A Muslims Thoughts On Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an, Dead Gay People, Orlando, and the Responsibilities That Omar Mateen Made Me Forget.
This whole situation in Orlando is sad.
As Muslims we are obligated to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah (examples of Prophet Muhammad’s life). Omar Mateen, I wish you would’ve spent some time with muslims that would’ve taught you better insight about Islam. I can’t help but feel guilty for being too wild and unfocused to give the kids better direction.
“Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind [Qur’an 5:32].
The idea that anyone would kill over 50 people, especially while fasting, is deeply maddening. Gay clubs have always served as an accepting place of refuge against the rest of an unaccepting world. LGBT people shouldn’t be hunted, or any one of God’s creatures for that matter. A few of my friends knew some of the victims and it makes it that much realer.
One thing that must be further examined is why is it still legal to fire people based on sexual orientation in Florida. Also, when will states like Georgia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Indiana and Arkansas pass hate crime laws to protect the at risk, and what does that say about our elected officials.
As a Muslim American film producer that has dedicated his life to creating media content to help the LGBTQ, Women, African American, Latino and Muslim communities, this is especially saddening because people will soon forget the Muslims that sent hundreds of thousands of water bottles to Flint when the govt wasnt doing their job. People will forget that my friends feed 400 homeless people during Ramadan while we’re fasting in the summer heat. People will forget that ISIS has slaughtered Muslims at a much greater magnitude than people of any other faith or that military personnel from multiple Muslim countries are dying everyday fighting these terrorist so that you can continue to safely hate us from the comforts of your own homes. People will forget that many of my Muslim friends constantly rally for the equal treatment of gays and women, just like so many forgot that Ali was not only unapologetically Black but also unapologetically Muslim when he rescued 15 American hostages from Sadaam, or spoke out against the Vietnam war which helped save a generation of kids of all faiths, but I guess that’s no different than the overlooking of historical Muslims such as the Moors in Spain, Mansa Mussa in Timbuktu or Bukman, a key figure in the Haitian revolution. Sadly, people will forget about the Muslims that died during the Paris attacks, the San Bernardino incident, and the Muslim 9/11 first responders that sacrificed their health for the lives of all people as it is easier to float the ‘they all hate us’ narrative if the weight of their bodies disappates in a manner similar to the responsibilities that I’ve forgotten. Islam has always been in this country, look no further than the ships of the middle passage or Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an that was used for guidance on forming religious freedom laws because, during that time period, there weren’t any so-called Christian nations with freedom of religion so researching what Muhammad did when he established agreements to protect the Jews in Medina around 500 a.d. was key to the establishment of our mighty nation (today the Library of Congress stores Jefferson’s Quran; Representative Keith Ellison was sworn in to office using it a few years ago — http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/05/AR2007010500512.html )
I wonder what message it sends when media outlets use older photos of Omar dressed in traditional Muslim clothing, rather than his more current police fan wear.
Apparently the father of the suspected gunman has suggested that the man was a homophobe yet 'possible hate crime' was replaced with 'act of terrorism' hours before information about the shooters background was unearthed; how often does that happen? Though I was initially unfamiliar with the story I assumed that the shooting involved a so called Muslim as the wild fire headlines read 'terrorists’, which is usually code for 'neither white nor christian' considering that of the over 204 American mass shootings (of 4 or more people) in 2015, that by definition would qualify as acts of demostic terrorism, only the San Bernardino shooters were considered terrorists, even though often members of the 200+ massacre club left manifestos that described the perpetrators inaccurate christian beliefs as being the reasons for their crimes, never to be called terrorist, only 'lone wolves’.
This is the worst mass shooting in U.S. (recent) History, as there are many incidents of non-Caucasian Americans being ethnically slaughtered in much higher numbers within the last 100 years, back when America was alleged to be great. Listening to the first four names of the identified bodies shock my soul. Those people sre still in the club. Dead. lifeless. STILL. Though these words bare no ease, I still pray not only for the departed and their families, but also the Muslims that will be fired, assaulted, harrased, not served at restaurants, and threatened by people like Army Reserve Major Russell Thomas Langford, a man that was arrested in North Carolina last week after he pulled out a gun and randomly threatened to kill Muslims as he waited in the parking lot of a mosque. It is with these normally highly regarded everyday people, heros, politicians, religious leaders, and other likeable public figures that we often ignore the painted whispers of ignorance that have been colored patriotism until it grows into the only thing that we hear.
Last week I heard hope at Muhammad Ali’s burial act of equality. Over the deafening drums of deportation, anti-Muslim reteric, and a quieted need for gun control, I wonder what sound the future will hear?
Because at this moment the Hadith of "Whoever kills a mu’ahid [non-combatant, innocent non-Muslims] will not smell the scent of paradise …" (Bukhari) sounds a lot like Omars situation.
Hopefully this experience can bring us all together. #helpothers
This vigil in Jacksonville,Florida for our fallen comrades smiles me for a better world.
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Rashad Mubarak is an Atlanta based Writer/Producer.