Though it is addressed to the Muslims in America, every single aspect of this khutbah could be addressed to the Muslims of the UK or any other western country.
He talks about the racism in wider society, and how as Muslims living in the west we will never help fix this problem until we first address the racism in our own community, and how the racism among Muslims is worse, YES WORSE than the wider society.
We need to fix ourselves up, start setting the example for the rest of society and not keep wallowing in cultural and islamic nostalgia, may Allah swt guide us, and to to the straight path, ameen.
“When Thomas Mair murdered Joe Cox MP shouting Britain First the media refused to call it terrorism in spite of it fitting the the most clear cut definition of terrorism , “Violence to achieve a political goal” . The political party that he belonged to was not banned or designated a terror organization and its members were not jailed.
This is all political and we know what the agenda is, however from a policing and investigating point of view, it would be interesting to know whether Thomas Mair’s mother, father , sisters and brothers were ever under arrest. Or is that treatment also reserved for the relatives of Muslim perpetrators of murder?”
I am none too happy with the Police on this blog, there are some good ones I’ve met, and quite a few who were either lying or in denial about the dhulm / oppression their fellow officers do when in uniform, especially towards Muslims.
But sometimes we blame the Police unjustly for many social ills, often they are just ordinary people, trying to help the community in an imperfect way, with plenty of common sense but held down by a system which seems to lack all common sense and decency.
So try and have a little sympathy for the poor copper who is now going to have to pay the price for speaking a bit of truth to the parents of teenage delinquents in Salford.
BBC – Salford Police Officer’s Facebook Rant Investigated
A world-weary police officer who posted a tirade about “stoned youths” on a force Facebook page has landed himself in trouble.
The fed-up bobby laid into anti-social teenagers, parents, and community support officers in the message.
It appeared on the GMP Irlam and Cadishead page on 7 May, prompting a complaint from a teacher, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Greater Manchester Police’s Salford branch said it is investigating.
Ch Insp Glenn Jones said: “We have launched an internal investigation after we received a report of an inappropriate post on a GMP Facebook account.
“Officers and staff are expected to uphold the standards of behaviour in all of their duties including on social media.”
The post has since been deleted.
Police officer’s rant in full
“Good Morning everyone.
“An update on what’s occurred in the area over the past 24hrs or so. It would be very quiet if it wasn’t for one thing…or several “things”
“Kids/Yoofs/Yobs/Delinquents (cross out which one).
“There was a call to Heron Drive, Irlam to youths sitting or jumping on vehicles. The youths had gone home to mummy when officers arrived and no damage was found.
“There was a report of drunken youths on the fields at Sandy Lane, Irlam. Again, they had made off back to mummy, probably claiming that they had been doing their science project homework at a mates. How to get alcohol out of £3.60 dinner money.
“Please try and find out what your little Keanu or Beyonce are doing at night. If they’re drinking or smoking weed, there will be signs. If they are, they will no doubt be causing mither in the street.
“Youths were throwing stones at residents houses and residents themselves, from the railway viaduct over Roseway Avenue, Cadishead.
“And finally, there was a call to Tesco at Woodrow Way, Irlam. Security called to report one man and his dog at the Cashpoint machines.
“Many cashpoint areas have points where you can leave deposits for the bank. They did so…. Defecating at the cashpoint… Not the dog…. The man.We have a description (Of the man- not the deposit) and CCTV of the incident. The dog is entirely innocent… Wonder if it’s a shih-tzu?
“Only me in today as the PCSO’s don’t work on Sunday’s. They have the day off to play with their crayons and Lego.
“Take care and lock your kids up till school time on Monday.”
‘It is always stunning when a country that has brought violence and military force to numerous countries acts shocked and bewildered when someone brings a tiny fraction of that violence back to that country…
The issue here is not justification. The issue is causation. Every time one of these attacks occurs — from 9/11 on down — Western governments pretend that it was just some sort of unprovoked, utterly “senseless” act of violence caused by primitive, irrational, savage religious extremism inexplicably aimed at a country innocently minding its own business. They even invent fairy tales to feed to the population to explain why it happens: they hate us for our freedoms.’
-Glenn Greenwald following the attack on Canadian parliament 2014
Ya know, I’m not very familiar with Sheikh Hamza Yusuf. When I say “not very familiar,” I mean I used to think he was the guy who formerly went by the name Cat Stevens. (Embarrassing, I know.) So when it comes to his reputation and character, I think it better to suspend my initial impressions and rely on the Muslims I know (mostly black) who are acquainted with him. What I’ve gathered seems to boil down to three basic viewpoints:
Those who have followed him/known him for years and believe him to be good, kind and absolutely not racist.
Those who have followed him/known him for years and think he’s a decent Islamic teacher but have always felt uncomfortable about his commentary on race and politics.
Those who could never bring themselves to follow him because his commentary on race and politics always seemed racist and out of touch.
So what do I do with that? How do I reconcile the divergence? Well, it seems he’s probably not an avowed racist, but clearly his thinking is misguided and very much affected and infected by the mythology of black pathology. (Shout out to activist, scholar, artist Su’ad Abdul Khabeer for putting this on my mind.) White supremacy, which results in the othering/devaluing of blackness, is so pervasive that even the most well-intentioned people can suffer from it without even knowing. We can probably all think of racist things that have flown out of the mouths of people we generally love and agree with. In fact, we (black people) can probably think of some of our own statements that have been either tinged or deeply stained with this implanted self-hatred. I’m tryna tell you, it’s deep, son.
For those who Stan for Yusuf and cannot and will not accept these comments as anything more than the result of his intense fatigue, I (kinda) understand your pain. I say this because I know how hard it can be to swallow the idea that a person you have revered for years—a person whose teachings brought you deeper into the fold of Islam—can have racist views. I get that you experience it as a loss, and I get that there is a bit of grieving involved for the image you once held. But after the shock subsides, recognize and acknowledge the danger of black pathology and how it was wound all up and through Yusuf’s RIS 2016 rhetoric.
Black pathology is the idea that black people are—perhaps simply by virtue of being born black—steeped in pathology, unable to think and behave normally, healthily, sanely. Black pathology states that we are inherently flawed, not in a “all of mankind is flawed” sort of way, but in a “something is specifically wrong with those people” sort of way. So the many problems that have befallen black people have nothing to do with concerted efforts of concentrated racism and everything to do with our messed up wiring, which prevents us from pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps like so many others. Yes, I know Yusuf never made such bold and direct claims, but there was definite danger in his words.
Why? Because he had an opportunity to educate a mass of mostly non-black Muslims on the oppression of their black brothers and sisters but instead spoke on black on black crime and how America’s anti-discrimination laws are top notch. Translation: “The problem is them.” To borrow a tweet from Su’ad Abdul Khabeer,
Black pathology is used to explain away structural racism by claims of “bad” behavior, culture, morals, etc #RIS2016
And then to add insult to injury, Yusuf brought up the racism “in our own communities” but only addressed anti-Jewish sentiment and Arab vs. non-Arab (i.e., South Asian) racism. He made no mention, not even in passing, of the very real and visible issue of anti-blackness in Muslim communities. Please tell me you see something wrong with that.
But that was late Friday night. He was tired and wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. He had Saturday to clarify. However, what came Saturday night wasn’t much better. Though he apologized explicitly about his comments directed toward Sheikh Yasir Qadhi and the Muslim Brotherhood, he did not directly apologize about his comments on black people. Instead, he explained how he couldn’t possibly be racist because of his proximity to non-white people. Really, bro?
What’s crazy is that most people didn’t even expect him to come out and say, “I apologize for being a racist.” Brother, only you and Allah (SWT) know your heart. If you say with sincerity that you love all of humanity and are not racist, I’ll accept that you believe that, but know that having a Mexican wife and a mother in the Civil Rights Movement doesn’t excuse you from being held accountable when you say racist things. We all must accept correction.
All that was required was a sincere apology, an admission of insensitivity, an acknowledgment of the fact that you don’t have the understanding or cultural sensibilities to speak to such issues.
But that’s not what happened. Instead, you crawled deeper into the cave of black pathology by saying the breakdown of the black family is the greatest issue facing black Americans, not racism. I must ask, how on earth can any person with any bit of black history under their belt discuss the tearing apart of black families, which is a real thing, WITHOUT centering the structural racism that was put in place specifically to do just that? There is no clear picture of one without the other.
Otherwise, you end up sending the message that black men and women are being incarcerated at alarming rates just because. That’s black pathology. You end up sending the message that black people are killed and mistreated (by others and themselves) just because. More black pathology. You end up sending the message that black people tend to be less financially stable just because. Another statement powered by black pathology. This type of thinking attaches itself to existing ideologies of racism and supports them as they grow, further blotting out black humanity. Ergo, it is a very big deal.
So if you are going to discuss such complex topics, be willing to make space at the table for all relevant aspects, including those that make you uncomfortable. And humble yourself enough to admit where you lack knowledge. If you cannot do that, silence is better.
Having taken part in the part social experiment that was “Muslims like us” I have come to realise that Muslims want to have their cake and eat it. We constantly cry and whinge about lack of representation in mass media, but as soon as Muslims step up to do just that the criticism begins.
Many Muslims complaining that those of us who took part in the show did not reflect what they considered to be an accurate portrayal of British Muslims, expecting all ten of us to be bearded and fully ‘hijabed’ because obviously that’s exactly what the Muslim populace of Britain are like. To them we all wake up for Fajr at the same time and every single Muslim in Britain is a hafiz.
Many non-practicing Muslims were quick to slate women on the program who did not wear hijab or openly practice the faith when they themselves were a reflection of these sisters. It seems as though Muslims expected reincarnations of the sahaba to be headhunted for this BBC2 program and because predictably we fell short, we have been labeled sellouts and conspirators pushing an agenda to normalise ‘Liberal Islam’.
Muslims fail to understand a couple of things. Firstly, had the Muslims on the show all been perfect saints who did no wrong, all practiced the exact same version of Islam and agreed on all issues nobody would have watched the program, because frankly it would have made for boring viewing. Not even British Muslims would have watched a program about perfect Muslims living among each other perfectly whilst doing perfect things. Another reason why such a cast could not be produced is that it would be impossible unless scripted and definitely would not be a realistic portrayal of British Muslims as we are.
I appreciate that I have received some very positive feedback for my contribution to the program, as have one or two others but the reality is that I only stood out because of the chaotic bunch I was in the show with. I can say this with certainty because all the issues I faced in the house are issues I face in the wider community as do many young black Muslims.
I did my utmost best to carry myself with class in the face of hostility and anti-blackness that was prevalent in the house and I have been commended for it. The reality is there is nothing I faced in the house that does not happen in local masjids, in schools and online. Myself and Abdul Haqq were often subjected to aggression and disrespect for daring to have an opinion on aspects of Islam as if we were somehow less worthy of speaking on the religion and when we tried to justify our stances using Quran and sunnah we were called “dominant”.
Time and time again, I was subjected to micro aggressions and casual racism from fellow housemates ranging from being told that Nigerians deserved to be colonised by the English for “not fighting back” (we actually did and gave the English hell) to how Africans should look at the bright side of slavery and colonialism and how the Indians built all the great things in Africa (yes someone said this to me with a straight face). The vast majority of these interactions unfortunately were not featured in the program, due to editing and what people saw was the culmination of it all, in quite possibly the most normal form of conflict in any household, yes, I am talking about onion gate.
For daring to complain about someone using something I bought without my permission (someone who had been provoking me for six days consecutively) and taking umbrage to him being rude to me I was surrounded by almost all the “liberal” south Asian housemates and called aggressive whilst being shouted at and squared up to.
Surrounded, out numbered and abused, at no point did I raise my voice or behave in a threatening manner, yet somehow in the minds of my housemates I was an aggressive bully. For a period of ten days I had to endure this high level of ignorance and many have asked me how I managed to remain calm in such a situation, the truth is simple. This was just another day in the life of a black man in the Muslim and wider community. My proof is in the outpouring of comments from non-black Muslims online who somehow found a way to blame me for the confrontation. The narrative of the “angry black man” is an easy sell it seems.
Very few questioned why the same brother who united an entire household to do act in the way of charity and serve the community by feeding the homeless would lose patience. No excuses made for a black brother who had very much been the mediator of the house.
It reminded me that as Muslims we are only as good as the last thing we did unless our name is Muhammad Ali or Malcolm X. And of course let’s not forget Bilal, every non-black Muslim’s token black friend. In the end I’ve come to the conclusion that the program was a success as many non Muslims from areas where there aren’t an abundance of Muslims have reached out to me to ask for information about Islam and for this I am completely grateful to Allah.
This program was designed to entertain and enlighten, not as a dawah project however wherever there is Islam there will be dawah because that is the beauty of Allah’s religion. Most Muslims I spoke to feared to partake in the program not because of what the editing would do but simply because they feared that no matter how hard they tried to do good, their own community would condemn them.
I took part in this program because I didn’t want to be one of the angry backseat drivers/keyboard scholars that sits and criticises from their armchair. I did not want to watch this program at home and regret not doing it after seeing someone else “let the ummah down” so I stepped up to the plate. Was I perfect? No. But hand on heart I can say I made my best efforts to show Islam, as I know it, in a good light.
Are there better Muslims and representatives than me out there? Absolutely, but I’m not one to wait for someone else to do something for me.
Muslims are quick to hold other people to standards they don’t hold themselves (complaining I didn’t show enough restraint whilst not showing any themselves as they openly slander us) as if we are somehow more obliged to be good Muslims because there is a camera and England is watching. One must remind British Muslims that we are all being watched, not just by cameras but by the One we worship five times a day. If you are more concerned with how Muslims look in front of a camera than with how we all look in front of the King of kings, I do believe you are not in a position to judge anyone and may want to revisit the fundamentals of your religion.