mariahussain

June 5, 2013

What happened to blogger Maria Hussain?

Filed under: Blogroll, Islam — mariahussain @ 8:42 pm

Salam everyone,

I have been keeping a blog using my maiden name for several years now, as well as writing a weekly op ed for the Muslim Observer. Please catch up with me at karinfriedemann.blogspot.com and muslimmedianetwork.com

Here is a sneak preview:

Exclusive interview with Jihad Abdulmumit

by Karin Maria Friedemann (formerly Maria Hussain)
The legendary Jihad Abdulmumit spent 23 years in prison for his involvement with the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. He now serves as co-chair of the National Jericho Movement and is on the Majlis Ash-Shura of Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA). Jihad Abdulmumit told TMO the story of how he found Islam in prison:
“I was a Marxist-Leninist in the Black Panther Party. That was the vibe back then – Maoism was the language we learned from revolutionary independence movements in North Africa in the 1950’s. My mother was a Christian, but I considered it the slavemaster’s religion, with the white Jesus – I ran from that. I always believed in God but my first exposure to the Nation of Islam seemed ludicrous, like a Black form of Christianity, with the Prophet considered God. Also, I had too many white friends to believe in the theory of the blue-eyed devil. Even though I was in BLA, I had white hippie friends. That era reflected struggle: the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, Black Power.
“In prison I was invited to Jummah. There I met Kamau Siddiki (Fred Hilton), who fathered Assata Shakur’s daughter. He was someone whom I greatly admired and respected, and I was surprised to find out that he was now a Muslim. He got out of prison, but he is back in prison now. For the first time, I saw brothers coming out of the bathroom after making wudu. It was all new to me. Kamal gave me some pamphlets, which I read. I used my Marxist mind to critique it. I looked for flaws in it but found no flaws in the concept of La ilaha il Allah. I made Shahada quickly – it took me about two weeks to decide. Islam answered my questions about the beginning of Creation and satisfied my confusion about whether matter has always existed or whether a Supreme Entity has always existed, with supreme divine consciousness. Now I understand that we will return to that Entity in the same way as our body, as matter, returns to the Earth. I was also moved to learn that the Prophet was illiterate.
“I realized that the real me was the philosophical part, not just the outward revolutionary activist engaged in community building. Once my questions were answered about where we came from and where we are going, and about Allah being the Creator of the universe, and then the whole revelation of the Prophet, understanding his life, I bore witness to the fact that I believe that to be true. My involvement in the community hasn’t changed but my motivation has changed: Now it’s pleasing Allah, doing good deeds, being a good person. My fight against injustice and oppression hasn’t changed but my methods have changed to Quran and Sunnah. I believe it’s the best way of life. I try to set an example and I value other people and their beliefs also. I work with a lot of different people and I relish that. I recognize that we are truly diverse.”
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March 20, 2009

Bearing Witness

Filed under: Anti-Zionism, Blogroll, Interfaith, Islam, Zionism — mariahussain @ 7:01 pm

Purity of intention is the key to martyrdom.

The core of Islam is Shahada: to bear witness unto the Oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Mohammed, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. To bear witness is what it means to be a Muslim. According to the Islamic religion, all individuals who have faith have been Chosen by God. To validate the Islamic world view is to reject the Jews’ concept of Chosen status based on race. Allah, the Lord, promises Paradise to all those who died bearing witness to this concept of human equality, recognizing the universality of the Creator. To live and die in a state of faith, or Iman, is the goal of every Believer who strives to submit his will in peace to Allah. A person who is at peace with himself and at peace with God, who practices Islam, declares Shahada every day in prayer. A person in a state of faith does not view death as something horrifying.

Martyrdom is the ultimate Shahada because it proves you would rather die than to bow before anything other than Allah. You are a free human being who refused to accept oppression. In Palestine, the State of Israel has imposed a false doctrine declaring Jews as the Master Race. This false religion is an idol that the Palestinians refuse to honor, in keeping with the true prophetic tradition. In Palestine, just going to work or going to school is a defiant declaration of independence. For a Palestinian, life itself is an act of refusing to submit to other than Allah. A child killed by a stray bullet while walking to school is called a “Shahid,” as is a suicide bomber. If a woman’s baby dies after she gives birth at a checkpoint, that baby is called a Shahid. All Palestinians killed by Israel, or who die fighting against Israel, are considered martyrs. The reason that fighting against Israel is so important for Muslims worldwide is not because Israelis are the meanest killers in human history, but because they have lied against God.

To steer one’s path in accordance with the Divine Purpose, one has to constantly pray for purity of intention so that all one’s actions are for the sake of Allah alone. Even lawful actions become “haram” or sinful if they are done without the proper intention. If a person eats a meal forgetting to say “Bismillah” (in the name of Allah), prophetic tradition teaches us that the nourishment then takes on a satanic quality. It is the consciousness of Allah (Taqwah) in one’s actions that makes an action righteous or commendable. A commendable action requires knowledge. The Islamic belief is that there is something called faith which is the knowledge of Allah. You have to live in this state of knowledge, or at least aspire to that knowledge. Otherwise, you will die in a state of ignorance and failure.

Jahiliya, or ignorance, the Islamic understanding of Paganism, is identified by a mythological or pseudo-scientific belief that the worlds are created by continuous struggle between various gods or natural forces, whereas Islam upholds a faith in a Unity or Oneness beyond the balance and interplay of opposing forces. One who lives in a state of Oneness is spiritually satisfied and at peace. This sense of transcendence is not a “spiritual philosophy” but a personal experience of reality. Not only is Allah real, but Allah is the only Reality. A person who is martyred in a state of higher consciousness gets the best rewards of Allah’s Paradise. Paradise is a state of unending bliss that is always new, always different, and always beautiful, like making love to 72 willing virgins. The willingness to die for the sake of defeating an army that has declared itself an enemy to Allah and His Prophets is akin to the story of David and Goliath. Palestinians identify with this story deeply, as it is contained in both the Bible and the Quran.

The Palestinian boy, Faras Ouda, left home with nothing but a slingshot, determined to be a hero. He decorated his own wreath in preparation. This brave kid was shot down by a coward in an armored truck. Children who die before reaching puberty are reserved a special garden in Paradise. The Prophet Mohammed, when he ascended into the seven heavens from the rock in Jerusalem, saw the Prophet Abraham surrounded by children. The Angel Gabriel told Mohammed that all the innocent children who had died now live under the guardianship of the Prophet Abraham. The death of a child is an honor and a mercy to the mother. It elevates the entire family spiritually. The child waits for his mother at the gate of Paradise, begging Allah to forgive her sins so that they could someday be reunited. It is said that Allah cannot break the heart of an innocent child, so He will allow even undeserving parents, and the baby’s wetnurse as well, to come to Paradise for the sake of the child’s happiness. This is as true when the child died of leukemia as when the child was killed by Israel. The Quran reminds us that the life of this world is but a trial and that our true home is in the hereafter.

While Zionists think of the Jewish Holocaust as a burnt sacrifice offered to Yahweh to justify the State of Israel, Islam does not teach that death in itself grants expiation for sins and automatic rewards. The most dramatic act of sacrifice – death in battle against an oppressive regime – does not necessarily guarantee Paradise. That is why Palestinian suicide bombers pray for the acceptance of their sacrifice. The Prophet Mohammed once told a story of a man who died in battle, after having killed several enemy soldiers. The prophet explained that although this man appeared to others as a war hero, the man was going to hell because he was not fighting for the sake of Allah alone. His intentions were mixed with the desire for glory. Other traditions tell of the great warrior saint, Ali, who, while dueling with an opponent, reached a point where the enemy soldier was on the ground. Ali was about to kill him when he spat in Ali’s face. At that point, Ali immediately released the enemy soldier unharmed. He asked the great Muslim why his life had been spared. Ali answered that if he had killed the man out of anger, it would be a grave sin. Passions can nullify the reward for Jihad, or the struggle against oppression. The person who by the command of Allah commits an act of war, not out of hate, but for the ultimate goal of establishing justice, and who dies in the process, whether he or she is killed by an Israeli bullet or on a suicide mission, is a Shahid. However, someone who kills or is killed in an act of desperation or ethnic nationalism, has served Satan.

The whole idea behind Islamic warfare is that it is not allowed to be motivated by revenge. However, there is such a thing as retaliation in war. Allah’s law says a life for a life is just, though it is better to forgive. So far, the Palestinians have not even come close to that, so there is not much sense in being outraged at suicide bombers, as it just feeds into the false doctrine of unconditional Jewish innocence.

While terrorism does claim lives, it is more symbolic and theatrical than efficient, and in the end, may reduce civilian casualities. For every ten Israelis killed in a pizzaria, there might be 10,000 Israelis that decided to move to Sweden, and 10,000 Romanians who decided to stay in Romania. The more “civilized” approach would be to carpet bomb Tel Aviv from an airplane. However, mass loss of life would be guaranteed as collatoral damage. Islam says to establish justice for all people including non-Muslims. Allah commanded the Palestinians to win this war. They are not fighting for greed, they are fighting because they have no other option since they are under attack. As such, they have to use successful strategies to win the war for the sake of Allah.

Perhaps the main difference between Zionist killers and Islamic killers is attitude. Israelis do their bulldozing and indiscriminate shooting of civilians in a state of hate, often while drunk. Their ultimate goal is erasing Palestine. Islamic soldiers go to battle with a sense of the sacred, with solemn purpose and clear mind. At worst, they seek a life-for-life retaliation. Their ultimate goal is to bear witness to the Oneness of Allah. Until the recent past, I had no opinion one way or another about Palestinian suicide bombers, considering them irrelevant to the question of whether Israel should continue to exist. I left it to Allah to send them to heaven or hell. To be ready to die for a cause is the proof of one’s sincerity. But as with all acts of worship, we can never be totally sure of Allah’s approval. All we can do is ask for Signs. The story of the mother who prayed for ten Israelis to be killed by her daughter’s martyrdom, and the exact answer to her prayer seemed to me to be a sign that Allah blessed the sacrifice, at least in this particular instance. I don’t see any contradiction between viewing suicide bombing as a successful strategy of war, and as a service to Allah that goes beyond the desire for attaining a specific worldly goal.

It is hard for some of us to accept that God may have commanded good people to fight against the Jews, even knowing that the Jews are committing genocide in Palestine. As for me, there was a time when I felt sorry for the Jews, but those days are over. Israel supporters are not stupid. They are satanic. What kind of person moves onto property when he knows the previous owners were forced off by gunpoint and made homeless? As long as Zionists continue to buy and sell stolen property in Israel like some kind of criminal mafia, I don’t think it is reasonable to expect that Jews should feel free to live in Israel and think they should not be killed. My biggest issue with suicide bombings is that so many Palestinians have to die in the process.

No American or Israeli has the moral authority to judge the Palestinians, most of whom have no passports and are not allowed to live legally anyplace on earth. It actually appears that the Jewish community demonizes Arabs out of a neurotic need to perceive themselves as victims, even when this defies logic. Apparently, they want Palestinians to kill them. Jews only feel comfortable when they are surrounded by people who want them dead. It may be that they need us to force them to give up the concept of the Jewish State to help them save face. They will leave Israel, but they can’t do it by agreeing to it in a rational way. They can’t just admit they were wrong and give back the stolen property. They can’t just admit that non-Jews are their human equals. They need to preserve the sense that the world wants to mass murder them, without which they lose their sense of identity. They need us to help them leave with their victimhood intact.

I would personally recommend for some civilized country to send their Air Force to bomb the Jewish settlements, dismantle the racist State of Israel, and return the Palestinian refugees to their homes in Palestine with financial compensation and full citizenship rights. While Zionist criminals should face Guantanamo, the most Islamic way to deal with the Israeli public would be a general amnesty. Either Jews should apply for Palestinian citizenship, or they should leave. Palestinians and their well-wishers should stop begging for a “state.” All of historical Palestine belongs to the Palestinians. The Israeli Wall is proof that compromising with racists is not an option. For all those who strive with their lives and with their possessions in the cause of Allah, bearing witness to the Truth that Allah is One, who are not fighting for a nationalist cause but for a future free of artificial national borders and false racial identities, I pray Allah help them.

Allah’s Word Against The Jews

Filed under: Anti-Zionism, Blogroll, Interfaith, Islam — mariahussain @ 6:46 pm

Zionist Judaism does not have a moral code. The Jews think that the Covenant of God is a real estate deal. An “eternal” real estate deed given to them unconditionally by God. Their claim to the “Land of Israel” is based on one or two verses in the Bible cited out of context. Although throughout the many centuries of pre-Zionist history, Jewish scholars never understood those verses to call for a nation state “For Jews Only” in Palestine, the Zionists are sure of their interpretation. Fortunately, the Zionists are mistaken. They are as wrong as the American white slaveowners who justified slavery using the Bible. The Covenant of God is not a real estate deed. It is a contract made between people and God, wherein God says, “I created you, therefore follow My Laws,” and the people reply in fear, “We hear and we obey.” God does not care where you live. He cares how you live.

When making the moral argument for Palestine, one quickly reaches a dead end: The Jews have already justified total genocide in their minds. Fellow Americans, these people live amongst us like Nazis in our midst. Do we have any obligation to tolerate this? If you don’t believe me, just go to your local rabbi and ask him what Judaism says concerning the human rights of Palestinians. He will most likely not even answer you. The Jews’ usual response is “I have no opinion about the Palestinian people. All I know is, the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews.” If they are compassionate, they will say that perhaps a scholar far greater than themselves could answer the question of the proper way of dealing with the natives. But there is no conceptual framework in Judaism that provides any moral guidance on how to run a nation state.

The Jews by and large understand that Israel was created by ethnic cleansing. They understand that Israel’s existence is dependent on past and future displacement and disenfranchisement of Palestinians. They call this “Redeeming the Land of Israel.” According to the Covenant as they understand it, the property of Palestinians belongs to them, and God commanded them to kill the Palestinians. The Jews tacitly and explicitly endorse the massacre of Palestinians as morally justified by somehow failing to remember that the Palestinians did not start this war, and by imagining themselves as Joshua’s army. Joshua, in the Bible, was an Israelite prophet that commanded a mass execution of all the Canaanites at the behest of God. According to the Bible, the reason was because the Canaanites were idolaters who practiced child sacrifice. Hence, the frequent references by Jewish pseudo-intellectuals to the Palestinian religion as a death cult of child sacrifice…overlooking the obvious fact that it is Israel who has shot thousands of Palestinian youngsters. Palestinians are not murdering their own children. Furthermore, it is simply intellectually dishonest racism to suggest that Muslim and Christian Palestinians are pagans.

The Muslims have always been very clear as to what child sacrifice was and they do not approve of it. When the Muslims under Caliph Umar came to Egypt, they learned that the Egyptians used to throw a virgin girl into the Nile every year to appease the goddess of the Nile. They thought this would prevent it from flooding. The Muslim government applied some pressure and convinced the king of Egypt that next year they should try writing a prayer to Allah on a piece of paper and put that in the Nile instead of a virgin girl. They actually did it, and it worked. Notice how the Caliph did not use a moral argument, which would have been as ineffective against the pagans as with Zionists, who are themselves idolaters worshipping a death cult called Blood and Soil Nationalism. And that is the story of how the Egyptians, after so many centuries of paganism, finally gave up idol worship and accepted the religion of Moses! It is most commendable that the traditional Islamic approach to a real, existing culture of idolatrous child murderers was not “Kill them all!” but a process of gradual deprogramming through the use of intellectual reasoning.

Zionist reasoning is that since the ancient Israelites were ordered by God to kill every last one of the Canaanites, it must therefore be morally righteous for some other Jews at some later date in history to mass murder Palestinians. The justification for killing them is simply that they deserve to die. Zionism is just one of many European genocidal racist movements that arose in the last century. But Jewish ethnic nationalism was never part of traditional Judaism. In all of the history of Judaism before it was rewritten by Zionists, the Jews were always taught that God had put them out of Palestine on account of their sins, and therefore they ought to repent and wait for the Messiah in a state of humility. All mainstream Jews nowadays, whether the new orthodox, conservative, or liberal, quickly dismiss the rabbis of old as archaic, fossilized remains of the past. The long-standing historical tradition of Jewish theology is simply thrown out of the window as if it were irrelevant to Jewish understanding. Zionism is championed as the true spirit of Judaism. And perhaps the Zionists are right in this regard. Throughout the centuries, Jewish thought evolved from an immature tribal conception of “my God is better than your god” to a spiritual maturity based on universal moral ethics. Much of the moral content in rabbinical Judaism, which arose after the Muslims conquered Jerusalem, is borrowed or learned from Islam. Now, the Zionists, the “true Jews” are rejecting this injection of foreign intellectualism and going back to the true Judaic spirit of tribalism and war. Indeed, Zionists say that that their God is a deity other than Allah.

Zionists find it frustrating that Muslims reject the Bible as a final authority and use it more as a cross-reference to the Quran. Even if we were to accept the Bible verses they quote as true, Muslims don’t accept the Zionist interpretation of the Covenant. We rely on moral reasoning to analyze the Bible, and come up with a universal ethical principle using the Children of Israel as an example for all nations. For example, when Zionists read the story of Moses they get something out of it like this: Israelites = Good. Egyptians = Bad. In the Islamist reading of the same story we get a warning from Allah to all human beings to remember that Humble Servants of Allah = Good. Haughty Rejecters of Truth = Bad.

The Zionists say, “Show us your scripture where it says Israel does not belong to the Jews.” The only way to answer that is to explain the entire moral code of Islam. The religion of Abraham is not something to be bought and sold for a price. The Quran is the Book of Allah bearing witness against the Jews. He calls the Jews to give up their ethnic superiority complex and commands them to bow down with those who bow down. God is telling the Jews to pray side by side with their Arab brothers and sisters in worship of the One God. Allah invites the self-proclaimed Chosen Ones to join the Community of Islam. No one who has opened the Quran can argue that Mohammed was not a prophet for the Jews. In the Quran, God addresses the Children of Israel directly, confronts them about their Jewish racist tribalism, and employs references from the Torah and Bible to support His arguments. “Then woe to those who write The Book with their own hands, and then say, “This is from Allah,” to traffic with it for a miserable price!” God admonishes the Jews, accusing them of lying about the Covenant by claiming it applies only to themselves. “Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby… Say: “Have ye taken a promise from Allah for He never breaks His promise? Or is it that ye say of Allah what ye do not know?” (2:79-80).

All people who call themselves Jews have a theological basis for their social identity even if they are not Zionists. Zionist Jews view their successful perpetration of mass murder and grand theft as evidence of God’s favor upon them. The only thing that can convince theologically-based Zionists that they are wrong is if they are forcibly removed from Palestine, as that would be an indication that God is not on their side. Only when militarily defeated will they submit to our philosophical position of moral reasoning.

Clearly, there are no moral guidelines in Jewish Law, other than genocide and enslavement, for the treatment of conquered peoples, as one would find in Islamic Law. While Islam views humans as stewards of the earth, and Muslims consider themselves God’s appointed defenders of religious freedom for people of all religions, Judaism neither proclaims respect for other people’s prophets nor guarantees any respect of other people, nor even of the environment, except in so far as they are useful to the Jewish community. This fact alone makes it clear that if the principles of individual liberty, majority rule, and world peace are to prevail, then it would make far more sense for the Jews to agree to live as minorities in an Islamic state where they would have legal protection backed up by threats and warnings from God, rather than forcing the Arab majority to live as if they were minorities within a Jewish state which has no legal protection nor any moral qualms regarding the lives and property of non-Jews.

February 10, 2009

Maria on Domestic Abuse

Filed under: Islam, Marriage — mariahussain @ 12:20 am

Not to step on anyone’s toes but I must also point out that women are also the problem. Lack of self esteem in women more precisely. There are varying types of abuse: emotional abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, and physical abuse. A person is more able to tolerate that which she has been exposed to in her childhood. Each woman has to decide what she, personally, can tolerate and where is the line. If her husband crosses that line, she must pack up her things, take her kids, go somewhere safe, and contact a lawyer. Credit card checks come in handy until you can get a hold of your father. Don’t waste your time with “free legal advice” or “women’s empowerment organizations.” You need to get a lawyer and file for child support the day you leave. Go to priceline.com and bid for a hotel room at 1/3 the price. If God gives you the permission to leave (you must pray istikhara), you should go. If you don’t, you risk being guilty of not protecting your children from negative influences. It could only take one night with you gone for him to wake up. It is definitely worth a try, in order to save your marriage and family.

It doesn’t have to be physical abuse. If a mother is living in a situation where her husband disrespects or belittles her as a general attitude, the children will not be able to respect her and obey her and she will not be able to guide them. If she values her role as a mother on this earth, she needs to either firmly insist that her husband be “on her side” or else get out of there quick. She should trust Allah for the sustainence. You cannot allow anyone to disrespect you in front of your children. Your children are more important than your marriage. She can find another man who is not corrupt.

If a woman truly loves her husband, but he has some emotional maturity issues, she still has to separate from him from for the sake of the kids. Usually, within five years, a man will begin to miss his wife and realize what a schmuck he was. It can take time. But if she doesn’t go, then she’s giving him the permission to act that way and the children will not be raised in an emotionally secure atmosphere, and this will result in permanent damage.

It is totally possible for a single woman or a remarried woman to raise her kids in an emotionally secure environment. It’s just a matter of making that your priority.

The biggest fear is the fear of change. That is a lack of faith in Allah. Life is a journey and the secret to a long life is knowing when it’s time to go. In this day of global communication you can find a new husband within two weeks. I know women with diseases who are not even good looking who find new husbands. All you have to do is be available.

Even if you were to simply stand by the side of the road with your children asking for a ride from a stranger, I guarantee God is going to send you an angel to help you. This is your life and your soul. You can’t answer for him. The mother is responsible to protect the children and that includes not allowing them to witness her being diminished by others.

February 6, 2009

Maria’s Marriage Advice

Filed under: Blogroll, Interfaith, Islam, Marriage, Women — Tags: , , — mariahussain @ 7:26 pm

A friend of mine is planning on writing a book on marriage from the Islamic perspective so I put my 2 cents in:

Christians tend to fall in love and get married. They usually have a wonderful first year of marriage, and then it goes downhill. So, in order to rescue a marriage they have to remember why they fell in love in the first place, and practice having good manners and communication skills.

But for Muslims, the problem is that they tend to marry someone they hardly know. The first year of marriage is usually very hard. There is no period of happiness to look back on. Marriage is almost like a job. It’s worse than a job. The main focus seems to be on “tolerating” each other. Our approach should be to help Muslim couples learn to like each other hopefully before they get married.

I think also one of the hardest things in the Muslim world is because a lot of people are emotionally damaged from witnessing acts of violence or some emotional family trauma from the past. This can cause people to shut down and not really view others as human. So the wife becomes “that irritating woman” – the man is just a “dick with a wallet.” Once you label a person, then anything they do is seen through this distorted lens.

Probably a good approach would be to emphasize marriage as a path to spiritual awakening. The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said: “Marriage is half the faith.” Marriage can lead to joy but more importantly, the emotional maturation process that comes from gradually learning to detach from your ego.

Many people think it’s enough to just be married. You don’t have to learn how to love with your heart, or how to keep on giving and being just even when you don’t feel that loving. Muslim men sometimes think that love and true friendship is not a requirement of marriage, as long as they are paying the bills. They just shut down, and submit to an unhappy existence, trapped together due to societal expectations.

Marriage should be emphasized as a spiritual practice for learning to reduce ego attachment, a form of meditation and seeking God [dhikr]. When the relationship has problems, it is a mirror to help you discover your own inner self, your reactions and motivations, and to recover forgotten memories.

In Catholic churches, when they do pre-marital and marital counseling, what they do is ask questions that give you topics to discuss that help you understand each others’ feelings.

For me, the questions I would advise my kids to think about first and foremost before marriage:

Do you enjoy each others’ company? Do you laugh together? Does conversation come easily or with difficulty? Are you attracted to each other? When you are apart, can you feel the other thinking about you? Do you support each others’ plans, dreams and goals in life? Do you like talking about the same topics? Are there any activities that you both enjoy? Do you have the same expectations of the requirements of the wedding, marriage and family? Do you feel strongly about the other person’s bad habits? Does the other person admire or feel alienated by your strongest qualities? Are you hoping the other person is going to change after marriage or can you take them as they are? Will you still enjoy their company after they lost their good looks? When you are with them, do you find yourself toning down your true personality in order to seem more pleasing?

Other factors include language, culture and social class differences. Is the extended family going to give your spouse a hard time? If so – is it fair to expose them to this type of long term emotional abuse?

It’s important to find out ahead of time: Is he or she the kind of person that says everything they think as they are thinking it, or do they hold back information? Do they ask for their needs or wait for you to notice?

When I decided to leave my husband it was because he told me “I love you but I don’t like you.” I felt that if he couldn’t find anything about me to like after 5 years, we cannot stay together because there is nothing more insulting than someone just staying with you ‘for the sake of the kids’. I believe the dislike came from his tendency to label me negatively if he didn’t understand a behavior, rather than try to understand where I’m coming from. I was always just his “white lady.” He didn’t know how I am different from other white women. His main concern was that I should fit in with the other Muslim women. It turned out that I was holding him back from what he wanted to do with his life, namely fit in with the group, and he was holding me back from fulfilling my goals and dreams, which involves forging ahead of the group in order to work on solving the problems of the world.

In the end I realized that he did love me but the bottom line was he really just wanted to have sex with me. He didn’t actually have the strength to incorporate me into his life full time. He should have just made a private marriage with me if he was smart. It was the involvement of the family and community that destroyed the relationship. They told him that because he married me, that he had betrayed his people, and that kind of thing. He was filled with guilt and shame that people thought it was a “love marriage.” The truth was that I was not even attracted to him. I married him for religion.

I believe that in a successful marriage, “I” and “You” become “We.” The couple thinks as a team and feels as a team. There are probably some spiritual exercises that can help this happen. It’s really important to put “We” before the rest of the world. Otherwise every time you go out, the spouse becomes embarrassed of you. I remember my husband always judging me after a social occasion on the way home. “You talk too much, it’s humiliating.” or “Why didn’t you talk? You embarrass me.” Clearly he was determined to view me negatively no matter what I did.

If we had done a temporary marriage first, or if we simply had gone out for dinner like normal Americans, we may not even have had a second date. The truth was we didn’t have much to talk about. I would have found him too uptight and he would have found me too wild, and that would be the end. It was because we were trying to be so Islamic that we married a near stranger and went through so much pain learning that not everyone is compatible.

He took the time to take me out for fun somewhere finally, when I was threatening to divorce him – and it was really enlightening and almost amusing to realize how little he understood about me and how little he cared to share. After five years of marriage, we had no idea what to talk about other than politics or Dajjal (the Anti-Christ). We just didn’t find each other that interesting.

Before I was Muslim, I briefly dated an Indian Hindu man. What happened was he took me out to dinner a few times and he always sat like 5 feet away from me. He was very modest. I found him nice but I had no attraction to him. He had an experience though, which my husband unfortunately only had after I left him. When the Hindu man was visiting my home, which I shared with a friend, he saw my room. It was just a mattress on the floor, a rug for prayer and meditation, a brick that I used for a table that had some dried flower petals in a dish, and a small bookshelf. Something about glimpsing my private space made him say to me, “All the other people at work always say bad things about you but the truth is, you are the nicest person I have ever met in my life.”

He seemed like a sweet child who liked to give me presents. His mother found out he was seeing me, had a fit, and forced him to break up with me. I didn’t even consider him my boyfriend, to me he was like a friend. He came over crying and saying he couldn’t marry me. I was surprised because I had no idea he wanted to marry me. Truthfully if he had asked me, I would have gently but certainly told him no! I had no attraction to him whatsoever. True, I could have grown to love him because he was so nice, but I was not heartbroken – not even a little – that he couldn’t marry me. In fact I found the strange situation slightly funny though sad that he suffered for me. He actually quit his job where I also worked, because it was too painful for him to see me anymore.

I believe that with my first husband, had we gone out to dinner a few times before marriage, probably by the second date I really would have been clear that I didn’t want to marry him. OR, we might have had a chance to become good friends and got some inner glimpse of each others’ true selves, before trying to start a family. In which case the marriage would have had more team spirit because it would be based on admiration and respect for the inner person.

My ex-husband told me, after he got married to another woman, now he realizes what a kind and forgiving person I was. However, his elder sisters chose and approved her so I guess that weird family power trip is what matters most in their culture. And people call Islam a patriarchal society?

No regrets though. I learned a lot of things from the experience, healed in many ways and was wounded in many ways, felt things I never felt before and will never feel again. To every thing there is a season.

January 23, 2009

Breastfeeding in Islam

Filed under: Blogroll, Interfaith, Islam, Women — mariahussain @ 12:44 am

The Importance Of Breastfeeding To The Muslim Child
By Maria Hussain
Islam Online, New Jersey

“The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years, if the father desires to complete the term. But he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms…If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no blame on them. If ye decide on a foster-mother for your offspring there is no blame on you, provided ye pay (her) what ye offered, on equitable terms. But fear Allah and know that Allah sees well what ye do.” (2:233)

Given the importance of breastfeeding in the Islamic religion, the low rates of compliance among Muslim women in North America are puzzling. Although a formal research study has not been conducted, it seems upon observation that the breastfeeding rate among Muslim women is actually lower than among the population at large. There are small pockets of “fundamentalist” Muslim women who are well educated and adamant about nursing their children under their chadors, and who often practice natural childbirth and home schooling. However, those mothers who nurse their babies past the age of one year are the exception rather than the rule. There seems to be a lighthearted attitude among the general Muslim populace towards the bottle-feeding of infants. It is not frowned upon, and it is rarely something people even question. Perhaps it is a lack of education about the benefits of breastfeeding, combined with an absence of a support network to assist the new mother. Perhaps it is a misunderstanding of the meaning of weaning.

Understood in the general sense, weaning means the gradual transfer from feeding the baby exclusively breast-milk to table foods only. This can happen sometime during the toddler period of life, usually between the ages of 1 and 3. Transferring the child to animal and vegetable foods before he even had any teeth, was not done by the early Muslims. The most likely option, if a mother declined to breastfeed her infant, was the employment of a wet-nurse for the child. For the newborn Muslim child, the intimate breastfeeding relationship is a right. It is beyond dispute that two full years of breast-milk provide a baby with long-term health benefits such as the prevention of ear infections and allergies, as well as providing a foundation of trust between mother and child. It has been proven that a bottle-fed baby will be a weaker child, and that breastfed babies often have higher IQ’s and are more emotionally well adjusted.

In Islamic terms, weaning is a process that is administered by mutual consent, with the full intention of both parents who have decided that this is the best thing for the family. But in my conversations with sisters in various states who had given up nursing in favor of bottle-feeding, the sense is a feeling of powerlessness over the situation. These mothers often wanted very much to nurse their child. But somehow, they lost their chance. This tragedy is largely caused by a hospital system that does little to promote exclusive breastfeeding of newborns. In most hospitals, the new mothers receive free samples of formula to take home. This is a result of multi-million dollar deals between hospitals and pharmaceutical companies who pay the doctors to promote their products. This practice is highly unethical because little or no education about the dangers of bottle-feeding the infant is given to the new mothers. Many Muslim mothers, especially those who don’t speak English well and therefore are not able to question the nurses, come home with their babies already addicted to the bottle. Although at this point, all is not yet beyond hope, coaxing a newborn child to breastfeed, after he has been bottle-fed even just once or twice, can be a big struggle. It may not succeed without the aid of a lactation counselor, because unfortunately, even the older generation of mothers and mothers-in-law lack the knowledge of how to breastfeed. Thus, the likelihood of bottle-feeding is very high among immigrant and minority women in the U.S.

So many women have given up nursing out of a feeling of powerlessness to get the baby to nurse. Because this is not a decision to wean, but rather the result of lack of adequate help, this situation cannot simply be dismissed under the heading, “there is no blame.” Something is terribly wrong when Muslim women are giving up breastfeeding due to lack of education, counseling, and support. It reveals a stripping away at the postnatal rights of the Muslim woman to be in a state of rest for 40 days after childbirth. It also points to a fundamental lack of self-esteem in the mothers, that already at the age of 4 days old, she is allowing the child to make important decisions that will hurt him, rather than taking command of the situation and turning it around. If the child is rejecting the breast, the most common reaction is to try for a while, and then give up and give him a bottle. This teaches him that all he has to do is fuss and refuse to nurse, and he will be rewarded by a free-flowing bottle of formula. The only solution to this power struggle is for the mother to practice a bit of “tough love,” to refuse to give the baby a bottle, even if it takes several hours for the baby to nurse willingly. (If the baby gets dehydrated, he can take water with a cup or medicine dropper). All this requires the support and help of the father and other family members, to allow the mother and child to be together undisturbed as much as possible for the first 40 days of the baby’s life.

Many Muslim women manage to make it through those hardest days in the beginning and then give up breastfeeding after the baby is less than 6 months old. The most common reason given is, “I was afraid I wasn’t producing enough milk.” At this point, a lactation advisor could have told her to increase her own consumption of calories and to get adequate rest. Under no circumstances should she give the baby a bottle because this will only decrease her supply of breast-milk. But it is so rare for Muslim women to seek advice further than their doctors, who often do not give adequate help. Sometimes it is actually the doctor’s advice to start feeding their babies solids at age 3 months that leads to problems. Only with independent research will a mother be able to compare the “fun” of spoon-feeding her infant versus the risks of premature rejection of the breast.

How can we help the Muslim women of today to understand that Allah has made her able to feed her baby with the milk of her body? She needs to read books about breastfeeding and understand fully the commitment she is facing. She needs encouragement to seek help from a LaLeche League Leader or midwife if she runs into problems getting help from her doctor. Help is available. Women who receive adequate counseling are often able to sustain nursing even after returning to work outside the home. Premature infants can and should be breastfeed for the best odds in life. In fact, women who have never even been pregnant can actually stimulate the production of breast-milk for a foster child through the use of a special infant feeding device. The ability to feed your child the best that nature has to offer is your choice. Only after a successful and long-lasting breastfeeding relationship can weaning the baby truly be done by mutual and conscious consent. It will not simply be a tragic mistake to look back on with regret.

To locate a breastfeeding consultant in your area, call 1-800-LA-LECHE

===

Experience the miracle
http://www.youtube.com/user/breastfeedingbabies?blend=1

November 25, 2008

Holy Land Foundation: Devastation of Justice

Filed under: American interests, Anti-Zionism, Blogroll, Interfaith, Islam, Zionism — mariahussain @ 8:49 pm

Concerned Americans are in a state of grief. We all hoped for justice for the Holy Land Foundation from a trial by jury. But Americans are getting meaner and more absurd by the second, confused by Zionist media propaganda and bigotry. Goethe said, “There is no evil greater than wilful ignorance,” clearing up the question of whether they are stupid or evil. People don’t want to know.

And if they did know, so what. We’d just have a lot more depressed people in America.

Muslims blew it since 9/11 with all their interfaith dinners and “progressivism” and “isolating extremists” to make heir new Jewish friends happy and get rid of the Muslims who mention Palestine. You make friends with the devil it doesn’t mean the devil is going to protect you. Muslims make the mistake of thinking that just because Jews got to know you, therefore they wouldn’t hurt you. They would. Their friendship with you is entirely manipulative. I’m not talking about individuals I’m talking about these interfaith events. Muslims have been so busy trying to “understand” their Jewish Zionist neighbors that they allowed the Jewish leaders to step up its war on Islam.

And they are not done yet. Just last week another US citizen of Arab descent was kidnapped in Dubai by the US.

You would think that Americans are getting tired of all this detaining and torturing business but they are not! Not even the general public is ready to call it a day. We are dealing with psychopathic killers and that includes most Amercans. Because even if they didn’t themselves do the crime, they justified it in their minds and enabled it.

There is a very clear way to get rid of the Zionists and it probably at this point won’t work through education. Rather, we need to counter-manipulate. Steer the stupid meanness of Americans towards a more appropriate target. If they want to call you a terrorist, call them a traitor. Give it back to them. Bigots hate Muslims and Jews equally but there is a lot more money to be made by seizing the assets of Jewish billionares than by waging wars abroad.

Muslims need to wake up and realize that there is a war here, and just because you were proven innocent doesn’t mean they are not going to lock you up for life, and in any case devalue everything you’ve worked so hard to become.

Muslims need to abandon the left-wing protest agenda and start agitating on the basis of the Constitution, something all Americans even stupid ones say they agree with. Muslim Americans have not been demanding equal protection under the law aggressively enough.

The Muslims that were suing the David Project should never have dropped their lawsuit. They could have saved so many lives by using the lawsuit to continue getting more evidence of conspiracy with Steven Emerson and friends. But all they wanted to do was finish building their mosque. This is empty Islam. True, they were running out of money. They have millons of dollars in debts from even that partial lawsuit.

But Jews have found a way to make money from political persecution (real or imagined) while Muslims have not realized the great benefits of rallying around the “we are threatened” cause in order to turn money into more money.

There are so many things we can do that are proactive and I hope this wake up call will help Muslims get focused.

They have to give up the nepotism. They have to just understand that they are innocent and get over the hurt about “How could those people do this to us for no good reason?” The reason the Jews want to destroy Muslims is because Muslims could replace their social status group quite easily. We are more educated, more emotionally stable, and we outnumber them. All we need now is the self esteem and some personal, business, and political connections with people outside our immediate social network.

It’s important that the Muslim Students’ Association be funded, strengthened and guided by knowledgable elders. The students are the most potentially powerful group of Muslims in America because they have so many chapters and are all electronically linked. Only the Jews have networks like that. The fake Save Darfur story was marketed top-down through synagogues and student groups. Muslims could use a similar marketing strategy to promote something good and truthful and bring peace to America.

If we don’t take the steering wheel away from these madman, they will crash our world and it will be our fault because we were the only ones awake at the time.

October 17, 2008

What have we gained?

Filed under: American interests, Blogroll, Interfaith, Islam, Uncategorized, Women — Tags: , , , , , — mariahussain @ 2:49 am

Is it better now that the capitalist media “diversified” into showing more Black women’s bare legs instead of majority White women’s legs? So that Black girls too could become bullimic. In a way, one should realize that all of us are victimized by racial stereotypes and social behaviors in the media. Whites who never did anything to anyone grow up hating themselves for being white trash, blue-eyed devils, Nazis, blonde bimbos, slavers, the stereotypical heartless oppressor, etc leading to drug use and suicides. Media paints white people as to blame for all evil, especially white Christianity, which is responsible for the Crusades, and of course anti-semitism. White people cannot socially form groups in the way that all other ethnic groups are allowed to form groups. This has led to widespread homosexuality.

The only good person is a secular person who shops a great deal, according to the media. The bankers want all ethnic groups to hate themselves, to get self-destructively neurotic, and so be easy to manipulate against one another. The Jewish TV encourages white Christians to feel ashamed of their own culture and to intermarry with other ethnic groups, so that the Jewish elite will be the only ones with some kind of “lineage.”

Stereotypes aside, I think there are some real reasons for concern in Black America. I don’t really understand why it always seems to be white teachers and black students, almost like some kind of missionary system financed by the government. Don’t black people ever go into education? Maybe it’s just Boston, because we have so many upper class colleges, and so many of the graduates go on to try and “help the poor.”

I am very concerned about something I am noticing in the public school and that is autism. It seems to affect all races but I was alarmed to hear so many black mothers wondering if or being told that their child is autistic. The school has an entire wing dedicated to autistic children, while other autistic children are in the normal classroom with a support worker.

I can’t think of any reason for why black children would be experiencing high rates of autism except

– mothers not breastfeeding
– over-vaccination at young age
– false autism diagnoses due to some behavior problems caused by other factors

Both white women I know whose children are autistic were taking anti-psychotic medication during pregnancy.

The Pakistani child I know who is autistic comes from a family that seems to be very sensitive to vaccinations.

I am kind of worried about the nonchalance with which African American women return to work within days of giving birth. I also worry about the immigrant community’s over-reliance on bottle feeding. The ethnic group most likely to practice full time breastfeeding, natural birth, avoidance of vaccines and antibiotics, and “attachment parenting” is the Jewish.

All the white women I grew up as kids with as close friends are pushing forty and still no marriage or children. One of them got herself impregnate by two (different) black men but is raising her kids in a white lesbian couple.

By contrast, more black women seem to get pregnant young and think about career later. This seems to be connected to more grandmother and mother support within the family to raise the child of the unmarried woman. White women are expected to be economically self-sufficient and if they were to raise a child living with their parents it would be shameful.

White women are often shoved out of the family home as a burden to the family years before marriage. It does not appear that this type of (lack of) parenting exists in the black community, even in single parent homes.

Early pregnancy while single does lead to poverty though. So there ought to be some way of campaigning to women about saving themselves. That doesn’t mean don’t have sex. It just means get married to a guy with a job! Have some self-respect! And if you are really smart, then make him pay all your bills and refuse to get a job, even if it means you have to live in one room and share one bed.

Muslims need to develop the same kind of urgency that Jews feel about procreating themselves. We need to have as many children as possible and raise them to be the best kind of people out there. The world is trying to holocaust us.

September 29, 2008

Obsession: Delusional

Filed under: Blogroll, Islam, Zionism — mariahussain @ 4:00 pm

My husband and I just watched Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West last night, the free DVD the Zionists are distributing. Agents of the anti-Constitution activist and Polish immigrant, Charles Jacobs, were giving it away outside an award ceremony for the torture advocate, Alan Dershowitz that was given by the treasonous David Project front organization, “Christians and Jews United for Israel” last week in Boston.

I was expecting something frightening and awful. Instead I was astonished by how dumb and boring this DVD was. Utterly unconvincing. You’d think with a budget of more than $29 million for production and distribution they could have come up with something better than that. The main pundit was Daniel Pipes, who actually LOOKS like Satan. He even seemed to have plucked his eyebrows to make them arch in a more satanic way. The other speakers were all old, ugly lumps. Wistrich had rosacea on his face so bad that it was covered with red blotches. I wondered why they didn’t put makeup on him. It really undermined my belief that Jews understand psychology.

Clearly, only a really stupid person could even be convinced by all these spliced-together snippets of partial sentences, but if they were trying to keep the attention of stupid people they needed some bimbo with big boobs or something. Instead, they had like 20 minutes of Hitler footage. I found myself wandering away from the TV to get a snack or use the bathroom it was so dull. They couldn’t even get Irshad Manji or anyone under 60 to participate in this film. They did get Nonie Darwish, who was probably the most offensive in terms of her dishonest speech and who looks like an overweight female version of Ronald Reagan. But the entire DVD was just going back and forth between these mutant commentators and long-discredited MEMRI translations of speeches given by Islamic preachers that no one has ever heard of.

They really didn’t even try to make a good film. I’m sure they could have found some young Muslim to say he felt uncomfortable with Shariah or some girl saying she hates wearing the hijab, but they didn’t even interview one single Muslim except the usual neocon token Muslims that appear at every Jewish event, like the fake PLO ex-terrorist, a journalist for the Jerusalem Post they were saying was a Palestinian journalist, and Khaleel Mohammed, who later apologized to CAIR for allowing himself to be tricked into participating in this “vile propaganda.” This is the same Khaleel Mohammed that allowed himself to be used against the Boston Muslim community in the JCRC/AJC/David Project’s bulldoze-the-mosque campaign. The DVD also had some Maronite chick with 80s style lipliner, that I suppose they were hoping would pass as Muslim.

The message was really unclear. Let’s say everything in the DVD was true. Then what? There was no recommended action. It was all very vague and sloppy. The only interesting part of the film was a music video by some rapper which was showing scenes of war and crying Muslim children, which undermined their whole point, because it was a really good song and it made it clear why Muslims might hate America and that if you were them you’d probably hate America too.

Really this DVD was a semi-psychotic paranoid admission of Jewish guilt. It actually resembled a fragmented dream of someone who is tortured by his conscience. They kept on using the same footage and the same commentators over and over again. They really didn’t try to make this good.

My husband, who used to attend their events, said this poor quality type of BORING low-intellect documentary is typical for the Aish haTorah types. It’s amazing they can keep anyone in the fold of Judaism. You’d have to have a lobotomy.

UPDATE

Now it becomes more clear what the Zionist groups hope will happen as a result of their distribution of their DVD. Pogroms against Muslims. People often ask, “Why don’t the Jews learn from the Holocaust?” History shows that not only did the Zionists help the Nazis to eradicate European Jewry, the Zionists actually studied Nazism in order to duplicate its practices, both in Occupied Palestine and in the United States.

===

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/28/203016/697/536/613742

Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After “Obsession” DVD Hits Ohio
by Chris Rodda
Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 08:50:29 PM PDT
(From the diaries — kos)

On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain’s supporters has led to — Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.

· Chris Rodda’s diary :: ::

I read the story as reported by the Dayton Daily News, but this was after I had received an email written by a friend of some of the victims of these American terrorists. The matter of fact news report in the Dayton paper didn’t come close to conveying the horrific impact of this unthinkable act like the email I had just read, so I asked the email’s author for permission to share what they had written. The author was with one of the families from the mosque — a mother and two of the small children who were in the room that was gassed — the day after the attack occurred.

“She told me that the gas was sprayed into the room where the babies and children were being kept while their mothers prayed together their Ramadan prayers. Panicked mothers ran for their babies, crying for their children so they could flee from the gas that was burning their eyes and throats and lungs. She grabbed her youngest in her arms and grabbed the hand of her other daughter, moving with the others to exit the building and the irritating substance there.

“The paramedic said the young one was in shock, and gave her oxygen to help her breathe. The child couldn’t stop sobbing.

“This didn’t happen in some far away place — but right here in Dayton, and to my friends. Many of the Iraqi refugees were praying together at the Mosque Friday evening. People that I know and love.

“I am hurt and angry. I tell her this is NOT America. She tells me this is not Heaven or Hell — there are good and bad people everywhere.

“She tells me that her daughters slept with her last night, the little one in her arms and sobbing throughout the night. She tells me she is afraid, and will never return to the mosque, and I wonder what kind of country is this where people have to fear attending their place of worship?

“The children come into the room, and tell me they want to leave America and return to Syria, where they had fled to from Iraq. They say they like me, … , and other American friends — but they are too afraid and want to leave. Should a 6 and 7 year old even have to contemplate the safety of their living situation?

“Did the anti-Muslim video circulating in the area have something to do with this incident, or is that just a bizarre coincidence? Who attacks women and children?

“What am I supposed to say to them? My words can’t keep them safe from what is nothing less than terrorism, American style. Isn’t losing loved ones, their homes, jobs, possessions and homeland enough? Is there no place where they can be safe?

“She didn’t want me to leave her tonight, but it was after midnight, and I needed to get home and write this to my friends. Tell me — tell me — what am I supposed to say to them?”

When acting as a representative of Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the 501(c)3 non-profit organization that I work for, I cannot engage in political activities. The distribution of Obsession, however, although a political campaign scheme, clearly crosses over into the mission of MRFF. So, I’m going to make two statements here — one in my capacity as MRFF’s Research Director, and another as an individual whose disgust at the vile campaign tactics of John McCain’s supporters completely boiled over when I opened up the email about children being gassed.

My statement as MRFF’s Research Director:

The presidential campaign edition of the Obsession DVD, currently being distributed by the Clarion Fund, carries the endorsement of the chair of the counter-terrorism department of the U.S. Naval War College, using the name and authority of an official U.S. military institution not only to validate an attack the religion of Islam, but to influence a political campaign. For these reasons, this endorsement has been included in MRFF’s second lawsuit against the Department of Defense, which was filed on September 25 in the Federal District Court in Kansas.

My opinion as an individual and thoroughly appalled human being:

John McCain has a moral obligation to publicly censure the Clarion Fund, the organization that produced Obsession and is distributing the DVDs; to denounce the inflammatory, anti-Muslim message of Obsession; and to do everything in his power to stop any further campaign activities by his supporters that have the potential to incite violence.

August 29, 2008

Reforming the Halal Food Economy

Filed under: Blogroll, Interfaith, Islam, Uncategorized — Tags: — mariahussain @ 8:44 pm

Halal Food Economy
Maria Hussain
http://www.halalpak.com/index.php?
option=com_content&task=view&id=39&Itemid=30

Because clean water is a require­ment of Islamic life, the early
Muslims took it as a duty as fard upon themselves to build huge
aqueducts that provided clean water to the people. In the same way,
Muslims today have an obligation to rework their supply network for
zabiha meat so that they can truly guarantee to the people that it
is halal and does not contain questionable by-products.

The American corporate infrastructure is neither adequate nor
responsible to ensure its citizens are fed in accordance with
Islamic guidelines. U.S. laws allow pork protein to be fed to cows,
and chicken meat to be fed to chick­ens. Fifteen percent of licensed
feed mills and thir­ty percent of unlicensed feed mills do not comply
with U.S. sterilization laws. The demand for nat­ural/organic meat
increases every year, with growing consumer education and alarm. A
CNN poll in March 2001 showed that two-thirds of Americans are
concerned about mad cow disease becoming a problem in this country.

Rasulallah (peace be upon him) prohibited eating the animal that
feeds on filth and drinking its milk (Abu Dawud). We must
restructure our food econ­omy to comply with the requirements of our
reli­gion in all its practical aspects, not merely the ritu­als, but
to meet the common, collective needs of the people. This is not
impossible, and it has to be done now.

Resolving This Crisis According to Soundvision.com’s report, “It May
Be Zabiha, But Is It Halal?” Dr. Ahmad Sakr sug­gests the only viable
solution to the unavailability of genuinely halal meat products and
pure foods is to establish farms that are run by Muslims who will
raise livestock on plant-based feed that con­tains no hormones,
preservatives, meat, blood, or any animal by-products whatsoever.

I can think of a far more efficient way to feed the Muslims than
waiting for the sons of today’s engi­neers and taxi drivers to grow
up and become farmers. Among the People of the Book are American
farmers who are still committed to maintaining ethical farming
standards. Because of this, they are struggling to survive. We need
to identify them and enter into mutually beneficial business
agreements with them.

Creating Muslim-Driven Supply and Demand

Relying on mainstream food suppliers, it is nearly impossible to get
organic meat in the U.S., zabiha or not. The present system of
industrial food pro­cessing requires a supplier to provide thousands
of heads of cattle at a time to fill the demand of American
supermarkets. Organic farmers find it difficult to gain a foothold
in the consumer market because it is impossible for small farms to
meet that type of demand. Although organic meat is not yet available
on the retail market, concerned per­sons who are determined to eat
all-natural have the option of forming co-ops. Co-operatives were
launched in this country 150 years ago.

This is how coops work. People pool their money together to buy in
bulk and save. A few families may split the price of a cow, lamb or
sheep. You can find thousands of organic and grass-fed live­stock
farms on the Internet. Most farmers will let you use their farm to
make the zabiha. They might also process and cut up the meat after
you have slaughtered it Islamically. On average, one cow makes six
hundred pounds of packaged beef. Thus, even if you had to drive some
distance, hire a Muslim butcher, and then truck the meat back home,
it could still be worth the cost. When enough people start bypassing
the distributor and getting their meat directly from the farmer, the
meat stores will start noticing they are losing busi­ness and
eventually they will be forced to start offering organic meat.

Mainstreaming a Muslim-Managed Industry

While forming coops are one possible solution to this vexing
problem, I have even higher hopes for a voluntary upgrade of the
entire halal meat industry to halal and tayyab, before consumers are
forced to boycott halal meat vendors. Smart busi­nessmen are always
interested in new ways to generate profits, and I sincerely hope
they will jump at this opportunity to get a corner on the organic
meat market before some non-Muslim conglomerate caters to the
demand. The only thing that can make it happen is community
education. As soon as rank-and-file Muslims realize their “halal”
meat is not gen­uinely halal, they will not be able to eat it and
will demand a change.

The Muslim business community would be uniquely suited for bring‑
ing quality organic meat to the population centers of the U.S. No
one else could do it as efficiently, as we already have an organized
distribution network of small halal meat stores throughout America.
It would not be that hard to switch suppliers to a traceable source
of cattle, free of preservatives, pesticides, animal feed by-
products, drugs and hormones. If the slaughterhouses saw the
advantage of buying, livestock only from organic certified farms, from today the organic farmers would commit to ser­vicing the halal meat industry, and with minimal bureaucratic red tape.

Islamic meat companies are not huge corporations. Our meat industry is decentralized, meaning one halal grocery store could, in theory, buy from a couple nearby grass-fed cattle farmers, rather than having to go through a distributor. A larger meat distributor could contract with a farm collective for his supply.

Family-owned farms already have a system in place where organic
farms pool their cattle to meet consumer demand. These collectives
will provide a steady supply of cattle for our smaller commer­cial
needs. Presently, an organic farm collective could probably supply
only ten head of cattle a day, but if the farmers got a sincere
commitment from the Muslims, they would be more than happy to
increase their output to feed all eight mil­lion of us.

Gary DeMoe, a Wisconsin cattle rancher I contacted, told me, “A
large and sustained market such as you are suggesting would get my
attention and favor, which means I would bend every possible effort
to supply it. Business is business.”

If all the Muslim consumers switched over to halal and tayyab
zabiha, the organic farmers would get the commercial base they need
to really start pro­ducing. The industry could go from one percent to
fifteen percent of the entire food industry virtually overnight. We
are talking about tens of billions of dollars potentially generated
by a collaborative effort between the Muslim community and the
organic farmers of America. It would be a huge blessing for the
entire economy, as well as the environment. I believe that Allah
will give us this advantage and more, if only we would start doing
things His way.

Establishing high-quality standards for halal meat should not just
be the dream of some fringe group of health food freaks and
religious fanatics. Grass-fed cows and sheep, and organic chickens
should be the standard of the halal industry. When Allah’s name
becomes associated with purity and ethical business practices, the
Muslims’ tarnished reputation will be restored. Many people, includ­
ing non-Muslims, will frequent our halal stores if the meat is
safer, tastier and healthier than what is available at the retail
supermarket. Some will drive long distances to buy organic meat.
Zabiha butchers and distributors should take courage and accept this
challenge, for Allah will make it easy for them.

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