No Muslim Terrorist Threat in America

Sometimes you have a conversation with someone and you can’t think of the right responses to their words until after you have already parted and then you cannot wait to see them again so that you can say what you wanted to say in the previous discussion but then it seems out of place so you forget about it.

In a conversation yesterday in which I was complaining about the erosion of civil liberties in America a man said to me “it’s not as bad as you think ….but just wait and see if there is another terror attack and see what happens.” Now I must say that I agree with him completely on both points; Muslims, who are in all actuality now oppressed in America, on occasion exaggerate some things (this does not mean that our feeling of being targeted are not real because they are) and I also believe that another terrorist attack will be used as a pretext for the right-wing nuts in Congress and in the Justice Department to pass the draconian legislation cooked up by their think tanks and being called for by the digital-brownshirts.

Where we differ is in that I feel that another terrorist attack will probably expose the ills of American society more than it will expose the ills of the Muslim community. Now let us take these facts into consideration; America has invaded a sovereign Muslim nation and killed at least 100,000 people, the US continues to be an enabler to the worst elements of Israeli society, the US is systematically attacking and oppressing the American-Muslim community, and the US is fighting any form of the Islamic movement anywhere in the Muslim ummah and yet since 9-11 there has not been a terrorist attack of any note on American soil. Is this because of aggressive law-enforcement? The facts say otherwise. The facts show that law-enforcement has not stopped a single act of significant terrorism since 9-11. Muslims who have been arrested are largely locked-up on trumped-up or bogus charges, and with the exception of Jose Padilla and the group in LA, have absolutely nothing to do with anything in the US. Now how one can indict the entire Muslim community based on the acts of a few is an indictment on the indicters.

It is time for certain people in law-enforcement, the Republican Party, and in the Goebellian right-wing media and think-tanks to realize that there is no terrorist threat in America from American-Muslims and of there was, as pissed off as Muslims are, they would have already blown some shit up. Now there may be a threat from some Muslims living abroad with ill-will towards America (because of our polices not our freedom) but that is hardly an excuse to investigate every Muslim you can find in the US.

The real threat in America is what it always has been and that is the White-Right. This is the White-Right that has brought us the terrorist act of the Civil War, Jim Crow, the KKK, the police and prison industrial complex, country music and the election of George W, Bush and a Republican congress.

Blogigng is therapy, I write so I won’t go crazy with all the anger I have inside.

Looking for good news? Maybe we have gotten some in Algeria where President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced an amnesty for those involved in the fourteen year long civil-war which began after Algeria canceled elections that the Front for Islamic Salvation was poised to win at the behest of the US and France which led to a brutal civil-war that led to 150,000 deaths with atrocities committed both by Islamists and the French and US proxy-armies.

Christians and Others Seek to Exploit Kurdish Nationalism

“I had a dream and in that dream the last great enemy to exist on earth to Christ is Islam and in that dream God used the Kurds to destroy his one last enemy”.

These are the words of a Christian missionary from Kansas who recently appeared on National Public radio. The missionary went on to say “I left my life in Kansas to come to Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) because I believe that God will use the Kurds to rip the heart out of Islam.”

Now as of yet these Christian missionaries have not had that much success in their attempts to spread Evangelical Protestantism in Northern Iraq amongst the Kurdish population. There have been a small number of Kurds who have left Islam in order to become Evangelical Christians.

The tactic that is being used by missionary is not the usual Christian messages of the love of Jesus or the necessity of being born-again; the missionaries are using an odd-tool and that is Kurdish Nationalism.

The Kurds are being told that Prophet Muhammad (sas), who was an Arab, founded an Arab religion and that Arabs have used to Islam to dominate Kurds for centuries so in order to throw off the yoke of Arab oppression Kurds have to leave Islam. The missionaries are also referring to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Bush The Elder as Christian warriors and saviors who have delivered the Kurds from Saddam Hussein in a way that Old Testament Prophets delivered the Jewish people from tyranny.

In this sense missionaries are not only doing the religious act of conversions but they are spreading a political ideology as well. This is an ideology which puts America on the side of God, Muslims and Arabs on the side of Satan, Israel on a sacred pedestal and calls for an absolute Holy War in the middle-east to be waged by Western armies in order to tame the Lion of Islam and stop the spread of the deen in the West.

It is unclear at this point in time as to what kind of support these missionaries and political activists are getting from the US government if any. We do know that a large percentage of the US Armed forces are made-up of Evangelical Christian and amongst that group there have been widespread reports of religious radicalism in the military ranks.

Many were surprised in 2004 by the comments of Lieutenant general William Boykin who described the war in Iraq as a fight against the devil and a false G_d. However those who have followed the military in the era since the national draft has been rescinded have noted that unlike in generations past today’s military officer corps is overwhelmingly Evangelical, conservative, Republican and in support of the administration and this trend not only is in the military but exists in domestic law-enforcement as well.

A number of US soldiers have come home to America to state that they in fact have been using their time in Iraq to attempt to spread Christianity. Indeed the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has been helping to equip Baptist soldiers to spread Christianity in Iraq has made Iraq a top priority.

Many other missionary organizations saw the War on Iraq as a golden opportunity. John Brady the head of the IMB middle-east division said “Southern Baptists have prayed for years that Iraq would somehow be opened to the gospel.” And like a European warrior-king from centuries past President George W. Bush opened Iraq for them.

Rick Love, an icon of Christian missions in the Muslim Ummah told Mother Jones Magazine in 2002;

Love fixes his gaze on a studious, spiky-haired missionary dressed in Patagonia clothing. “If people ask you, ‘Why are you here?'” he asks, “what do you say?” The young man, on leave from Southeast Asia, squirms in his chair. His jaw opens but nothing comes out. “Bingo!” Love says with a smile. “You bite your fingernails, and people go, ‘Of course he’s not hiding anything.'” Love notes that before he went to western Indonesia to proselytize among Sundanese Muslims, he went back to school and earned his credentials to become an English instructor. That way, he says, he had an excuse to be in the country. “I could look someone in the eye and say, ‘I am an English teacher,'” he explains. “‘I have a degree and I’m here to teach.'”
That, he says, is the model for winning converts in the Islamic world: Find another pretext to be in the country. Build friendships with the locals. Once you’ve developed trust, then it’s time to try to gain new believers. But don’t reveal your true purpose too early. “How did Jesus explain why he was there?” Love asks the class. “Indirectly,” volunteers a veteran missionary. “He’d say, ‘Why do you think I’m here?'”

So Muslims are dealing with a dual stealth nature with Christian organizations in Iraq and Kurdish areas in particular; on one had they are not putting their cards on the table and are not revealing the true nature of their existence in the area and secondly they are a disruptive influence in the region as they are seeking to encourage the Kurdish-Arab conflict in order to spread their sect of Christianity.
The vast majority of Evangelical Protestants today believe in American supremacy and are whole heartedly nationalist. Go into almost any Evangelical Church and you will find an American flag behind the pulpit. Their message is clear; America is Gods nation and in order to be a true American you have to be a Christian and God will use the American military to not only spread American might but to spread Christianity.
In Northern Iraq they are attempting to spread a similar sort of nationalism amongst Kurds in a divide and conquer fashion. Islam discourages nationalism and separations on lines of race and says that the Ummah is one and this produces a threat to not only those who seek to win Muslim Souls but to the political enemies of Islam who would like to see further division in the Ummah.

What is a Muslim?

Over the last several months various movements that are attempting to show a new face to Islam have been featured prominently in American media outlets. Some of those faces are less than sincere and are the obvious spawn of those hostile to Islam, and they themselves are an active part of a fraud that seeks to deceive Muslims. Organizations that fit this category are those such as the American Islamic Congress. In other words, this is not a real organization, but one organized by non-Muslims, who found gullible Muslims, that seeks to demonstrate that there is support in the Muslim community for the American agenda in the Muslim ummah.

The next group, which represents a tiny fraction of the Muslim community but are now representing Muslims on Meet the Press and PBS, are the liberal left-wing Muslims. This is a group, made up primarily of second-generation American Muslims from immigrant families, who are acting as a proxy ideological army for America. They are deemed as more credible culture warriors to Muslims and they are being promoted by many in America because they have Muslim names and ideals about the future of Islam.

This group tends to be heavily influenced by the Western cultural left and focuses heavily on sexual issues and issues of “modernizing Islam”. They are following in the footsteps of reformed and conservative Jews and of some of the mainline Protestant organizations (and both of those movements have been in decline for decades as people are craving authenticity over non-committal gibberish).

Like those Jews and Christians, who think of themselves as too intelligent and modern to follow traditional religion, and do not think that they should be confined to any moral standards or a code of conduct, they seek to maintain their Islamic identities without actually practicing Islam and not only that but they want to become the spokespeople to the West for a faith they do not even practice.

The root of their rebellion is not just their level of Westernization or education; but it is their basic belief in the supremacy of Western values over Islamic values and their desire for the values of the West to infiltrate the world of Islam and reform the Muslim World. In other words, they are a proxy army for the West, whose ideas come from outside of Islam, and they seek to change the Muslim world on behalf of those whom they admire and serve. This contrasts to the traditional methodology of Islam of seeking to spread Islamic values and make Dawah to outsiders. The job of Muslims in fact is to spread the light of Islam to the world and to seek to help America while we are living here and not to be seduced by its false promises of materialism, immorality and usury. We take from the good and leave the bad. If they seek to export American cultural values to the Muslim ummah then they are exporting a faulty product and one that will not sell outside of the bourgeois classes who are already upset they were not born to a Western mother.

These individuals consider themselves Muslims because their parents are Muslims and they have an affinity for Eid celebrations, calligraphy and maybe some stories from Islam. Out of pride they do not seek to leave Islam, and because they are generally secular they would not entertain converting to another faith.

In the current fad of being spiritual and not religious, as many say, these people seek to keep a connection with Islam without praying, fasting, following the Sunnah or any of the things that Muslims are supposed to do. They claim they are Muslims but in the same breath will tell you they don’t believe the Quran is from Allah and they don’t believe in the Day of Judgment and are not sure how good Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was.

Some of these people, like Irshad Manji, Amina Wadud, and the Progressive American Muslim Union, openly know that they are being used as a proxy imperialist force towards Muslims and have thrown their lot in with those who are hostile to Islam to one degree or another. They seek to reshape Islam by using Western philosophy and modern political thought and feel they are too superior to the ignorant masses of Muslims to follow Islam as it has been practiced in the past. Living as immigrants, and the children of immigrants, they seek the constant affirmation from their white role models in this society and crave their acceptance more than anything in the world. The inferiority complex of their parents has been passed to them and they are even more willing to submit to the American elite than to Allah than their parents.

There are others who are slightly more credible such as Reza Aslan and Muslim Wake-Up who have maintained some level of dignity and have some thoughtful commentary on the state of Muslims. But even they make the same catastrophic mistake; they seek to galvanize support for their mission from non-Muslims who are hostile to Islam and get funding from them and have ceded the values of Islam in favor of non-Islamic values and seek to systematically attack traditional Islam on behalf of America. This is not the courage of Bilal Ibn Rabah, who told his master Allahu-Ahad, rather it is the cowardice of Abu Jahil, who out of pride would not accept Islam, they follow.

The fundamental question is who is a Muslim and who represents Islam? Should those who don’t practice Islam, for whatever reason, or seek to formulate some make-believe religion under the guise of being progressive and call it Islam, and then seek to push those who follow Islam as it has always been to the side represent Islam?

In order to represent Islam you have to first be Muslim and your name can be Muhammad Ali and you can be a Non-Muslim and your name can be John Brown and you can be a Muslim. Being a Muslim has nothing to do with what country your parents came from, mom plus dad doesn’t equal Muslim; being Muslim has to do with your Aqeedah.

If you believe in the oneness of Allah (tauheed) and the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh) and you testify to that, and you believe in His revealed books, the Divine Will of Allah, the Hereafter, and the angels you are a Muslim. And what does a Muslim do? The Muslim follows the Quran, because you accept it as divine revelation, and you give the Quran the supremacy over all other knowledge and when you follow the Quran you will follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and that is Islam.

Other than that people can call themselves what they want but that’s not what being a Muslim is. If you put three wheels on a bicycle it becomes a tricycle and if someone eats chicken they are not a vegetarian. You cannot say you are a Muslim and you think the Quran is just good literature or Muhammad and Buddha are the same and that praying five times a day is just a suggestion or maybe we should lead prayers in Urdu or whatever. That’s not Islam, that’s just some stuff you decided to make-up and call it Islam. Islam is about submission, and when you do that you are not submitting to Allah, rather you are seeking to become G_d yourself because you are too arrogant to submit to anyone and anything. The reformers laugh at those who follow the Sunnah and glorify the likes of Nietzsche and Kant and they see Muslims as inferior to those in the cafes and gay bars of the West whether they will openly say it or not and they look down their noses smugly at the sister in hijab and think she is too unenlightened for low-rider jeans.

There is no such thing as a cafeteria Muslim and in Islam you cannot create a G_d you are comfortable with instead of the Allah that does exist. One has to make a decision, do I want to be a Muslim or not, and you cannot have your cake and eat it to.

American Muslim Outlook on Britain

It is very tough for Americans, Muslims or Non-Muslims, to understand the situation of Muslims in Britain unless they have spent an extended amount of time in Britain. In America there are only about seven million Muslims out of a population of almost three-hundred million and outside of the Northeast corridor, Atlanta, and the great Midwestern cities Muslims are few, scattered and relatively insignificant outside of the African-American community.

The British scenario is much different; not only are Muslims everywhere, existing in large numbers in every British city of any size, but there are many very recognizable Muslim neighborhoods all over Britain that are akin to the Latino immigrant neighborhoods that one sees in the US ( and the Muslim areas of places like Brooklyn).

Since the suicide bombings on July 7th in London the British political leadership, law-enforcement, media and intellectual-class have struggled to come up for answers to what happened since it was discovered that the attacks were orchestrated by British-born and raised Muslims of Pakistani origin.

Most of the discussions thus far have been pure rubbish. Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that he wants to pass a new deportation law that will retroactively deport Muslims who have advocated terrorism in the past, ban certain organizations that the government deems as extremist, and work at certifying Imams of Masjids. Some organizations need to be scrutinized there is no doubt, and it is bizarre why organizations that openly advocated terrorism for years were allowed to operate in the first place, but going after organizations that have nothing to do with terrorism, such as the Muslim Brotherhood (which has been proposed by some but not by Blair or his government), and other loud and vocal organizations which while they may be annoyance are non-violent such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir is just bizarre. Tahriris may be an annoyance within the Muslim community but they are not a threat to anyone and they are not criminal and the only reason to ban them is because you don’t like their opinion and if the British are going to go down that road then who will be safe tomorrow? The precedent will be set that groups who operate in a completely lawful manner can be banned just because the government doesn’t like their opinion. In America, the definition of terrorism is simple; if you are a Muslim and you do not agree with George W. Bush you are a terrorist and that is how law-enforcement operates in America. As the British people on a whole are more educated, sophisticated and have a greater understanding of the world than Americans do then let’s hope they will approach this problem with a greater maturity than the cowboys in American law-enforcement.

When fears sets in though people stop thinking. That is why in Islam one of the definitions of worship lies in the question of whom one fears and for a Muslim to fear another human being is detrimental to the soul of the believer. Today the British people are living in fear because people do not know what is going to happen next and outlets like Sky News are trying to use fear as a marketing tool just as their counterpart Fox News has done in the US.

How real is the threat of terrorism from British Muslims? No one knows the answer to that question but a few things have been ignored in the discussions within the British media thus far.

Tony Blair has said that Muslims must accept British values to be in Britain and to a certain extent that is true. In following the Sunnah Muslims should follow the British law. However this does not mean that Muslims in Britain have to accept all of modern British culture as healthy or desirable. Westerners are not the least bit introspective and cannot comprehend why anyone would not think that their culture is not perfect and complete and that arrogance exists on both sides of the political divide. That people could legitimately feel that there are serious flaws in the Western mind and way of life baffles self-worshipping Westerners and they feel that if one does not recognize their supremacy than they are either insane or extreme.

The vast-majority of Muslims living in Britain love Britain, and if they didn’t they could leave, so they may say they hate Britain but they would cut off their arms before they would have to go back to Lahore or Cairo. Some don’t understand all of British culture and even if they do understand it may not like it; but they still love their little slice of Britain.

Muslims have come to Britain because of the poor-economies in their countries of origin and the opportunity to advance economically in Britain and Britain needs these Muslims as much as they need Britain. On one level these immigrants provide labor for entry-level positions that Brits don’t want or will not take, on another these Muslim immigrants are entrepreneurs investing in businesses that the British have neglected, and on another they are providing Britain with highly-educated people in the workface particularly in the information technology field. Without these immigrants the British economy would suffer and Blair knows this and that is why he is trying to find a way, along with the rest of the British elite, to on one hand deal with the terrorist threat while seeking some way to not anger the Muslim community.

I believe that there is a terrorist threat from a tiny number of Muslims in Britain. I also believe that while the actual number of terrorist is very small that amongst young Muslims in Britain that there are a lot of people that are armchair supporters of such activity and that an even larger number enthusiastically supports causes in places like Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir and Chechnya. A distinction must be made between these two areas. For those who support liberation causes in Kashmir and Chechnya more than likely do not support terrorist actions in the West and may not specifically support terrorist acts as a part of those liberation struggles in Muslim countries.

Two things exist that are problematic for Brits. First of all you have the problem of the clerics in Britain. Many of these clerics do not speak English and even if they do have an extremely limited understanding of Britain and of the problems that their young congregants are experiencing. In a non-Muslim Western society the role of the mosque is crucial and the imam of the Masjid becomes very influential and important within the community and a de-facto leader of the local Muslims. In Muslim countries the imam of a Masjid is a nominal position and the real Islamic leadership exists in the offices of the Mufti, academia, Muslim media and amongst the large Muslim organizations. In the West all of the above exist in the Masjid and are under the imam. If these Imams are in Britain and don’t know the first thing about the society then it is highly doubtful this individual can be effective in addressing the problems of the community and most especially the young. I do believe that British and American imams should speak English, but I do not believe that the government has any business in regulating this matter; it should be a matter of common sense for the Muslim community to want an imam who speaks English.

The next problem is the fact that these young British Muslims are growing-up in a society that their parents may live in but don’t understand. So in one home you have two totally different world views; the mind of the parents is still rooted in Asia or Africa and the kids are British. The Islam of the parent may be defensive but the Islam of the child is assertive. The parent is bashful but the child knows Britain and has grown up with its children and feels no shame of being a Muslim and is not the least bit intimidated by fellow Brits. You have Muslims who are in trendy London neighborhoods and at the elite levels of British society and they have seemed to have internally worked out the meaning of being a Muslim in modern Britain. Some have preserved most of their Islam while others have just retained a Muslim name.

Amongst the middle-class and working classes of the Muslim young you have a generation that can produce Amir Khan and Naseem Hamed and then also produce the bombers of 7-7. These young people say yes to much of Britain; Football, music (especially hip-hop), and film. However they know that amongst much of Britain there is a profound disrespect for Muslims and for non-whites. This should come as no surprise as Britain until a generation or two ago was a virtually all-white nation and previous interaction with darker-skinned people had come through war and colonialism. In modern Britain there was supposed to be equality amongst the races and religions but much of that never left the minds, pens and tongues of the British cultural elite.

In this global world, where everything and everyone is connected electronically, everything becomes local. Britain enters Iraq, and this may or may not be a contributing factor for terror, and young Muslims in London and Brighton are watching the war play by play on satellite TV and chatting with Muslims online about the problem.

The vast majority of Muslims were angry about the British involvement in the war in Iraq and few British politicians (with the exception of George Galloway, Ken Livingstone and some Lib Dems) came to the support of the Muslim community in any real way. When these Muslims went to the Masjid they heard irrelevant Khutbahs and the imams and leadership had no real answers to the frustrations of the young. The parents of these young Muslims also had no answers, as a matter of fact they didn’t even understand why their children gave a damn about Islam and were not focused on trying to get a P.H.D. and marry a Punjabi princess. These Pakistani mothers without hijab watched as their British daughters listened to Mos Def and Radiohead and put on the hijab and their British sons let their beards grow while they cheered Manchester United and Ricky Hatton.

Without having anyone responsible willing or able to give these young men answers these young men out of anger, rage and a sense of wanting to defend the ummah embraced the method of terror. We do not know if these young men were corrupted or influenced by some militant Muslim scholars, because that is often the wrongheaded assumption that people need to be incited from the outside and are not internally committed to commit acts. We do know however that whatever the method of radicalization that these young Muslims can find solace and comfort on the internet from a variety of forums and websites and the rest is history as day by day the rage grows and peers are found in neighbors and online.

The problem that exists within the Muslim community is the problem that some Muslims believe that terror will help solve the problems of Muslims (or at least make the aggressors against Islam feel the pain). Not only is this a false belief but a belief that puts the whole community in danger as we see the hysterical reactions in America and possibly Britain to acts of terror. One Muslim commits an act of terror and the next thing you know the entire community is suffering over something they had nothing to do with and the problems of the Muslims still have not been solved but have only gotten worse. Furthermore, even if these acts were successful with regards to their intentions they would still be immoral and un-Islamic.

Muslims have to be patient and not simplistically think that a couple of bombs here and there will solve the problems of the ummah. In the West Muslims must recognize that if we maintain our deen we will not be wholly accepted by the greater society and not have are feelings hurt by this. We must also recognize that our world-view is unique and that both the political left and right have major beefs with Islam. It is our job to work hard, educate ourselves, work to make the communities that we live in a better place and create a positive image for Islam and Muslims. Once we advance as a community and become successful and organized then we can be in a better position to advocate for our positions in the Muslim World and for the greater acceptance for Islam in Western societies. On an issue by issue basis coalition building is also very important and we should be working to formulate domestic and local agendas for the places in which we are living and support those who support us in the political arena.

Watering down Islam, or a Progressive Islam, is not a solution because this is no Islam at all and has no credibility so any attempt by British or American authorities to support such movements will end in disaster. The heavy-handed approach of cracking down on all Muslims with opinions also will not help because these opinions will just go underground. The answer is in cooperation with the Muslim community and refraining from the group-indictment mentality that has been so common in the history of humanity.

If the terrorist attacks in the US have shown us anything they have shown us that as a society America has advanced very little over the past fifty-years. The great stain on American history is race and as America struggled with this issue over the last fifty-years civil-rights laws were passed and the new America was supposed to be a tolerant America were different races and cultures were accepted. 9-11 brought out the bitter truth that, to a large extent, much of this tolerance was a fraud and below the surface many Americans, and most on the American Right who now control the country, never believed or accepted the fact that White Christians (and those running up behind them) should have to live as equals with others. So the response to 9-11 was a group-indictment on Islam and the entire Muslim community led by an administration that’s ideologically opposed to most of the advancements Americans have made since the 1960’s.

Let us hope that this does not happen in Britain. After all it is a country where most of its subjects can find their city on the map, can tell the difference between a Sikh and a Muslim, know that the civilized world doesn’t end at their borders and can name their local politicians unlike America.

Katrina Through the Eyes of a Muslim

Americans for long have had a false sense of security. American children are raised to believe that we are living in an island of civilization amongst an uncivilized world. You are told that everything American is naturally better and all others live in a state of inferiority. Mass tragedy does not happen in America you are told; that is reserved for the third world.

September 11, 2001 woke-up a lot of Americans. “How could this happen here?” they asked themselves. Americans had a false sense of security and believed that they were immune to tragedy and thought they could live lives of leisure without giving thought to the problems of the world. The vast majority of Americans (contrary to what many in the Muslim World believe) could care less about what is going on in Palestine or Kashmir; they are concerned about football on Sunday, baseball in October and in checking out the newest restaurant or nightclub on the weekend.

Dead bodies in the street, collapsed buildings and mass casualties was supposed to be something that Americans saw on the nightly news just before flipping the channel to the latest reality TV show or sports program. So Americans walked around in a state of shock after 9-11 and since that moment have lived with the reality that things like that could happen in the US given the global political climate especially as it relates to Muslims ( and we as Muslims have now been scapegoated in America to be responsible for all ills in the world).

It is not only true that Americans have seen themselves as immune from political violence in the past but Americans have almost had the sense that they are immune from nature. Even if a natural disaster occurs Americans have historically felt that because of the quality of American architecture and the infrastructure of the nation that the US would be immune from receiving large loss of life. Then Katrina hit.

In the days before Hurricane Katrina hit residents of the Gulf Coast had been warned by the US government to evacuate and local authorities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama began to make preparations for the storm. This effort was hampered by the fact that the administration of President George W. Bush with Republican congressional approval had cut the funds that had been used under the Clinton Administration to build flood and hurricane protections. This money was diverted in order to aid the War in Iraq and to fund the various Homeland Security mechanisms that have popped up since 9-11. Therefore money that the people in the Gulf Coast needed was used to spy on Muslims domestically and conduct witch hunts of innocent Muslims and to attack and occupy Iraq.

The American National Guard is in theory the military protection for each American state. Each state has their own National Guard and the governor of each state is the commander-in-chief of the local guard. Katrina was an event, in New Orleans specifically, where the military was desperately needed to do much of the heavy lifting but this could not be done given the fact that the bulk of the Louisiana National Guard was in Iraq and left their homes and cities undefended.

When residents began to flee New Orleans and the Mississippi coast the roads quickly became clogged with vehicles. Train lines had been shut down and bus service out of town stopped and this left those without their own personal vehicles left to fend for themselves against the hurricane. Those with their money, youth and health left town before Katrina hit and those who were left behind were either poor, elderly, sick or black.

This has exposed some of the dirty secrets of America. The desperate poverty that exists in many American cities, racism that still exists and the fact that African-Americans are living as a permanent underclass in America and the US wants to brush the plight of African-Americans under the rug, the backwardness of the American South, the inadequate US rail system and public transit system, and the highly inefficient decentralized US emergency response system.

In the richest nation of the world people were stranded for days, went without food and water, and the streets of a great American city were full of looters and the desperate. It took almost a week for Americans to respond in any real way and by that time thousands had died. Now many Americans are asking questions; would the response have been greater if the victims had been white? Does America value the humanity of its poor or do they view the poor as sub-human?

President Bush didn’t feel the need to respond and go to New Orleans himself until his political advisors warned him that anger was brewing at his slow response. The mainstream American media largely focused on desperate people looting replaceable televisions and clothes from stores and somehow viewed this as more important than the massive loss of life and the message was clear; this is what black folks will do if our foot isn’t on their neck. Within the US refugee camps are now being set-up in Texas and other places and Americans do not want to recognize that there can be refugees in America. Out of arrogance President Bush has also shrugged off the help that other nations have offered and wants to send the message that America is so powerful that it doesn’t need help from anyone.

As a Muslim and an American my heart goes out to the victims of this tragedy and it reinforces my rage at the injustices that exists in this society. Any Muslim in America that doesn’t feel this way should leave and go somewhere that they don’t wish to be flooded. While we are here in America as Muslims, and not in internment camps yet, we should do our part in helping the victims of Katrina and spreading the Dawah of Islam. This is a tremendous opportunity for Muslims to show the compassionate nature of our faith and reach out to those in need.