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Politics Will Not Save Us! Wake Up Call To The Americans - Willingness To Struggle And Sacrifice

01 November 2012

By El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan

Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace): 

I begin this WAKE UP CALL message - which quite appropriately is being composed after early morning prayer (salatul fajr) - with particularly relevant ayat (verses) from The Noble Qur'an, the Final Revelation from The Creator of all life to all humanity. From the second surah of the Qur'an (Al-Baqarah, or "The Heifer"), the verse reads as follows:  

"O you who believe! seek help [from your Creator] with patient perseverance and prayer; for ALLAH is with those who patiently persevere. And say not of those who are slain in the way of ALLAH: 'They are dead.' No, they are living, though you perceive it not. Be sure We will test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives, and the fruits of your toil, but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere - who say, when afflicted with calamity: 'To ALLAH we belong, and to Him is our return.'" (ayat: 153-156) 

That one verse says it all. Our salvation in life will not result from which political party we belong to (nor what our place happens to be in that party); it will not depend on who the standard bearer of that party happens to be; or whether our party is in power or out of power. Our success in this life, and the next, will revolve around our willingness to struggle and sacrifice for the right reasons, and in the right way! (May ALLAH fortify the God-fearing of all faiths toward this end.) 

I could stop here; because what's been said already is sufficient (or should be) as a WAKE UP CALL. But for those of us who stubbornly resist the relative who comes to our bedside to say IT'S TIME TO GET UP - I'll take this a little further. 

We are now two days away from national elections in the United States which left a little over half of the U.S. population feeling giddy, and the other half in a funk. While truth be told, little was bound to change irrespective of which party won that presidential race. The brilliance of this so-called "democracy" is that it has been constructed in such a way that enfranchised citizens are given the illusion of change every four to eight years - while the trajectory of America never really changes at all!  

The main operational policies of the United States of America - i.e. its usurious economic system that favors the "1%" (at the expense of the masses); an ever expanding military-industrial complex that favors endless wars for profit; the rapacious pillage of Mother Earth for profit; and the growing internal alienation of American citizenry (despite all of the gadgets that are supposed to "connect" us to one another) continues from one administration to the next - whether it be democrat or republican!  

The more things change (as the saying goes) the more they stay the same. As Niccolo Machiavelli (in his still influential treatise ("The Prince") advised the rulers of his day: "A prince has never lacked legitimate reasons to justify his breach of faith... But it is necessary to know how to disguise this nature well and how to pretend and dissemble. Men are so simple and so ready to follow the needs of the moment that the deceiver will always find some one to deceive."  

How right Machiavelli was in his concluding statement: "...the deceiver will always find some one to deceive." Is this not the nature of our socio-economic-political system in the U.S. today? Is this not the prevailing nature of politics around the globe in this day and time?! Every conscious being on this planet should be asking him/herself - what is the way forward (out of this spiritual quagmire that we've gotten ourselves into)?  

I will now address my Muslim brothers and sisters (specifically): POLITICS WILL NOT SAVE US! For those of us who suffer under the illusion that 'if we can only get more of our people involved in the political mainstream'....'if we can only get more Muslims to run for office'....'if we can only get more politicians on our side' - things for us will magically change - I advise, Wake Up!, and stop being so foolish! 

Positive change comes through committed struggle, faith-based perseverance, and a willingness to sacrifice (when necessary) in that struggle! It comes from recognizing those deficiences within the individual and collective self that help to hold us back, and then dealing with those counter-productive tendencies head on! As it is written:

"ALLAH will not change the condition of a people until they endeavor to change it themselves!" 

I will end by way of example. In Charlotte (North Carolina) recently, an Islamically-flavored political prop was organized, billed as "Jumuah at the Democratic National Convention." While the majority who participated were no doubt well intentioned, and thought that this so-called "dawah" would benefit Muslims in America (and we are given credit for our good intentions, even when they're wrong), the question must be raised - what, of any substance, did that initiative accomplish? From my perspective...nothing! 

The "record number of Muslim delegates" who attended this year's convention(s) - at the end of the day, did it make a difference in the government's perception of our community? Has it in any way affected the government's behavior toward our community? I don't think so. With that said, let me share some advice on something that Muslims in Charlotte could do, that would make a world of difference in how the government (esp. its "law-enforcement" branch) views us, and treats us. 

There is a young Muslim brother in Charlotte by the name of Usman Khan, who happens to be a very impressive young man, from an equally impressive family. Usman is a committed young Muslim, 22 years of age, who will graduate this year with a double major in Criminal Justice and IT from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.  

Usman also happens to be the younger brother of Samir Khan, another committed young Muslim (and American citizen) who was the target of an extra-judicial execution by drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011. Who took his life? America's CIA. Why was his life taken? He was believed to be a top propagandist for al-Qaeda. 

There is a double tragedy to this story. In addition to having to deal with the loss of his brother (who he was very close to), Usman has had to struggle with the unconstitutional and unconscionable actions of his own government - i.e. the sowing of suspicion within his extended family, and community, via FBI interrogations (about him). Usman has also inexplicably, and for no valid reason, been placed on America's "No Fly List" by the government. (He can't even fly in the United States!) 

And, as if this were not enough, Usman, just 22 years old, has had to constantly struggle with the question of where is all of this leading to? - while simultaneously dealing with the alienation that he has felt from his own faith community in Charlotte; an alienation rooted in fear, simply because he is the younger brother of Samir Khan! And this brings me to my unsolicited nasiha (sincere advice) for the "leaders" and other Muslims of influence in Charlotte, NC. 

Do you really want influence with the temporal powers that be? Do you really want to be recognized and respected? Then STAND UP as self-respecting men and women, and stop being so accommodating to taghut!  

After the type of tragedy that this young brother (and his family) has suffered, you should be embracing him, not ostracizing him. Some of the counter-productive (and fundamentally un-Islamic) reactions that came from some Muslims in Charlotte after the state-sponsored execution of Samir Khan, without trial, was bad enough! But to now punish his little brother (via manufactured suspicion and communal abandonment) is beyond the pale. 

The powers-that-be will never respect us, and will continue to target and manipulate us, as long as we continue to behave like this. Generally speaking, Muslims in America have demonstrated very poor character, Post 9/11. The most accurate measure of an individual or community's character is evident during times of challenge and controversy. Until we begin to measure up to what we've been given (Al-Qur'an and Sunnah) we will never be respected, and we will never be secure! As it is written:

"Do men think that they will be left alone on saying we believe, and they will not be tested?" 

The politics of expediency ("no permanent friends or enemies...only interests") is not the philosophy that we should be extolling. Ours should be a philosophy of Love, Brotherhood, Mutual Respect (even for those outside our ranks), Reverence for All Life, Justice in All Spheres - and a dogged, faith-based determination to always, always, strive to do our part to enjoin the good, and forbid the evil! This, and only this, will guarantee our success in this life and the next. 

O Allah, The One who changes the hearts, make my heart firm upon faith! 

In the struggle for peace thru justice,



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