Tag Archives: Unfairness

What’s happening in Palestine/Israel is very simple…here’s what I call it: #HolocaustRemix

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After seeing the uncensored picture of that lifeless young Palestinian boy, on that Hospital bed, with literally 1/2 of his head missing, I’ve come to the following conclusion: It doesn’t really even matter which side of the coin one favors in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict…if you’ve seen the picture that I saw & your heart doesn’t shed at least one tear, then you are 100% Inhumane. This comfortability which we have that allows us to just tolerate/accept the degradation of fellow Human beings makes me utterly ashamed to be a Human being living in the “Modern-World”…and this can’t be a modern World when there are countries just standing by while one nation is given the complete green-light to exterminate another group of Human beings: today, in front of our very eyes…we are witnessing the resurrection of the Holocaust. Only this time, the #Palestinians have been made to take the place of the Jews & other oppressed Peoples of the era, while the #Zionists have taken the place of the Nazis & Fascists.

Why are People so pathologically afraid to just admit that the Zionists are the new Nazis & Fascists, that Zionism is just the Jewish version of Christianized #Nazism & Fascism, that what’s going on in Palestine/Israel is a direct socio-political mirror-image of what #Hilter did in Europe, what Mussolini did in Africa, and what #Hirohito did in #Asia, during #WorldWarII? Let’s stop pussy-footing around this issue in the Middle-East & call it what it truly is: a Holocaust, an Apartheid, a Genocide.

Being a Muslim is no justification to support Muslims who manifest Terrorism. Likewise, being a Jew is no justification to support Jews who manifest Zionism…Zionism is no different than Nazism or Fascism.

Gareth Bryant/2014

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Nelson Mandela: One of many who gave all of themsleves for Justice:

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Author’s-Note:
Nelson Mandela, a freedom-fighter, persecuted in his own land for at least 1/2 of his life, forced to endure 26-years of prison-time, for wanting his people, his countrymen, to be treated as Human beings, in the eyes of the World, as well as in the eyes of the Apartheid-driven oppressive regime in South Africa. He was jailed, stripped of all HUman dignity, taken away from his family, left to rot in a cell, for nearly 3-decades, and for what? For the liberation & humanization of his homeland & all those who live there, in spite of constant racial bigotry which was very similar, if not worse than the JIm-Crow era within the United States, from the 1880′-1960’s and as well as in Palestine, under the Israeli-Regime, from 1948-present. This is what I think about Nelson Mandela.

What Price Freedom?

You’ve endured, so that we wouldn’t have to ever suffer…
…When we were orphaned, you were our father & mother.

When no one fought for us, you stood your ground, and held the reins…
…But, they tried to silence you, lock you away and keep you in chains.

However, Allah, out of mercy & justice, saw that you were eventually set free…
…Your life was preserved by He, who is Lord of all things, to witness liberty.

You lived long enough to weather the storm and fight tumultuous & unyielding struggles…
…You were in the trenches, while the rest of us were in our comfortable Western bubbles.

We can never truly understand why you chose to sacrifice what you do, for the betterment of so many…
…The trials for you and your loved ones were incredibly tantmount, the pain real, the toil equally heavy.

Those who were by your side, every step of the way, have been the foundation of your success…
…Those who fought with you are role-models for us, to fight for right & be different from the rest.

We learned from you to never stand aside just “Let it Be”…no disrespect to The Beatles…
…But, speaking truth-to-power is a element of bravery that places you among the Eagles.

You have soared above the expectations of many, feared by most, admired by plenty…
…I wish I could have met you, to inspire me to continue to fight for justice with longevity.

You even become the leader of the same land that sent you away in a concrete box…
…They attempted to bury your memory, just as we bury the Dead, with dirt and rocks.

But, because Allah wanted to let the light of freedom shine through you, your memory never faded…
…It was a long time coming, but, because of hard-work, we’re closer to justice, it’s good we waited.

People like you only come around, to light the way, for others, once in a while…
…Your life was like a Marathon: you didn’t stop until you completed every mile.

Gareth Bryant/2013

The Causes & Dangers of Bullying:

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To put it very simply: Bullying is a form of Oppression & Allah clearly states, within His book how dreadful & harmful Oppression truly is, “”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.221; Chpt.5, V.32; Chpt.7, V.33; Chpt.8, V.25)

Let’s face it: in all-reality, we’ve all either been the perpetrators of or the victims of Bullying. This fact is completely undeniable: we have all either been picked-on, either as lil’-kids, or have ourselves, picked-on other lil’-kids. Bullying, for a very long time, within our Human-Experience has been an unwritten acceptable way to downgrade, berate, dehumanize other Humans, for the sake of our own personal-amusement and/or expression of how powerful we are, over others. This is something, however natural that many may view it is a very severe wrong, an evil, which plagues all of us, from the greatest among us, to the least among us: Bullying is the reason why people are driven to Suicide, Homicide, criminality, and all  sorts of (negative) vices. Bullying is the reason why people go to war against one another, why people feel that they only way to resolve their problems, issues, differences with others is via violence.

People are victimized by Bullying, all of te time, for various different reasons, some of these reasons are the following…

1. Religion

2. Ethnic-Background

3. Disabilities

4. National-Origin

5. Sexual-Orientation

6. Family-Ties

7. Socio-Economic Status

…and this list can go on, forever…

…I, myself, have definitely been on bot ends of the Bullying spectrum: I was once the kid that people would pick-on, because I was short, wasn’t as athletic as everyone else was, because my father had died when I was young, because I even had a father, while others, whom were envious of this, not having their own fathers in their lives, because my mom would keep me out of the street, causing many of my peers to taunt & tease me,accusing me of being a momma’s-boy, teasing me about not being able to stay-out as late as they did, etc. Then, I get a lil’ older, by this time, I’m in Junior High School/High School: from 9th grade, onward, I began being the bully, helping my friends from school rob people, from our own school, from other schools, kids, good-kids, whom were just like me: kids with hard-working parents whom loved them, whom sent them to school, to get educated, not to get robbed, beaten and/or dehumanized.

However, sadly, ironically, it was a classic example of how a typical cycle works:

Category# 1- Someone whom wants to be so popular, so relevant, so recognized, so important, as a result of some type of emptiness, within themselves, they feel the need to make others feel low-this is by far the worst of the categories mentioned. They have this arrogance: this posture that they are everything & those whom are not them and/or are not like them are nothing, that they have no value, as in the case of ash-Shaytan/the Devil, the ultimate-bully, whom refused to obey a command from Allah, because of his arrogance, and thus, pledged/vowed to Allah that he would, for the rest of his material-existence, bully the Human-Race, until we are misguided, just like he is.(Noble Qur’an: Cpht.2, V.34; Chpt.7, V.11-18; Chpt.15, V.30-39; Chpt.17, V.60-65; Chpt.38, V.71-81)

Category# 2- Someone with a chip on their shoulder, whom was never embraced positively by anyone, or was cultivated upon any form of positivity, takes things into their own hands, and sets out to make people feel just as bad, sad, negative, about themselves as they were made to feel, once upon a time.

Category# 3- Those whom are victimized by those in category one feel helpless, as if doing the same thing to others will make things right, or at least make feel more positive about themselves, which, really, never works.

Category # 4- Someone whom has been victimized by Bullying, yet, does nothing about it: they don’t resist Bullying, they don’t tell parents, teachers, grown-ups, friends, community-leaders, etc., they just accept being the victims of Bullying, without fighting back against it.

In the Bullying-Cycle, these respective categories play-out, along with one another & actually intertwine with one another. But, what I really wanna focus on is not how interconnected these categories are, but, more so, how many of these categories, if any, do we, as Muslims, we as Human beings, actually fall under. In other words, how many of us are a part of the Bullying-Cycle, how many of us fall under any/all categories, within the Bullying-Cycle? It’s a serious-question, which all of us, as Muslims, People of Conscious, People of Consequence, Human beings, etc., must answer for ourselves. Then, if our answers bring us to the conclusion that we fall under one or all of the categories, of the Bullying-Cycle, then we must ask ourselves, “How did I even become affected by the Bullying Cycle?” “Why did I consciously decide to bully someone/anyone, regardless to whether I, myself, were ever victimized by Bullying?” and “Why did I not resist being a Bully and/or why did I not resist being bullied?”

Granted, none of these questions are very easy to answer, depending upon the individual, of course. But, still, each & ever one of those questions has an answer, an intelligent answer, and we all have an obligation to Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe, then, ourselves, then, to all those victimized by Bullying, to answer these questions, honestly/accurately. And, when we don’t stand-up, to our own demons, within us, or in our pasts & begin to deal with the reality which surrounds Bullying, as well as its innumerably (negative) consequences, the damage to ourselves, our families/loved-ones, our friends/neighbors, classmates, and all of Humanity, as we know it could be very well rendered hopeless in salvaging what’s left of our already depleting sense of Humanity, towards our fellow Man.

I choose to end with this: from this day forward, whenever/wherever you see Bullying taking place, we must stop it, in any Humanway possible, as Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has told us that “Whomever witnesses wring/oppression, he must eliminate it by his hand; if he’s not able, then, he must eliminate it by his speach/words; if he is not able, then, he must rsent it internally (within his heart). However, that (internal hatred for wrong/oppression) is the lowest (level) of Faith.”. And there is also this statement of Allah that Muhammad quotes, “Oh, My Slaves (Property/Creation)!!! Verily, I’ve even made Oppression prohibited against Myself, as well as between you all. So,do not oppress one another.”.(an-Nawawi)

Gareth Bryant/2013

A Story of Islamophobia: Bias, Fear, and Injustice

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Author’s note:
This is the story of someone whom I know personally, whom was a victim of malicious, immoral, unethical, and illegal, Islamophobia, just because they were Muslim, had an Arabic name, came from, ancestrally, from a part of the Muslim-World, and, because they were neither a U.S.-citizen, nor a citizen of their respective native-land.

This is what was told to me:

“I was traveling to visit one of my relatives; I really don’t like to take for granted the freedom and the respect I have been enjoying since I came to America. But this weekend, I have felt very humiliated and mistreated by authorities in both the nation in which I was in, as well as the US. When I arrived in the country my relative lives, the authorities denied entry in the country: they said that I did not have a passport. I’ve used American travel-documents, which is issued for refugees without citizenship, on more than one occasion, and had no previous issues, traveling to places outside of the U.S., prior to this incident; likewise, I had went to this particular country, last year, using these same travel-documents, without any problems.

They took seized my travel-documents, and also my green-card, after they denied me entry. I told them that if they are not going to allow me in, then at least just allow me to return to the U.S.. But, these guys weren’t trying to listen to me, at all-they really started treating me like I was nothing but piece of garbage, which disturbed me greatly. They thought I had no government that defends my rights, which is true-I do not have citizenship to any country yet. I am holding neither US passport nor any other national-passport. The authorities had told me that, if I had at least had a passport along with my U.S. travel-documents, then I could’ve been allowed to stay.

So, here I am, on a plane going directly back to where I had came from, heading back to America. However, there’s a lot more this-it does not just end, here. When I had boarded my flight back to the U.S.,  my green-card and travel-documents weren’t even returned to me, they were given, instead, to the airline & I was told that I’ll get everything back once I land in the U.S., and this is where frustration & anger started to really kick-in: I had told them that they had no right to keep my documents & property away from me and that I’m leaving this country. They said no, you can’t have it back. I felt so humiliated and realized how weak and unfortunate I am.

When I arrived back into the U.S., the airline gave me back my documents. When I checked in, a U.S. Customs & Border Protection officer took my fingerprints, and then, forwarded me to another officer who then further inspected me. He started to ask me why I went to the country I had just came from, where did I get travel-money from…he started an argument, with me, about my recent trip. He said, ‘You were re-admitted last January and now, again, you are traveling?’…’Who helps you?’. I told him I that I have jobs to support myself. He then asked how much I am paid an hour…he then took away my wallet and checked everything it, asking me about how I got my credit cards. He asked me to open my suitcase and to take everything I had out of it. He then took away my backpack and opened my iPad, a binder, and some letters in it, this was a blatant invasion of my privacy. When I asked why is this even necessary, he told me I am not a US citizen, so I am subjected inspection.

After that, then in the checking area, two guys took me away to a room, after I was fully checked with an x-ray machine. They did a full pat-down on me, touching every part of my body. Then, another guy took my backpacks and coat for further inspection, itt was so stressful. I just wish that I did not have to undergo all of these troubles simply that I have a name which starts ‘Abu’ or that I am an immigrant, or tourist from a country that’s viewed negatively, by the U.S., and her allies. This year, I had about 4 trips on my schedule, but I am going to call off all of them. I just don’t want to undergo what I have went through this weekend.”

Anonymous

So, upon learning of this, I had immediately, told the person who told me their story, to inform CAIR/Council on American Islamic Relations, and I specifically gave them the contact-info. of the CAIR-NY Director, Muneer Awad. Sadly, this person was just too afraid to come forward & share their story. I even assured this person that the details of their story would be honored as anonymous, that they wouldn’t be required to give their name, rather, just their statement. But, alas, they even refused that, because they were so shaken-up & fearful that if they were to say anything that they wouldn’t be able to stay/live here (in the U.S.), any longer, that they’d lose their financial-aid status & may even get kicked-out of school, get deported to their respective land of origin (even though they either never grew-up there, never been there & were only born there), detained, tortured, killed, etc.

All of this is so deeply disturbing, how our government, as well as governments like ours deems it okay to intimidate persons, just because they’re Muslims, immigrants, residents/illegals, as opposed to full-fledged citizens, etc. But, at the end of the day, these are still the lives of Human beings, and as such we all, regardless of subjective national, state, or local, religious or secular, laws, are entitled to basic Human-Rights of the following: life, dignity, property. And, unfortunately, at least two out of these three were severely violated, to the extent that this person was made to feel as though their status as a Human being had absolutely no value.

This is not how things are supposed to be: I should never have to walk the streets in fear (of being detained, deported, arrested, beaten-up/having to beat someone up, being killed/having to kill someone, etc.), just because I’m a Muslim, or an undocumented-immigrant, a resident, a Non-English speaker, Non-European/White person. This story really affected my heart, mainly because I know how it feels to be harassed by authorities; but, also because at least with me (someone who was born here/a U.S.-citizen), I know certain important elements of the law, which can protect me from most things, pretty much; but, with people like this person, by virtue of the fact that they are not at least citizens, they’re made to be “easy-pickin’s”, or “fair-game”, of predatorial Islamophobes & Xenophobes, whether they’re as micro as a Dunkin’ Donuts employee/Manager, refusing to serve you, or as macro as the President of the United States of America, who orders/co-signs drone-strikes, or religious/ethnic round-ups against its own citizenry.

Gareth Bryant/2013