Flattery Will Get You Nowhere

Allāh, exalted is He, has stated in His Book,

وَلَقَد ضَرَبنا لِلنّاسِ في هٰذَا القُرآنِ مِن كُلِّ مَثَلٍ لَعَلَّهُم يَتَذَكَّرونَ

“We have given all kinds of examples to people in this Qur’an, so that hopefully they will pay heed.”Qur’an,39: 27

Indeed, Allāh, through His Immaculate Qur’an, has given us every kind of scenario and every kind of archetype we will encounter in this life. And so when I saw this article today in which actor Jeff Goldblum, speaking with sexual deviant, Ru Paul, asked a rhetorical question, “Is there something in this religion that is anti-homosexuality? And anti-woman?”, I knew instinctively that this was one such mathal, or example, that Allāh speaks about in His Book.

It is the nature of The Beast known as Hollywood and mainstream media to stir up controversy. This Beast also has its sights set on the last-man-standing of traditional religion: Islam. And therefore there’s no better month than the month of Ramaḍān to make controversy amongst the Muslims. In the same vein in which both Hollywood and MSM have sought to attack, co-opt, and redefine black masculinity by promoting homosexuality in the media and movies (especially homosexual black men), this Beast also seeks to cast Islam and Muslims to the same fate it’s used against blackness: presenting its traditional form as barbaric and eradicate any dissenting opinion against the modern day Deluge known as the LGBTQ movement.

In the second chapter of the Qur’an, Allāh warns us of a certain kind of archetype, the two-faced hypocrite who pretends to be amenable but in the end is not only an enemy to you, but to God Himself.

وَمِنَ النّاسِ مَن يُعجِبُكَ قَولُهُ فِي الحَياةِ الدُّنيا وَيُشهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلىٰ ما في قَلبِهِ وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الخِصامِ

“Amongst people there is a kind whose words about the life of this world excite your admiration, even calling Allāh to witness what is in his heart, while he is in fact the most hostile enemy”Qur’an, 2: 204

Interestingly enough, we had just covered this verse a few days before in our Ramaḍān Quranic Reflections series on YouTube in which I highlighted in particular the misleading nature of celebrities who may appear likable and even supportive of Muslims but in the end of enemies of Allāh and His Revelation. It is also quite hypocritical that Jeff Goldblum should go on TV and vilify Islam but never stop to ask himself if there’s something in his own religious tradition that is “anti-Palestinian” and “anti-black/African”.

This is nothing other than another mathal or example of Allāh’s Book becoming manifest before our eyes. A friend of mine, upon reading the article said, “Dang, I liked this guy.” Don’t spend too much time lamenting over someone you never really knew (or perhaps you do know him now!) and instead focus on what really matters in this life and The Next: pleasing our Lord.

Trump and the Resurgence of Everyday White Aggression

Since the election of Donald Trump much has been given to the topic of racism, and especially white supremacy, and its malfeasance in the public’s eye, or shall I say, the media’s eye. And while undoubtedly there has been an uptick in such occurrences what is being misconveyed is the important fact, historically as well as present day, that white aggression in the United States has been far more than a few bad apples. For many non-whites, especially so-called African-Americans. white aggression was as ubiquitous as it was vernacular, meaning that white hostilities directed towards blacks was not simply a privilege some white elites enjoyed inflicting on blacks but in fact, its apparently one of the few joys poor whites could enjoy. It would appear that the 2016 election has breathed new life into this phenomena and re-authorized that contingency of white America to again openly and unapologetically flex its muscles. Yesterday, at 1:00pm, I had my own personal encounter with it. Continue reading “Trump and the Resurgence of Everyday White Aggression”

Whether We Look Inwards or Outwards, There Is Only Submission

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقاتِهِ وَلا تَموتُنَّ إِلّا وَأَنتُم مُسلِمونَ

“O’ you who have faith! Have piety of God, as is His right due to Him and do not die except as those who submit to God’s will (Muslims).” — Qur’an 3: 101

There persists great difficulty and controversy over the meaning of the Arabic word, “Islam”. Popular definitions often hover over “peace”, undoubtedly to dodge accusations of Muslims, the practitioners of the religion Islam, being inherently and exceptionally violent. Other dictionary definitions suggest “to abandon”, suggesting when one becomes a Muslim (yet another definition from the verbal root, aslama, which Islam is derived from) he or she “abandons the world and all its illusions” in favor of God. And while there may be others, I’ll highlight a third here: “submission”. Continue reading “Whether We Look Inwards or Outwards, There Is Only Submission”

#BeyondHalal – The Role of Imagery in Manipulating Food Choices

As Benjamin Missbach describes in his article, Mental Imagery and Food Consumption, human beings have an enigmatic, Proust-like capacity to,

“travel back and forth in time by using mental simulations. By imagining shapes, forms, and scenes, humans can relive the past and visualize future events”1.

The process of reimagining the past, as demonstrated in the above image on the back of a delivery truck, is emblematic of how the food industry operates in the western, developed world. Unlike Marcel Proust’s madeleine, however, whose triggered memory was based on an actual memory, our nostalgic reactions today to such images as the one above — a white cowboy rancher, is based more on fiction and fantasy than fact and reality. Continue reading “#BeyondHalal – The Role of Imagery in Manipulating Food Choices”

The Smugness of Secularism

Secularism is, among many things, smug. It is so heavily dripping with ideology and prejudice — two qualities it would love to convince the lot of us that it is above — that it’s virtually impossible to take anything it says at face value. But its smugness would have no traction without its purveyors, many of whom these days are Muslims.

Of the many ridiculous statements of secularists (and perhaps especially Muslim secularists) is the notion that everything that’s wrong with the so-called Muslim world can be lain at the feet of religion in general and doubly so for Islam. This only furthers the crippling of emerging Muslim societies by discouraging them from solving their problems and challenges they face today by using the tools of genius already present within their societies and culture (influenced and informed by Islam) by shaming them for no other reason than simply being Muslim. Additionally, like a good used car salesman, secularists then proceed to sell Muslim societies on all of the wonders and benefits secularism promises to bring to their societies, a one-stop shop if you will for modernity. This sleight of hand, especially by Muslim secularists and anti-theists, is akin to a magic trick that requires audience participation for the effect to seem believable. In the end, secularists are doubly guilty of reducing the problems of Muslim societies to merely the adoption and adherence to Islam and reducing their solutions to the mere appropriation and unquestioning embracing of secularism. Like any good magician however, they do not like for you to scrutinize their techniques too closely as the house of cards their arguments are built off of may crumble. By this I mean the failures of secularism. Continue reading “The Smugness of Secularism”