Immigration and Hate Crimes

I have been thinking and writing a lot about immigration lately and have been surprised at just what kind of bedfellows the issue of immigration makes. That’s what I was thinking of as I got out of the Grand-Newton subway station at about one in the morning last night and put my ear plugs in and got ready to put the radio on 91.5 FM to hear the BBC News; but before I could do that I was interrupted by a loud commotion.

Someone with a heavy Spanish accent was yelling ” why you no pay me mister? I work hard everyday, I work hard, why you no pay me.”

A white American with a heavy New York accent responded ” shut up you fuckin piece of shit, your a piece of shit, your garbage….”.

Then the Spanish guy punched the white guy ( who was locking up a storefront on Broadway at the time) and the white guy kept on yelling ” why did you hit me you piece of shit” and then they started wrestling and the Spanish guy was thrown to the ground and the white guy kicked him in his face and walked away, a big mistake. Street rules dictate that when you got someone down you keep them down at all costs because you may not like what happens when he gets up, so this guy should have kept kicking until the guy couldn’t get back up.

While he was walking away a random Spanish guy ran at him and threw a punch ( that missed); but this gave the other guy the chance to get up and run at him and a fist fight broke out between the two and a big crowd gathered and that’s when a big garbage truck pulled-up and blocked my view of what was happening and while that truck sat there about three cop cars drove by and didn’t stop. What I could see is that a large crowd of Spanish men had gathered and the view from the street was totally obstructed; not good news.

Maybe the white guy didn’t pay his worker, in which case maybe he deserved what he got, or maybe the Spanish guy was a thief, who knows? One thing we do know is that immigration is an issue that is pissing a lot of people off and that the paying of the books that is common today, especially in NYC, can lead to these types of things.

ER Shipp on Hate Crimes
In her column in the Daily News Shipp wrote about her problems with hate crimes legislation and that a crime is a crime regardless of the motivation. Others have said that hate crime laws criminalize thought. I can understand where they are coming from, but I think civil rights advocate Michael Meyers, has a better idea in my opinion when he says that hate crimes should be specifically tailored to crimes that are meant to intimidate and have an overtly racist or xenophobic motivation and are tied to some kind of political or racial agenda.

Let the McAllister Family Stay
There has been an anti-Irish sentiment amongst many at the New York Post for a long time and I can remember their vocal opposition to the peace process more than a decade ago. Recently they ran an editorial calling for the deportation of Malachy McAllister a single father raising two kids who fled Belfast after gunmen tried to kill his family. The Post said there should be no excuses for terrorists; but does taking part in self-defense measures against an occupying force qualify as terrorism? By all counts he has been a law-abiding man here, why not let him stay and think about the future of the kids?

Random Thoughts While Waking the Streets of Queens

I have been so busy with my move into my apartment that I have not had time to write. It has not been because there is nothing I wanted to write about, in fact I made a list of all of the things I wanted to write about and then promptly lost it.

I was walking down the street in the Jamaica Queens neighborhood the other day when I heard the usual assortment of things being sold by the street vendors ” batteries, watches, DVD’s, short sets….” and I didn’t pay any attention to it until I heard ” Yo, I got that health insurance”.

What? Is the health-care situation so bad for low-income Americans that you have to comp insurance on a street corner in Jamaica, Queens? I wonder what our European and Canadian friends think of that? Could you imagine that even in the Brixton or the most dilapidated parts of Birmingham?

That incident occurred on the way to the main Queens Library where I was denied a library card because I could not produce a telephone or utility bill with my name on it. I tired to explain to them that I only use my cell phone and that I have no utility bills as they are all included in my rent; but the rules are the rules and I walked away with no card. Of course I already have a Brooklyn Library card and a New York Library Card but I wanted my damn Queens card.

On my way to the library, which I could not find, I first asked three Spanish-speaking men where the library was and he asked me “what is the library” and after talking to him for a brief time I was able to find out that this guy didn’t know what a library was and my jaw just sank. Now I can understand not going to the library, or having no interest in reading, but not hearing of a library? Then again I have been in many homes where there are no books in the home and when you wake-up the TV goes on and it only goes off when you go to sleep and that is the case in many ghetto homes of all races.

Coming back from the library I ended up walking behind a guy with a black thobe and a red gutrah like the Saudis where. It was a hot day so I walked up to him and said “must be hot in that black, are you Shia” ( because they wear black a lot) and he replied ” no I am Salafi, Salafi, do you know what that is?” I told him yes and asked where he was from, he spoke the English of someone raised in New York but he looked to be a Latino ( if there is a Latino look). He told me he was Saudi, and I knew he was full of shit, so I asked him a few questions about the KSA that he dodged other than to say he was from Riyadh. Now, unless there is a Riyadh in Puerto Rico his ass was lying.

This comes a day after an Italian guy at my job all of the sudden switched to being a Cuban because he found out this Puerto Rican girl he likes doesn’t like Italians and I ask what is the world coming to?

Everything here in this country is complicated by race and many people feel, including myself at times, there is no need being nice to people because everyone hates each other anyway. Most blacks will always hate whites and be suspicious of Whites no matter what they say or do and the same in the other direction.

Many see all whites as rich and I had a Dominican cab driver tell me I lived in a rich neighborhood, which is bullshit, and I told him, ” it just looks nice because people use trash cans and don’t throw the trash in the street, don’t play their music for the whole boro to hear, and there are no 15 year old girls walking around with a couple of kids. Other than that, these are just working people.”

Just some thoughts.

Easter, Moving and The Rising (s)

Today is Easter and people all over Christendom are celebrating their belief in the Resurrection of Jesus on the third day and meanwhile Jews are observing Passover. Myself, I am consumed with moving right now as I just found a very good apartment, alhamduduialh, and if you have never looked for an apartment in New York City you don’t know how difficult and time-consuming it is.

I was originally looking to move in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, as I love that area, but I just couldn’t find a place in that area. What I did find was a nice apartment in Queens in a good working-class area that is home to a large Irish, Italian and Polish population as well as a growing Latino population ( and a fair amount of Muslims).

This is the day we can watch all of the Easter Christians go to Church one day a year and see all of the little kids dressed up and the little girls with the hats on their heads and the like and it is nice to watch even if I do not participate.

However, being Easter, and being that this is 2006, we are observing the 90th anniversary of Éirí Amach na Cásca, the Easter Rising. This is an event that is marked every year in New York and many other places in the states but had not been officially observed in the Southern Free State since 1969.

This year Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is leading the officiall commemoration in a military parade in Dublin to mark the day. 1916 marks the events that begin the founding of the Free State so you think it would be pretty normal for a nation to celebrate that event, right?

Well, no. Listening to BBC reports last night, as well as reading an article by a prominent Irish commentator who wished he was born in France, they condemn the celebrations as being offensive in a “multi-cultural Ireland” and military parades are “out of step with Europe”. Please, give me a break.

Immigrant groups to Ireland, and other European nations, must realize that the countries they are coming to have a history and a culture and it should be respected and if they cannot respect it then maybe it is not the best place for them to be. Can you imagine an immigrant to America being offended by the mere celebration of July 4th? That is absurd. Besides, I do not think many immigrants are offended by these, rather it is the Europe-looking bourgeois elite who hate the idea of 1916. I bet there will be a fair-amount of immigrants in the streets of Dublin today.

Second, and I know Europe has a bad history with wars and you have to put their dislike of the military in cultural context, but the hostility towards the armed forces in Europe is equally silly. Of course they do not have to spend money on their third-rate armies so most of them wouldn’t want to have a military parade. Then again, if it was not for the US military the Berlin Wall would have probably been the English Channel and this time Turkey would have smashed thought the gates of Vienna, just some thoughts.

Also, Yusuf Smith has an interesting discussion on his blog based on his debate with Abu Sinan and on the question of Ireland. I will join the discussion soon, but for now I will just say who speaks for “most British Muslims” ? Because, I have heard many who disagree with the agruments of Br. Yusuf.

Remix of Izzy Mo Joint

Izzy Mo has written about the plight of educated and upwardly mobile African-American Muslimas on her blog and the other day i encouraged Muslims to participate in that discussion.

The sister sites seriously problems and I added my two-cents at a brother at some of the negative attitudes, behavior and hypocrisy of Muslim brothers. One thing that we all know, whether we admit it or not, is that there is a great deal of hypocricy out there in the community when it comes towards attitudes of women. The brother who goes nuts when he sees a sister exposing a little hair over her hijab a few minutes later is walking down the street checking out fat asses in tight jeans.

Some when I say what I am getting ready to say, do not take it as something that is “pro-brother” at the expense of the nisa, it is not.

Because my time is limited I am going to shorten my approach and give some of the attitude of brothers towards different kind of sisters;

African-American Muslimas.
Some African-American brothers can only see themselves “marrying black” and this is a good thing for the sisters. Other white Muslims come into the community via the African-American Muslim community and they seek to marry black sisters as well and they have a much better shot of finding one in the community than in their whit jahiliyya. Not all, but most immigrant brothers, will not even consider marrying a black sister because they associated beauty with lightness and their parents and family may disown them or not recognize the children. Much of the Muslim ummah has views towards black people that would fit in nicely in 1920’s Mississippi. They don’t wanna be slave master anymore; but they want black people at the back of the bus and if they decide they ant some black tail it wont be in marriage.

The racist attitudes of many immigrant Muslim brothers are not justified at all. The African-American brothers are dealing with a few different things. First, as I stated before the Arab girl, or Pakistani girl, is the “Miss Ann” of the black Muslim community. She is the status symbol, just like a new car, and he can tell the brothers “look what I got while you are stuck with your nappy-headed wife”. She is to the black Muslim what the Puerto Rican girl is to the black Brooklyn drug-dealer and the white girl to the Midwest player. But, that is not all of it.

Many of these African-American brothers grew-up in dysfunctional homes and around loud, unfaithful, sometimes violent, unproductive black women. When many of these sisters become Muslims they don’t change overnight. I sued to work at a masjid full of AA sisters who wore jilbab and niqaab and they had a pious front but I could hear them talk all day about how to get the most welfare money, which one of their previous husbands was the most well-endowed, a play by play of last nights bedroom action, and the words “nigga, muthafucka, and bitch” made up about one third of the talk along with ” ukhtee, akhee, subhannallahu, insha”Allah and alhamdudilah”. That is another factor and next to this that Moroccan sister makes a lot of sense even if you cant hold a convo least you don’t have to hear that bullshit. I can say more, and will later, but on this sister I have to drop it at that right now and of course many of these brothers also grew-up with the black woman who as mother, father, provider, care-taker, and everything and never found or have been exposed to the beautiful and intelligent black women on campus and the like.

-The White Woman
The immigrant brothers, for the most part, view the white woman as the class symbol whether she is Muslim or not. In fact, it does not matter how she looks or behaves as long as she is white she is alright as the saying goes. Often times these marriages have to do with papers, with only one siding knowing about that aspect of the marriage, and the sister is often left with a couple of babies while the husband goes back home to get an Arab wife who he believes will shut up and do what the hell he tells her. Then there are the marriages that take place on religious grounds, between two pious Muslims, and there you go, that is what the ummah is about.

Damn…

I wanna talk about Easter, Passover, the Shatmar Rebbe, anti-immigrant feeling in the black community but no time…

Man, I Got a Lot to Say

I have a lot to say but not a lot of time today. There is a very interesting conversation going on at the blog of Izzy Mo on marriage and the plight of the educated African-American Muslima. There is a lot I can say on this topic and we could talk about the fact that educated and successful African-American brothers who follow the sunnah tend to want to marry non-blacks. In the non-Muslim world of African-Americans these black men marry whites ( and increasingly non-Mexican Latinas) and after Islam they are marrying immigrant Muslim women or going to a Muslim county to get married to a more “pure” sister. How does this hurt the black Muslima? Well, because of a variety of reasons and the fact that most Muslim brothers, and Imams, discourage Muslims brothers from marrying African-American women, they are left with not being able to find a spouse and this is a problem.

I have known many African-American Muslims who already have African-American wives but are looking for Moroccan wives and they say “I am done with black women….I’m through with kaldonya ( of that’s how you spell it) and then I ask them “who is going to marry your daughters?”

It is also noted that most of these brothers have children from other relationships, have been previously married, and none are virgins and they demand an 18 year old Moroccan virgin who looks like Shakira. These brothers need to get real.

One more note, I have met Muslim brothers who go nuts if a sister isnt fully covered in or near the masjid, and call for the most extreme postions in regards to women; but is well known amongst the brothers to have three or four girlfriends he is sleeping with.

Exporting the Iranian Revolution
Recently Egyptian Dictator Hosni Mubarak has caused a lot of uproar by his comments that the Shia of the middle-east, no matter where they live. only have one loyalty and that is to one another and to Iran and that there is a civil war in Iraq.

First, I must say, that this sounds a lot like classical anti-Jewish rhetoric and you can replace Iran with Israel and there you have it. A popular thing to call Shia amongst many Sunni Arabs is “the bastard sons of the Jews” and that is not meant as a term of endearment.

Having said that I agree with Mubarak to an extent. The south of Iraq is now a part of Greater Persia and the new Iraqi Republic is going to destabilize the entire region as they are going to support armed Shia rebellion in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and even Pakistan. Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers used to speak of exporting the revolution but had little success until now; it took an American invasion for that to happen.

“Ethnic Cleansing”
I am finishing the book on ethnic cleansing today and it is a great read as I mentioned in an earlier entry. This book has caused me to rethink my whole vision of the holocaust and other ethnic conflicts, including Palestine in 1948, and put them all into the context of a number of ethnic cleansings that were going on at the time and that were seen as natural by most ( with he exception of the Nazi death camps) and that 20th century suffering was worst than most of us believe and much more widespread than we are taught in American schools.

Towards the end of the book Benjamin Lieberman deals with the fact that Dutch peacekeepers in Bosnia stood by as Muslims were massacrerd by Serbs and then Europeans wonder why Americans often do not take them seriously. They are great at making wordy pronouncements, passing bullshit rules, and projecting arrogance; but they lacked the will-power or strength to risk their sons to stop ethnic cleansing in their own backyard.

Tariq Nelson
Check out this piece by Tariq on disparities between the African-American and other segments of the American-Muslim community.

Zab Judah
Sources close to Zab Judah are telling me that he has been told that his bought last Saturday with Floyd Mayweather which was a unanimous decision win by PBF will be witched to a no contest by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and that the IBF will restore his belt due to the antics of Roger Mayweather.

Muslim American Society Endorses May 1 General Strike

Hope to see Muslims following their lead. Good move by Mahdi Bray.