With all the hoopla surrounding President Obama’s birth certificate, or lack thereof, our writers at All Blogs Considered have come up with a list of ten documents that may be even more damaging to the President’s legitimacy, if he were to reveal them. It is time for President Obama to tell the truth.
“Ali Boom I ay!” “Ali Boom I ay” “Ali kill him!” translated into English. The cheers ring round a Kinshasa stadium sitting in the heart of Africa – now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The humidity adds to the atmosphere as the heavyweight champion of the world and overwhelming favourite George Foreman waits in his corner, ready to fight former champion Muhammad Ali, the hostile crowd and potentially the Zaire rainy season.
The fight is for the heavyweight championship of the world, but far more is at stake, a fight between two Americans has become more than just a boxing match. Each fighter represents something to the Africans and people around the world; Foreman, rightly or wrongly represents America, the ‘institution’ and Ali, the underdog, represents Africa, ‘the people’. But how did this happen? Let’s go back and find out.
Anytime I read an article, blog post, or watch a video, I browse through the comments, just to see how people react to various media. Many comments are absurd and not worth reading, but I occasionally find worthwhile insights.
One interesting phenomenon that I have noticed, however, is that racism is alive and well within social media. Although some people would have us believe that racism has faded from our societies, the truth is that most racist people just do not have the audacity vocalize their hatred. But in the anonymity of the Web, they feel quite comfortable expressing their lewd and bigoted opinions.
More than a year ago, I moved OneUmmah.Net from one server to another. In the process, I somehow misplaced the audio files. Among them, was the particularly popular qasidas written by Shaykh Ahmad Bamba and recited by El-Hajj Muhammad El-Barrakh and others. I had pretty much given up home on finding the original files, but I did find the Ogg Vorbis audio originals on my computer.
Anyway, I finally got around to converting one of them to Mp3 and uploading it. You can now stream it from the website or download it to your computer, iPod, or whatever you use to listen to music. Insha’Allah, it will be of some benefit to those who have been constantly emailing me asking about it.
Imam Husayn (peace be upon him), whose full name was Al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, was the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), the the son of the Commander of the Faithful Ali and the leader of the women of paradise, Fatimah Al-Zahra (peace be upon them). Nevertheless, lineage alone is not enough to warrant the blessings and honor of Muslims. It is deeds, above all else, and knowledge, when it is taught and conveyed to the people, that is far superior to class, status, or birthright.
In that regard, there are some who criticize both Shia and Sunni brothers and sisters who pay respects to Imam Husayn and his mission during these first 10 days of the sacred month of Muharram. So, the question one must ask is: Why Imam Husayn? What makes him special? There were many martyrs, after all. Why do we not remember Hamza (may Allah forever be pleased with him), Ja’far ibn Abi Talib (may Allah make his flights in paradise pleasant), or any of the other Imams from the Prophet’s family when it comes to their martyrdom? What is it about the message of Imam Husayn, the legacy of his cause, that draws our attention and even unites some Muslims across sectarian lines?
“He [the angel] said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a holy son.”
She [Mary] said, “How shall I have a son seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”
He said: “Even so: Your Lord says, ‘That is easy for Me: and We wish to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: It is a matter decreed.”
– Qur’an, Sura Maryam (19):19-21
Do you still want to burn a Qur’an?
When I first started OneUmmah.Net back in 1999, it was intended to be my small attempt at uniting Muslims by offering a few thoughts on the subject. I was ignorant and young, but I hope and prayed I could contribute what little I knew.
Today, I am still ignorant but a little older. The site has outgrown me and not the other way around. Of the thousands of monthly visitors who view the site, most are looking for the most pure guidance, the Qur’an, rather than my ramblings or the ramblings of our many hundreds of writers in the Muslim Writers Society.
People liked the way we had the Qur’an translation side-by-side with the Arabic text, but there were serious flaws in the Arabic text that were spreading all over the Internet, and I fear that we may have contributed to the spread. There is no need to ask for copying permission for the Qur’an, so people freely distributed the same flawed text on a viral scale.
The Tanzil project leaders recognized this and began work on an authenticated textual database that they released to the public under a Creative Commons license. Allah blessed me to be able to complete the synthesis of that database onto our site earlier this year, using programming skills I did not previously possess.
I have announced it before, but since it is Ramadan, the month of the Qur’an, I thought I would remind everyone that we have this free resource available online. Futhermore, for those who want a desktop/laptop application for more in-depth Qur’an study, consider the Zekr project.
As a Muslim who enjoys religious freedom in this country, as an African American who has experienced firsthand racism, and as an American who truly believes in the principles of freedom that this country claims to support, it has been sickening to read all of these reports about the mosque that New York Muslims want to build 2 blocks away from “ground zero”, and how 70% of Americans allegedly oppose it.
First of all, I will use the term “racism” in my comments, only because there is really no good term to describe someone who has malicious feelings or even evil intentions against someone of another religion. ”Religist” simply isn’t a word.
The funny thing about racism is that it can hide in plain sight for years, and even the person who harbors it is unaware of its presence. We saw this when Obama ran for office, when people threatened him and at times even went so far as to question his citizenship. We saw it after 9/11, when anyone who even looked like he or she might be Arab was suddenly a potential terrorist in the eyes of many angry Americans. And if you spend enough time living in brown skin of any shade, you experience it routinely in the work place, with law enforcement, at stores, and elsewhere. Racism is far from dead. In fact, in some ways, it has increased, while only becoming more discreet.
Racism against Muslims, for lack of a better term, is apparently at an all-time high. Not only were Muslims responsible for 9/11, after all, but they are also the “enemy” of what is becoming the next Vietnam in Afghanistan, with no end to the war in sight. Just as Japanese were the “enemy” in WWII, with Japanese Americans being shunned and even sent off to concentration camps, so too have Muslims become the “other” suspiciously watched in America.
The difference, much to the chagrin of those racist Americans, is that Islam is much more prevalent in this country and Muslims are much more numerous. We have Muslims in Congress, and your doctor, police officer, judge, or even your nanny may be Muslim, and you may not even know it. There are generations of Muslims with names like mine, with no hint of Arab, Pakistani, or other middle-eastern/south asian blood. So, yes, even your librarian may be Muslim.
Does that mean you should freak out now because we’re “invading” America? No, it’s too late for panic anyway, but there’s nothing to be afraid of, people. Islam in America is not new. Muslims came over with Columbus (and even BEFORE Columbus). In fact, according to many reports, Columbus would not have even made the journey, if it were not for the sea navigation tools of Muslims.
Since that time, slaves and former slaves, farmers, factory workers, and all types of Muslim Americans, from sea to shining sea, have lived peacefully in this country. And yes, on September 11, 2001, there were Muslims who died as a direct result from those attacks. There was at least one Muslim prayer room in the World Trade Center itself!
Therefore, people like Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News who ramble off nonsense about “sensitivity to 9/11 victims” are simply finding ways to openly express their racism, without directly mentioning it. I mean, really, Mr. Lupica, what “sensitivity” is it that these victims, and apparently you also, have? Are they “sensitive” to having to look at brown people? Are they “sensitive” to the smell of ethnic food? Are they “sensitive” to seeing people dressed differently? What exactly is the “sensitivity”?
He did not answer it in his article, despite taking up two pages. Instead he danced around the issue, never quite mentioning what exactly it was that offends people so much. What about the mosque is so wrong? Don’t the families of Muslim victims of 9/11 also have “sensitivity”? Don’t they have the right to also honor their loved ones? Or is that right only reserved for white Christian Americans?
These are not rhetorical questions. I challenge anyone who opposes the building of the mosque to answer them. Please tell me you actually have some legitimate reason for opposing the mosque, other than outright racism, and I may very well change my opinion. I will say this. Mike Lupica is right. It’s not about “freedom of religion” at all. It’s about racism, plain and simple. They hate us, and they want us gone.