Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hijrah From African-American Mosques For The Sake of Allah

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

32 comments:

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:


The widespread corruption and depravity of African-American Sunni Muslim men (with the help of the Black Muslim women who enable them) has reached a point that it is nearly impossible for a sane African-American Muslim woman to practice Islam in safety in most of these mosques. The children are also in grave danger in these mosques. There are many predators, and almost no protectors. This is why, years after my former imam retired (who is an honorable man, which is why he had few followers), I haven't found a mosque that I feel comfortable attending.

It turns out that Muslim Black women and children are MUCH safer in the heterodox Nation of Islam under Minister Louis Farrakhan; a group that most Sunni Muslims consider to be a non-Muslim cult. [Let me note for the record that I have never been a member of the Nation of Islam, I am a Sunni Muslimah.]

My reply:

I'm glad you spoke of this; not many people know the differences, and like was spoken of in another of your posts on Islam today, many black women are attracted to Islam because of the legacy of the NOI, not realizing that what they are getting into is something else altogether.

Here is more information abut the young man accused of the murder.

June 2, 2009
Muslim convert pleads not guilty in soldier's death

Play video

(NECN/ABC) - A Muslim convert has pleaded not guilty to a capital murder charge. He was ordered this morning to be held without bail.

Abdulhakim Muhammad is charged in the shooting death of a soldier at a military recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas, yesterday.

A law enforcement official says an FBI-led terrorism task force has been investigating Muhammad since he returned to the U.S. from Yemen. The official says Muhammad had been arrested and jailed while in Yemen for using a Somali passport.

Prosecutors say he admitted to yesterday's shooting, expressing political and religious motives. They say he told investigators that he would have killed more soldiers had they been in the parking lot.

Muhammad was previously known as Carlos Bledsoe. Police say it does not appear he was part of a larger plot to attack American military targets.

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "I'm glad you spoke of this; not many people know the differences, and like was spoken of in another of your posts on Islam today, many black women are attracted to Islam because of the legacy of the NOI, not realizing that what they are getting into is something else altogether."----------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Oh yes, "Orthodox" Sunni Black Muslims are riding the coattails of the Nation of Islam's many good works and good reputation within the African-American community. However, there's a HUGE difference between what happens to BW who join the NOI and those who join Black Sunni mosques.

It would be helpful for non-Muslim AAs to understand the huge differences between these two types of Muslims. Thank you for reminding me of this. As a result, I've edited the post to explicitly point this out to the readers.

As I said in a recent comment on Abdur-Rahman's blog, I won't be surprised if these deranged Sunni Negroes create a deadly backlash against ALL AA Muslims with their actions. AA Muslims could find ourselves being rounded up like the Japanese-Americans were during an earlier era.

Meanwhile, most of us haven't given a single thought about where we could relocate if things got too "hot" in the US for us. Instead, many of us have been foolishly cheerleading individuals such as the Somali pirates. [Which was another heated discussion on Abdur-Rahman's blog. This type of madness happened during the discussion for his blog post titled "Great Day in America."]

Unlike the immigrant Muslims, AA Muslims DON'T have home countries that we can run back to if things get too tight in the US. This IS our home country (which many of these Negroes seem to forget).

A good book to read while planning for such an eventuality is Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America by Mark Ehrman. I'm determined to NOT end up like the Japanese-Americans if it comes down to it.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

roslynholcomb said...

*heavy sigh* I've always understood the difference between 'conventional' Islam and the NOI. When I was a child I had a distant relative who became a member of the NOI, and then a 5%. Both were very rare in our area (north AL), and she eventually went 'up north.' At some point she became a Sunni Muslim, and then broke off contact with us. I wasn't sure what happened, but having read some of these blogs I suspect that maybe she joined one of these groups that the bloggers talk about. She was the first person I ever knew who wore a burqa, and I remember the last time I saw her at a funeral in the summer in Alabama and she was dressed head-to-toe in black. The child me was amazed at the discipline it must have taken to do that.

Because of her (and natural curiosity) I read quite a bit about Islam and the various groups in this country. I found Islam very attractive based on what I read because it seemed to be a very family-focused religion, and despite its reputation, less-sexist than other religions I've studied.

I haven't followed it that closely in the past fifteen years or so since I didn't realize the situation had deteriorated so drastically.

This issue of AAMs being recruited for terrorist activities should be a concern for us all, not just Muslims. I have no doubt that the government has been watching and has been concerned about this issue for quite some time. (No, I have no actual knowledge of this, but it's a logical conclusion.)

Unfortunately, despite the fact that it's men who have instigated this madness, more than likely the blowback will disproportionately affect women and through them, children. Through the way they dress, it's mostly women who are most clearly marked as being a follower as Islam. I remember this after 9/11 and feeling the need to smile and behave in a friendly manner toward women I saw wearing hijab so that they would know that we weren't all idiots. We had a few incidents in my area and I felt really badly for them.

Further, if it comes to an issue of relocation camps and the like, many black people who aren't Muslim will wind up there as well. Most whites in this country know little about black people. They won't know the difference between those who are 'fashionably Muslim,' and those who are true adherents to the faith. Even if you don't fall in either category, just the fact that you're black or have a 'funny' name might be enough to land you in one of these places. Let's not forget that there are plenty of black folk walking around with 'Muslim/Muslim-ish' names.

This is a huge problem and it's incumbent upon us to be aware of it and prepared to behave accordingly. It's also crucial to avoid making radical and rash statements and avoid people who don't have enough sense to know better. I know this personally. A couple years ago I was doing research on a book I plan to write. Suffice it to say, I was making inquiries on the possibility of terrorists using various viruses and such. A friend of mine with one of the government agencies called to ask why I'd gotten a 'ping' from Homeland Security. Now, you know if a popped up on their radar for simply doing research, imagine what they're doing to some of these fools spouting rhetoric in support of terrorism.

Be wary and be careful.

roslynholcomb said...

@Khadija, in a previous comment you asked about Caribbean countries that offered citizenship or 'right to return' to AA. I don't know of any Caribbean countries that do, but I'm pretty sure that Ghana does. At one point my husband and I were doing research on various countries we might wish to relocate to, and Ghana was one we investigated. I found it particularly appealing because of the widespread use of English, apparently there are lots of opportunities there for starting a business.

Miriam said...

Hi Khadija,

I am hearing alot of talk of relocating out of the USA. Even in the Jewish world the rabbis have stepped up this message much more strongly as of late. Are the NOI Imams saying the same? Are the Sunni Muslim Imams? Is it the economy that's making folks think of relocating?

(I finally understand the difference a little better)

Khadija said...

Roslyn,

You said, "At some point she became a Sunni Muslim, and then broke off contact with us."----------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: {sarcasm mode on} Lovely, just lovely behavior on her part. This sort of behavior really recommends the faith to outsiders. {saracsm mode off}

You said, "Unfortunately, despite the fact that it's men who have instigated this madness, more than likely the blowback will disproportionately affect women and through them, children. Through the way they dress, it's mostly women who are most clearly marked as being a follower as Islam."------------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: This is exactly the reason why I've been enraged with the cowardly Muslim males (Negro AND immigrant) who pressure women into wearing hijab. While the Muslim immigrant males anglicize their first names, shave their beards, and go out drinking with their White work buddies in order to blend in. While many Negro Muslim males keep their "slave names" in order to blend in.

While these Muslim men in terms of genitalia ONLY hide, they eagerly throw Muslim women out onto the front lines to deal with the enmity that they've stirred up.

You said, "Further, if it comes to an issue of relocation camps and the like, many black people who aren't Muslim will wind up there as well. Most whites in this country know little about black people. They won't know the difference between those who are 'fashionably Muslim,' and those who are true adherents to the faith."------------------------------------------------------------
RESPONSE: This is true. A LOT of folks will be swept up in any roundup.

Also, thanks for the info about Ghana. As you can see, my question to the Caribbean readers who want to seize a slice of our civil rights pie was NOT totally rhetorical.

I'll look into Ghana even though I'm skittish about Africa in general---these countries tend to be just too fragile and volatile in their politics. Too often, an election goes wrong, and then suddenly people are running through the streets chopping each other up with machetes. Which is what happened in recent years with an African country that was previously perceived as stable.

In terms of evaluating countries, I try to research the question: "What sorts of things have these peoople done before when the political/economic s*** hits the fan in this country?" Some places tend to have isolated outbreaks of violence. Other places go completely insane.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Tam said...

Hi Khadija,

This is such a timely post.

I grew up Sunni Muslim. However, I have developed a rage and anger against the adherents both AA and non AA. Both groups have bastardized the religion. I have more first hand knowledge of the AAs that "practice their deen" than non AAs, but I know enough about them to make me say I want no parts of either group.

Here are a few examples of why I don’t care for either group.

I can not stand to hear your common everyday Black person pronounce things with an Arabic dialect, yet speak Ebonics.

Then there's the whole covering issue: veils, sunglasses, gloves which cover hennaed hand.

They believe non AA beauty is superior our own. They just replaced lusting after White beauty with Arab beauty.

The multiple "marriages" by the men.

The hatred of the government, then begging the government for money to take care of all their children (this has lessened since the welfare repeals).

The women who have babies by different men, under the guise of marriage.

The women who are co – wives (just pathetic).

Allegations of child molestation being swept under the rug.

Physical abuse being swept under the rug.

Allowing their underage girls to be married to older men (yes, it happens here in America).

The hatred of Jews (this is so not our fight).

They believe the non AA’s ice is always colder. They will not patronize an AA Halal market, citing the food is probably not Halal, but will run to the non AA Halal market who clearly sells non Halal items.

The Muslims I know won’t step foot in a church or anyone else’s place of worship no matter what.

Eating with their hands while sitting on the floor.

The excusing of non AA Muslim merchants for selling beer, wine, pork etc.

The superior feeling against Lost Founds - this is a name the NOI gave to Black folk who were born again, but rejected Islam (this shows a lot of the converts came from the NOI).

Their lack of curiosity. If it is not in the Quran or Hadith, it is not so.

The fact that no matter how silly something is they never question it. Case in point, if you enter the typical Sunni Muslim's home you will notice the bathroom door is always closed. Why, you may ask, because there are jinns that live in the bathroom. Are you kidding?!?!?

Then there are the non AAs. They do not respect us even when we are practicing the deen as it should be. They do sport a superior attitude; however unlike when Whites do it we never call them on it. I will never forget a family member was questioned on his eating of Halal meats, in the meat store. This guy was a lowly employee who had no right to question him. My family member should have checked him; however he gave his answer, and then said to me he was just testing me.

Also, the cleaniness of the meat stores should be called into question. I have seen many suspect arthropods in those stores. This from a group of people who we believe are supposed to be so clean.

They enter other countries and disrespect other’s lands and still demand preferential treatment. They are very xenophobic and have no problems in letting you know how they feel.

These are just my rambling observations. Most are general observations, but I can tell you my observations are benign compared to the real examples that I could give on growing up and knowing other Muslims. It’s enough to make you scream, then walk away.

Khadija said...

Part 1

Miriam,

You said, "I am hearing alot of talk of relocating out of the USA. Even in the Jewish world the rabbis have stepped up this message much more strongly as of late. Are the NOI Imams saying the same? Are the Sunni Muslim Imams? Is it the economy that's making folks think of relocating?"---------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: There are several things going on simultaneously with this overall situation:

1-The federal government is sending in agents provocateur to mosques in order to entrap whoever is foolish/gullible enough to be entrapped.

2-Meanwhile, there really are deranged Muslims who do need to apprehended before they kill.

3-Sunni Negro imams are typically too stupid/too fearful to have a plan in place for how to deal with suspected agents provocateur.

4-The NOI does NOT in any way, shape or form, support terrorism. The NOI has NEVER supported political or religious violence, including under Elijah Muhammad's leadership.

5-It would appear that Elijah Muhammad designed a protocol for how to handle agents provocateur. The federal government has been trying to set up the NOI for trumped-up charges for DECADES, and has thus far been unsuccessful. The NOI is too savvy to get caught up like that.

6-Immigrant Muslim organizations tend to cheerfully throw Negro Sunni accused terrorists under the bus; but scream when immigrant Muslims are accused of being terrorists.

To put this in context, let me repeat some of the comments I've made over at Abdur-Rahman's blog. I said:

"...Salaams. My issue with these ““alphabet boys”” entrapment round-ups is that they’’re indiscriminate. They round up people who are merely foolish and gullible in addition to those who actually need to be rounded up.

...There are a LOT of angles to the situation that led to these arrests: The rampant criminality within the BAM ummah, the deceptive practices of many immigrant Muslims as pertains to BAMs, prosecutorial misconduct on the part of the ““alphabet boys,”” the gullibility of many BAMs, the ethnic self-hatred of many BAMs––which leads to us making dealing with other people’’s problems and enemies a priority over dealing with our own, the lack of emotional discipline among many BAMs, the refusal to learn from what happened before, etc.
The list of issues (that we collectively need to rectify) that these arrests touch upon is almost endless."

Khadija said...

Part 2

I said:

"...Again, I don’’t know how accurate any of this is, but this is from today’’s New York Times:

““Informer’’’’s Role in Bombing Plot

Everyone called the stranger with all the money ““““Maqsood.”””” He would sit in his Mercedes, waiting in the parking lot of the mosque in Newburgh, N.Y., until the Friday prayer was over. Then, according to members of the mosque, the Masjid al-Ikhlas, he approached the young men.

He asked Shakir Rashada, 34, if he wanted to come over for lunch. He offered Shafeeq Abdulwali, 39, a job, perhaps at his construction company. Jamil Muhammed, 38, said he was offered cellphones and computers.

The man, a Pakistani, occasionally approached the assistant imam of the mosque, proposing meetings, or overpaying for a sandwich he would buy at a mosque fund-raiser. In time, many of the mosque’’’’s older members had made the man for a government informant, according to mosque leaders. They said that he seemed to focus most of his attention on younger black members and visitors.

. . . The imam in Newburgh, Salahuddin Mustafa Muhammad, said he was angry that the informant had associated his mosque with the scheme that had nothing to do with regular members. He condemned the plot, but questioned whether the men who were arrested would have committed to it had the informant not shown up.

Mr. Muhammad said he wondered whether he should have done anything differently once he had suspicions about the man named Maqsood.

““““How do you go to the government about the government?”””” he asked.””
--------------------------------------

I said:

"May Allah help the otherwise helpless Negro American Muslims. We’re so silly when it comes to our OWN self-protection and interests.

Why didn’t the imam and other masjid officials tell this Pakistani to leave and never return to the masjid? If they were afraid to directly ban this individual, why didn’’t the imam take a photograph of this individual early on and warn members away from having any conversations or dealings with him?

Failure to take photos of, and warn away from, suspicious persons is why these agents were able to infiltrate one civil rights group after another in the SAME city during the 1960s. This is also the reason why these agents are able to repeat their SAME tricks from one masjid to another in the same area.

Our negligence (failure to photograph and spread the word about suspicious persons) is the reason why agents can go from one masjid to another in the same area and repeat their tricks. Even AFTER testifying in court.

The government can’’t even do that (””recycle”” informants) with organized criminals such as the Russian mafia——they can’t ““recycle”” informants over and over again because these criminals are paying attention to what’’s going on around them!

BAMs can enforce STRICT social boycotts on each other for the most trivial of matters, but when it comes to a suspicious, potentially dangerous person wandering through our masjids, then we suddenly don’’t know what to do.

Except to consider crying to the same government that sent these suspicious people into our midst. Incredible.

...I forgot to mention that, according to today’’s New York Time story, ““Arrests in the plot to bomb two New York synagogues relied heavily on an informant whose work has led to convictions in a previous terror case."” (emphasis added)

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Part 3

To specifically answer your questions, Miriam, here's my impression of what's going on:

NO, Sunni Negro imams are not talking about relocation; or anything else that might actually be helpful for their followers. They appear to be generally clueless and timid about trying to cope with these situations.

I have no idea what's going on with the NOI regarding that angle. I would imagine that would be a higher "management" level (regional ministers level and above, instead of individual mosque ministers) sort of planning.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Tam,

Guuurl, I hear you.

I believe that this dismantling of the toxic AAM collective is part of God's plan. As one of the NOI ministers said in reference to another topic (Min. Ava Muhammad), some things are just too filthy to be washed in the laundry. They have to be burned!

The AAM collective has reached this point. It's too toxic to be reformed. It has to be dismantled. For everybody's safety AND for the preservation of Islam among AAs. Once most of the current masjids and AAM groups are gone (with the exception of the NOI), then perhaps we can start fresh and create something healthy.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

This issue of AAMs being recruited for terrorist activities should be a concern for us all, not just Muslims. -Roslyn Holcomb
_____________________________________________________________________


Boy oh boy… where do I begin…

Roslyn,

One of my biggest concerns is the deliberate proselytizing to black teenagers both males and females. I converted to Islam when I was a teenager--lacking enough life experience, wisdom, and maturity to completely comprehend what I was getting my self into. On top of that, my family life was terribly unhappy, unhealthy, and strained. Abdurrahman from A Singular Voice has series titled: “ Why Black American Muslims Don’t Stand for Justice.” That series is really an outstanding read first off, but any one trying to understand what threw BAM’s completely off the cliff should read it. One of the many important points he makes in this series is how, and why international Muslim groups were able to drain both the NOI, and the WDM community in --addition to new converts-- between the ages of 12-20 to their political and social causes. Some readers didn’t pick up on this enough, but I did ,because I lived the consequences of being sucked into those movements. This is also the same age group/generation that now represents what I call the “Muslim monsters”. Men devoured women. Women devoured children. And the children are lost in every sense of the word.

I have mentioned this before, but I’ve met beautiful, and talented black girls from solid middle class families who got sucked in during high school or college. I’ve seen their parents try everything to get them to “snap” out of it… including petitioning the courts for custody of their numerous grand children from numerous partners who abandoned them.

When they show up to court:
Dressed like some on from Saudi Arabia
Civilly unmarried ( you know those spiritual marriages)
Unemployed for years with no prospect for work in sight
No skill, trade, or degree
A GANG of children

Of course the judge is going to award custody to the grandparents! Duh!

In any case, my point is that non-Muslim parents with children of color should be leery of Muslim groups targeting their children, and may want to be apart of the conversion process if their children decide to convert. I also encourage non-Muslim parents to participate in the Islamic marriage process as well.

I know of a case ( one of those phone calls for money) where a white girl from a divorced family converted when she was junior in high school, and married a convert boy also in high school. Of course it was spiritual marriage. She ended up divorced, and pregnant. She is having a special needs child, and is relying on her so called ex-husband mother who is a co-wife for support…

Trying not to insert a curse word at this point…

As I said in a recent comment on Abdur-Rahman's blog, I won't be surprised if these deranged Sunni Negroes create a deadly backlash against ALL AA Muslims with their actions. AA Muslims could find ourselves being rounded up like the Japanese-Americans were during an earlier era. -Khadija
_______________________________________________________________________

I also want to add that President Obama’s speech has not and will not change my position on black women and girls getting out of the ENTIRE Muslim community at this time. I will say that some Unitarian Universalists churches have rented spaces to progressive/reformed Muslim groups, and I’ve never herd any horror stories from their community.
Salaam

roslynholcomb said...

Miriam said: Abdurrahman from A Singular Voice has series titled: “ Why Black American Muslims Don’t Stand for Justice.”

I've read that series, actually I've read pretty much everything on that blog. He's an amazing man and a phenomenal writer. I don't usually comment because as a non-Muslim I think that would be disrespectful, but I definitely read the posts.

Call me crazy and paranoid, but I'm very concerned that these young men are being recruited as cannon fodder for someone else's fight. One reason, of course, is that I know that the blowback will impact us all, and as usual, women first. Most Americans are ignorant about black folk in general, let alone Muslim black folk. I even had someone ask me if my name, Roslyn, is one of those 'A-RAB' names. Never mind that Roslyn is about as Anglo Saxon as they come, I doubt anyone will be checking very closely if we actually get to the point of relocation camps.

My second concern is that these young men are being used as McGuffins, to divert attention from real terrorist activity. When government agencies hear 'chatter' about some crazy activity, they might dismiss it as another plot by these incompetents. Being that I live in this country, this frightens the daylights out of me. (Note, I AM paranoid). I don't believe for one second that these terrorist organizations are this incompetent, so why else would they be using these buffoons?

Khadija said...

Roslyn,

You said, "Miriam said: Abdurrahman from A Singular Voice has series titled: “ Why Black American Muslims Don’t Stand for Justice.”

I've read that series, actually I've read pretty much everything on that blog. He's an amazing man and a phenomenal writer."
-----------------------------------------

RESPONSE: I agree. He's also VERY brave to speak the truth about these situations. The same Negro American slaves that almost never raise their hand to their former White slavemasters, are quick to physically attack other Blacks. I pray for Abdur-Rahman's continued safety.

You said, "Call me crazy and paranoid, but I'm very concerned that these young men are being recruited as cannon fodder for someone else's fight."--------------------------------------------
RESPONSE: From what I've read, they're being recruited to some extent. But I have the gut feeling that most of these Negroes VOLUNTEER to serve as cannon fodder for their new Arab/Pakistani slavemasters.

Roslyn, the pitiful thing is that serving as other people's attack dogs is an AA tradition. AAs have cheerfully served as accomplices to EVERY military wrong that America has committed. For example, the "Buffalo soldiers" that AAs love to celebrate helped the US steal from the Native Americans. [Not that their hands were clean in terms of us. Some of these Native nations held our people in slavery. Such as the Cherokee Nation.]

Malcolm X was correct when he compared the typical AA soldier as a mindless attack dog that the slavemaster can sic on anybody at all.

I believe that the Negro jihadis are simply an example of AAs transferring our historical willingness to serve as other people's attack dogs to a new set of masters. New masters who are at war with the rest of us.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

eccentricyoruba said...

regarding Sunni imams and relocation, in my opinion they are not preaching what they practice. some African American imams have really expensive houses in UK, there is a documentary on Khalid Yasin that shows his house posted on A Singular Voice, i think that's where i saw it. this only emphasises the need for those who can to escape. when religious leaders are frauds and liars they should not be listened to.

the trend of placing the Arabs and Pakistanis above all else is also prevalent in the UK, it is common to hear Black converts say things like they prefer to marry Arab or Pakistani women so that their 'faith will be increased' and they can learn to speak 'proper Arabic'. last month there was an event in London aimed at discussing the issue of racism in the Ummah (Muslim community) though i was not able to attend it.

Khadija said...

EccentricYoruba,

You said, "some African American imams have really expensive houses in UK, there is a documentary on Khalid Yasin that shows his house posted on A Singular Voice, i think that's where i saw it. this only emphasises the need for those who can to escape. when religious leaders are frauds and liars they should not be listened to."---------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Yes, it appears that these con artists, liars, and all-around thieves have learned how to travel the globe. While stealing the Muslims' money and marrying as many women as possible along the way. Or to be more precise, "marrying with the intention of divorce." Or to be as precise as possible, marrying with the intention of a SPEEDY divorce in order to quickly move on to the next victim...err, wife.

From what I've read, it appears that these Negro criminal imams rotate from the US to the UK (and to Australia in at least one case).

You said, "the trend of placing the Arabs and Pakistanis above all else is also prevalent in the UK, it is common to hear Black converts say things like they prefer to marry Arab or Pakistani women so that their 'faith will be increased' and they can learn to speak 'proper Arabic'."---------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Self-hating Black slaves take their pathologies into everything they enter. Including Islam. {shaking my head in disgust}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

I think there is something else going on here, and I'm thinking of a quote I read ages ago in a Village Voice article, which am reminded of now, in light of a previous post you did on women becoming Muslim for a man.

That is one post you need to link, re-post here!

So in any event, the quote explained why black women were becoming Muslim for a man: go to the church to find Christ, go to the mosque to find a man.

I found a reference to the village voice article: http://www.themodernreligion.com/women/w_blackmuslim.htm


These women might have been caught up in their perception of the Nation of Islam as being a haven for black women: women hungry for protection and nurturing from black men, believe they can find that in the mosque, so away they went.

They also sought a haven from American society and all they thought was wrong with it, or they sought a haven from their bad history.

Now these women who became Muslims in this article, I'm just guessing as an outsider, it seems they became Sunni, although some had roots in the Nation. It seems a mixing of ideologies? If so, I hope they got the best of what they needed.

What is striking from a women's history perspective, though, is that old debate over equality v. protection, which was more pervasive in earlier periods of American history, and which animates the current perspectives, it seems to me, on women in Islam, from a comparative women's history perspective.

The bottom line is that women need to be very careful when they buy into protection. It is very seductive, but sometimes protection can mean vulnerability and oppression, ie., the Taliban arguing that they want to deny women and girls rights, in the name of protection, at the same time their practices enable their abuse.

It seems to me that the same thing is happening with the African American female Sunni population.

Lorraine said...

Khadija,

In our last conversation, you make me aware of some of the differences of AA (orthodox) Sunni and NOI Muslims and even within the groups some differences. I must say that this post has been highly enlightening as I was clueless. The responses have been amazing and Tam further broke it down with her keen and very real observations. I have been schooled on aspects of AA Muslims and their communities and the differences thereof. More importantly the true to life dangers women are in when part of these groups.

I find it ironic that some of the Muslim leaders use similar tactics (justified and disguised as pleasing to God) others who practice polygyny. In those religions, I have found that it comes down to having as many sex partners as you can. This is totally self-serving and pleasure oriented (and sometimes the rape of young girls) no matter how you package it.

Thanks again for this enlightening post and to the responders.

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

I read the article you linked to. My goodness. {shaking my head} Where in the world did they find these deeply damaged women to interview? It makes me wonder if they went looking for a storefront mosque in a crack-infested neighborhood.

There are a lot of sick Black folks who are going to be troubled no matter where they are, or what they're involved in. I'm more concerned about the BW who would otherwise be healthy and functional but for joining these Sunni Negro mosques.
_______________________

Lorraine,

Running through a "harem" of concubines is a consistent character flaw among the vast majority of BM in ANY sort of leadership position (religious or secular). From Dr. King to Elijah Muhammad to the Panthers to Jesse Jackson to Terry Hornbuckle---“The Reverend Freak,” to many BM professors on college campuses to wherever BM are found in any sort of authority position.

This is a consistent behavior pattern on their part. These behaviors have gone completely unchecked in AA mosques, but they exist to various degrees in ANY setting where BM have any sort of authority.

The current crisis point is the Sunni AA mosques. However, I believe that these predatory BM behaviors will escalate in other venues and make ALL of our places (most AA houses of worship, historically Black colleges, etc.) totally unsafe for BW and children. Ultimately, BW will have to flee ALL of these places. The same way we must currently flee Black residential areas to save our lives. The same way I'm calling for BW to flee AA Sunni mosques.

The plight of AA women in Sunni Black mosques is "the canary in the coal mine."

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

What is striking from a women's history perspective, though, is that old debate over equality v. protection, which was more pervasive in earlier periods of American history, and which animates the current perspectives, it seems to me, on women in Islam, from a comparative women's history perspective. Pioneer Valley Woman

The bottom line is that women need to be very careful when they buy into protection. It is very seductive, but sometimes protection can mean vulnerability and oppression, ie., the Taliban arguing that they want to deny women and girls rights, in the name of protection, at the same time their practices enable their abuse.
Pioneer Valley Woman
___________________________________


Reverend, you hit the nail right on the head! If you browse through any Islamic literature on “women in Islam” or “ marriage in Islam” you will see competing discourses up front and center. I can be woman enough to say that my low self-esteem, lack of ethnic/cultural pride, and youth kept me locked in confusion for years. What I believe is so dangerous about this is that many BAM girls are deliberately being set up for failure by their own MOTHERS out of all people. I’m not trying to create a loop hole for men to abdicate personal responsibility but many BAM mothers are responsible for a great deal of their daughters misery.

1) Home-schooling with out proper credentials and resources. Home-schooling and deliberately giving their daughters an inferior education because they believe education isn’t mandatory in being a “good” wife or mother. Home-schooling in order to conduct teen marriages with out being held accountable by our legal system.

***Think about it ladies… how do you think so many of these 12 to 17 year old girls are married and mothers so young? Why so MANY? Wouldn’t CPS or DFS intervened if they were in a public school? (Maybe not… God knows best)

And I DARE say that I think some of this deliberate on part of their mothers… I think their mothers know they jacked up their own life, and secretly don’t want to see their own flesh and blood do any better than they have… That’s what I truthfully think.


There are a lot of sick Black folks who are going to be troubled no matter where they are, or what they're involved in. I'm more concerned about the BW who would otherwise be healthy and functional but for joining these Sunni Negro mosques. Khadija
___________________________________


Trying to be proactive here, perhaps there needs to special interest student groups for high schoolers and college students. I vehemently reject MSA because many of the women you are concerned about in your comment actually started off with MSA--DROPPED out of college, and went down hill from there. Also, after reading class tier discussions on this blog, and some others, I beginning to wonder about some things sister:

For example:

Some middle class/upper middle class BW may have never been exposed to the drama that is common place in the working class, and poor black class tiers. They may not even see or know the RED flags. Just a thought.

Khadija said...

SisterSeeking/Miriam,

I admire your candor! {raised fist salute} And I'm somebody who was in a reality-defying Black Nationalist trance for 20+ years. LOL!

You said, "What I believe is so dangerous about this is that many BAM girls are deliberately being set up for failure by their own MOTHERS out of all people.

...And I DARE say that I think some of this deliberate on part of their mothers… I think their mothers know they jacked up their own life, and secretly don’t want to see their own flesh and blood do any better than they have… That’s what I truthfully think."
-----------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: 100% co-sign. It's the same jealousy/envy dynamic that is the reason why Arab/Pakistani mothers COOPERATE with the "honor killings" of their daughters when these young women/girls rebel and try to avoid their mothers' fate.

In most of the news stories and interviews I've read about so-called honor killings and attempted honor killings, the mothers and other female relatives knew in advance that male relatives were planning on murdering the girl/young woman. Sometimes, these female breeders (I can't quite call them "mothers") lure their daughters to places where they can be murdered.

I had a Palestinian Muslimah friend in college who KNEW that she could NOT trust her own mother if the men of the family ever decided to kill her (which is what would have happened if they ever found out that she had been going on dates).

You said, "I vehemently reject MSA because many of the women you are concerned about in your comment actually started off with MSA--DROPPED out of college, and went down hill from there. Also, after reading class tier discussions on this blog, and some others, I beginning to wonder about some things sister:

For example:

Some middle class/upper middle class BW may have never been exposed to the drama that is common place in the working class, and poor black class tiers. They may not even see or know the RED flags. Just a thought."
----------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: That's an interesting theory. I don't know; I'll have to think it over. In many ways it's hard for me to assess this Sunni Negro madness. This is because this heavily Arab-influenced trend only became widespread in the AAM generations that came after me. Most Sunni AA Muslims in my age group (40s) and older had either been members of the NOI at one point in their lives, or were heavily influenced by the NOI (like me).

For example, when I was in college, it NEVER occurred to me (while I was on my way to accepting Islam) to attend any MAS events. It also never occurred to any of the AA Muslim students I knew at the time. Why would we? As we perceived it, that stuff was for Arabs and Pakistanis. What did any of that have to do with us? The only Muslim events I attended while in college and law school were sponsored by the NOI.

At the time, I wasn't in any way anti-immigrant Muslims. The immigrant Muslims (and anything they were talking about) just seemed completely IRRELEVANT to my concerns at the time as an AA.

If any particular ideology, theology, philosophy, or political trend had no practical solutions to offer for my people's problems, then I had almost zero curiosity about it.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Khadija, one of the reasons why some AAs are attracted to Islam--of whatever type--is because it's a religion AND a culture. It's also structured. A culture is structured. It's logical; it makes sense to a large segment of those involved. It has rituals and routines. It's not haphazard; it's predictable. Predictable = safe or safer. Many people are very attracted to structure for that reason.

This doesn't apply to all individuals AAs, but AAs as a group are in a state of free fall. Chaotic. No structure, very little logic, very few rituals and routines, unpredictable. no compass. Unsafe. The wind can blow any way on any day. There's this "wave your hand in the air and act like you don't care" attitude among too many AAs. For people who'd prefer to live in a more structured, less chaotic way, I can see them seeking it out in other religions and culture.

I can remember being attracted to the NOI at one point but I quickly saw that they were way too sexist for me. I knew I would never be able to adapt to "a woman's place."

Until AAs have a RUCOSS (reasonably uplifting culture of some sort), many AAs are going to be looking for a way out. Some AA women, for sure, will look for a way of increasing their safety and security. Even some of us who comment here have talked about various escape routes away from the ABCs and DBRs and ways to separate ourselves from the madness. I definitely advocate that AA women need to try their best to marry into healthier environments.

It seems that some AA women who adopt the Muslim way of life may be thinking they are marrying into a healthier environment, not realizing that the environment is carried around in one's head. It's not a place; it's what a person is thinking. So if they marry AA men who are damaged, they are still in the same situation, but it has now simply changed its name.

Khadija said...

Evia,

100% co-sign. It's normal for people to seek out structure, security, and protection. And as you said, the AA collective is in a state of FREE FALL.

[Incidentally, looking at the AA collective, I can now see why many medieval Muslim scholars felt that anarchy is worse than tyranny. I would rephrase that thought to say that anarchy is the WORST form of tyranny.]

Even though rags like "Messence" lie about our state of affairs, many of us can see that we're plummeting to the ground without any parachutes. At all. As the descent speeds up and the ground gets closer, people start grabbing for potential parachutes in hopes of breaking their fall.

AA expressions of Islam used to be an effective parachute. Not anymore. Sunni Negroes have turned it into yet another anvil tied around our necks.

There was a period of time when I was in law school when I briefly considered joining the NOI. But I knew that it wouldn't work for me.

[There was no way that I could form my lips to repeat the bizarre theology that they believe in (such as the notion that "God appeared in the person of Master W. Fard Muhammad in July 1930," etc.). And I noticed that they took up a lot of the members' time with meetings during the week. Meanwhile, I needed to study to keep up with law school.]

In any event, I agree that it's imperative for AA women to do what they must to escape into healthier environments.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Evia said...
Khadija, one of the reasons why some AAs are attracted to Islam--of whatever type--is because it's a religion AND a culture. It's also structured. A culture is structured. It's logical; it makes sense to a large segment of those involved. It has rituals and routines. It's not haphazard; it's predictable. Predictable = safe or safer. Many people are very attracted to structure for that reason.

I can remember being attracted to the NOI at one point but I quickly saw that they were way too sexist for me. I knew I would never be able to adapt to "a woman's place."

Khadija:

There was a period of time when I was in law school when I briefly considered joining the NOI. But I knew that it wouldn't work for me.

[There was no way that I could form my lips to repeat the bizarre theology that they believe in (such as the notion that "God appeared in the person of Master W. Fard Muhammad in July 1930," etc.). And I noticed that they took up a lot of the members' time with meetings during the week. Meanwhile, I needed to study to keep up with law school.]

My reply:

I agree with both of you on these points.

It seems we were all exposed to the NOI in our younger years.

But in any event, the NOI culture just seemed to me to be a parallel subculture among the various ones available, but it had no appeal to me.

Many of the women converts interviewed in the article I linked seemed to need an ideology that was structured and protective. I didn't feel like I needed what they were offering; I already had that grounding.

Moreover, the sexism and bizarre ideologies also bothered also me.

I dressed conservatively, but that would not have been enough. Cover myself for my protection? Such arguments in effect would have held me blameworthy for men's sexual attraction to me, the old "blame the woman/victim/etc," and I wasn't having that.

And as we have spoken of here, wearing a veil can make Muslim women more vulnerable when they are in public. Moreover, wearing a veil does not make them safe within the confines of their own community!

I recall hearing things that some people were saying, that Islam was the true religion for African Americans, especially because it was not tainted with the heritage of Christian slavery in the U.S.

Now I wasn't a historian back then, but I certainly knew my world history and current events!

Islam and Christianity had both been tainted with slavery; the Muslims in the Middle East, their tradition went back further. If anything, it influenced European slavery, and in more recent times, Muslims in North Africa had been (and continue to be) involved in oppressing Africans, for example, In Sudan. Back then, I remember the Muslims were oppressing the African Christians in their midst.

Since then, the situation in Darfur, and the doings of the "Arabs" of the North, the Northern Sudanese who adhere to Arab culture, provides further proof that Islam is not necessarily a religion for black people. They oppress their co-religionists based upon race/ethnicity!

Although these Northern Sudanese themselves are darker than the stereotypical image of what Arabs look like, they are like mulattos, oppressing darker skinned blacks.

Miriam said...

Khadija,

I just wanted to point something out:

Even in the Jewish world there are lots of cases of molestation, and other types of abuse, mostly among the very fundamentalists -the very religious.

However, in many of the cases, its the newly religious ones who get caught, go to jail, etc. It is that way as most of the born-into- the -religion ones are raised to just never tell. No matter what. To those, the group unity is worth sacrifices; but to the very Americanized folks, etc self takes a more important role. Also, for the American newly religious, etc. they often times have relatives who won't go for it and will report to the non Jewish police system.

And so, it may be that things are hard even in the born-into-the religious non-AAs -just that they are unfortunately silenced.

*******
The point I'm trying to make is that AAs tend to be aware of their own problems, etc. But shouldn't think that others are not in the a parallel boat with the same choppy waters.

Khadija said...

Miriam,

Oh yes, I'm aware that there are plenty of foul things going on across the board---among all faith traditions and among all ethnic groups. [A White, Catholic prosecutor I know has "joked" several times about how perhaps his office needs a special division devoted only to the crimes committed by the Catholic Archdiocese.]

The things is that, as with other issues, when other people catch a cold, AAs get pneumonia. Other ethnic groups have more stable, extended family structures which are rooted in marriage. They have more of a family-created safety net in order to be able to bounce back. Most AAs don't have this anymore.

AAs can't afford the extra heapings of chaos and family destruction that are created by these predators. There's usually nobody around to break our fall. Unlike other ethnic groups, there's usually NO extended family safety net whatsoever for AA women and children. This depraved mess is often the last nail in the coffin of a particular AA woman's or child's life. To the ruin of all future generations that spring from the victim(s).

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Ensayn1 said...

Khadija, this is a great post. I am sure many African American have not considered leaving the U.S. Many have not even considered leaving the state they were born, let alone leaving the country. I know many Black folk will stay here no matter what the circumstance. I, however, have began to plan my exit. I read Randall Robinson's book Quitting America as a beginning point and will be checking the book you suggested. Like you I am not interested in living in Africa, there is too much to consider, let alone the politics. Robinson moved emmigrated to St. Kitts, one island I am investigating. Another I have been researching is Antigua. I won't be leaving soon but I am formulalting the plan.

It's true the average AA doesn't know the difference between the NOI, Sunni or Shia. You make excellent points about the Sunni riding the coatails of the NOI>

Khadija said...

Ensayn1,

You said, "I am sure many African American have not considered leaving the U.S. Many have not even considered leaving the state they were born, let alone leaving the country. I know many Black folk will stay here no matter what the circumstance."-

Lord have mercy. This is the 21st century. We're free to move around. I don't understand folks who act as if they're serfs tied to the land that they don't even own.

Thanks for mentioning Randall Robinson's book. I'll check it out. St. Kitts and Antigua, you say? I'll look into that also. For now, I've got my eye on Boquete or Panama City in Panama. I don't plan on leaving permanently. But I DO want to have the option of leaving open, available and ready to go if I ever felt I needed it. In the meantime, I plan to use some of my future vacations to scope out possible relocation sites.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

roslynholcomb said...

We pretty much rejected Africa for much of the same reason. We're still looking at Namibia. My husband lived there as a young man and absolutely wants to go back. Another major consideration is internet access. I'm a writer, he's a graphic designer and so can work anywhere, but very good high-speed internet access is a must.

We were particularly looking for somewhere with a low-cost of living, which pretty much eliminates much of Europe (with a few exceptions). Mexico was on our short list. We've been there a lot and really like it, but recent unrest probably puts paid to that. Canada is another option. His family has property there. Same with Scotland, his ancestral home and he still has relatives there as well. Both countries are a bit cold for my taste, but already existing property and good internet access appeal strongly. My fave part of Canada is the very temperate Vancouver, but it's crazy expensive as well.

As I've said before, I'm paranoid. I hope this economy gets better, but there's a strong possibility that it won't. That being the case things are getting to get pretty ugly very quickly. All our passports are up to date and ready to go.

Ensayn1 said...

Khadija I agree on the option plan. Also, you can listen to radio stations around the world by googling surfmusik or Briens Caribbean Radio stations. I often listen to talk radio in Panama, Puerto Rico, and the other Caribbean islands including St. Kitts and Antigua, to get a feel for what is happening socially, politically or just whatever.

Anonymous said...

I'm catching up on this forum. I just read this thread and would really like to clarify that not ALL Sunni AA men are terrors. Just like not all of them are ex-cons. I'd hate for people to leave this thread with that impression.
That said, most of the mosques in the AA Sunni community, currently are run by ex-cons (present cons). And many of those places are indeed depopulated. Imam WDM spent the last years of his life teaching about what a "Muslim" is and also about what mosque life should entail. Thus, many informed, progressive Muslims have left those places to the males and females of which Khadija spoke.It's unfortunate that many historical edifices have been so reduced because many Sunni Muslims were uninformed for a long time as to how to handle poor leadership.

But still, it should be understood that attending a "mosque" is not what makes a Muslim although just community life is indeed very important and should always be a goal.

Khadija said...

Anonymous,

You said, "I'm catching up on this forum. I just read this thread and would really like to clarify that not ALL Sunni AA men are terrors. Just like not all of them are ex-cons. I'd hate for people to leave this thread with that impression."-

Nobody said "all." However, I would say that it's safest for people to assume "all." I think preserving people's safety (particularly that of AA women and children) is MUCH more important than the public image of AA Sunni men. After all, those Sunni AA men who don't fall into these categories have allowed the predators and criminals to prey on as many women and children as they please.

You said, "That said, most of the mosques in the AA Sunni community, currently are run by ex-cons (present cons)."-

This is a grave problem. So is the emphasis on dawah among criminals in prison. An ummah that is disproportionately composed of criminals will be a depraved one. And this is what we see in these masajid.

You said, "And many of those places are indeed depopulated."-

"Depopulated" is a nice word for it. I hesitate to look for the statistics of how many people these predators have run out of the deen itself. They have a LOT to answer for.

You said, "Imam WDM spent the last years of his life teaching about what a "Muslim" is and also about what mosque life should entail. Thus, many informed, progressive Muslims have left those places to the males and females of which Khadija spoke.It's unfortunate that many historical edifices have been so reduced because many Sunni Muslims were uninformed for a long time as to how to handle poor leadership."-

I think that much of this reflects the general AA cultural deficit of being unwilling to hold anybody accountable for anything. However, this generalized AA cultural flaw is multiplied by a factor of 1,000 when the leadership itself is composed of criminals and/or "joyriders."

You said, "But still, it should be understood that attending a "mosque" is not what makes a Muslim although just community life is indeed very important and should always be a goal."-

I have concerns about Imam WDM's followers now that he has passed. I hope and pray that they can maintain functioning faith communities. I don't know what to make of it, but I've seen some YouTube videos of CROE members (Coalition for the Remembrance of Elijah Muhammad) gloating. They were gloating over what they claimed was the disintegration of his community. I hope that they were mistaken in their assertions about the well-being of Imam WDM's community.

Wa Salaam.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.