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Dasham Brookins' Response to My 'Dealing with Muslim Men' in UK

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

In the name of God, Compassionate, Merciful بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمِ | Peace be with you السلام عليكم

In the name of God, compassionate & merciful بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ | Peace be with you السلام عليكم

Brother Dash is a world renowned poet; he's got the mellow mind of a Shabazz Malcolm X - Little and unique lyrical weapons. I personally feel if such Iconic Muslims were supported by people like you and I in buying their work, befriending them and attending their conferences or shows, they could do more for us. {www.brotherdash.com}

Anyway, I ranted in an earlier post about the general Muslim men's reaction here in the UK towards Muslim women, in particularly me. I stick out from a crowd in an odd way and like to question, analyse and take the stage and nab the microphone. It's a personality thing. UK Muslim brothers find this unconventional in that they see someone breaking tradition, somebody challenging their norms of accepted learning; so long as I am within the boundaries and rights of Islam though, I continue to listen, talk and write. Brother Dash explained this phenomenon for me quite eloquently, he's good at that, alhamdulillah (did I mention he's a sociologist?):-

"It's not that the UK bros/sisters are any better or worse in terms of adab it's that you have a different Muslim demographic than the United States for instance. This topic is not even a discussion in the U.S. But in the UK you have a demographic that often does not integrate into society, comes from very conservative, rural, strict communities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and some African countries and are of a working class to poor background. We know from sociological research that those demographics tend to hold more restrictive attitudes toward women and it trickles down to their children and spreads "horizontally" in the community creating an almost subcultural attitude that isn't necessarily Islamic.

In the U.S. 1/3 of all Muslims are indigenous Americans (Black Americans, White Americans, Latinos with histories going back to the 17th century in some cases). The majority of the 2/3 remaining that are South Asian, Arab and Continental African are often more upwardly mobile than their UK counterparts. This often translates into less restrictive attitudes. There are certain conversations that we just don't have like this one. It's really only in highly salafi influenced communities that you even have this "women's voice is awrah" thing (which I have yet to see the Islamic evidence for). For the most part we have moved onto discussions like "Building a Muslim American Identity" or The Arts and Islam and other topics that deal with your future as a contributing citizen to Islam and to the society in which you live.

When Muslims in the UK stop being schizophrenic (they have no problem hearing a female MP's voice) and looking for fitnah behind every veil (fitnah is always in regards to women isn't it?) maybe they will be able to actually tackle the real problems in the community and be an example of Islam that people would find attractive and compelling.


Stay Strong Zaufishan!
-Brother Dash"


And this is where I stood on a chair with a white flag in my hand hoping the memories of 'Aisha and Khadija would resonate in the minds of my Muslim opponents.

PS - Br. Dasham, if you could export some of that American Muslimness over I'd be much obliged; I owe you mucho dua', inshaAllah. Regards to family & children. Salam.


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aneebaba said...

Ma'sha'allah, I'm glad Br. Dash and you, Zaufishan brought up this issue. As a fellow Muslim American, I agree with Br. Dash's analysis/explanation of the two situations. I' not so sure if I exude this American Muslimness that you mention Sr. Zaufishan, but at the very least, I think others in my own community, both the respected elders and even those younger than me, are shining examples of this good character and behavior.
In fact, I think as it is in Britain, its the women in our community who actually display the most "Muslimness," but as you say Sr. Zaufishan, the issue of trying to keep the voices of these educated Sisters to a minimum doesn't exist in the States, at least not to my knowledge. As you know, we are all equal before Allah, thus regardless of gender, if someone can contribute to the larger community with their knowledge or other fine attributes, then we should be welcoming those contributions.
I am very proud of the youth I see that will soon become part of the global community, as they move onto college or university and beyond and to be honest, its the sisters that I've seen that exude that ubercool Muslimness, through their modest appearance, passion for Islam and willingness to go and achieve - thus putting out a great model for those looking on from the outside - creating, as Br. Dash said, "an example of Islam that people would find attractive and compelling."

I, too, Sr. Zaufishan, wish you to maintain that strength and resilience that is so refreshing and inspiring.

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