Why McCain and Obama Won’t Talk about Race

Obama and Mccain

Obama and Mccain

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama made one speech in March to damp down the furor over his relationship with his controversial former pastor Jeremiah Wright. He made another speech at the NAACP convention in July. Other than those two speeches, he has not uttered another word about racial issues since.

Republican rival John McCain spoke at the same NAACP convention. Shortly after that, he issued a terse statement backing the Ward Connerly concocted anti-affirmative action initiative on the November ballot in Arizona and two other states. Other than that, he has not uttered a single word about racial issues since.

The audience for McCain and Obama’s speeches at the NAACP convention were mostly blacks. That reinforced the notion that racial issues are by, and for, blacks, with no broad policy implications for all Americans as issues such as health care, jobs and the economy, terrorism and Iraq.

About the only talk about race during the campaign has been the interminable Hydra headed question of: Can Obama make history by being the first African-American president? And if he doesn’t will race sink him? That’s hardly the candid, free-wheeling, in-depth talk about the problems that impact the lives of millions of black, Latino, Asian, and American Indian voters. Minority voters make up about one quarter of American voters, and they deserve to hear what the candidates have to say about racial matters and, more importantly, what their administration plans to do about them.

Obama and McCain’s racial blind spot has been ritual blindness in all candidates in recent America presidential races. Racial issues have seeped into presidential debates only when they ignite public anger and division. In a 1988 debate, Bush Sr. hammered Democratic contender Michael Dukakis as being a card carrying ACLU’er, a milksop on crime, and tossed in the Willie Horton hit to drive home the point. In one of their debates in 2000, Bush and Democratic challenger Al Gore clashed over affirmative action

Race has been a taboo subject for presidents and their challengers on the campaign trail for the past two decades for a simple reason. No president or presidential challenger, especially a Democratic challenger, will risk being tarred as pandering to minorities for the mere mention of racial problems. In stark contrast, Obama, let alone McCain, would never worry about being accused of pandering to Christian Evangelicals by talking incessantly about gay marriage and abortion.

Full article: www.insight-info.com

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Racial Problems amongst Shia in the West

This is an e-mail that was circulated between a person and a few scholars. I think this issue is important and needs to be discussed further. Please take a minute and read it and lets think of way that we can combat this issue.

InshaAllah this reaches everyone in good health. By the grace of Allah (swt) many active and sincerely devoted youth have begun to connect with each other from all across the country. Through mediums such as email list servs, conferences, face book, and online forums these youth have demonstrated incredible understanding of Islam’s revolutionary ideology. Often times because of their unadulterated view of Islamic tradition, they end up feeling isolated within their own communities and resort to finding young adults through other means. In the last couple of years we have begun to exchange ideas about the future of Islam in America and the necessary steps that need to be taken by communities and their respective leaders. After noticing that many of our communities are facing the same problems, and feeling that the majority have neglected to address them properly, we have decided to take our issues directly to our scholars across the board.

One of these preeminent issues is regarding race relations, and ethnocentricity. The reality of the matter is that racism exists down to the roots of many Islamic centers, pervading even up to the mouths of some religious leaders. The Caucasian, Black and African American, and Latino growing Shia communities are feeling more and more isolated as they continue to search for avenues to practice their new found faith. The masjids are increasingly becoming deficient for our new converts and reverts by failing to provide adequate resources. Often times they naturally bring with them their old styles of dress, hair, and slang. Unfortunately out of lack of insight and patience, many centers stuck in their own cultural ignorance tend to shun and look down upon such ‘foreign’ behaviors. Countless numbers of reverts have turned back from Islam because of this type of attitude.

Full article: www.insight-info.com

Cultural Arrogance and Ethnic Pride

The followers of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him), like the followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny), were Divinely-guided Muslims. Today, however, Prophet Musa’s followers aren’t known as Muslims. Instead, they’re remembered exclusively by their clan affiliation: the Children of Israel or, by the name of their clan’s politically dominant tribe, Jews. God guided the Children of Israel through the efforts of Prophet Moses and The Torah. Most followers of Moses, however, had no physical access to the Torah. It was locked up and guarded in the Ark of the Covenant. Only the high priests had access.

We Muslims of the Muhammadan dispensation of Islam are privileged. We have infallible Divine Guidance sitting on our bookshelves. Nearly every Muslim has key parts of the Qur’an locked in his/her memory, and whoever can remember it can guard the entire Holy Scroll in his breast’s treasure chest (74:55). Yet, like our ancient religious brethren, too many of us still manage to do the exact opposite of what’s best for us. We’re even known by our ethnocentric identities. We’re Arabs. We’re Persians. We’re Pakistanis. We’re African-Americans. We’re known by who we are, not what we are. We’re just like the Muslims of old, who still to this day are known as either Israelis or Jews, instead of Muslims.

Why? Because we tend to fear not and forget Allah (87:9) and de-prioritize God’s guidance in preference to the gadgetry of the world (2:102). Thus, we tend to allow our lower nature to be influenced by the Nefarious Stoned Satan, who’s dedicated to our ultimate ruin. This ancient, alien adversary isn’t alone in his mission. Shaitan is constantly trying to recruit others to the Dark Side, spreading ignorance, negligence, disobedience, and oppression. The methods have not changed throughout the ages. He invents ways to incite, seduce, beguile, and corrupt. Then he uses these inventions to turn what is closest to us into his trusted and charismatic agent provocateur, which then infiltrates into our very core, the most susceptible aspect of our humanity, the easily inflated human ego. Thus, many believe that it’s more important to be who our parents were than it is to be what our Prophet was. So we adopt our parent’s errors rather than our Prophet’s righteousness. It is our ego’s fierce fiery sense of exaggerated self-worth that stinks to high heaven and can anger God to no end.

Call it arrogance, pride, racial pride, family pride, ethnic pride, national pride, cultural pride. That accursed sin of pride: that’s what got our enemy into a hell of a lot of trouble, and that’s the weapon he uses to take us with him. All that egotistical fool had to do was bow towards a fellow creature. The command to bow was given by the recognizable voice of God. He’d been okay if he’d obeyed. But he didn’t. He thought so highly of himself that he didn’t fear His Creator. He waxed proud in his opinion of himself, rebelled, then waned in God’s Grace, and suffered an irreparable loss of spiritual face. He became morally bankrupted. No spiritual currency, condemned without hope of Allah’s Mercy, destined to dwell forever in hell, a bad place with bad feelings and even worse smell, without vision of God’s Merciful Ever Presence, cursed to his essence, existing only on hatred for those born to humanity, ultimate peace lost to eternal insanity.

Full article: www.insight-info.com

Western Muslims are Racist

We have many people struggling to get married but even beyond that we have people trying to justify their skin colour, heritage, race and nationality with the overwhelming immigrant muslim community’s perception of them- especially those who are Muslims born in America to non-Middle Eastern families.

racism protest

There is a serious problem and I believe it must be addressed soon and head on. The communities as a whole must be told that racism and prejudice based on class, nationality or any other prejudice is incorrect. Telling people that they should not marry converts is not correct. Telling people that they should only marry within their culture is not correct as a general statement. These issues must be dealt with on an individual basis but the larger picture- the overwhelming prejudice in some communities is a large backward step for the Ummah.

I wanted to share a brief comment from an African American brother who is very close to me. He was born sunni and converted to shi’ism at 15 years old. He has been trying to get married for 6+ years and is now 25 and in dental school with an industrial engineering degree. He has memorized much of the Qur’an and is extremely intelligent. However he has been rejected time and time again for marriage from parents because, and only because, of his skin colour- even when the sister agreed and was hoping to marry him. Here are his feelings he shared with me:

In all honestly, I’m tired of this game…Immigrant Muslims come here enjoy this country while bashing it all the time and (insert explicit word for defecation here) on us, the Muslims here…They treat us like we are criminals or kafirs even…I’m through…This isn’t an ummah…Its not a brotherhood…Loyalty to family, tribe, and ethnicity is paramount to these people…I honestly feel like the immigrants should go back to their home countries and focus on fixing the problems there instead of coming here and being hypocrites…Other Shaykhs have said racist things on calls…I’m done with all of it…And I will be a witness against them on the day of Judgment Insha Allah…

I believe if we all banded together and decided to confront these poisonous issues together, head on, with CLARITY and PERSISTENCE then Allah will change the believer’s hearts and help us stay away from hypocrisy in our deen. I think this should also been done on individual bases too where we talk with individuals about these issues and exalt the righteous and forbid the evil and satanic. There must be a pro-active way to bring communities together, just as the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his progeny) brought tribes together. We should realize that most of the children of immigrants do not hold extremely traditional outlooks and even are very happy to marry cross-culturally. It is often the parents and elders who forbid these actions- and often with terrible excuses, sometimes racist and nationalist in nature. Every day my brothers and sisters are getting hurt because of backward mindsets…

The Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: “He who hurts a Muslim believer, surely he has hurt me.”

Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 67, p. 72

Be part of the solution, inshaAllah….

Imam Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (a.s.) said: “May Allah have mercy upon the person who services a right and removes a wrong, or refutes an injustice and establishes justice.”

Qurar-ul-Hikam, p. 181

With Peace, Hope, and Blessings,
Your brother in Islam,

TC