The Police Need to Stop Policing Our Communities!

…and we need to do it ourselves!

With case after case of police brutality, it is time that we start to demand that the white police establishment withdraw from our communities and neighborhoods and we begin to police our own neighborhoods! This latest case in Ferguson, MO is simply the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

It is time for us to stop aimlessly crying out when injustice happens and start to demand and implement some actual solutions rather than begging the white police to not be brutal. Taking control of our communities would be a great step in that direction and would finally bring peace and justice to our streets.

Muslims Are NOT A Monolith

My brother Dawud Walid wrote an article recently decrying an emerging “don’t judge” culture amongst Muslims in the United States. I misunderstood what he was referring to in the beginning and engaged him on twitter. I think that I see his point now, but I wanted to address a few things and explain my points in a manner that I could not on twitter.

Please note that I am not implying that Dawud is arguing for any of what I am opposing below (indeed he states very clearly that Muslims are NOT a monolith as well). I am simply extrapolating my thoughts from twitter:

Firstly, we are all the sum of our experiences in life. These experiences affect us in ways we don’t even realize. Back in the 1990s a group of Muslims and I started a small mosque in the Newark area (that continues to operate to this day) and we were immediately disparaged as “deviants” and “munafiqs” by another area mosque and their imam with the purpose of trying to destroy our efforts. An entire tape series was recorded and distributed across the English speaking world denouncing us as somehow “insufficiently Muslim”. To make a long story short, from this experience I have become very allergic to any effort to attempt to codify a single interpretation of Islam as the “real” Islam. This also informed my twitter responses to Dawud. The very same “don’t judge” type arguments were used against us by this very sectarian group.

I strongly believe that every Muslim should be free to practice Islam exactly as they see fit and I oppose any effort (subtly or otherwise) to impose a particular version or interpretation of Islam as “the” Islam. The point that Muslims are NOT a monolith needs to be emphasized REPEATED until it sticks! There is no papacy or clergy in Islam no matter what some may say. There has been and remains today an enormous range of dogmas, practices and versions of Islam that must be accommodated for us to get along peacefully. On the other hand, if a particular group/sect of Muslims want to follow a quasi-papacy, then they should feel free to do that if that is what they feel they must do. But they should not attempt to impose that upon all Muslims. This is exactly what leads to argumentation and even fighting and killing because there is very little “absolute consensus” amongst Muslims.¬† Never has been and never will be. But we can live in peace.

Yes, all Muslims agree, for example, that idolatry is impermissible, but there are groups that accuse other Muslims of idolatry. There are Muslims groups that claim that the act of voting is idolatry. And idolators are “kufaar” and thus their blood is “halal”. Or so goes the reasoning of groups such as “Jubhat alNurah” and the “Islamic State of Iraq and Sham”.

There are indeed some Muslim groups whose goal is to obliterate heterogeneity amongst the Muslims and establish their own version of Islam as “the” Islam with themselves as the purveyors of what is and what is not “Islamic”. This is misguided and leads to sectarian war. In my very own example, I had to wear a bullet proof vest for weeks for fear of my own life.

The question comes in as to WHO is going to determine idolatry and the idolator? Who is going to determine what is to be done with that person? My answer is that each person should be left to follow their own conscience. If a person believes that smoking marijuana is harmful and impermissible (as I do), then he/she should not partake in it. If a person believes that music is haram (as I do NOT) then they should refrain from listening to it. Even as much as I may personally disagree with a neo-con like Zhuddi Jasser, I would never question his Islam or his personal commitment to God (especially since I don’t know him).

If one asks me about marijuana, I will tell them what I think and why I think they should not partake in it. But I do not see it as my job to question their Islam or to question their relationship with their Lord. So I suppose that you could say that I am certainly not “judging” that person. But that person may be forgiven while I am not forgiven for something else. I don’t know that person’s struggles or experiences. It is not my place to look down my nose at that person. Each of us would do much better to look at ourselves and try to improve upon ourselves rather than looking to see what is wrong with the other person.

I do understand Dawud’s point of view and respect it, but in my personal experience (and I know he disagrees) “judging” leads down the road to hairsplitting and fighting. We can give what we believe to be good advice and preach against evil without implying that other Muslims are irreligious (or as Dawud put it, “Unmosqued”) or somehow “inadequately” Muslim or even in some cases not Muslim at all.

Vile Wahhabi Says OK to Kill Muslim Women & Children

In the video below, this Wahhabi maniac argues that it is perfectly fine to kill Muslim women and children. Not that there is anything good about killing non-Muslim women and children (or even men) but we all know that it is a given that the jihadists believe that taking their lives is perfectly fine. But in the absence of non-Muslim lives to take, they will make takfeer and begin to take the lives of Muslims as well, just as we have seen in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Mali, Egypt and in so many other places.

These teachings have no place in any society that aspires to be civilized.

Just To Clarify

After speaking with Abu Muslimah today about their upcoming guest who I wrote about previously, I told him that I would clarify my statement, as I certainly do not want to harm or besmirch the institution. I have people there that I consider family and friends. I do not think that Abu Muslimah or the administration at the Islamic Center of America endorse terrorism in any way shape or form. I am not even saying that Jalal Abualrub endorses terrorism – as much as I disagree with his ideology and racial belief system (which has come to me through several sources in places where he has taught).

My main concern was and is that I do not want the youth to get tricked into respecting a man (Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab) who made takfeer of other Muslim groups of his time that he disagreed and thereby justified their murder. Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab’s ideology used today by terror groups such as the “Islamic State of Iraq and Levant” and “Jubhat al Nusrah” (each of whom by the way have made takfeer of each other and begun killing one another). When one is dancing around the issue of takfeer and its implications then they are entering a very slippery slope that can have unintentional consequences. We have naive young men and women in the West that are reading these teachings today and are running over to join Al-Qaeda in places like Syria. We have far too many issues in our local community in the greater Newark area to concern ourselves with rather than talking about Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab and his teachings that will only confuse our people further.

Once again, no one at the Islamic Center of America, nor Jalal Abualrub himself, is encouraging youngsters to involve themselves in the “Wrong Kind of Muslim” violence in Syria or any place else. But why teach from the man that inspires these groups? And with regards to the Arab superiority issue, I’ve been assured that these questions will be raised and dealt with in a way that will clarify any misunderstanding, should one exist.

A Global Culture To Fight Extremism

Maajid Nawaz, of the Quilliam Foundation is a man that I have grown to have a tremendous amount of respect for because of the way he is taking on the extremist nut jobs. and we certainly can not fight extremism as long as we invite people who defend scholars that made takfir and slaughtered Muslims with whom he disagreed.

Listen to his talk here on how to fight extremism:

Why Is an Arab Supremacist Speaking in East Orange, NJ?

I just received a shocking flyer for a program that is to be held soon at the Islamic Center of America over in East Orange, NJ. Why was it shocking you ask? Because the invited speaker, Jalal Abualrub, is an avowed Arab Supremacist that promotes the ideology that Allah preferred the Arabs over all other races and are in fact “superior”. He derives his tired and backward opinion from many medieval scholars who held the same opinions (many of whom also believed the earth was flat by the way)

But that is not all. Jalal also defends the notorious murderer Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab who along with his bandits were known to slaughter Muslims that they disagreed with. They are the ideological predecessor to Al-Qaeda. To put it in plain English, Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab was the Osama bin Laden of his time.

Abdul-Wahhab and Muhammad ibn Saud, established the first Saudi Kingdom. The current maniacs that we see in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and so many other places take their inspiration from Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab’s teachings and his justification to kill other types of Muslims. These are the same people that are bombing masjids, playgrounds, schools, buses and restaurants.

Is this the kind of Islam that we want being taught in what is commonly referred to here as the “greater Newark” area? Why is an Islamic Center that was founded by and is predominantly attended by Black Americans inviting a man that believes himself to be racially superior to them? Why are they inviting a man to speak about the teachings of a figure that inspires all of the “wrong kind of Muslim” violence that we see in so many Arab lands on the planet today?

We wonder why black Muslims can’t make progress when so many of them believe that the Arabs are superior to them and that only an Arab can come and teach them. Unfortunately, many Muslims, including black Muslims, will tell you that the Arabs are indeed superior. This teaching has spread thanks to people like Jalal Abualrub. Why teach a people that already have esteem problems that they are LESS??

I want every Muslim in the local East Orange area to know exactly what kind of man the Islamic Center of America is inviting to teach his version of Islam in their center.