Category Archives: Education

Abdullah bin Hamid Ali – How Islamic is Critical Race Theory?

https://lamppostedu.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/how-Islamic_critical_race_theory.pdf

Critiquing ideologies is often mired by oversimplification. And, such critiques, likewise, result in the terms under scrutiny being stigmatized along with their advocates. This applies to ideological targets like Marxism, socialism, feminism, and critical race theory. Whenever one wants to make short work of another’s perspective, all one needs to do is scream, “Marxist”, “Feminist,” or “Critical Race Theorist.”

The problem with ad hominem aspersions is that these ideologies contain ideas, which conform with the values of their audiences. Had those ideas not been present, the ideologies would not be attractive. Take, for instance, the fact that feminism, especially in its earliest waves, promoted women’s agency, self-determination, suffrage, and the right to own and earn wealth. There’s no fundamental or valid reason to believe that Islam is opposed to such aims. So, it makes sense that many Muslim women, unwittingly, refer to themselves as feminists. One, however, must take care not to assume that such a label sufficiently summarizes the mission of the Prophet Muhammad in light of his embrace of the betterment and social well-being of women. Such characterizations are a danger, which could lead one to blasphemy.

One must, also, remain skeptical of the putatively inherent and universal applicability of such overarching ideologies since one can mistake the forest for the trees, considering that their epistemic foundations often clash with Islam’s moral vision and truths. Like other egalitarian ideologies, critical race theory has its own metaphorical wheat and chaff. And, there seems to be a growing interest in CRT among Muslims in activist circles. Many have adopted its assumptions unwittingly, completely oblivious to what guides the decisions of their so-called political “allies.”

For these reasons, I’ve decided to pen together a few words that will, hopefully, provide a
shimmer of guidance on this topic.  Critical race theory (CRT) is an analytical approach employed by certain activist scholars, such as CRT’s intellectual father, Derrick Bell, professor of law at New York University. CRT theorizing started during the mid 1970s. Its main goal is to transform the way race, racism, and power in Eurocentric cultures interact. CRT is concerned with creating an egalitarian sociopolitical, cultural, and economic order, while taking direct aim at white cultural imperialism and deconstructing its philosophical foundations. CRT builds on the efforts and insights of a number of minority civil rights activists; critical legal studies; radical feminism; and European philosophers, such as Antonia Gramsci and Jacques Derrida.1

According to scholars Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, CRT is founded upon the following six moral assumptions:
• Racism against “colored” people is endemic to Eurocentric societies (“colored” being a
synonym for “non-white i.e. non-European” peoples, rather than its original reference to
indigenous, Black and Native Americans).
• White over “colored” ascendancy serves important purposes, physic and material.
• Races are social constructions, not biological facts.
• Differential racialization, i.e. the calculated alternation of discriminatory policies between
one racial minority to another depending upon time and circumstance, happens “in
response to shifting needs in the labor market.”
• Intersectionality and anti-essentialism, which means that “each race has its own origins
and evolving history” and no individual member of a racial group can be presumed to be
the same as any other group member. Rather, one is always distinguished by a multiplicity
of factors that contribute to one’s identity such as sex, sexual orientation, political
affiliation, and social class. (These facets of one’s “identity” in today’s world determine
the degree of severity of one’s oppression on a continuum of “least” to “most
oppressed.”)
• The “unique voice of color” thesis which posits that every “group” due to their experience
with the white supremacist order has developed a unique stand point for explaining one’s
socio-political and economic status. That standpoint is considered superior to that of
whites, who are presumed to, generally, lack the capacity to see the privilege with which
they live.

2 CRT’s greatest utility, like certain other aspects of postmodern philosophy, is its ability to
deconstruct and identify “problems” and “social inequities.” Also, like other postmodern
philosophies, it is not good at re-constructing after it deconstructs. In other words, the fixes
offered to society’s problems are almost always superficial and fundamentally undermine the very project of CRT.
1 For more information, see Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory (New York: New York University Press, 2001, pp. 6-8).
2 Ibid.

The most glaring example of this is in CRT’s insistence upon redefining “racism.” The oldest
definitions of racism in English posit that any “race” can be guilty of racism and that it is
fundamentally the “belief” in one’s superiority to another on the mere basis of race or color. While one may agree that contemporary “race” is “largely” a social construct (biology does play a limited role), CRT’s definition conflicts with Islam in that after rejecting notions of race or colorbased behavioral determinism for “coloreds”, CRT’s proponents suggest and sometimes aver that to be white is to be “privileged” and “racist”, knowingly or unknowingly. In other words, while it is a goal of CRT to dismantle white supremacy and white privilege, it reinforces and solidifies it by claiming that the members of one “race” of people are motivated and guided by things the other races are not and cannot be. This solidifies the otherization of “whites” who cannot truly be white without the existence of their “colored” opposite(s) who in turn become permanent counterpart(s) also.

This is both racist and essentialist. It is racist because it reinforces biological race and behavioral determinism, two things that CRT alleges to disavow. It is essentialist because it lumps all “whites” together into a shared experience vis-à-vis “coloreds” such that there is no distinction between the English, Scottish, French, German, Russian, Slav, Irish, Italian, Swede, Jew, etc.3 They are all equally complicit in the oppression of “colored people.”

They all enjoy white privilege as a birthright. This is so even though the critical theorist claims to be opposed to essentialism. It seems that one is allowed to be an essentialist if it relates to allegations against “whites.” That’s not to mention the essentialism involved in considering the counterpart of “whites” to be a single unified collective as well.

A critical race theorist would never accept the notion that he/she is being racist against white people. That’s because the theorist has convinced him/herself that only whites can be racist due to the fact that only whites have power. That is to say that racism can only be racism if and when you have the power to oppress others. And, since only white people have this power according to the critical race theorist, only they can be racist. This means that even if I were to say, “White people are born with tails”; “The white man is the devil incarnate”; Or, “White people smell like dogs when they’re wet”, none of that is racist because I’m black. And, black people have absolutely no power to oppress others (sigh). The lack of sincerity to this principle is exposed every time blacks or others cry foul, demanding punishment for whites who accost them using racial epithets such as calling black female basketball players things, “Nappy headed hoes.”

* Keep in mind that many of those considered “white” were inducted into whiteness between 19th and 20th centuries.

“All” power is wielded by white people “absolutely.” If a colored person is ever in a position ofpower, he/she is wielding “borrowed” power, not inherent power. So, they can never bear full culpability for any crimes they commit. That’s because all might and power belong to the “white man.” Of course, this last sentence is meant to show how absurd and idolatrous this belief is to the Islamic teachings. The truth is that colored people all around the world have power, many of them significantly more than millions of white people. If the teachings of CRT are taken to their logical end, this would mean that not one dictator in the Arab world is responsible for the carnage they create every time they massacre their people. Nor are the Chinese, Burmese, or any other person, group, or government represented by a particular ethnic enclave.

This is not to say that the European political elite are not in fact culpable for great carnage, oppression, and savage treatment of others for many centuries. They are responsible for what they did and do. However, every soul is mortgaged for it earns. And, no bearer or burdens bears another’s burden.

In Islam, all human beings are the children of the same mother and father, Adam and Eve. Our only permanent and avowed enemy is Satan. And, Satan is not a man. We all are susceptible to the same forms of vice and shortcomings; Our impulses, appetites, and emotions make us malleable. And, our ignorance of objective fact and the moral path expose us to manipulation.

In other words, Islam assigns the same nature to every human being. And, it considers every individual to be redeemable regardless of race, color, sex, sin, religion, or political affiliation. Every person regardless of race can be guilty of racism, even if we acknowledge that a racist with power is more dangerous than one without that power.

All societies have a conception of race. And, that conception influences very much how one
differentiates between outsiders and insiders. As Muslims have embraced the legitimacy of their status as citizens of western countries, many have also taken on some of the baggage of racial polarization. Does Islam have something unique to offer societies plagued by ethnic bigotry?

If so, will Muslims employ that perspective to heal humanity? Or will they contribute to the
widening rift between racialized factions in society? When did this racialization process begin?

What parallels exist in the Islamic tradition? And, will Muslims redeem their faith before it is
permanently rendered into a race and drained of its transformative and conciliatory spirit?

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Daniel Haqiqatjou – Down with the Patriarchy!

“Down with the patriarchy!” she posts on a social media platform invented by a man, using a computer developed by men, powered by electricity possible through a vast infrastructural system designed by men, built, and maintained on the back of men and through the blood and sweat of men. She sips her herbal tea, growing angrier by the minute.

“Men only care about themselves. Who needs them anyway?!” she muses, as she lounges in her college dorm room in a building built by men, in her final semester studying “Gender and Sexuality Studies,” her $55,000 per year tuition being paid for by her father — a man. She gets up to go to the corner store to buy some lip gloss at 1AM at night.

“Patriarchy is just about perpetuating rape culture!” she thinks, as she walks alone in the middle of the deserted street that is brightly lit due to street lamps installed by men, in a neighborhood that is completely safe because of a massive police presence ready to use deadly force at a moment’s notice, a police presence consisting of men. She buys the lip gloss and heads back to the dorm.

“Toxic masculinity is the worst,” she sighs, as she tosses the lip gloss packaging into the trash, trash that is collected and disposed of by men in landfills maintained by men as part of a massive network of utilities and services provided by men, in a country that is defended from the possibility of foreign invasion because of an army of men willing to die for the protection of the nation’s interests, including its women and children. She applies the lip gloss and picks up her $800 iPhone for a selfie.

“Things would be soo much better if women ruled the world,” she smiles contentedly, as she posts her selfie to Instagram, hoping that that rich, smart, good-looking guy in her network of friends will notice and show interest in her, maybe send her a flirty message, maybe one thing leads to another, maybe he sweeps her off her feet, but in a way that totally respects her independence and her lack of need for men in any way, shape, or form. Instead that “ugly” guy who drives an old Camry DMs her, asking if she is interested in going out.

“OH MY GOD, what is this creep doing, trying to get in my DMs, pushing himself on me?!” she sneers, as she hastily prepares a #metoo social media post about sexual harassment, male privilege, and perpetual female victimhood, once again typing angrily on a $3000 laptop developed and paid for by men. She decides to go to bed.

She closes her eyes, but she is seething with rage. She tosses and turns, hatred keeping her up later into the night. Finally, she dozes off as one last thought crosses her tortured mind: “Men are trash!”

~ Daniel Haqiqatjou

 

I’m Not Running Away But…

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

I’ve been going through a period of introspection lately, as I often do, every few months or year or two but this time it’s been much deeper and broader in scope than anything I’ve probably done since I said my Shahadah nearly 16 (lunar) years ago and indeed has lasted months not the days or weeks it has before.

Normally I pause, I reflect, maybe do a bit of research and ask people I trust around me and I correct my course slightly but still moving onward and upward again in the same direction more or less but this time it I find myself unable to move on again, I am frozen in place, and think I must choose a different path to what I’ve been on before.

Do they not think deeply about themselves? Allah has created not the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, except with truth and for an appointed term. And indeed many of mankind deny the Meeting with their Lord.
Quran translation, Surah Ar-Rum, 8:8

I’ve come to realise the image of myself I have in my head, which in some ways is a reflection of what others think of me in the community and that I’ve taken their word for is not actually true. It is not me as I know me truly or a accurate reflection of how I feel in my interactions with others and I am not being honest with them, or my family or myself to continue this lie, and it is a lie in part at least.

Until now I thought myself in some ways a deep thinker, an activist, a Da’ee, a caller to the truth, the community reformer, even if only on a very modest scale but the truth is I am far from these things, I barely have mastery of my own household and it’s development or reform, or indeed of myself which is where the heart of this problem I think comes from.

Like many other reverts, almost since I said my Shahadah I’ve been pushed into this role, and that’s not to blame others, I’ve relished it,  and ran with it from the beginning, and the mistake of faking becoming this thing I am not, of fooling myself is my own and no one else’s.

This has really hit home this ramadhan and especially last night at a community iftar meal, when I was speaking to an elderly brother who I know thinks a great deal of the work I do in the community. We spoke about family, and also homeschooling and he made mention how it must be good for the kids to benefit from a father who is able to teach them so much in terms of the deen and life.

I had to be truthful, tell him straight up this is not me, I do a little, but barely anything in terms of my kids Islamic education, or indeed other educational needs other than offering words of advice as any father would, that such lessons are taken up by my wife, my children’s devoted mother who has in her efforts to become a better home-schooler educated herself in ways I have not over the years.

This conversation, though brief prayed upon me all night, stopped me sleeping even the little hours I had to sleep, though the migraine which came in the middle which jammed the on-switch on my brain probably didn’t help, but this discussion played over and over in my mind summed up neatly my thoughts through many wakeful nights these past few months.

I know my own weaknesses, I cannot allow the assumptions of others that I am someone good or great at what I do to hide the truth, at least to myself that I am not that person they think I am. Allah knows the truth, I know the truth and I am not really helping anyone, least of all myself to continue to pretend otherwise.

In the past I’ve fooled myself I would change, become this person as time went on as I lived it, but looking back to my recent past this has just not happened, and I think for the past few years I’ve known this and hidden it deep within myself.

“It is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.”
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII

I am only child in the fields I dabble in, fundamentally lacking in anything more than basic knowledge and so unable to enact change in anyway like the effectiveness I wish I could achieve.

My self development over the years has been severely lacking, forget learning arabic I am still struggling with reading the Quran fluently after 16 years of Islam and though languages is the one major area of learning I struggle with, I’ve allowed this difficulty to stop me even trying in anything like a meaningful way.

This Ramadhan has been the first time in years I have regularly prayed my sunnah prayers, rather than just the fard ones, my practice and knowledge is severely lacking yet the classes, the access to knowledge and skills was out there, I allowed myself to be distracted by being busy, but in an ineffectual manner.

In other fields I have a cursory understanding and knowledge, and being the one eyed man I’ve allowed myself to be setup as a ruler or at least and adviser among the blind when I know I can be, and should be far more.

In every aspect of my life I am falling short, deeni and other education, health and fitness, character and moral fibre, family and home, community and social life, career and wealth.

I am spread thin, running from area to area, helping this person or that project at an individual or small scale yes, but failing to build systems which could help enact change on the level on which it needs to take place.

It’s just not enough. I need to withdraw, reeducate myself, strengthen my being, redefine who I am internally and then have that reflected externally, so I become the man I know I could be, which others now wrongly think I am.

If I don’t the alternative is to know I ultimately fail in life. Myself, my family, my community and ultimately Allah who has the parameters of my being and how far I could truly go if only I pushed myself as I should and who knows how short I fall in reaching those limits.

So I am not running away, not exactly. I cannot stop everything which I have been doing, the need is too great and others are not yet willing to pick up those burdens but I am over the coming months going to be withdrawing from some activities where I can, taking up less new projects, freeing up the time I need, the space I need to grow and learn and become who I know I need to be.

I need my space each month, my time away in the cave of Hira, relaxation and reflection and not to be so busy with life and activism that I am stuck in being the role rather than becoming the man who can truly fulfill it as it needs to be filled.

For those worried about such things, I am not burned out, far from it, I am more determined than ever but I know continuing the way I have been for so long would ultimately lead me to that end, I’ve seen enough activists fall over the years to see the warning signs in myself and to take steps to avoid them if Allah wills it.

Writing is also something which I have neglected and I’ll probably be blogging more over this time also, I find I need to vent, and find the truth in what psychologists say, that far from thinking before we speak, instead giving word to my innermost thoughts helps me clarify what is true and good for me and others. I need to hear the words, or see them written to see the truth in them or not.

It is my sincere hope, that if Allah wills it, I can come back in a few years as a better man,  someone people can genuinely look up to but I am not willing to keep living right now as someone I am not and if not at least I will have tried.

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Gingerbeardman

Love & Hate

Imām Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (رحمه الله) said:

‘And the Religion revolves around 4 principles; i) Love, ii) Hate; and which result in either, iii) Action or iv) Abandonment.

And so whomsoever loves, hates, acts or abandons for the sake of Allāh, then they have perfected their Īmān. As in, if they love; they love for Allāh, if they hate; they hate for Allāh, if they do an action; they do it for Allāh and if they abandon something; they abandon it for Allāh.

And īmān will decrease in direct correlation to its defficieny in these 4 principles.”

Ar-Rūh “The Soul”, Publisher: Al-Maktab Al-Islāmī – page 490.

Original post taken from Good Tree Pubs – Here

Dr Bilal Philips – Practicing Islam in Modern Society

“There is no such thing as modern Islam, liberal Islam, Islam is Islam.”

A brilliant talk by Dr Bilal Philips on how in reality, the problems faced by the Muslims today are the same as those faced by the Muslims in the past, that the answers to our problems are in the Quran and the Sunnah, just as they have always been.

One of the best speeches from one of the best speakers out there, who has not compromised on the message in all his years calling to Allah, unlike so many other du’at in the English language.

Jordan Peterson – How to Improve Yourself Right NOW (and Why)

Assalaamu Alaykum,

I have a strange hobby, actually I have a few of them but this one I am discussing today is picking up interesting text books on subjects I know little or nothing about and starting to read, to see how much I can understand and where I don’t understand the topic what I need to learn to get there and doing so.

I am not claiming to be some sort of genius or anything, but it just helps me grow in understanding as a person and I might then read about this subject for a few weeks, months or sometimes longer.

So whilst studying English at college I used to browse the library and from this I developed a casual interest in psychology which unlike many other subjects has stuck with me since.

So no formal training or education, just a passing interest but one which I find often helps me relax from my daily life and also in understanding the world and though sadly it’s something which with marriage I had to slow down with and sometimes stop at times because with marriage, kids, life etc you have to prioritize your time, still it interests me.

My favourite teacher and speaker in this field at the moment is a man called Prof. Jordan Peterson who brings a whole other element to psychology which can often be aloof and distant from the concerns of man’s daily life in that he brings it down to a practical level.

Actually, that’s not really true. He brings the average man or woman up  to a level they can understand basic psychology which is a much better way of teaching and helps you ask important questions about yourself, your life, how you got to where you are and how you can get to where you want to go.

How did this happen and how can I stop it happening again?
How do I improve myself and what is the most efficient method of doing so?
Where do I want to be in x years and how do I get there?

I’ve reached a point in my life myself where these questions are reaching a greater degree of importance, I am conscious of time, that I have to work smart and not just work hard so for a while you’ll probably start seeing more and more posts on psychology and related fields popping up on this blog.

Hope you enjoy this short video and find it as beneficial as I did where Prof. Peterson some practical steps on improving your life, and why you should start doing so right now. Good advice for a natural procrastinator like myself.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Daniel Haqiqatjou – Missionaries in Western Schools

“If I told you that Christian missionaries were going to your child’s school and aggressively proselytizing to them and pressuring them to leave Islam and become Christians, wouldn’t you be alarmed? Wouldn’t you be angry and concerned?

What if I told you these missionaries weren’t at your child’s school one day but were there every single day, just constantly pressuring your kid to accept Christianity and leave his Islamic faith behind. Would you keep your child at that school?

The reality is, virtually all schools in the Western world (and many in the Muslim world as well) are indoctrinating your children, but the religion being imposed is not Christianity. It is secular liberal materialism.

If you have ever wondered why our youth are leaving Islam in droves, there is a clear reason for it. It’s not some freak phenomenon that no one can control. It has a clear cause. We have to do something, anything, to protect our kids and counteract any damage that has already been done.”

~ Daniel Haqiqatjou

This Person Could Be Teaching Your Kids

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Though this letter is probably bogus, I am sure many of us have at times come across teachers like Adam Hilliker here, who regard questioning their authority as only a shade below questioning the will of God.

Though I am certain there are many great teachers out there, there are also way too many who teach by rote, rigidly according to the set syllabus, or else are themselves trapped in the mindset of modern western education, a methodology designed to mold and train our children and youth to become obedient workers rather than thinkers and creators of ideas.

This is one of the many reasons why myself and my wife chose to home school our kids and have stuck to that decision when many others have fallen by the wayside, gone over to the dark side of packing their kids off to secular schools in the UK.

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah .
Quran translation, Surah Ale ‘Imran, 3:110

How can we hope to rise up to that level and be the best nation when we have given up on  trying to change the crookedness of society around us?

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect all our kids, and allow us to be his instruments in raising up a generation who come to set a better example for the whole of mankind, not just to be conformists, but changers and reformers of society, enjoining the ma’roof and forbidding the munkar, ameen

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

 

CAGE Report – ‘We Are Completely Independent’

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Facebook has a feature where it will show you your ‘memories’ that is posts from the same date in previous years which can be very interesting to look at in a…

‘yes that was a really important issue / message’ 
or
‘what? did I really say / share that? (cringe)’ kinda way.

This post’s graphics and highly detailed report from CAGE definitely falls into the former and not the later. The CAGE Report ‘WE ARE COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT’ (available to download here from CAGE) which some may remember from last year is still extremely relevant today with the so many Imams and leaders in the UK Muslim community trying to give the highly damaging and anti-Islamic Prevent agenda a new lease of life on behalf of the government.

Allahu Alim whether they are doing so because they or their organizations are being funded by Prevent or other government initiatives, or whether it is because  they share in the governments beliefs, or whether they are doing so out of fear of being targeted next.

I highly recommend you all read the full report if you have not already or else feel free to distribute the link and pics for others to look at as ending this toxic Prevent agenda is a duty upon us all as is forbidding any munkar in society.

Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawood (David) and ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allaah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds.

They used not to forbid one another from Al-Munkar (wrong, evildoing, sins, polytheism, disbelief) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do.
Quran translation, Surah al-Ma’idah, 5:78-79

The report details how the government has been covertly funding Muslim organizations in the UK in an attempt to subvert the message these organizations give out to the masses of the Muslims.

To make it look like these supposedly impartial community leaders and organizations have come to the conclusion by themselves that they need to help force a change of values upon the Muslims in the UK into something more akin to those held by the disbelieving masses under their attempts to promote ‘British Values.’

If the problem is  that extremists promote a distorted version of Islam then why the need to promote British Values and not Islamic ones?

CAGE have produced a high quality academic report showing the links between the Government, media companies, grassroots organizations, all working together secretly on promoting the government’s Prevent agenda.

This blurring of lines between government on the one hand and community / grass roots organizations on the other is dangerous and counter productive strategy which will only make the problems with those with extremist ideas get worse.

It can only decrease trust in all Muslim organizations in our community and further force misguided individuals who may fall into sympathy for Terrorism away from those who should be helping them, not helping themselves to extra government funding in exchange for following a particular line.

As Muslims we need to not only hold the government to account, and demand an end to Prevent and other anti-Muslim policies, but also hold our community leaders including our Imams to account as well.

Abu Abdurrahman – An Advice To Married Students

“An advice to married students from me, a married student

1.)Understand that your wife has given up some integral rights that she is due, in order for you to seek knowledge. So be even more kind to her and show your appreciation more.

2.) If she is living away from you, do not be too quick to judge and undermine her decisions and actions. Remember a persons decisions and actions are cultivated by the environment around them. Compare your environment to hers and show mercy and try not to demand too much from her.

3.) She is constantly reminded that her husband isn’t there. Whether intentionally or unintentionally from her family and peers there is a constant reminder that her husband is MIA. While her friends return from the masjid to the loving arms of their husbands she returns home to a husbandless home. Be aware of this and try to do what you can to counteract this feeling. Msging, Calling, Email, SnailMail (“TheNoteBook” style) All these things can help lessen the burden from her.

Finally my brothers remember you said “قبلت”
You accepted her and all burdens that she would come with. Be smart and wise when you say and do regarding her.

I ask Allah to unite all the students of knowledge who are currently away from their wives.”