the former colonial masters of Africa would no longer be able to further rape its land and/or its people of their innumerable resources…..yeah, I think this is the reason.
But, whatever the reason, the excuses for not giving the Somalis, or any other country help in times of crises like this are pathetic, despicable, and are no longer acceptable, and in truth, they were really never acceptable to begin with.
There a lot of other people here to blame for the tragedy that is Somalia’s current plight. I mainly blame the Muslim-World itself. From an Islamic perspective, these oil-rich Muslim/Arab royal families & kingdoms have enough wealth in their individual & national coffers, to rid not just Somalia, not just the Horn of Africa, not just Africa, not just the rest of the Muslim-World, but the entire globe of starvation. In fact, it’s their inherent religious obligation to do so, just because they have more, while others have less.
But, why has hunger still remained an undisputed champion in our lifetimes, in a world of unprecedented human wealth & possession-There’s plenty for all, but it seems that no one wants to share, because they just don’t care.