American Muslims – Between the Pragmatic and the Progressive

The following quote from Amos Wilson, scholar of black studies, has made me ponder the current outlook on life many American Muslims hold: is it unquestionably our destiny to “progress” forward to a better and brighter future? Like any parent, I most certainly hope so but history, especially if this election cycle is any indication, shows us that life is anything but a sure, steady, and guaranteed progression to a brighter and more prosperous future. One quote of Wilson’s caught my eye:

“The idea that we must necessarily arrive at a point greater than that reached by our ancestors could possibly be an illusion. The idea that somehow according to some great universal principle we are going to be in a better condition than our ancestors is an illusion which often results from not studying history and recognizing that progressions and regressions occur; that integrations and disintegrations occur in history.”1

While generally not regarded as a scholar of education, I do think Wilson’s remarks are worth considering for American Muslims. Specifically, the need for us to consider what are our particular educational needs. This may (and ought to) subdivide again, in that the educations needs of particular aspects of the American Muslim community (suburban Desi vs. urban Blackamerican, for example) will have needs that will vary from segment to segment. My point being, that if we are to have a brighter future, then the American Muslim community will need to produce not only leaders but educators, ones who are adept, cognizant and articulate with American history and how that history will challenge American Muslim hopes and aspirations for a brighter tomorrow.

Notes

1. Wilson , Amos N. The Falsification Of Afrikan Consciousness. Brooklyn: Afrikan World Infosystems, 1993.

#MiddleGroundPodcast – Netflix’s Iron Fist – Converts and Authenticity


[Direct download]

In this episode, Imam Marc discusses Netflix’s new series, Iron Fist, and relates it to the struggles of Muslims converts and their challenges of authenticity.

George Orwell on Totalitarianism

“Totalitarianism, however, does not so much promise an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia. A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud. Such a society, no matter how long it persists, can never afford to become either tolerant or intellectually stable.” George Orwell, The Prevention of Literature

White Supremacy and the Alt Right’s Emotional Appeal to White Victimhood

As has been seen before by white supremacists, such as Richard Spencer, the new emergent form of white supremacy know as the “Alt Right” has chosen to taken a more stealthy approach to propagating their message: victimology. In this new articulation, whites are presented as the victims of a relentless onslaught by non-whites whose explicit goal (either in collusion with white liberals or better yet, created by them) is the elimination of the white race. In my conversation with “Dwayneنtruthman” on Twitter, he wonderfully articulates this new form of white supremacy’s sales pitch:

So I crafted a quick seven minute response to articulate and draw out the truth of what this appeal is: white supremacy (surprise!). Because according to Dwayne, Spencer, and their ilk, whites, and only whites, are those who have an inherent and rightful claim to America (and Europe) because of their whiteness they see themselves are the civilizational builders of the West (which denies all non-whites any role in contributing to that civilization), thus, all others must apply with the ever increasing risk of being denied.

يا أَيُّهَا النّاسُ إِنّا خَلَقناكُم مِن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثىٰ وَجَعَلناكُم شُعوبًا وَقَبائِلَ لِتَعارَفوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكرَمَكُم عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتقاكُم ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَليمٌ خَبيرٌ

“All you people! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female and made you into different races and tribes so you can come to know one another. The noblest among you in the sight of God is the one who is the most mindful of his duty to Him. Truly, God knows and is aware.” Qur’an 49: 13