Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ben Carson, a Muslim President, Sharia Law and the US Consitution

Wrote the following on a thread where a retired, very religious tech writer friend (a Christian that has problems with the Trinity, btw) had tagged me for a response:

On the question raised by Ben Carson, the correct answer remains that given by Colin Powell (a Republican, it should be pointed out) or the one given by a Founding Father (that I am still looking for an exact reference for; basically that if the people elected even a "Mahomedan", it should be fine by us).

How to respond when someone calls Obama a Muslim

Republican Colin Powell has a powerful message for members of his own party.Video by Occupy Democrats, LIKE our page for more!

Posted by Occupy Democrats on Monday, September 21, 2015

On the wider issue, the way I see it, the issue isn't Islam or Muslims (whatever your local CAIR rep might say), but bigotry generally. My problem is that way too many Muslims--even those who might look like they don't make their faith an issue--agree with Dr. Carson that Islam and the US Constitution don't go together. Just as there are Christians, Hindus, and others that want no part of "Man Made laws". While they can hold what opinion they want, I--and you can look at my About page on Facebook--was brought up to be a "Constitutional Muslim", one who believes that living under written laws is not just acceptable, but the ONLY way to go for a Muslim in this day and age. (See also this previous post.)
After all, The Prophet actually headed a multi-ethnic, multi-faith confederation for the last part of his life--one that was governed by a written constitution that provided for each sub-community and faith community to be governed by its own laws. (See

And lastly, why are we giving a troll like Ben Carson—who is never going to be more than a flash in the pan—so much mindshare? I do appreciate that his actions give us the chance to have this conversation. And that he and Donald Trump are basically forcing the reboot of the Republican Party that this country needs, to keep the political system healthy. But if we could have these conversations without privileging bigots like that, the world would be such a better place.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Syrian Refugees and the "Wealthy Gulf State" Question

Really, people? You want the rich monarchies and The Establishment of Western countries to be the ones to help the poor,...

Posted by iFaqeer on Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It takes an African

Federal Government College, Sokoto student
Been reconnecting with school chums from back in Nigeria. And I have to say; it's been gratifying and, well, completing in a way. I will say more about the experience, but something came up in discussions around alumni networking that I am surprised I don't seem to have said on this blog before. And part of the experience overlaps with the whole flap about Rachel Dolezal and being African American. But I digress. Here it is, ab imo pectore, as the other S. Ashraf would say:

We do try to not let things remain unsaid. It's one thing that makes me most grateful to have spent formative years in Africa—and where we were specifically. Over the last few years I have said, it made me very proud to be just a little bit African when I read, for example, of Nelson Mandela standing next to the president of the United States and saying:
"I have also invited Libyan leader Gaddafi to this country. And I do that because our moral authority dictates that we should not abandon those who helped us in the darkest hour in the history of this country. Not only did they support us in victory, they gave us the resources for us to conduct this struggle and to win. And those South Africans who have berated me for being loyal to our friend, literally, they can go and throw themselves into a pool."
It takes an African. It takes a Nigerian. And I am grateful for having been born in Sokoto, as we say, Birnin Shehu da Bello

Friday, July 17, 2015

Inclusive Eid

The rainbow has belonged in our affairs all along

I posted this on a couple of progressive and radical Muslim groups on social media, and thought it belonged here, too:

To all our fellow Muslims feeling like they don't have a congregation, a community that really owns them on a day like this: THIS is your congregation; THIS is your community ; THIS is your ummah. You are our community; you are our congregation; you are our community. Eid Mubarak, my people. Blessed be. For that is what the greeting means.

Takbeer: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, la ilaaha ill-Allah, wAllahu Akbar, wAllahu Akbar, wa Lillah il-hamd!
[Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is no god but Allah; and Allah is the Greatest, and Allah is the Greatest, and to Allah belongs all praise]

To quote Maulana:

Come, Come, Whoever You Are
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow

a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.

Eid ul Fitr 2015

"Haza Eiduna"—"This is our festival." Taqabbalallâhu minnâ wa minkum. "[May] God accept from us and you [our fasts and...

Posted by iFaqeer on Friday, July 17, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hope—vs The Lack Thereof

This bears capturing:

Monday, May 04, 2015

Respect what others adore—even the Flying Spaghetti Monster

As a Muslim, I have always considered myself under clear directives from The Prophet himself not to diss anything that...

Posted by Sabahat Ashraf on Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

An Emigrant's Reasons

Rangers (Pakistan's paramilitary
Border Security Force) warn
Karachiites to carry
computerised ID cards at all times
Immigrants from the #ThirdWorld and those "at home" often agonize about why we left. People from Karachi, we often observe in Silicon Valley and other places, often do not move back home--even less so than, say Lahorewallas. See, for example the poem"Jo thha kya thhora thha?" by the diasporic poet Irfan Murtaza. And maybe the rebuttals like this one.  In a week where Africa's tired and poor are drowning in the Mediterranean as they do something about their yearning to breath free, I can't help but think that too many of people who get the chance to drive BMWs in Silicon Valley and beyond have have convinced even themselves that they left for purely economic reasons.

I remember being given a lift to the airport in Karachi a few years ago (on the last trip while my father was still alive) by a friend. Admiring the ride (it was a 5 Series) my brother asked "So why did we emigrate?" To which I do remember saying "Well, economics is not the only reason."

This morning brings this little gem of a news report that, at least to me, lays out a lot of the why and what.

PS: Yes, I used the word "emigrant" in the subject line very advisedly. The real word that identifies my and mine sticks in too any craws.