Why the Convert and Old Muslim Wanna Meet

Ali Eteraz has an interesting piece on his displeasure at the term “revert” for Muslim converts and Tariq Nelson has picked up on this. I share the opinion of both Ali and Tariq that revert is not an appropriate word and I have stopped using it even if I do not agree with all of the arguments that Ali makes in his piece such as his displeasure when people claim the supremacy of their own faith which I see as a fundamental of an authentic faith.

Ali states that the majority of the Muslim community wants nothing to do with converts unless it is for marrying white convert women, putting white brothers up as spokesman, and putting African-American brothers up on the Masjid basketball team and while this is a humorous exaggeration there is some truth to it.

Let me say that I know of numerous authentic and loving friendships between immigrant Muslim brothers and converts and I know of many of these brothers and sisters who have been a great help to one another. Now, having got the PC crap out of the way let me give you some real reasons that immigrant Muslim brothers want to befriend the convert.

  1. The immigrant brother is horny and tired of jerking off to photos of blonde porn stars and wants you to help him solve the mystery of how to actually bang a white girl.
  2. He is trying to get with your sister and offering to make dawah. 
  3. He is offering money to your sister, or mother, for a fake green card marriage,
  4. For some strange reason he needs to ask you where the gay clubs are.
  5. He wants to pay you to write his college papers.
  6. He doesn’t know how to work the remote control.
  7. He wants to take a picture with you to mail back home to his parents.
  8. If he is from Morocco he wants you to marry his sister.
  9. He thinks you are a fanatic for wanting to be a Muslim and needs someone to snitch on to the feds if he gets busted with the kiddy porn on his computer or try to deport him.
  10. He wants you to carry a package for him onto the subway at rush hour.
  11. He thinks that he has finally found someone dumb enough to listen to his fanatical speech.
  12. He is scared to walk the streets at night and needs an escort.

Why do the American brothers want to befriend the immigrant brother?

  1. He needs help making hijrah.
  2. He wants to get with his sister.
  3. He is attracted to the local terrorist organization in the brothers nation of origin.
  4. He needs help learning Arabic…or Urdu if he is a Taabliquee.
  5. He thinks the brother looks holy and real in his thobe and turban.  
  6. He is trying to scam him out of some money he needs for being a new Muslim.
  7. He wants a job at the Masjid.
  8. He wants to live off the generosity of Muslims.
  9. He wants to sell the brother some incense and oil.
  10. He wants to rob the brothers store.
  11. He wants to go on jolla for the free food.
  12. He is a lost whiteboy going native running around with a turban two sizes too big on his head.

The Weak White-Muslim Brother Getting Hitched

This is a delicate subject and I do not wish to hurt anyone’s feelings with this. However, because I have seen this situation play itself out so many times in the Muslim community, and it deeply saddens me, I think that it must be addressed.

In previous posts I have addressed the complicated dynamics of marriage in the American-Muslim community and I think we all know that it is not easy getting married for a lot of American-Muslims. Just as in America at large, there are also racial dynamics within the Muslim community in America and this can shape the preferences of Muslims as to who they want to marry. During my time as a Muslim, and my traveling through Masjids in dozens of American cities, and meeting several hundred white American Muslim males and knowing them by name, I have to say that the vast majority, as a matter of fact almost all, are married to either African-American sisters or immigrant Muslim sisters. It is also my observation that in everyone of these marriages that I personally know what is going on in the home, that the woman is wearing the pants, she is dominant, and the Muslim man who is supposed to be the head of his household is made to look like a weak soft prisoner to the will of his spouse in front of his children.

There are a lot of reasons for this, and I do not know all of them, but I will address a few. Let me also say that it is possible that this is not the case with all of the white Muslim brothers, for instance a brother like Abu Sinan or a Mustafa Nicholas, who are more masculine in their nature, are less likely to play the Edith Bunker role, than a lot of other brothers; but the fact that these brothers are weak is not just my observation, it is a conversation that has come up time and time again during my conversations with African-American Muslim and immigrant Muslim brothers and sisters.

First let us deal with the backgrounds of most white American Muslim males. These brothers disproportionately come from middle-class (and higher) suburban backgrounds and a large percentage grew-up in homes and were educated in schools that were culturally very liberal ( which of course may have given them the open minds they needed to embrace Islam).

These brothers grew-up in an era after the cultural revolution of the 1960’s and were educated in schools that promoted liberal values. A key part of all this was the mistaken belief and desire in a gender-neutral society. This gender-neutral society, from pre-school to college, shunned and discouraged any outward displays of masculinity, medicated boys for being boys, and encouraged boys to be more sensitive and get in touch with their feminine side.

Sports in many of these schools, a traditional way for men to sharpen their leadership skills and build character, was diluted during this period. Winning was no longer the most important thing, it was how you played the game, and that strong competitive edge was dulled in favor of a kind of touchy feely attitude that placed more premium on not wanting the losers to feel bad than on winning. Participation in boxing, football, and other contact sports that took a lot of courage to participate in dwindled in these schools and areas while sports like soccer and tennis flourished

These brothers grew-up being told constantly to show their emotions, tell people when they were sad, and it is OK for men to cry, and that there is no real difference between the sexes. They were indoctrinated to separate themselves from the ways and traditions of their grandfathers. They grew up with an idealized and romantic vision of love that was more befitting of teenage girls in previous generations than of men.

During this same time girls being raised in the same environment were being encouraged to be aggressive and to aspire towards leadership and to be competitive. So, in this environment, the female became dominant, and the male became her willing subordinate.

Let’s contrast this from the environment that the vast majority of our African-American and immigrant sisters grew-up in. If they grew-up in a Muslim country they grew-up in cultures and homes that it was understood that a man was to be a man, that there are clearly defined gender roles, and that the man is the leader in the household and her job is to support him and to negotiate with him, and barter, on behalf of herself and children. More than likely this sister sees marriage as a sort of a business contract, and not a fairy tale love romance, and her job is to play the game to win. When she sees her white husband not being emotionally strong, not being a leader, and with his mouth wide open like a teenage girl, she see the opportunity to move in and take over and call the shots and he becomes a slave to her desires. The brother sees it as being good to his wife, like the Prophet (sas) encouraged, while the sister sees it as her getting over on a weak and naïve brother.

The African-American sister grew-up in a community where the masculinity of the black male was celebrated (and to a certain extent this is true of the Latin community as well, but there are not enough Latino Muslims to make any generalizations). If the black man was around, which was a big if, he was wearing the pants (even if he didn’t deserve to), at least in some superficial way. At a minimum he didn’t cry and bawl and have the emotions of a ten-year old girl like many white men. Like the immigrant sister, she may want and seek love, but she grew-up in a community that was real enough to let her know that love doesn’t pay the bills and there is a lot more to a relationship than love and in a relationship it is your job to negotiate and maneuver on your own behalf. The game was passed down to her from her mother and female relatives, reinforced by her friends, and so by the time she has met any Muslim brother to marry her game is sharp as a knife. Couple this with the fact that while the brother may be soft from his background; this sister may be equally hard from her background and surroundings.

So there you have the two and how do they come together? First and foremost the answer is the naiveté that exists in the American-Muslim community. We are told that Islam is a magic cure-all for everything and that once you enter the deen it is all good and that any cultural and racial differences that people have become irrelevant. The fact that this is nonsense doesn’t seep in to people until after they have been Muslim for some time and seen all of the hypocrisy and nationalism in the community.

This leads to brothers trying to hook-up a white brother, who may be a male-version of Mary Poppins, to a sister who may be a female version of Mike Tyson, and of course the results are predictable.

While this brother seeks to be sensitive and soft to his wife, like he had been told to be since he was emasculated as a child, the sister sees him not as kind; but as weak and a punk. She does not see this as an opportunity to have a 50-50 relationship (as the priests of political correctness say), but as an opportunity to put this brother in check and make him a slave to her desires and make him shut up and do what the hell she says.

How will this affect Muslim children who see a weak father and a domineering mother? How will the little boys deal with this? These are things we need to be thinking of.

Since I am in the realist camp, whenever I see a situation such as this, I immediately tell the brother not to marry the sister; because I already know what is going to happen. Two questions also arise; why do the brothers want to marry these sisters and why do the sisters want to marry the brothers?

I think that most white-Muslims, including myself, see that entering Islam creates a separation from themselves and whiteness, and want their children to be raised to be part of an African-American or immigrant Muslim community. These brothers are also open-minded and idealistic about the value of inter-marriage (when in all reality they are much better suited to marry a white sister). Many times, because these brothers have much less game and are so much more naïve than those around them, slick-talking African-American brothers are able to pass off on them the sisters that nobody else wants who are crazy or less than physically appealing. Immigrant brothers may hook them up with a sister who is related to them and the brother is thinking deen and love and she is thinking Green Card and money.

The immigrant sister who is coming directly from overseas marries the brother for obvious reasons a lot of times; for the good of herself and her family as she will be able to live in America, send money home to the family, and arrange for her relatives to come over. This is strictly business for her and if the brother doesn’t approach it in that way, and none of these white Muslim brothers I know married to such sisters do, he will be steamrolled by the sister.

You have the other immigrant sister who has grown up in America , or has been here for a while, so she is not interested about papers; but may not want to marry her cousin, a dominant immigrant brother, and may have grown-up fetishizing American pop culture and this white brother is the closest thing to Brad Pitt she can find. This sister may still maintain a lot of the cultural values of her family when it comes to marriage and when she comes in contact with this brother she will dominate him, even if in a less overt way. For all practical purposes though this marriage will be a typical liberal-American marriage, which means that the woman will call the shots behind the farce of a 50-50 relationship.

Then you have the most grotesque example and that is of the African-American sister. This sister may have already been married (possibly multiple times) or even if she has never been married she is being hipped by those around her and she is seeking to avoid one of the many broke black brothers at the Masjid and she isn’t interested in marrying someone for papers and she has gotten word that these white brothers are an easy meal ticket. They will work, give you their money, not talk back and do what the hell you tell them to do. Because this brother is naïve; you can manipulate the hadith and the Sunnah of marriage to your advantage and sucker this brother into a miserable situation while you are spending his cash and there you have it.

If people in the Muslim community were using common sense they would be able to easily see that the best match for these white brothers is fellow white Muslim female converts or African-American and immigrant sisters who grew-up in similar backgrounds; but this is not happening. Partially because the white brothers are not thinking and do not want the white sisters, and the sisters themselves are being hotly pursued by immigrant brothers who have a white –fetish and what is best does not happen.

Let me also say that all white men do not fit this category and that I grew-up around white men who were men and the biggest man of them all in my life was my grandfather and even my father. But, there are few Muslims from the background I came from and many from the kids whose lunch money we used to steal.

What I recommend for white Muslim converts is classes on the art of Manliness and defeminization classes after taking shahadah and having some wise brothers counsel them before they get married, and even during their marriage, so they don’t disgrace themselves in front of their children. In closing I will say that this is the reason that I promote boxing, wrestling and other combat sports for Muslim boys, as is the Sunnah, to toughen them up in a nation of increasingly weak men.

“What is this love? What is this love Americans are always talking about? There is no love”.

Sheikh Muhammad al-Hanooti

“What you are going to learn here, and what you will leave here with, will stay with you for the rest of you lives. You will walk the streets as men, walk with confidence, you will know how to defend yourselves and your family, and you will be men.”

Coach Charlie Sherertz

Ramadan 15 Years On: Thinking of the Good and the Bad

Fifteen years ago was my first Ramadan and since that time I have had Ramadans when I felt like I was on top of the world and as close to Allah as I can get and I have had Ramadans when I felt lousy. This year is kind of in between I guess and I have been going to a few different Masjids with some better than others.

There are two Ramadans that are my favorites: the one year I spent Ramadan in the home of Jaafar Sheikh Idris in Northern Virginia and the one Ramadan I spent with Sheikh Abdul-Rahman in Wichita, KS. Other Ramadans, whether I was in prison or generally not locked-up but feeling down and out, didn’t go well for me and I didn’t feel all that good; but these two stick out because everything just seemed so right.

The Ramadan I spent in the home of Sheikh Jaffar I was the guest of his sons Yusuf and Abdur-Rahman and we would wake-up early in the morning and eat a Sudanese Suhoor and then drive to either Dar al Hijrah or Adams Center for Fajr (at ADAMS, Yusuf would be the Imam).

This was pre 9-11, when Muslims still trusted one another, and there was just so much love in the community during that Ramadan. Dar al Hijrah would be packed and brother Fawaz would fix great iftar meals attended by thousands and we would pray Taraweeh and then stay up later than we should socializing or going out to Afghan kabob joints.

Some nights I would go and sit with Sheikh Ali al-Timimi and he would give talks and all of the brothers would go out afterwards and play volleyball in the middle of the night wearing thobes.

Those were good days masha’Allah; but a lot of those brothers who were around then have left the DC area, have left America or are in prison on trumped up charges.

When I go visit the DC-area now, even with its enormous and activity Muslim community, it just isn’t the same, and it doesn’t seem right. There is no Sheikh Yusuf, no Sheikh Anwar and no Sheikh Ali. I have good friends in the area still; but it feels like I am traveling on the scene of a great tragedy when I go down there.

The Ramadan with Sheikh Abdul-Rahman in Wichita, the man who I believe is better than any African-American Muslim leader in America in taking people off the streets and getting them firmly rooted in the deen in a short period of time, was special because of the brotherhood all of his students in Wichita had was so strong and it was a special group of brothers and Ill never forget those brothers.

Ramadan is also a time to think and as I write two things come to mind and one saddens me and one gives me hope. There is a brother from upstate New York who all of us loved and even looked to as a teacher when we all lived in Northern Virginia. He was an African-American brother speaking the Arabic language fluently when very few were and he would read to us from the books of Islamic Fiqh and Aqeedah. A good brother who loved his wife and young daughter; but was always a little short on cash (and I can’t front because I’m always short on cash my damn self). I don’t know if it was financial problems or what; but the brother ended up involved in a very messy divorce with the sister that took him from England (don’t ask why, that part of the story is too complicated) and back and it took a toll on him.

He still spoke Arabic, he still was friendly and he still prayed; but he had lost that dip in his hip and glide in his slide that he once had. He got remarried and I thought he was doing reasonably well until I was informed recently that he has lost his mind and that he roams the street of a southern American city talking to himself and doesn’t bathe. Please make duah for him this Ramadan Insh’Allah.

Another story gives me hope. At the Masjid in Brooklyn the other night I met a Puerto Rican brother who had just got out of prison. He brought his 6 year old son to the Masjid for the first time with him for iftar and Maghrib before taking his son to the movies and I sat and talked to both of them. The brother had just got out of prison and was living in a group-home and trying to get his life back together and for some reason the site of him with his son gave me some hope for the future for Muslims in this country. Make duah for them as well.

Ramadan is the month in which the gates of Hell are closed and it is a month to wash away your sins. When you have lived the kind of life I have lived you have committed a lot of sins, some of them horrific in nature, and you need to take advantage of every opportunity that you can to wash away some of those bad deeds and some years I have done this better than others.

The best way to do this is to live every month as if it were Ramadan, because going without food during the daylight is easy, it is the acts of ibadah, behavior and mindset that is difficult. If you behave badly throughout the year, like I often do, then it is harder to alter your behavior during one month. This reminds me of being 16 years old and in juvenile detention and we were lectured by a juvenile officer that when we hit 17 we would not be doing petty time anymore, but be going to adult prisons, and we all said “don’t worry when we turn 17 we will change and were not getting into prison or nothing like that”…everyone of them that I have kept up with did, if they lived that long.