Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Orlando Shooting

Hello everyone! I'm sorry that I haven't posted in a while, the months between March and June are pretty hectic for me.  I'm sure most of you have heard by now of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.  Pulse is a very well-known, popular gay bar in Orlando that was founded and named in remembrance of the owner's late brother.  Here's some information on the shooting:
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/orlando-nightclub-massacre/orlando-nightclub-shooting-emergency-services-respond-reports-gunman-n590446
With at least 49 dead and 53 injured, the massacre marks one of the largest shootings in American history, exceeding the Virginia Tech shooting (32 dead) and the Sandy Hook shooting (20 children, 6 adults dead).  The shooter has been confirmed to be Omar Mateen of Florida, and was killed in a gun battle with police early Sunday morning.
The shooting occurred during Latin night at the gay nightclub during Pride Month.  Make no mistake, this was a hate crime, one that strikes deeply into many communities.
Now, a lot could be said about this shooting, and it can bring up multiple social issues: gun control, terrorism, LGBTQ+ oppression, to name a few.  I cannot go into all of these for the sake of time and space, so I'm going to mainly go into the topics of terrorism and oppression.
The shooter has been said to have called 911 while shooting and pledging his allegiance to ISIS.  I find this hard to believe for two reasons: 1) Why would he call 911 in the middle of shooting? and 2) The media keeps changing the facts on this, saying he called before, then changing it to during, or changing ISIS to Al-Qaeda or something else like that.
People keep taking this to be some huge groundbreaking point on immigration or on "radical Islam".  First of all, Mateen was born here in New York.  He wasn't an immigrant.  Second of all, he wasn't a devout Muslim.  He wasn't even a practicing Muslim.  If he was he would have known that in Ramadan, the holy month of Islam, we aren't even supposed to curse, let alone kill people.  He would have known that, Ramadan or not, murder is a much larger sin than homosexuality.  He would have known that it is a sin in Islam to judge others or impose a consequence on them for a religious difference, unless they are actively harming others (and even then, the death penalty isn't permitted, there are other punishments given for murdering or harming people).  He would have known that killing one person is like killing all of humanity.  And he would have known that a murderer does not die a Muslim.
Also, Mateen was recently confirmed to have been gay himself.  By the DEFINITION of radical Islam, he could not have been gay.  If he was with ISIS and they had known about it, chances are they would not have accepted him as a member.  They've already claimed responsibility for it, though, so it's interesting to see how much they're willing to prove they have no values they aren't willing to compromise.
On the topic of LGBTQ+ oppression and rights, it's foolish to think that we as a society have fully accepted them.  Many people are more tolerant or supportive of their rights, but there is still a frighteningly large level of hate and discrimination against these people.  This has been made clear by NC's recent HB2 law, and similar ones in other states.  It has been made clear in the elevated chance of being attacked if you are LGBTQ+.  And it has been made clear in the recent tragedy, and many others in the past, and many more--I'm sure--in the future.
I don't want to go too far into politics or societal issues, out of respect for the dead.  But here's the thing: In Islam, homosexuality is a sin.  Being transgender is a sin.  This is all true.  HOWEVER, we are not to judge others by it.  And we are not to discriminate against others by it.  Anytime I felt my identity was being attacked or threatened because of people's hate and ignorance, some of the most supportive people other than my fellow Muslims were people of the LGBTQ+ community.  They as a community have helped us in our hard times, and we as Muslims must do the same to show the world we do not tolerate such hate and harm of human beings.  Because whether you agree with someone's lifestyle or not, whether you think they are sinning or not, you treat them as a human being, and you treat them with kindness and forgiveness, even those who do not grant you the same treatment.
In the aftermath of the shooting, know that people will try to pit two vulnerable groups against each other.  We must not allow this to happen.  I encourage any of my readers in Florida, Muslim or not, to give blood to help the victims.  I encourage you to bring food and water to those standing in line waiting to give blood.  I encourage my readers all over the country and the world to send messages of sympathy to those still recovering and to the families of those who will not get the chance to.  I encourage you to pray for the dead and the living, for those being hurt, and for those who have hate in their hearts to be cured of it.  I encourage you to show that you will not tolerate hate, whether directed at the LGBTQ+ community when some say they deserved to be killed, or directed at the Muslim community when some blame them for this tragedy and many more.  I encourage members of both groups to show they won't allow hate or attacks on the other.
I cannot begin to describe how shocked and angry I am at what has occurred.  My heart and condolences go out to the families of the victims and those recovering.  May Allah forgive them and grant them a fast recovery.
Here is more information about the victims of the Pulse shooting:
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/pulse-orlando-nightclub-shooting/victims/os-pulse-nightclub-orlando-shooting-victims-htmlstory.html
~Minna M.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Happy International Women's Day! (Better late than never)

Fatima Al-Fihri: Founded the world's first university in Fez, Morocco in 859 AD.
Laleh Bakhtiar: First American woman to translate the Quran (Islamic holy book) into English, and provided different meanings for many ambiguous Arabic words.
Shirin Ebadi: First Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  Also first woman in Iran to achieve Chief Justice status.
Daisy Khan: Founded Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE).  WISE works to "reclaim women's rights in Islam using a human rights and social justice based framework".
Anousheh Ansari: First Muslim woman in space.
Malala Yousafzai: Activist and Advocate for women's rights to education around the world.  Literally took a bullet for women's education.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fazeela-siddiqui/10-muslim-women-you-should-know_b_1348903.html

I'm a day late but happy International Women's Day!  This post celebrates some of the pioneering and groundbreaking Muslim women through the centuries.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

To Those Who Call Me Terrorist

You call me "terrorist", but you turn blind eyes.
When I am the one being terrorized.

Where are you to call out the terrorists, when a man rapes my mother because of the headscarf she wears?
Where are you to call out the terrorists, when I walk to the store, and am harassed all the way there?

You call us "terrorists", but fail to see,
The irony of your own hypocrisy.

Where are you to call out the terrorists, when a bomb falls on my city streets?
Where are you to call out the terrorists, when your "noble" country sends them in fleets?

You call us "terrorists", but when will you know,
That terrorists will not distinguish, and will try to hurt us both?

Where are you to call out the terrorists, when, from home, they chase me away?
Where are you to call out the terrorists, when they drag me back the next day?

You call us "terrorists", but do you realize,
That the children you label release chilling cries,
In response to the horror they see with their innocent eyes?

Where are you to call out the terrorists, when they silenced those screams?
Where are you to call out the terrorists, when they move to those extremes?

You call us "terrorists", but why isn't it clear
That I and most others do not volunteer,
And only request safety and relief from this fear?

And so I ask you this,

Where were you to call out the terrorists, when my family was tortured and killed as a result of hate?
Where were you to call out the terrorists, when I, too, suffered the same fate?
Where were you to call out the terrorists, when I lay in the mud?
Where were you to call out the terrorists, when I was killed in cold blood?

~Minna

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sister Rose Hamid

Hello, hello!
Hopefully you have all heard about Sr. Rose Hamid's amazing act of bravery at Trump's rally on Friday, January 8.  My aunt posted a CNN video clip in her last post, but here's the link to the clip and the accompanying article:
http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/08/politics/donald-trump-muslim-woman-protesting-ejected/
So, right off the bat: I don't like Donald Trump.  And you can tell him I said that, I really don't care.  Setting that aside for a moment, I'm going to explain what exactly occurred in Friday's rally, just in case the link didn't work, or you were just too lazy to click it.  Which is fine, we all have our lazy days.  Sr. Rose Hamid of Charlotte, NC attended a Donald Trump rally in Rock Hill, SC, which isn't too far from Charlotte.  She was standing silently in the crowd wearing a shirt that said "Salam, I come in peace," as well as a star saying Muslim, similar to what the Jews wore during the Holocaust, as well as the "ID badges" that Trump thinks would be a good idea to make Muslims wear.  Many of the crowd started to turn on her and acting hateful towards her, before she was escorted out by security.  If you look at other videos to figure out what Trump said after Sr. Rose had left, he said something along the lines of "We have a problem, we have a real problem...There is a deep seated hatred and we need to find out where it's coming from...It's not our hatred, it's their hatred..."
His STUPIDITY is OVERWHELMING.  Not just here, either, but I'll give more examples later.
1) We do have a problem, it's YOU.
2) We already know where the hatred is coming from. YOU.
3) Once again, YOU.  It is your hatred, not ours.
(For clarification, "you" did not refer to the lovely reader of this post, it referred to Trump)
Sr. Rose stood in silence, how do you even begin to translate that into hatred?  And even after she was taken outside, she showed beautiful integrity and forgiveness and compassion for those that had been seated around her and were, at some point, speaking to her in a very negative way.
This is not the first time Trump has reacted idiotically to protestors of his speaking before.  It has gone viral that a Bernie Sanders supporter had gotten into Trump's rally in Burlington, Vermont and began protesting.  Trump responded by saying as the man was being escorted out, "Don't give him his coat! Don't give him his coat, keep his coat, confiscate his coat.  You know, it's about ten degrees below zero outside. No, you can keep his coat.  Tell him we'll send it to him in a couple of weeks."
All right, there are so many things wrong with this.
FIRST OF ALL, how ******* inhumane do you have to be to LITERALLY ORDER SOMEONE TO BE SENT TO THEIR DEATHS.  Remember how our mothers would always get so mad for not wearing a coat--most of our mothers still do--"You'll catch your death of cold!"  THEY'RE NOT WRONG!
SECOND OF ALL, for someone running for president, his treatment of protestors is rather unconstitutional.  It says in the FIRST AMENDMENT that we have freedom of assembly, or in more modern wording, freedom to protest!
Who wants someone for president that's so unconstitutional as to deny the Constitutional right to a) assembly/protesting and b)life????
I could go on and on about other stupid things Trump has said in the last few months that could honestly rival the collective stupidity of the entire human race, but for the sake of length--and sanity--I won't.  For now.
However, I did want to point something out.  For those of you who have seen the video in the link I posted above, or similar videos thereof, I would like to point something out.  Did anyone notice that Trump's supporters were holding signs that said, "The silent majority stands with Trump"?  Now while I'm extremely certain this is untrue for the most part, it does bring about a good point.
There are no neutral sides.  There is no silence.  Silence speaks volumes.  If you simply watch quietly as people like Trump dump **** out of their mouths on minorities like Muslims, Latinos, and African-Americans, you are supporting their actions.  You may not say you're supportive of it, but if you do nothing to stop it, you're no better than the ones doing it.  Take a stand.
That's all for now, but I will be posting on something else within the next week, InshaAllah!
Thank you, and have a great week!
Minna

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Rose Hamid, a dear Sister, ejected from Trump rally speaks out


Dear Readers,

I grew up with this amazing woman in my community.  I have always looked up to her but tonight, I am truly honored to know her.  Her name is Rose Hamid and what an embodiment of honor and respect she really is.

Years ago this same woman fought for the right of flight attendants to wear their hijaabs while on duty.  She is a gem in our community.

Please watch and listen to the lessons that she teaches us, not only through her words but also through her courage, strength and grace.