Monday, January 12, 2009

Demographics is Destiny: What Went Wrong with Sunni ("Orthodox") Black Muslims

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at http://www.sojournerspassport.com/.

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

52 comments:

SDG said...

That was a real eye-opener Khadija. I feel as if I've learned something new with this post. Your mention of NOI also prompted this comment.

My uncle was and has been a member since his 20's. He is now in his 50's. My formative years from the age of 7 until I was in my early teens were spent learning that particular "doctrine".

There are things I kept. Ethnic pride and self respect and things I let go of.

Thanks for this very informative post.

tasha212 said...

WOW! I had no idea. I'm not Muslim. I grew up reading about Malcolm X, Min. Farrakhan, and the NOI. I didn't know that there was so much dysfunction within the AA "orthodox" Muslim community. Did you hear about that sister in Georgia who was put in jail for refusing to take off her hijab in court? I did not hear about any protests from the immigrant Muslim community. They seem to be apathetic about our issues but expect us to get up in arms when they suffer from "discrimination".

Just my thoughts,
Peace and solidarity,
Tasha

Khadija said...

Greetings, SDG!

There are many valuable things that most Black folks could learn for the NOI. Starting with ethnic pride and self-respect.

Although, I must say that the current NOI is not the same as the old one (from what I can tell). But it's still 1,000 times healthier than what's going on in some of the Black Sunni mosques.
_________________

Greetings, Tasha212!

Most non-Muslim Black folks have NO idea of the madness that is going on among Sunni Muslim Blacks.

I think about how many of us originally came to Islam to seek refuge from the Aryan-worshipping, White supremacist version of Christianity that prevails in too many Black churches. When I think about how many of us have now accepted a seat at "the back of the camel"...it makes me want to vomit.

If you want to see an example of the "back of the camel," just check out the link I give in my post from 10/27/08. It's titled "Ladies, We are on Our Own: Help is NOT on the Way.

The link is to a post from Abdur-Rahman's blog where an immigrant Muslim wrote in to a (Sunni) Black Muslim blog to tell Muslim Blacks that we should put immigrant Muslims' interests before our own!

If you follow the link and read the discussion, you'll see how very few of these "manly men" Negro male Muslims told the immigrant what he could do with himself. This is even after I called them out about their cringing, servile, silence.

NON-Muslims, like Victor Amenta [Ensayn1] had to step in to tell this arrogant immigrant what ne needed to be told!

To answer your question: No, I didn't know about the sister in Georgia until I read Victor's post about it on his blog Journal of Ensayn Reality (which is listed on my sidebar blogroll).

Let me quote from one of my earlier comments:

"Yes, many BW come to Islam hoping for sanctuary from the vile aspects of popular Black culture. Unfortunately, many Muslim BW find that they have jumped out of the frying pan and into the open flame!

In my response to Pioneer Valley Woman, I explained the distinction between "old school" Black imams and the current batch that have been "trained up" by Arabs/Pakistanis.

Black women & children are generally MUCH safer under the leadership of "old school" Black imams and within the NOI. Some BW are actually "living well" under the religious guidance of "old school" Black imams or the NOI.

BW & children are more likely to live hellfire-lifestyles while under the guidance of immigrant-influenced Black imams.

It's bait & switch. BW come to Islam seeking the good lives that have seen modelled by "old school" & NOI followers. BW mistakenly assume that these good lives are available within ANY mosque, and under ANY Muslim Black imam.

They are totally unaware of the differences between Muslim congregations, and the different outcomes they lead to. So, instead of a good life, many BW end up getting the hellfire-lifestyle from immigrant-influenced BM Muslims.

That's part of why I'm speaking out loud, and candidly about these matters. To spread awareness about the dangers that exist within the Muslim Black faith community, so BW can steer clear of these dangers. I feel compelled to burst these existing bubbles in order to help save Black lives. NOBODY is talking about the different sorts of lives available to BW with different sorts of Muslim congregations."


The entire situation is a disgrace.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

aimay said...

Could you please explain more about the role immigrant Palestinians are playing in black communities, or give us some reading recommdendations so we can learn more?

Khadija said...

Greetings, Aimay!

Just take a look around at who are the slum merchants in Black residential areas.

In previous decades, Jews were the slum merchants who were exploiting us. In recent decades, it's the Koreans and Arabs who are exploiting us. A large percentage of these Arab slum merchants are Palestinian.

I know a number of Palestinian attorneys. All of them have relatives who are slum merchants in Black residential areas. Of course, as one of them "joked," ALL of them claim that their relative's store "is clean and decent, and NOT like the rest."

I don't know how much direct documentation there is of this. Issues are rarely studied from our vantage point. There is a book that I've started reading by a Muslim Black scholar that discusses immigrant domination of Islam in the US. It's called Islam and the Blackamerican by Sherman Jackson.

Here's a quote from of customer review on Amazon.com:

"By Ahmed K. Sultan Salem

Dr. Sherman Jackson's book is concerned with the "third resurrection" of Islam among Blackamericans. The first resurrection refers to the period before the death of Elijah Muhammad and his proto-Islamic movement, which was essentially a "holy protest" against white supremacy and anti-black racism. In the period of the second resurrection, it was charismatic leadership rather than "any objective method for scriptural interpretation that made or unmade doctrine."

The third resurrection would hopefully be characterized by the "appropriation and mastery of the Islamic tradition." Dr. Jackson defines "appropriation" as the "enlisting of a set of non-indigenous ideas or doctrines for one's existential or ideological struggle."

In other words, Blackamericans will not come to a foreign Islam that looks to the world through the prism of others' historical experiences ignoring their own experiences and predicaments, nor to a domesticated Islam that appeals to the dominant groups rather than combating supremacy and striving for a just peace.

In order to clear any misunderstanding, Dr. Jackson spent considerable time detailing his vision for the third resurrection. The protest spirit of Black Religion must be maintained but not to the detriment of the moral and spiritual.

Put simply, what is required is a balance between protest and piety, activism and spirituality, the pursuit of secular goals and the quest for eschatological success.

Black religion must rid itself of the exclusive obsession with race and the insistence on eliminating the evil of white supremacy without an attempt to contribute good to the world. Blacks, and the other Muslims, must understand that they need to recognize the US constitution and embrace America "in protest," something that Dr. Jackson authenticates and justifies using the Islamic sources and tradition, and not to destroy themselves by victimology, glorification of ignorance, and rejectionism.

At the same time, the last thing needed is a theology of accommodation, dictated by certain tendencies in Immigrant Islam especially after the catastrophe of 9/11, where Islam is domesticated and used to bolster the assumptions of the privileged groups and to beg for their recognition.

Dr. Jackson deals with aspects of the relationship between Blackamerican and Immigrant Islam focusing on the monopoly exercised by the immigrants over the interpretation of the faith and the determination of the substance and priorities of Islam in America.

His analysis is elegant and deeply objective. This is clear from his refusal to make one historical experience the sole determiner of the goals and objectives of Islam in the US and his refusal of "false universals" where a version of Islam is considered to be the "true" Islam without paying any attention to the particularities of the various Muslim communities."


[Emphasis added]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

I might have posted this to the wrong post:

Greetings, Khadija!

I'm not a Muslim of course, but from my limited understanding, and knowing perhaps that I might be wrong, it seems to me that Sunni Islam has traditionally been the form of Islam more hospitable in expecting that Islam would develop locally within the context of local traditions, whether it be in Africa, or Asia, as examples.

So could it be a matter of those Sunnis from Palestine and Pakistan, who believe Islam in their country should adhere to their local customs, don't believe in the same application to African Americans who are Muslim?

Khadija said...

Greetings, Pioneer Valley Woman!

In my humble opinion, this boils down to AAs' general lack of self-respect and self-hatred. People do what we let them do. Including disrespect and dominate us!

Islam developed along the patterns of local cultures in Asia and Africa because those people wouldn't have it any other way! Although, in the current intellectual environment of Islamic revivalism, segments of people even in non-Arab countries equal "Islamic awakening" with the Saudi/Wahhabi version of the faith.

Back to AAs: This is yet another manifestation of the same problem that we have across the board. Since we don't value ourselves, we slavishly follow anybody and everybody else who will allow us to follow them.

I notice similar patterns with Black Christians. For example, consider the number of Black Christians who are willing to attend churches run by White ministers. Contrast this with the number of White Christians willing to attend churches run by Black ministers.

I'm NOT at all suggesting that anybody and everybody who attends faith services run by non-Blacks is being servile to these people.

My point is that AAs (and Blacks in general) are willing to follow non-Black, non-AA leadership. Meanwhile, the reverse is generally not true. There is NO reciprocity in terms of other people being willing to follow us in similar numbers as those of us who follow "them."

Across the board, the bulk of AAs are only really comfortable as followers and water carriers for other people. Be they Whites, foreign Muslims, other so-called people of color, "biracials," or whoever is NOT "us."

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Across the board, the bulk of AAs are only really comfortable as followers and water carriers for other people. Be they Whites, foreign Muslims, other so-called people of color, "biracials," or whoever is NOT "us."

This all leads back to the fact that African Americans do not have a CULTURE. I know that lots of folks don't understand this but: having a "reasonably uplifting CULTURE of some sort" comes ***before*** political or economic advancement. This is why the more that AAs seem to economically and politically advance, the more things stay the same or get worse. This will simply continue. There has never been a sizeable group that advanced politically and economically without a reasonably uplifting culture of some sort (RUCOSS) LOL! I've given this an acronomyn because I'm going to start writing more about this on my site.

Some individuals in the group will advance, but not the group. As a social scientist, I know this as well as I know my children's names, and it's such a disservice that prominent AA social scientists are not doing more to get this foundation idea across.

No building can stand on a non-existent foundation. And for those folks who proudly talk about "our AA culture," I have to point out that what we had was simply a slapped-together response to slavery and Jim Crow. It served us well then, but it does nothing for us now because conditions in the environment have changed but MOST AAs haven't changed their response to the new environment or adapted to the new environment.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Evia!

You said, "This all leads back to the fact that African Americans do not have a CULTURE. I know that lots of folks don't understand this but: having a "reasonably uplifting CULTURE of some sort" comes ***before*** political or economic advancement. This is why the more that AAs seem to economically and politically advance, the more things stay the same or get worse. This will simply continue."

EXACTLY! This is why we're so eager to try to become somebody/anybody else. This is why we follow somebody/anybody else who seems to have what you called "a reasonably uplifting culture of some sort (RUCOSS)."

You said, "And for those folks who proudly talk about "our AA culture," I have to point out that what we had was simply a slapped-together response to slavery and Jim Crow. It served us well then, but it does nothing for us now because conditions in the environment have changed..."

EXACTLY! AAs being tossed together because nobody else will have us is NOT the same as developing a healthy culture based upon choosing to be among each other! It is NOT the same as developing positive connections to each other.

Culturally "empty" people CANNOT compete with others who have a secure foundation within themselves.

Evia, I've also watched things over the years. For example, I've watched how having a native language other than English provides a psychological "shield" for others (Latinos, Arabs, Koreans, etc.). It gives them a way to exclude others. This matters a LOT psychologically. Even if the power to exclude only extends to the ability to exclude others from your conversation!

AAs don't exclude anybody from anything of ours! And we refuse to develop things that we can have for ourselves (like everybody else). Instead, we like to pretend that our handicapped, negative, "tossed together" stuff is as strong as real cultural "shields."

This is part of why I was so enraged with the notion of supporting so-called Ebonics. Notice that we'll support ANY slave-plantation-based BS (made up ghetto/welfare recipient names, Ebonics, etc.). We'll try to pretend that this is equal to real stuff. It's not.

We'll support anything instead of learning a REAL African language that we could use the same way that others use REAL languages (not slave-based dialects) as cultural shields. We'll support anything except taking the time to research REAL non-Western names. Including liquor, car, and soap opera-derived names.

People with a real culture don't name their children after liquor and car brands.

If the Jews in Israel/Palestine could resurrect a language that they had mostly stopped speaking (Hebrew), we could do a similar thing for ourselves with an African language. If we wanted to.

Slave-based cultural debris CANNOT compete with living, breathing cultures! Lifting up mediocre, slave-based debris is hindering us from forming something that's actually functional.


The NOI makes progress based upon the fact that it supplies its followers with an ideology that they came up with themselves. This gives them a psychological "shield" of self-confidence.

NOI members are not blindly imitating other people. When they borrow from the outside, they make sure to do so in a way that meets their own needs. Just like the Japanese. Just like other healthy people. Except us.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

mrleexslave said...

I have nothing but love for my Muslim Family especially the Black Muslims. The reason I could never accept so called orthodox Islam, is that when Black people align themselves with them they seem to forget they are still BLACK. I refer to them as wannabe arab-negroes, first and foremost we live in the Hell's of north AmeriKKKa not Africa or any Middle Eastern country, why do you my people dress like you just got off the a boat. To be a Muslim does not mean you have to dress, talk, and look like you do not belong in this country. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad says" ACCEPT YOUR OWN AND BE YOUR SELF".

To my Sisters, why put up with these knuckleheads, when their interpretation of the Holy Quran is off base. The Holy Quran does not condone the abuse of Women. Stop being foolish, remember O J has made it easy for you. Brothers stop imitating them damn arabs let's be real Muslims, and treat Our Women like the Mothers of Civilization and the Producers of Gods, which they are.

DJ Black Adam said...

Though I am a Christian and have theological differnces with the NOI, I respect them for many of the same reasons you do.

This was very informative to me, that you for posting such a rich article.

JaliliMaster said...

"In my humble opinion, this boils down to AAs' general lack of self-respect and self-hatred. People do what we let them do. Including disrespect and dominate us!"

True. However, it also has alot to do with not having the respect of others. Immigrant muslims cannot try that elsewhere. If one knows you will take it, they'll be more than happy to offer you crap.
_____________________________


"Islam developed along the patterns of local cultures in Asia and Africa because those people wouldn't have it any other way! Although, in the current intellectual environment of Islamic revivalism, segments of people even in non-Arab countries equal "Islamic awakening" with the Saudi/Wahhabi version of the faith."

Remember, those other cultures, whether in Asia or Africa, were the culture of the country. In America, there is no real culture and on the 'traditions' of whites is considered truly American, despite the fact that they are just bastardised europeans.
________________________


"Back to AAs: This is yet another manifestation of the same problem that we have across the board. Since we don't value ourselves, we slavishly follow anybody and everybody else who will allow us to follow them."

So we cannot really blame immigrant Muslims. If we continue to operate with enslaved minds, those same minds shall bear fruit. Khadija, I'm telling you, it's not an AA thing, it's a black thing. I've heard enough Africans trying to act all superior to western blacks, but as a Nigerian, I can tell you that this lack of value that is placed on black life is not only amongst AA. The only reasons why Africans suffer the effects less is because the culture in most African countries is still intact. Look at the bastardised nations in North AFrica that has started to rot due to the arabs, or look at the 'oh-so-glorious' mess that ia South Africa. Other AFrican countries are only able to withstand the onslaught of non-black interference because they still have their culture.
___________________________

"I notice similar patterns with Black Christians. For example, consider the number of Black Christians who are willing to attend churches run by White ministers. Contrast this with the number of White Christians willing to attend churches run by Black ministers."

Is that not less to do with black folks' supposed foolishness, but more to do with white folks' just being inherently racist?!
_________________________

"Across the board, the bulk of AAs are only really comfortable as followers and water carriers for other people. Be they Whites, foreign Muslims, other so-called people of color, "biracials," or whoever is NOT "us.""

The bulks of western blacks are like this, not just African-Americans. This is probably the only difference I've noticed between AFrican Blacks and Western Blacks. Somebody who is not black cannot expect to go to an African country (that is still 'African', not those fools who are members of the arab-league) and be a leader. You can do business, work etc., but when it comes to leadership, you take a back seat, even if you were born and bred in the country. Infact, the chance of a non-black born in say, Nigeria, becoming a viable politician is much less than the chances of it happening to an African AMerican who moves there. It's unfortunate that the emphasis African put on culture, they don't put on racial (or African) pride.

JaliliMaster said...

I really like your blos Khadija, it's opened my eyes to things I never even imagined. I thought Negros were only still playing Massa with white folks, but it seems that there are some who will do it for anyone.

Do you think that self-hate on the part of these blackamerican muslim men has something to do with them being so keen on following these immigrant muslims, as they may prefer it to the NOI (which I never believed was genuinely Islamic), as they can focus less on the fact that they are black. Afterall, the ethnic pride that NOI teaches might not be top of the list for these men.

Khadija said...

Greetings, mrleexslave!

I had no idea that Sunni Black Muslims had become slave-minded like this, until:

(1)I got internet access about 5 years ago and was exposed to madness like the following article by a Sunni BM Muslim named Tariq Nelson called The New Passing. This...material...can be found at:

http://www.tariqnelson.com/2006/11/
07/the-new-passing/

Curiously, the individual who wrote this...material...is apparently respected within Sunni Black Muslim blog circles. {shaking my head}

(2)When looking for a new masjid to attend after my imam retired. I still haven't found one, so I pray at home. {long sigh}

I shudder to think what will happen to the NOI when Min. Farrakhan passes. There are other groups like CROE (Coalition for the Remembrance of Elijah Muhammad) that are preserving the teachings, including those that pertain to ethnic self-respect. But CROE is a minority within a minority faction within a minority religion among AAs.
__________________

Greetings, DJ Black Adam!

Thank you for your kind words about the post. I truly appreciate it. Sunni Black Muslims are still riding the coattails of the NOI's good works among Black folks.

I believe that this is about to end, as the chaos from our madness increasingly spills over into public view. Such as when the jailbird Sunni Muslim Negroes with ayatollah-length beards killed the police officer in the Philly area.

The more non-Muslim Black folks see of Sunni Black Muslims, the more they will learn to hate us. And the less other Blacks will care if and when the US government rounds us up into detention camps like the Japanese-Americans during WWII.

This is why I have a passport, and I'm investigating other places I can live comfortably if I feel that the situation is getting too crazy here for Muslims. I'm not going out like the Japanese-Americans. I intend to have the sense to run before that happens.
_______________________

Greetings, Jalilimaster!

Thank you for your kind words about the blog. I truly appreciate it.

You said, "Khadija, I'm telling you, it's not an AA thing, it's a black thing. I've heard enough Africans trying to act all superior to western blacks, but as a Nigerian, I can tell you that this lack of value that is placed on black life is not only amongst AA. The only reasons why Africans suffer the effects less is because the culture in most African countries is still intact. Look at the bastardised nations in North AFrica that has started to rot due to the arabs, or look at the 'oh-so-glorious' mess that ia South Africa. Other AFrican countries are only able to withstand the onslaught of non-black interference because they still have their culture."

THANK YOU for volunteering the truth about this without being prompted! I've met very few non-AA Black folks who will do that about their own people's/countries' problems when speaking to AAs.

YES, this is a problem throughout the Black world. It has somewhat different regional manifestations, and degrees, but it is the SAME underlying problem.

No, I don't exactly "blame" the immigrants. There's a Southern AA saying I've heard, "Find a fool, bump his head." I'm not shocked that other people act in their own self-interests, even when doing so harms AAs. Especially when we offer up our heads to be "bumped." However, I also don't have warm, fuzzy feelings for those who are bumping our heads.

You said, "Somebody who is not black cannot expect to go to an African country (that is still 'African', not those fools who are members of the arab-league) and be a leader. You can do business, work etc., but when it comes to leadership, you take a back seat, even if you were born and bred in the country."

There are other problems with African countries, but this much does appear to be true. I have to give credit where it is due. {raised fist salute to these African cultures for being UNWILLING to be politically led by non-Blacks} [Excluding the Arab League-member African countries/fools you mentioned.]

To answer your question about these self-hating Sunni Muslim BM: I have no idea what their "deal" is. I don't interact with such individuals. I had no idea that they were so widespread within the Black Sunni Muslim collective until a few years back.

This might also be a function of different dynamics applying to different age groups. Back to demographics underlying cultural currents:

Remember, this shift happened over the past 25 years. This shift happened after I accepted Islam in the early 1980s. The Muslim Black folks in my age group (40s and older) tend to have either been former members of the NOI, or were heavily influenced by the NOI (like me).

From what I can tell, this Arab/Pakistani domination only took hold with people who accepted Islam in the 1990s and later. By that time there was a cadre of Sunni Black imams who had never been part of, or influenced by, the NOI. By that time, there was a cadre of Sunni black imams who had returnd to the US after finishing their religious studies in Arab countries.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JaliliMaster said...

"There are other problems with African countries, but this much does appear to be true. I have to give credit where it is due. {raised fist salute to these African cultures for being UNWILLING to be politically led by non-Blacks} [Excluding the Arab League-member African countries/fools you mentioned.]"

I give NO raised fist salute to any of these countries (yes, even mine). One can be proud of their country (or proud of being from that country), but still call bull when I see it. We even had a former military head-of-state who wanted to join the OIC (organisation of Islamic countries). This fool was too blind to see that it was just going to be the black folks in a group of Arabs who couldn't give a rat's behind.

It annoys me that immigrant muslims would try to control/oppress Black Muslim Americans, especially when I know that they wouldn't dare try that nonsense with another group. The images and messages that go out to these countries is that black folks are 'put in any negative description'. They'd come to the west with the idea that they are better than us. Religion has been used to oppress black folks for way too long. Being a Christian, it was only within the past few years that I realised that many of the things I thought as normal, where just stuff passed on through white folks version of Christianity. It would be a shame if black muslims fall for the same thing.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Jalilimaster!

I like your spirit! That's how I feel about my own ethnic group. Yes, yes, I'm loyal. Yes, yes, I admire those AAs who did remarkable things under horrible circumstances (like Benjamin "Pap" Singleton and the Exodusters that I mentioned in a post). However, I also call BS on BS.

Unfortunately, it's too late---it looks like the bulk of Black Muslims have already fallen for "the same thing" (as you called it). The NOI and what's left of Warithudeen Mohammed's (formerly known as Wallace Muhammad) group are the only "free" mass AA Muslim congregation.

The rest appear to be slaves. Do you know that I've even read accounts of Sunni BM Muslims that have lost their lives fighting in places like Chechnya, Kashmir, and Kosovo?!! Meanwhile, these same Sunni Muslim BM NEVER once thought of picking up guns to defend their OWN suffering people from criminals! {shaking my head in disgust}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DJ Black Adam said...

@Khadijah:

You wrote:

"And the less other Blacks will care if and when the US government rounds us up into detention camps like the Japanese-Americans during WWII."

I would hope not, and I don't think that non-mulsim blacks will do that.

As you know, I am an African American of Ethiopian Jewish ancestry and a Christian, I see Black Muslims (Sunni or NOI) as my brothers and sisters, and in a common struggle, I think most Blacks (regardless of religion or ancestry) do.

Khadija said...

Hello there, DJ Black Adam!

You said that you "see Black Muslims (Sunni or NOI) as my brothers and sisters, and in a common struggle, I think most Blacks (regardless of religion or ancestry) do."

I'm always happy to hear from those of us who feel that way, but I'm not going to gamble my life on that. Here's why:

1-Collectively, our people still speak the words of unity, etc. But except for a handful of us (you, me, a few others) it's just an empty mantra we recite. Our spoken "unity mantra" has NO impact on what we do, or what we support.

2-The bulk of us will support WHATEVER the Obama-ssiah Administration decides to do. No matter what it is.
Over the Bush years, I've been horrified to hear so many AAs blindly repeat US government talking points about "the war on terror."

It's one thing for people to have well-founded, researched opinions that I happen to disagree with. It's something else to listen to legions of AA parrots reciting the latest political tv soundbite without any knowledge whatsoever of the topic.

I've known colored girl attorneys who have/had relatives fighting in Iraq who defended the atrocities committed at Abu Ghraib; and said we shouldn't talk about such things!

I know a Black Republican colleague who was trying to get other Black lawyers to sign up for the military reserves.

All of this happened years before the Obama-ssiah was elected! Our blind stupidity, and urge to believe whatever the "gubmint" tells us, will only get worse once President-elect Obama is sworn in.

Nope...I'm not gambling on people like this to do the right thing. I'm studying some foreign languages. And reading the book Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America by Mark Ehrman.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JaliliMaster said...

"And the less other Blacks will care if and when the US government rounds us up into detention camps like the Japanese-Americans during WWII."

Irrespective of religious belief, the west will always see black first. I fear that should the US government have such an intention, they'd use divide and conquer tactics first.

JaliliMaster said...

Khadija, do you by any chance know the numbers of Arab muslims in America, compared to the number of Black muslims? Would it not be good for Black Muslims to make their voces heard over and above that of immigrant muslims(as it should be)?

On the whole Obama thing, I respect the man for his achievements, but I'm not expecting him to work wonders. The majority of Black folks and black publications never really took that much interest in the going ons on capitol hill and the white house. Now that Obama is in there, they can be spoon-fed anything and lap it up. After four years, anyother demographic can say...you know, for us to re-elect you, we'll have to assess what you've done for us. They can start ticking of the promises made that were kept. Black folks can't do that because he didn't promise us anything.

I groan whenever I hear arab muslims going on about oppression, yet completely ignoring the atrocities that are being carried out by arab muslims on Africans in places like Sudan and even Somalia(these same fools that claim to be anything other than black).

shocol said...

Do you know that I've even read accounts of Sunni BM Muslims that have lost their lives fighting in places like Chechnya, Kashmir, and Kosovo?!!

Well, you just answered a question I had. I don't remember where I heard it and the details are fuzzy, but a couple of years ago, I remember some Arab leader, Bin Laden (maybe ?), calling for black american/black Muslim solidarity with Arabs.

At the time, I can remember thinking, "Lord, I hope no one is foolish enough to heed that call." Now I see that some did heed the call. Interesting.

At the time

Khadija said...

Hello there, Jalilimaster!

What's so crazy about all of this is that AAs are roughly ONE-THIRD of ALL Muslims in America!

From the 1/22/2005 edition of The Seattle Times story titled "Black Muslims seek acceptance from fellow Americans, adherents":

"And while Islam itself is colorblind, the divide between African-American Muslims — a third of all American Muslims — and immigrants from South Asia and the Arab world has been significant."

____________________

Greetings, Shocol!

From what I read, these Sunni Negro fools didn't respond to Bin Laden's or anybody else's "call." They were eager to jump over their own people's suffering to go rescue some other folks in distant lands. These fools weren't "called," they volunteered!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

*Special Reader's Alert*

Everyone,

Please read Abdur-Rahman's latest post. I've linked to it in an Update at the bottom of this essay. It directly relates to this discussion.

Apparently, Sunni Muslim Negroes have now started using the SHIA practice of "temporary marriage" to satisfy their lust. And they have found some Black Muslim women who are stupid enough to go along with this. Lord have mercy.

thediva said...

this was a really interesting post. I did lots of reading about Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammed, NOI etc. and though I did not agree with their theological viewpoints I respect the fact that they call for a real, deep and truly nuanced black pride that is more than just slogans but also ethics, morals, and economic considerations.

I was once engaged to a Sunni Muslim black man, considered converting, but did not for a variety of reasons-mainly that the dogma, eurocentric, sexist viewpoints that drove me away from the Baptist Church grew up in were still present in Islam. After a lot of heart ache and wrangling, I left the relationship as well as any serious consideration about conversion. I am not trying to slam others who are Muslim or Christian and who feel like they grow in their faith, but in all honesty, I think that many BW could improve their life by giving organized religions a more critical look and asking themselves why we seem to gravitate to these organizations-Christian, Muslim, etc. none of which has EVER put the concerns of BW women first(or even second or third). The last religion on earth to put BW at the center was,WHAT? Since Ancient Nubia, I can't think of any. The main reason BW are so 'religious' is become we are lonely, dependent, and convinced that a divine force has to intervene to help us because noone else will. It is far past time for BW to instead spend their time, money, energy helping themselves and demanding good mates, good jobs, and good health. These religious institutions can take care of themselves.

Khadija said...

Greetings, thediva!

I hear you. I firmly believe that God helps those who help themselves. Furthermore, it's not like I attend a mosque. I haven't found one that I'm comfortable with since my imam retired. And that was years ago. Also, it's not like I'm actively searching for a palatable mosque at this point.

However, as a people, we collectively are missing out on the many benefits that come from having religious institutions that are actually functional. Tangible AND intangible benefits. Active AND passive benefits. Let me give just one example.

When Irish immigrants' children were being ill-served by the public schools at the beginning of the 20th century, they didn't do like AAs do. They didn't waste their time whining at the public school system, while generations of their children were being poorly educated.

Instead, the Catholic Church formed a network of private, Catholic schools. These Catholic schools provide an education that is of such quality that MANY non-Catholics (including AAs) are eagerly paying hefty tuitions to enroll their children.

We miss out on this, as well as other benefits, by having rotten and dead religious institutions. We continue to miss out when we simply flee these rotten institutions without building anything better.

{raising my hand to acknowledge that I'm somebody who just walked away without building anything better}

Maybe those of us who are disaffected should come together to start our own mosques, churches, etc. This would be an extraordinarily HARD task. For Muslims, it carries the extra problems involved in having undercover FBI agents joining in order to scrutinize the mosque. {long sigh}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

The main reason BW are so 'religious' is become we are lonely, dependent, and convinced that a divine force has to intervene to help us because noone else will. It is far past time for BW to instead spend their time, money, energy helping themselves and demanding good mates, good jobs, and good health. These religious institutions can take care of themselves.

EXACTLY! And lately, I've been running into AA women who are looking for what they call a ***Godly man***. I didn't know what they were talking about for almost 6 months. Finally, I figured out that they're looking for a man who talks LOTS of religious Christian doctrine with fervor and goes to church on a regular basis or is a minister, etc. The botoom line is that these women expect for the church to keep the man in line (keep him from cheating, beating them, drinking, drugging, gambling, etc.). In other words, they're looking for a man with strong morals and self discipline!!! When I pointed out that there are many highly moral men who don't go to church, I was indirectly branded a "heathen." LOL!!! So I've been distancing myself from those bw. SMH

These Catholic schools provide an education that is of such quality that MANY non-Catholics (including AAs) are eagerly paying hefty tuitions to enroll their children.

We miss out on this, as well as other benefits, by having rotten and dead religious institutions. We continue to miss out when we simply flee these rotten institutions without building anything better.


Khadija, these religious organizations like the Catholics, Quakers, 7-Day Adventists, etc. run some excellent schools and they're given fantastic tax breaks and other breaks from the government because they are schools and non-profits. The rest of black folks are paying taxes to finance those tax breaks, yet their own children (who don't attend those schools) are receiving a shoddy education in the public schools.

Public school education is really the pits because the terrible behavior of a small percentage of the children in MANY public schools takes up IMMENSE time, energy and other critical resources and the rest of the poor children who are trying to learn don't get a chance to learn!! I would NEVER allow one of my children to go a public school. I've even told my sons they'd better not send my GRANDCHILDREN to public schools. LOL!

And regarding all of these folks who talk STRONG about "unity," I don't pay them any attention because it doesn't cost them anything to talk. If I were going to start a private organization or effort with anyone, they would have to put down some MONEY--like about $500+ on the table before I'd even begin to take them seriously about doing anything with them. This is really about the cost of membership in some of these black private clubs and organizations like Jack and Jill, etc. In my experience, when you start talking cold, hard cash to black folks, many of the non-serious folks will disappear. LOL!

Khadija said...

Hello there, Evia!

You said, "And lately, I've been running into AA women who are looking for what they call a ***Godly man***. I didn't know what they were talking about for almost 6 months.

Finally, I figured out that they're looking for a man who talks LOTS of religious Christian doctrine with fervor and goes to church on a regular basis or is a minister, etc. The botoom line is that these women expect for the church to keep the man in line (keep him from cheating, beating them, drinking, drugging, gambling, etc.)."


The pity is that many of these women haven't quite figured out that there are many Black men who specialize in being "church/mosque predators." The BW who does the "Ask Alexyss" videos on YouTube did a video about church predators. [Warning: she is extremely vulgar and uses non-stop profanity.]

As she stated, predatory men KNOW about many women's suffering. Predatory men know a woman's points of weakness better than she does. These predatory men have figured out that the church/mosque is the perfect hunting ground to find women to exploit.

These men know that many women go to church/mosque because they are in pain and need comfort of some kind. They know that women tend to let their guard down faster with church/mosque men than with men out in "the world."

They know that many women mistakenly believe that they are somehow safe in the church/mosque.

They know that just a bit of religious talk, coupled with women's human needs, will often get them into lonely and religious women's beds. They know that the religious-induced guilt and/or embarrassment of non-marital sex will prevent many of these women from raising a fuss when the man discards them like a used tissue.

{long sigh}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,


I am speechless at this post.


It seems that ATR are trending this way as well so I wonder if any religions are functional when it comes to Blacks.


There are some in ATR in the US that are starting polygamous cult like sections when even a well respected female chief from Nigeria in the religion has spoken out against AA's trying to imitate this practice.


I have had issues with finding teachers mentors in the US bc Black nationalism has overtaken some factions.

Then there are factions of non blacks who refuse to acknowledge that racism or sexism exists and they have clients/mentees that are black and female and their issues aren't even acknowledged at all. Or they are anti African.


Then you have people who blend the religion Blacks tend to take Christian/Islamic beliefs with a splash of nationalism and blend while non blacks tend to take catholicism/new age/wicca/hindu/voudoun/celtic and blend.


I have been tinkering with going to Africa, but with the native yoruba that I have met it seems that Islam or Christianity has a wide and deep influence on them- making even some anti ATR. I hope that there are still functional people who practice traditional religion somewhere.


One of the reasons I was drawn to my religion was bc of the divine feminine and the balance there. Now there are people who are trying to limit women- what they can do- how much they can learn.




"As she stated, predatory men KNOW about many women's suffering. Predatory men know a woman's points of weakness better than she does. These predatory men have figured out that the church/mosque is the perfect hunting ground to find women to exploit.

These men know that many women go to church/mosque because they are in pain and need comfort of some kind. They know that women tend to let their guard down faster with church/mosque men than with men out in "the world.""



I can remember when I was still a Christian and I was searching for a church i had an old BM warn me of this in so many words. He told me to be careful.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Aphrodite!

I'm speechless about the entire situation.

When I think about the mental and spiritual journeys some of the early (1930s-1940s) Black Muslim pioneers took to escape from the clutches of a White supremacist version of Christianity...with HUGE obstacles placed in their path by racist Whites AND some immigrant Muslims...

...This isn't the first generation of problems between AA Muslims and these Muslim immigrants! Here's a quote from the book Black Pilgrimage to Islam by Robert Dannin:

"Many new [AA] Muslims adopted a tabula rasa approach and absorbed whatever teachings came their way...Competing influences ranged from the diverse opinions of immigrant Muslims to American-style evangelists who supposedly had all the answers.

In the first case, the immigrants themselves were in the agonizing throes of assimilation. Much of the counsel they gave to their American brethren reflected Old World views that were being repudiated by their own children, indeed views they might ignore completely themselves when it came to personal or family business."
pg. 53 [emphasis added]

It's 70 years later and Sunni AA Muslims have come full circle back to having this sort of servile, subordinate relationship with these immigrant Muslims. Again. After our predecessors broke free of them.

Mr. Dannin's book also described how foreign (Indian) Muslim immigrants from the Ahmadiyya sect financially exploited poor AA pioneer Muslims in the 1930s. These pioneers were avidly interested in learning about the faith, and Indian Ahmadiyya officials took advantage of them until they broke away.

One intrepid AA Muslim pioneer [Al-Hajj Wali Akram] declared independence from the Indian Ahmadiyya parasites in 1936 and founded the First Cleveland Mosque.

Our steadfast AA Muslim pioneers went through all of THIS...

... Only to have their spiritual descendants dive head-first back into the vomit of Black self-hatred, Black inferiority, and docile servitude to non-Blacks.

Words cannot express how disgusted I am with these slaves.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

"These men know that many women go to church/mosque because they are in pain and need comfort of some kind. They know that women tend to let their guard down faster with church/mosque men than with men out in "the world."

I saw a lot of this kind of behavior when I lived in the South. I really don't care to rehash many of the experiences I was witness to when I attended a church for a few months because it would be pointless.

Being a native of Philadelphia, I was familiar with church but I had never attended one on a regular. When my family moved to the South, I decided to give it a try but was D-I-S-G-U-S-T-E-D by some of the blatant evils that preoccupied the church. It was too much for me to handle so eventually I stopped attending.

The most shameful behavior that I saw taking place was the fact that so many people took what the Pastor said as "the gospel." I honestly do not think many of the people who attended the church read their bible, or even spoke to God on a daily/hourly basis. I learned very quickly what the Pastor said goes, and NO ONE was supposed to be allowed to question it his authority.

DeStouet said...

Since we have been discussing some of the different places black women need to run from, I'd like to add black churches to that list.

In my opinion, church is only as good as the people that attend it. Now and days, almost all of the wrong people are attending it church. And since most people do not have their own relationship with God, since they do not read their bible, or listen to their "intuition" they are clearly being led astray.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Greetings Khadija!

Thank you for this post!! I have been mulling over it for a few days!

I would have no problem working with N.O.I. on some issues that relate to the uplift of the black community but I do not embrace their spiritual teachings. I do agree with some of their political ideologies about black accountability in black progress.

@ Destouet

I had a discussion at my think tank about four months ago about "Disarmbing and Dismantling The Church Mafia". I drew a distinction between the legitimate black church and the church mafias that are masquerading as real churches.

Unfortunately, I see that many people who tell me that they have "left" the church have actually left a church mafia and they were ASSUMING that every group of people who are in a church are a church mafia.

I don't believe that black women should run from the black church. They finance the black church. They make up 80% of the attendance on Sunday in black churches. I think that black women should stop financially supporting church mafia organizations and then pretending that these mafias are real churches that promote Christ. It is irresponsible and dangerous for them to continue to do so.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Khadija said...

Greetings, Lisa!

I also have concerns about BW simply running from the church and the mosque. I agree that ALL people need to flee what you've called "church mafias," and what I'll call "house of horrors mosques."

But as I noted before, simply running from these rotten and dead places really isn't enough. Our failure to build and/or failure to find legitimate, healthy houses of worship leaves us impoverished in so many ways. Both as individuals, and as a Black collective.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Lisa,

I believe that there are probably plenty of healthy churches for women to attend if they themselves knew God- but many don't. I know because I found a great one place to fellowship after my run-in with the other church.

But as I stated I think that a large part of the problem is that many people are not in touch with their God..or spend a great amount of time discerning his voice.

Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn said...

Salaam Alaikum,

First things first:

I DO want to draw nearer to Allah (God). I did not convert to get married; I did not convert to run away from my past; and I sure in the heck didn’t covert for some political ideology. I personally believe that every one expresses their faith in a different way: some are traditionalists; some are naturalists; some are activists; and some are artistic. I think all can be healthy, and valid ways to draw nearer to Allah. I believe that all people should be free to choose how they express their devotion, and obedience to Allah. I DO enjoy the five prayers; I do enjoy fasting; I do enjoy reading the Qur’an; I DO enjoy giving charity; and I DO enjoy attending dhikr from time to time. I also believe that having a personal relationship with Allah is what gives me strength, hope, compassion, humility, simplicity, and an ability to discern. That’s me. I can be sitting in the park, and a butter fly land on my arm--I see Allah’s mercy and majesty in that creature. Instantly, I’m grateful, and ENJOY the signs of Allah’s mercy all around me. That is the faith I began with.

Khadija, do you know what I believe the real crime is? The tragedy? In the Sunni Bam community? Our lack of ethics; our lack of values; and our lack of humanity. If you read Surah Baqarah or Surah Al Momenoon personal responsibility is a COMMAND. There is so much emphasis on politics, international problems, and sectarianism that character, dignity, honor, grace, BASIC HUMANITY is just neglected. My mind CAN NOT comprehend how some one can pray five times day, and than turn around and beat up their wife or throw their children out on the street? Where are your ethics? Your morals? Your values? Your honor? Your dignity? If our so called leadership were honest, truthful, trustworthy, sincere people who honored their oath as a clergy man or woman why would the callous state of BAM marriages become an epidemic? I often wondered where were the matured BAM women and men like you--I’m glad you shared what you called old values. But now I know, they have passed away or perhaps have become after thoughts in their local jummahs.

And then another issue that is rarely brought in when our dysfunction is discussed is the large segment of our community that have undiagnosed mental illness. Another issue is the brothers and sisters that were mentally stable PRIOR to converting but then ended up becoming sick AFTER conversion. I spoke about this on ARM’s new post. I won’t repeat myself but I do want to say that it is important to pay attention to last my statement sister. I’ve met AA’s from solid, stable AA families who are middle class and a few who were upper class--in the end the community destabilized them and their newly created families. Of course their families are angry when they see their child in distress and their grand children in distress… I’ll stop there.

Salaam

Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn said...

@mrleexslave

It's nice to see some one from the NOI comment on this subject. I've been listening to the NOI's Sunday sermons, and I hear such a PROFOUND difference in content versus the so called sunni sermons.

I'm tired of hearing about Iran, Palestine, and Chechea every Friday.

Salaam

roslynholcomb said...

I've been doing some, albeit cursory research, about Islam for a book I'm writing at the moment. The heroine is a black North African Muslim woman. (I'm pretty sure you wouldn't approve as it's a romance and there is definitely zina involved.)

I understood, roughly the differences between Shia and Sunni Muslims, but I had no idea that Black Muslim community here in the States had such a problem.

I know that you've attributed their willingness to be co-opted by foreigners to a lack of self-esteem and self-hatred, but I'm wondering if there's not another factor in play as well: Hatred of America. I remember all the commentary about 'chickens coming home to roost' after 9/11 and some black people saying that they'd be glad to Saddam Hussein attack America. I looked at these fools and shook my head. I think sometimes in their hatred for all things American, they forget that they live here, as do presumably their loved ones.

I don't know if they're utterly clueless to the fact that Arabs created the African slave trade. I was aware of this and explored it more while doing research for my book. There's still a great deal of racism against blacks in many Arab countries, yet we see blacks embrace these people and giving them a carte blanche. It's really bizarre.

As for the polygamy issue, in Jill Nelson's Straight, No Chaser, she talks about her continuous quest for a black nationalist movement, and how her dreams have always been shattered by this issue. I've actually (jokingly) said on my blog a couple of times that I could use another wife (or two), especially if, as Islam teaches, my husband would have to provide her with her own house! But it seems to me that the notion of Muslim polygamy is unworkable for all but the very wealthiest people. Certainly most black people don't fall in this category. So, instead, they want to cobble together a polyglot mess of various beliefs and call it 'Islamic.'

I suspect that most of the men who want more than one wife aren't really aren't interested in being real husbands to them, otherwise it's not something they'd embrace so eagerly. Being a husband is hard work, being one to more than one woman must be overwhelming.

Evia said...

But as I noted before, simply running from these rotten and dead places really isn't enough.

Khadija, the problem is that bw are not willing to run OR reform the black church or anything that bm have any involvement in because bw don't want to desert bm ministers even when the women know that the minister is talking "stuff." Bw are constantly feeling sorry for bm. I hear this a lot. This is a BIG problem.

This pity drives a lot of the pathology in the bc, the black church, and in black social circles. Most bw reading this KNOW this, but most won't ever talk about it because so many bw feel so sorry for bm.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

You didn't accept Islam to please a man, but the reality is that a LARGE percentage of AA Muslim women did. As one sister said, they "became Muslim for a man." Which usually leads to a bad situation where "Islam" for the woman becomes whatever her huzzband says it is. Which provides the fast track to exploitation.

You made a very good point when you noted that,"Another issue is the brothers and sisters that were mentally stable PRIOR to converting but then ended up becoming sick AFTER conversion...

...I’ve met AA’s from solid, stable AA families who are middle class and a few who were upper class--in the end the community destabilized them and their newly created families. Of course their families are angry when they see their child in distress and their grand children in distress…"


This is one of several reasons why (as I told DJ Black Adam) the more non-Muslim Black folks see of Sunni Black Muslims, the more they will learn to HATE us. We are earning deep-seated enmity by our behavior.

The immigrants' have earned a great deal of enmity by their funky, ungrateful attitudes (with an America that provided them refuge from their tyrants back home). As BAMs, we're about to get our comeuppance. Soon.

I don't think this situation is so much about mental illness. [Although there is mental illness everywhere, including houses of worship.] I think that this is primarily about EVIL.
_____________________

Greetings, Roslyn!

I'm not a "scold" about non-marital sexuality. LOL! I'm more concerned about the ethics of how sexual partners treat each other.

I believe that it is preferable for sex to take place in the context of a marriage (or a committed partnership in the case of lesbians and gays).

I believe that sex taking place in the context of a marriage (or committed partnership for gays/lesbians) increases the odds of it being respectful. Even though I believe these things, I'm not a scold about zina. Marriage does NOT guarantee respectful, considerate treatment. Just look at the "marriages" that Abdur-Rahman is discussing!

I'm more concerned about ethical expressions of sexuality, and power disparities between sexual partners than any other consideration.

You said, "I know that you've attributed their willingness to be co-opted by foreigners to a lack of self-esteem and self-hatred, but I'm wondering if there's not another factor in play as well: Hatred of America."

My response:

I believe that most roads with these Sunni Black Muslims leads back to immigrant domination and influence. Which is only possible because of a lack of ethnic self-respect and self-confidence. Not so much hatred of America. It's not like they hate or hated America based upon their own independent thought prior to encountering the immigrants.

I have the feeling that most of these Sunni Black Muslims were totally APOLITICAL before the immigrants trained them to focus on Palestine, Kashmir, and Chechnya.

I have the feeling that these were BM who read nothing except the sports pages in the newspapers. And read the sports pages before reading the front page. People who were NOT keeping track of American foreign policy. People who never even heard of Kashmir before.

These Sunni Black Muslims don't seem to have any independent opinions about anything! These Sunni Blacks only hate whoever the immigrants hate. And only for the same reasons as the immigrants."

They are mostly parrots with no thoughts of their own.

Ah...yes. I remember those misadventures from Jill Nelson's book Straight, No Chaser. I also really enjoyed her book Volunteer Slavery.
_______________________

Hello there, Evia!

You said, Khadija, the problem is that bw are not willing to run OR reform the black church or anything that bm have any involvement in because bw don't want to desert bm ministers even when the women know that the minister is talking "stuff." Bw are constantly feeling sorry for bm. I hear this a lot. This is a BIG problem."

Yes, this behavior pattern is a huge problem. It's also a death sentence for those BW who engage in it! Spiritual death, emotional death, and in some cases, physical death. The BW who refuse to either run from, OR reform, the oppressive things they participate in are DOOMED.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

"The most shameful behavior that I saw taking place was the fact that so many people took what the Pastor said as "the gospel." I honestly do not think many of the people who attended the church read their bible, or even spoke to God on a daily/hourly basis. I learned very quickly what the Pastor said goes, and NO ONE was supposed to be allowed to question it his authority."



I think that is all too common. You have to have video to get some people to look critically at a minister and even then - people will say we have all sinned and fallen short...

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,

I had no idea that this went back to the 1930's-40's.


The more I look and learn - the more I am perplexed.

Maybe some people don't know that history? But even still perhaps someone would be able to see where things are headed - re exploitation.

JJ said...

Khadija, I think your observations are valid and deserve a wider platform.

I am a Christian. As a teen I became very disgusted by the coonery and buffoonery I had grown up seeing in the black church. Back in the 80's when the NOI was cleaning up crack infested neighborhoods in the States, the 'leadership' in my church was fighting over earth-shattering events such as chicken fries and 'who took da money'.

Had membership in the Nation not involved denouncing Jesus as the Son of God, I would have joined.

The utter lack of progress combined w/ no clear results from any black pride talk I heard in church had left me quite disillusioned w/ the black church.

However, denouncing Jesus in favor of Elijah Mohammed wasn't something I could swallow!

It makes perfect sense to me how the Sunni BM that were doctrinated by the tribalism-infused immigrant Muslim beliefs were much more vulnerable to subjugation that those coming out of the NOI.

I don't know what enlightenment could reach these brothers and sisters.

But I guess if they were not attracted by a religion offering discipline, financial empowerment and structure (like the NOI), but instead wanted a religious environment where they were free to appear pious on one hand and still 'do they thang' on the other- this is all to be expected.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways and easily influenced.

How any sister could become voluntary chattel in quickie, transient Shia marriages is beyond me. Sounds like some repackaged pimp/ho okey doke to me.

Thanks for this blog Khadija, I'll let more Canadians know about it.

NOTE TO LISA VAZQUEZ: I'd love to read your post "Disarming and Dismantling the Church Mafia" but cannot get onto your blog. Is it no longer open to the public?

I am very glad I found both of your blogs.

JJ

Khadija said...

Hello there, Aphrodite!

There's a verse in the Quran that says that God won't change the condition of a people until they change what is in their own hearts.

This is true. Black folks are a good example of this. The details change, but the underlying pattern remains the same because we are still the self-hating, self-disrespecting people we were 50 years ago, 100 years ago, etc.

This underlying pattern with the immigrant Muslims has come back around full circle because we still don't have any ethnic self-respect as a people. The underlying pattern with non-Black merchants is the same for the same reason. Only the specific non-Black ethnic groups that are exploiting us change and rotate.

In previous decades, Jewish merchants were the ones exploiting us. Now it's Koreans and Arabs. In previous decades, we were begging and pleading with White political overlords. Now, in places like Los Angeles and Miami, we're begging and pleading with Latino political overlords.

The only things that remain constant are our lack of self-respect; and our place at the bottom of every social index. Everybody else is making progress. [Usually at the expense of AAs.]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Greetings, JJ!

Thank you for your kind words about the blog. I truly appreciate it.

You zeroed right in on the real deal when you said, "But I guess if they were not attracted by a religion offering discipline, financial empowerment and structure (like the NOI), but instead wanted a religious environment where they were free to appear pious on one hand and still 'do they thang' on the other- this is all to be expected."

This is it in a nutshell. These Sunni Muslim colored folks have found pious-sounding excuses for the same behaviors some of them were engaged in before:

If you want to be a player: Call yourself a Moozlim, and get you 4 "wives."

If you really want to be a _________-hound: Then get you some "temporary wives" in addition to the semi-permanent ones you already have.

If you aspire to be a pimp, in addition to all of the above: Refuse to work and call yourself a Moozlim "student of religious knowledge" while collecting your various "wives'" public aid checks.

If you were a lazy, no-working welfare queen before: Start wearing a head scarf and call yourself a stay at home mom who's (poorly) homeschooling her children.

If you allowed men to use you as a "jump off" before: Start wearing a head scarf and call yourself a "wife" in a "plural marriage" or "temporary marriage."

And the list goes on ad infinitum. {seething}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

@JJ:

You made reference to "chicken fries and 'who took da money'. "

{chuckling}

Thank you for providing a really good chuckle! I'm glad you found my blog too!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JJ said...

Ha ha! Your "If you want to be a...." list is so funny.

I can see it all being true. That's what sad.

Just for fairness...this abdication of responsiblity under the guise of piousness isn't just limited to black Muslims.

A so-called Christian BM I know made his wife take the kids to daycare at 6am ON THE BUS, then she'd bus to work, do the same on the way home, fall in the house by 7pm, cook, clean, put kids to bed all while HE KEPT THE CAR ALL DAY.

He did not have a job, BTW. She was the sole breadwinner.


Apparently he was told by God not to work, and instead to go on a "spiritual quest" that year.

That silly broad wife of his shoulda seen thru that. Ain't nobody need to drive around all day on no 'spiritual quest'!!!That's translation for 'I got me one on the side and need the car to drive to her pad all while keeping you so busy as to avoid detection.'

Wife actually got up and gave thanks for her husband's "questing" in testimony service. The church all clapped and said, "amen"!

I fell over trying not to laugh at this hustle.

Of course I was branded as 'unloving', but heck...I's a simple gal. What I know?

JJ

roslynholcomb said...

My apologies for assuming that you would be a 'scold' about zina. I talked to several Muslim women about the issue and from what I read, and from conversations with them I got the impression that I would get that reaction from any Muslim. One was horrified that I would even consider such a thing, and indicated it could never happen. She liked my story, but wondered if I could leave the zina out. Yeah, I could, but no one would ever publish it. The only romances that get published these days without premarital sex are Inspirationals, and I'm pretty sure I'd never get one about a Muslim woman published, though if I write another one I might try. Anyway, I stereotyped, and I apologize.

I must say, when I read about these temporary marriages I assumed that they would be a rarity under extraordinary circumstances. Such as when someone is away from home for work, or perhaps widows who don't wish to marry again.

It sounds like these people are just using them to get around the prohibition against zina.

I've always wondered about the intersectionality of Islam and Arabic culture, and how it seems almost impossible at times to separate the two. Again, my research is definitely of the cursory variety, but I've never understood why it was necessary to adapt another culture's dress and language in order to comply with Islamic laws. As I understand it both sexes are admonished to adopt 'modest' clothing. I don't understand why that can't still be Western clothes if one is from a Western culture. It's just odd to me that when I see Muslim women from Eastern cultures, India, Indonesia they look markedly different from women from Arab cultures. Yet, Muslim women, particularly black Muslim women seem to look as Arab as anyone in the KSA.

Another thing I've wondered about is this issue of there being more black Muslim women than men. I'm wondering how that came about, especially if most of these women converted in order to please a man. Is it simply part of the fact that there are more black women available than black men? It's always struck me as odd that there are more Western women converting to Islam than men. In my story the man converts, but I understand that's a rarity, especially for an American man, but hey, it's fiction.

roslynholcomb said...

When will they learn to seek marriage with non-Black Muslim men?

I knew I'd missed something. I understand why you wouldn't want black women to marry these damaged black men who've been co-opted by immigrant Muslims. But, if black women marry immigrant Muslim men wouldn't they be co-opted as well? Or are you more concerned about them being 'gamed?' It would seem to me that the men would have the same racist mindset that you're finding so appalling with the immigrant Sunni imams. Or am I missing something?

Khadija said...

Hello there, Roslyn!

No harm, no foul about assuming that I would be a "scold" about zina. LOL! I know I'm violating Black folks' protocol by saying this but: Profiles get started for a reason. What you experienced when discussing non-marital sexuality is the typical response from most Muslims.

My attitudes are not mainstream. I'm what others who feel as I do have named themselves "progressive" Muslims. Those Muslims who think along similar lines with me believe in: social justice, gender justice, and pluralism. We believe that these manifestations of justice are what God wishes for all of humanity.

I believe that bringing forth all of these various forms of justice is the ultimate purpose of the instructions (rules) contained in scripture.

The problem that I have with most "typical" Muslims is that they're so caught up in literally following what they believe are the religious rules that they have forgotten the underlying purpose of the rules: justice, and the realization of human potential. All of which is impossible under oppressive conditions. Be they family, social, gender, or societal oppression.

BLINDLY following what you believe are the religious rules ALWAYS leads to unintended cruelty.

Let's take the zina example. When I hear Muslim Black women loudly stating that there should never be any sex outside marriage, I can tell that they haven't thought any of this through.

When I bring up the fact that (under current circumstances) strictly enforcing/encouraging this rule would lead to 70% of Black women NEVER experiencing sex in their entire lives, they seem shocked. Like they've never seriously considered the consequences of their stated positions.

I ask them, is condemning 70% of Black women to NEVER experiencing sex the end result that you think God wants?

When typical Muslims foam at the mouth about gays and lesbians, I ask the following questions:

Since gays can't legally marry each other, what would you have them do? Remain celibate their entire lives? Would you have them marry those of the opposite sex while living in the closet? After all, what "straight" person would knowingly marry a person who was struggling with their sexual orientation? Do you realize that these demonization campaigns forces gays underground, and creates pressures to live on the "down low"? [Which creates a series of other problems.]

The final question is whether or not THIS sequence of events is what they think God wants.

To sum it up, I believe in rules, including religious rules. I ALSO believe that before implementing/advocating rules, one should consider the following: What type of harm was the rule meant to prevent or mitigate? Will strictly enforcing this rule accomplish that purpose? Does enforcing the rule create an even greater injury to the people involved?

As far as I'm concerned, failure to consider these questions when advocating or enforcing religious rules shows a reckless disregard for human life and human dignity.

Back to the zina:

To me, the underlying point seems to be about increasing the odds that a sexual relationship would NOT bring harm to the people involved (including any children that are produced by the sexual relationship).

This seems to be the larger point of rules about fornication. NOT making sure that everybody has a marriage license before they have sex.

About marriage to non-Black Muslim men:

I would compare it to the situation with marriage to other non-Black men (including White men). There are plenty of racists among these ranks. There are plenty of non-racist men among these ranks.

The other thing that I've observed is that non-Black Muslim men know that Western women are NOT the same as women from their countries of origin. Including Western Muslim women.

The non-Black Muslim men that want slave-wives (just like "back home") would not pursue marriage with a Western woman in the first place. [I'm talking about a sincere desire for marriage, NOT green-card seekers. Which come in all colors and religions.]

It's similar to what several Mexican-American women explained to me: Mexican-American guys that marry White women KNOW not to expect or demand the same sort of "maid/servant" service from Anglo wives that they would expect from Latinas.

The odds are that it's just not going to happen like that. And any Mexican guy who really wants "traditional" Mexican maid/servant/wife behavior needs to stick to Latina women.

Not all Latino men are vicious male chauvinists. Not all immigrant-origin, observant Muslim men are vicious male chauvinists.

One caveat: The different expectations of a Western woman only apply as long as you don't present yourself as a doormat! Then you place yourself in the same category as many of the women "back home."

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

For the curious, here are a couple of books on progressive Islamic thought:

Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism edited by Omid Safi.

On Being a Muslim: Finding a Religious Path in the World Today by Farid Esack.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Felicity said...

When I read this post, I shouted out thank you Jesus, this what I suspected a while ago, but as a Christian, I never had any evidence. When you ask for wisdom, the Lord surely gives it. These people are dangerous, dangerous, and this is the same thing the African man who was a muslim say 20 years ago on television, you let these people in, they bring confusion and he said that he is not killing 93 of his Christian relations or 5 of his Christian children or his Christian wife. He was warning about Arabs influcence in Nigeria. Again, I although I do feel some compassion for the Palestinians, look at the death dealers. Black Pakistinis have been in Pakistan, since 100AD, there are only a million and even after that time, they can only be road sweepers, look what is happening in Dafur.
20 years ago, a Christian Ghanian said at work, 'If the British goverment knew what the Pakistanis are going, they would never let them into the country'. I sometimes, wish black people can really realise that even though we do suffer racism and prejudice in European countries, we can still achieve, in those other countries. God help us! and cockroach eat your dinner, if you ever get dinner.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Felicity!

Yes, many of these Arab and Pakistani immigrants are a MENACE to the countries that let them in. On many levels, and in many ways. It's unfortunate.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.