Alternative Views

By Yahya Figueroa

Strangely our brothers and sisters following the Salafi model love photos and publicity although many of the same minhaj believe photos to be haram, such as pictures of women with exposed faces.  I think it speaks to our confusion that these same ladies embrace modest dressing yet their behavior desires to be heard and mixed gender company does not seem to fit into their overall very strict interpretation.

Let  us frankly state the obvious. We are in America. Our history, cultural background and approach to life are very different than the model that is being selectively chosen for us.

I am uncomfortable with I feel to be a list for fame and recognition among the stars in this current movement.

Perhaps it is generational.

There is a push toward conversion fatwa but what happens when these people enter Islam?

Where is basic support, encouragement, and follow up? To the best of my knowledge there is none. It truly is as a current political phrase had it – all talk no action.

What of Muslim elderly or prisoners or poor homeless etc? No plan, no care.

So again I am challenging my current Muslim activists. Less fame and glory. More care for the weak and needy among our people and people in general regardless of caste color or creed.

Back on the Driver’s Seat

By Yahya Figueroa

Intellectual fads and cultural truism are very hard to detect. These false trends often have a grain of truth but the final product is distorted truths and fabulous falsehoods. The larger society has in so many ways lost its mind morally and intellectually.

Our minority groups are usually in the rear but here they have seemingly joined full scale adopting the lies of our time.

What happened to the most basic shared truths of the Bible and Quran? Ideas of monotheism against  paganism, ancient and modern, the belief in revealed truths such as the sanctity of life and final judgement with accountability for our deeds or the revealed truth of the same origin of all of the human race.

The condemnation of theft cheating immorality and yes shared notions of family marriage and a basic sense of normal, it seems these most simple basic beliefs are outdated.

Too often when we approach religion we wonder into hair splitting and debates of the most arcane types as the world seems to implode around us.

We watch helplessly as our families dissolve our communities and are up in arms against each other.

I challenge myself today by asking what is it that is so important in what I believe. How does it make a difference for me and others? Does my life have a mission, a core value that is worth calling to or am I just making a lot of noise?

Some of us have now spent an entire life within western Islam. We lived from humble beginnings, sweet innocent days of spiritual searching with revolutionary desire to change the worst parts of our society then we watched in horror as the worst aspects of the third world were brought here to our land.

Amazingly, we have allowed the late comers to reduce us to silence. Yes, people who came here to escape the horror of their failed lands are now the captains of this ship with the same foolish notions and collapsed plans.

Let us reclaim those days of joyous Islamic spirituality and yes, confront the self-appointed leaders who fail to notice their legacy of failure.

Spiritual searching and social activism are a powerful combination whose time has come again.