Monday, June 13, 2016

Another Muslim, Another Setback: The Orlando Mass Shooting

"Aaaagh! It's another friggin Muslim guy!" I blurted out to my wife while sitting on the couch scrolling the news sites to find out information early Sunday Morning about the Orlando Mass shooting. My family and I woke up and turned on the TV to news of a tragic shooting at a gay night club in Orlando where a whopping 50 people were killed and 53 were injured. Those were the headlines plastered across the screen of a scene where it showed men, bloody and injured being carried away from the club by friends. Others were traumatized, crying from the carnage they had just experienced. It was horrifying. All we could say while captivated by the coverage was, "Man he (the shooter) better not be Muslim."

That's what prompted the search on my phone and sure enough, the idiot was. And sure enough, I reacted like Homer Simpson would when he heard something horrible happened and is praying to himself "Don't be the boy, don't be the boy" and then when it's revealed that his son Bart Simpson caused the destruction, he reacts appropriately.

Tale of the Tape: Muhammad Ali (A Real Muslim) vs. Omar Mateen (A Fake Muslim)

IN THIS CORNER!....a surefire resident of paradise, the greatest heavyweight CHAMPEEN in the world, of noble mind and fine Muslim character...Muhammad Ali!

America (and Muslims) were just coming off of  mourning a loss of a great global hero. Muhammad Ali, boxer, entertainer and activist had passed away and the world weeped and paid tribute to the great man. At his funeral, many attended, celebrities and people who looked at Ali as a role model. Millions also watched the funeral at home. It was performed in the traditional Muslim way and notable Muslim scholars were there to eulogize Ali. It was a great look into what Islam was all about and who Ali was all about. Ali was an exemplary American Muslim and was the standard barer for how a Muslim should conduct himself in America while proudly being a follower of the Islamic faith.

Aaaand in this corner, he's surely hellbound, a conceited selfie taking prick, a homophobe and abusive intolerant jerk, he's a pathetic excuse of a Muslim, Omar "jackass" Mateen!

Now in contrast, we have this prick Omar Mateen who happens to have a Muslim sounding name (because the jerkoff certainly wasn't Muslim by action) who killed innocent men at a nightclub-- DURING RAMADAN no less--before getting killed in a gunfight with police and setting the Muslim community nationally and worldwide back even more. Muslims and Islam is being bashed left and right as extreme, as intolerant of others, as being barbaric, bloodthirsty and vengeful and critics of Islam are going, "I told you so" about us because of this act. 

Frankly it pisses me off and it collectively pisses the entire Muslim ummah off when some a-hole like this does some dumb crap like this. Details and unconfirmed rumors surfaced that he did this to show his allegience to the terror group ISIS and ISIS also claimed responsibility. 

The father of the shooter claimed that he had no terrorist affiliation and this wasn't motivated by any terror group but was merely a hate crime because his son was a homophobe who was ignited by seeing gay men kissing at a beach with his children and being offended by it. His ex-wife has come forward and has said he was violent, intolerant and abusive and he wasn't a devout Muslim. Whatever the facts are, this was totally uncalled for and the POS went off and did this unnecessary crap. In his mind he may have thought he was doing the world a favor, but all he did was make the religion that he erroneously followed look worse in the eyes of the world.

Muslims are sick of apologizing for pieces of shit. We shouldn't have to. We have nothing to do with these kinds of people. Nothing about our beliefs says to go killing innocent people for no reason. And especially during the month of Ramadan where we're not supposed to even argue or cuss much less grab a damn assault rifle and take people out. 

It's like notable scholar Khalid Yasin said best, Islam is like a corporation and Muslims are all employees. If a employee does something scandalous or against company policy, the corporation has every right to cease ties with that person and put a disclaimer that the employee acted on his own, does not represent our culture and our values.  Omar Mateen is not from us. He's not a Muslim whether his name sounds like he is or whether he prayed salat the day before or fasted, he's not Muslim if he's doing shit like this.

Islam is more than just rituals and clothes to wear and not eating pork. It's about character more than anything else and it's of character modeled off of someone with exemplary character, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Muhammad was tolerant of others, of non-Muslims. He did not get angry and advised people to control their anger, he dealt with people justly. He defended innocent men, women and children. Muslims are to model themselves after the noble characteristics of the Prophet. And the beloved Muhammad Ali who is adored by many for his character was only doing his best to emulate the characteristics of the man he named himself after, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

What Omar Mateen did broke company code, it voided his effin' contract! He's terminated, he's finished, he's no longer an employee of the faith. The only thing we as Muslims are sorry for--and it was beyond our control-- is that we're sorry he ever filled out an application and it was accepted. Allah will sort his ass out in the next life. That's the way it should be.

My heart goes out to the families of the slain and I'm glad to see Muslims in Orlando and nationwide stepping up and reaching out in solidarity and support. The Muslims now have to deal with more hatred and vilification and likely hate crimes against us because of this scumbag unfortunately. Being in an election year, this event probably got Donald Trump more voters. It's a damn shame. The whole thing is. 

We'll bounce back because like Muhammad Ali, we know where we stand and we live everyday making sure the people know where we stand.

Winner by knockout, Muhammad Ali!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The World Loses A Legend: The Passing of Muhammad Ali

Cassius "Muhammad Ali" Clay passed away Friday at the age of 74. He was known as the People's Champ and for good reason. He won the hearts of the public with his character. He was the fiery fast talker, charismatic and opinionated but could back up his wit and verbal jabs with legit lightning fast jabs in the ring. He's proclaimed as the greatest boxer in the history of this sport, but it was his personality and actions outside of the ring that made him the famous influential figure that the world will never forget.

Social media has had an overwhelming outpouring of messages, tweets, and tributes to the fighter. He was a universally loved athlete because of his intellect, his sense of humor and his bravado. In a day and age where the world looks so disapprovingly at Muslims and Islam in general, it's ironic that someone seen in such admirable light across various creeds, ethnicity and backgrounds for his life and body of work and his activism was a Muslim. 

There's so many quotables, so many soundbytes and memes that highlight his exceptional character that I can't do it enough justice packing it all in on this blog. What I can do is give my own personal tribute to him.

Unfortunately, I missed Muhammad Ali in his prime when he was a star-attraction, a headliner and controversial hero. But thankfully, with the benefit of videography, a lot of his greatest moments were captured on camera. His interviews, his epic fights, his poetry, his humor was captured for us all to marvel at. He had documentary after documentary made about him and his life. He had a Hollywood biopic made about him. It was through these means that I came to appreciate just how great of a man he was and how proud I was to know that we shared the same faith and that made us brothers.

This young scrawny kid from Alabama became one of the greatest figures in our lifetime by working hard, having his eyes set on a vision of greatness and busting his tail to go after it. Sure he was brash and confident and had a swagger about him, but he could back it up yet at the same time he was so down to earth unlike athletes these days who put themselves on a pedestal and look down upon commoners (Money Mayweather). 

His conversion to Islam ultimately humbled him and made him a lot more introspective. I'll never forget an excellent clip of him talking about Islam and his view on the purpose of life and death and the afterlife. What's amazing was that he was on a national stage, in front of tons of white folk, talking Islam in the friggin '70s to people who didn't have a clue about what the faith was all about, and he schooled them and they just were wowed by his commentary. Here it is below:

It wouldve been delightful for him to be able to be vocal and nimble in his old age, God knows he'd be a fiery spokesperson til his last breath for Islam, for Muslims and for the injustices in the world against African Americans and other minorities and railing against corruption in government like he did in his heyday. I wouldve loved to hear from him.

Unfortunately, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984, just three years after his last fight of his phenomenal boxing career. It was sad to see that the man who become world famous for his quick footwork and loud mouth had those very gifts hampered by the disease, his movements slowing, his posture shaky and his voice practically taken away. . But even he had a humble sense of humor about things, as he stated in vintage Muhammad Ali fashion:

God gave me this illness to remind me that I'm not number one, he is.
The man forever known as the "greatest" was reminded of the phrase that Muslims all around the world, utter during every prayer, who ACTUALLY is the greatest: Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest). And Ali reponds with the most humbling quote summing up his reaction to the Parkinson's disease he was given. It's just out of this world. 

Muhammad Ali will be missed dearly and I pray that he is given the highest station in paradise and that one day I could meet him on the other side.

RIP Muhammad Ali