This presentation is a comprehensive look at resistance movements from the Sixties through to the present day. It mainly focuses on the roots of resistance and how they influenced early indigenous Muslim communities. Rahim Ocasio presented it at Darul Hijra in Northern Virginia about 2008/2009 as part of a youth program.
The video below documents a landmark event in the history of El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) and the Latino Muslim story in the United States. It was Alianza Islamica’s attempt to publicly showcase an expression of Muslim culture that was distinctly Latino and accurately reflected our contemporary cultural reality: sights, sounds, music, songs, verse, and food, the latter with an indispensable assist from our mothers. The result: a festive event novel yet familiar to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
This lecture shines a light on the problem of racism in the American Muslim community. Its primary focus is on the ways Arabs and Indo-Pakistanis discriminate against Black and Latino Muslims.
The examples cited reveal the stark reality of Muslim discrimination and the need for frank and open dialogue. As with most things noxious, prejudice festers in the dank dark. Honest discussion, public as well as private, is a must.
In that vein, it is troubling that an essential part of the speech was deleted from the video. That excised portion dealt with organizational and institutional discrimination. Some major national Muslim organizations, especially those run by first and second generation immigrants, have a history of attempting to co-opt and control Latino Muslim initiatives. These efforts betray motivations and agendas that don’t align with the best interests of Latino Muslims and the Latino people.
Racism, and it’s prurient twin, arrogance, held in opposition to Islamic standards will always be found wanting. Delusional airs of superiority betray Islamic values to the core and are anathema to civilized Islamerican society. May Allah, The Most High, protect us from this evil. Amin.
“Latino Muslims: Our Journeys to Islam”
Did you know you can read the first part of the book for free?
That’s right, you can read the short bios of Khadijah Rivera,
and Benjamin Perez for free on your web browser.
Check it out at Amazon.com.
By Yahya Figueroa
Many of our Muslim answers have become dogmatic, repeating of a few themes someone has kind of understood from some book or the other.
Iman (faith) is of course the cornerstone of our Muslim lives.
I won’t recant basics of faith, theology and points we believe in. These cardinal points are laid out in Quran, Hadith and books dedicated to these very deep matters.
I want to speak of the role of faith as an element in our lives. Iman is an additional component of our understanding of our world. It is finally by faith that we choose to believe somethings rather than others. Currently, for example, the debate continues over the equality of the human race.
There are arguments with facts and numbers, charts and theories in all sides. Some can’ prove’ that one race is superior to the other. The opposite side may equally respond with their proofs and “facts.”
It is faith for us, Qur’anic faith, that argues that all human beings are from one common origin. That superiority is only by piety and noble character. Now other than by faith, there is no logical demonstration that determines that human equality is scientifically true.
It is the same with the meaning of our lives and direction of the universe.
We see trillions of interacting parts of the universe. From the furthest galaxies to our own internal world. The rotating spinning planets in orbit, the process of oxygen and constant precision of hearts and brains lungs and hundreds of body parts repeated in billions of people indeed living beings defies comprehension. Now the atheist take has it that this is just incredibly good luck.
I think logic and reason shout that insane–yet even if we are at a standstill it is by faith that we affirm the truth of our Creator, our guiding powerful Lord.
Practical faith gives meaning and hope to our lives.